Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Center for Applied Rural Innovation, CARI Research Report (July 2012) 12-1, 37 pages

Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Most rural Nebraskans are positive about their current situation. And, they continue to be generally positive about their future situation. Over one-half (51%) of rural Nebraskans think they are better off than they were five years ago and just under one-half (45%) think they will be better off ten years from now. Certain groups remain pessimistic about their situation. Persons with lower household incomes, older persons, and persons with lower educational levels are the groups most likely to be pessimistic about the present and the future.

When asked if they believe people are powerless to control their own lives, most rural Nebraskans disagree. The proportion that either strongly disagree or disagree with this statement sharply increased from last year.

Rural Nebraskans continue to be most satisfied with family, spirituality, friends, and the outdoors. On the other hand, they continue to be less satisfied with job opportunities, their current income level, and financial security during retirement. Satisfaction with job opportunities increased this year compared to last year. However, satisfaction with general quality of life, general standard of living, their health and their community all saw declines this year.

Most rural Nebraskans are members of a church and over one-half attend church services at least once a month. Older persons, persons with higher incomes, and persons with higher education levels are the groups most likely to be members of a church and to attend church services at least once a month.

Rural Nebraskans who attend church generally are positive about the future of their church. Most believe their church is financially stable, that it serves as a resource to the entire community, and that the level of pastoral services in their church is adequate for the needs of the congregation. And, most are not concerned that their church may need to close or consolidate nor do they believe their church will decline over the next several years. Persons living in or near smaller communities and persons with occupations in agriculture are the groups most likely to express concern for the future of their church.