The Worst Place to Live in Nebraska Is This City

Scottsbluff, Nebraska, a city located in the western part of the state near the Wyoming border, holds the unfortunate distinction of being named the worst city to live in Nebraska. This evaluation is based on a variety of social and economic measures. With a population of approximately 14,733, Scottsbluff is the largest city in the Nebraska Panhandle, but it also grapples with significant challenges that affect the quality of life of its residents​​.

Crime Rates and Safety Concerns

One of the most pressing issues in Scottsbluff is its high crime rate. The city has a violent crime rate of 507 incidents per 100,000 people, which is significantly higher than the state average of 291. This places Scottsbluff as having the second-highest violent crime rate in Nebraska.

Furthermore, the property crime rate in Scottsbluff stands at 3,714 incidents per 100,000 people, ranking it fourth in the state and above the state average of 2,338. These statistics translate into a 1 in 27 chance of being a victim of any crime in Scottsbluff.

When compared to other communities of similar size nationwide, Scottsbluff’s crime rate is notably higher, making it one of the most crime-ridden areas in America. Residents face a 1 in 31 chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime​​.

Economic and Poverty Concerns

Economically, Scottsbluff faces challenges as well. The city’s poverty rate is 19.4%, significantly higher than both the state average of 11.4% and the national average of 13.4%. The median household income in Scottsbluff is $43,833, lower than the state median of $63,229 and the national median of $62,843.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Scottsbluff is 4.1%, which is higher than the state rate of 3.1% and the national rate of 3.9%. However, it’s important to note that more recent data from 2021 indicates a slight improvement, with the poverty rate at 11.8% and a median household income of $56,265, showing a 5.87% growth from the previous year​​​​.

Education System

In terms of education, Scottsbluff lags behind state and national averages. Only 18.8% of adults in Scottsbluff have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to the state average of 32.7% and the national average of 32.6%.

The public schools in Scottsbluff are rated low, with a rating of 4 out of 10 according to Scottsbluff Public Schools, the largest school district in Scotts Bluff County, serves more than 2,600 students across one high school, one middle school, and five elementary schools​​​​.

Limited Entertainment and Cultural Options

Scottsbluff also faces limitations in terms of entertainment and cultural offerings. The city has only one movie theater, one museum, and one library, with the nearest major city, Cheyenne, Wyoming, being 87 miles away. This lack of variety in entertainment and cultural options could contribute to the overall quality of life and attractiveness of the city to potential residents and visitors​​.

Demographic Profile

The demographic makeup of Scottsbluff is predominantly White (Non-Hispanic) at 71.6%, followed by White (Hispanic) at 13.5%. Other significant ethnic groups include Two+ (Hispanic) at 5.9%, Other (Hispanic) at 3.68%, and Two+ (Non-Hispanic) at 1.53%​​.


Scottsbluff, Nebraska, while holding the title of the largest city in the Nebraska Panhandle, faces significant challenges across various fronts, including high crime rates, economic struggles, educational shortcomings, and limited cultural and entertainment options. These factors collectively contribute to its designation as the worst city to live in Nebraska. The city’s issues are a complex mix of social, economic, and cultural elements that require comprehensive strategies and concerted efforts for improvement.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.