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A Changing Nebraska


This week Voices for Children was proud to release the annual Kids Count in Nebraska Report. In addition to 200+ state wide indicators of child well-being and 30 county-specific indicators, we include a commentary that dives deeper into a subject impacting Nebraska’s children. This year’s commentary was on “A Changing Nebraska: How demographic shifts impact children.”

Today’s post begins a series featuring the data and recommendations from the commentary – specifically how we expect Nebraska to change from now to 2050 and how those changes may impact our state’s kids.   In order to create the commentary, we worked with CPAR at UNO who had already developed models and projections for Nebraska’s future populations. They were gracious enough to share their data and research with us in order to create our commentary.

As of 2012, Nebraska had an estimated 1.86 million residents. Of these ~25% were children, 13.8% were 65 and older, and the rest were adults. A majority (~70%) of families were married and the average family size was just over 3 people. In 2012, an estimated 65% of Nebraska residents were born in Nebraska, and 6.4% of Nebraskan’s were born in another country.

Over the decades Nebraska’s population has experienced fluctuations in growth. Large growth was seen in the 1950s and 1990s and small growth was seen, especially in the 1980s. In the coming decades, Nebraska’s population is anticipated to continue to experience growth, but the level of which will likely slow significantly to around 4% growth in the 2040s (down from ~6.5% growth in the 2000s). While the U.S.’s growth is expected to slow as well, Nebraska will have a more dramatic decease in population growth, possibly leading to a loss of a seat in the House of Representatives as soon as 2020.

As the state’s population changes, trends in demographics will appear. By 2050 we can expect the population of Nebraska to:

  • be older,
  • be more diverse,
  • be more urban,
  • and have more variation in family types.

Over the coming weeks we will take a closer look at each of these areas and investigate how Nebraska is expected to change, what impact that the change may have on children, and what we recommend doing about it. Stay tuned as next week we will dive into Nebraska becoming older.

Thank you to taking the time to share!


  1. REPLY
    Eric P Nelson says

    Chrissy, these data points are so valuable for all Nebraskans!! Keep up the great work and we will get others to see what we can do for children.

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