First Advisor

David J. Wishart

Date of this Version



Husa, Andrew. (2020). “Population Sustainability in Rural Nebraska Towns” (Doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Geography, Under the Supervision of Professor David J. Wishart. Lincoln, Nebraska: March, 2020

Copyright 2020 Andrew Husa


After beginning with an introduction to rural population trends and population sustainability in rural towns, this dissertation gives an overview of population change in rural Nebraska towns between 1950 and 2010. Following a series of maps depicting the changes in rural Nebraska towns between these two censuses, six case studies are used to explore the growth of individual towns. A discussion on the characteristics of growing rural towns in Nebraska follows these case studies.

The dissertation then continues by discussing statewide rural residential decision making and place attachment based on data collected by the Nebraska Roots Migration Survey. Following a comparison of the results from urban and rural survey respondents, the content switches to a focus on rural Nebraskans who have stayed in, or moved back to, the state’s rural towns, and discusses differences in residential decision making and place attachment between different genders and age groups.

Advisor: David J. Wishart