These Are The 10 Smartest Cities In Nebraska

We used data and science to determine the brainiacs around Nebraska.

John McLeanby John McLeanRankings - 2 years ago

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One of the many qualities that people look for in a potential location or company is the intelligence of those around them. This factor can play a huge role in one’s experience at a particular company and can make or break an employee’s time there.

So finding a city with an intelligent population makes sense for both companies and employees. That’s where Zippia comes in; to help you identify those places in Nebraska that might have skipped a grade…or two.

You may be wondering how does one determine how intelligent a town really is?

Well we went to the source of all things demographic data – the Census – to figure out what criteria about a place would identify it is a smart cookie.

We set upon the percentage of adults (over 25) with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school dropouts (aged 16-20) for the 32 largest cities in Nebraska with data. We then crunched the numbers and were left with this set of the brightest cities in the Cornhusker State:

  1. Gretna
  2. Sidney
  3. Chadron
  4. Holdrege
  5. York
  6. Papillion
  7. Plattsmouth
  8. Seward
  9. Kearney
  10. Bellevue

Read on to see why these places got into a four-year college or skip to the end to see a full chart of all the places in our analysis.

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How we determined the smartest places in the Cornhusker State

Before we could dive into the potential IQs of various places in Nebraska, we needed to know which places to look at in the first place. We settled upon any place with over 5,000 people and data available for every criteria.

This left us with 32 places in Nebraska.

We then looked at the following criteria to determine the cream from the crop when it comes to smarts:

Our data comes directly from the latest American Community Survey from the Census.

We thought this criteria was representative of the current state of smarts with the potential for a place to improve the education levels of the next generation. And it’s not like we are setting the education bar incredibly high — 80% of students graduate from high school nowadays.

In order to determine the smartest, we ranked all the cities for each criteria from one to 32 with one being the “smartest” in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the highest overall score being given the diploma for “Smartest City In Nebraska”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart. Otherwise, learn more about how the top ten cities achieved their potential.

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1. Gretna

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,416
Adults Without High School Diploma: 4.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Gretna takes the diploma as the smartest city in Nebraska.

With a population of a little over 5,000 and a low drop out rate for kids in high school this little city was an easy pick for #1. These great numbers make the town of Gretna Nebraska’s best hope for a bright future.

2. Sidney

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,801
Adults Without High School Diploma: 5.9%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

A close second to those men and women in Gretna are the residents of Sidney, Nebraska.

A relatively small city it boasts low high school dropout rates. So it’s clearly planning on graduating a little early.

3. Chadron

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,829
Adults Without High School Diploma: 5.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 1.1%

Chadron comes in at our #3 spot of the Smartest Cities. Though it’s in the number three spot don’t doubt the intelligence of the kids in this city they are studying hard every night. Hence the dropout rate of 1.1%.

The IQs here must be off the charts!

4. Holdrege

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,506
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Holdrege takes the #4 spot and for good reasons too. With an ultra low high school dropout rate and a population of just over 5,500 this little town is doing big things.

There’s a lot of potential in this town.

5. York

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,878
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

With a slightly larger population than it’s predecessors York isn’t letting that get to it’s head. Low drop out rates and an educated adult population solidify York’s spot as the 5th smartest city in Nebraska.

That’s no small feat.

6. Papillion

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,100
Adults Without High School Diploma: 3.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.5%

Papillion is a metropolitan city in the heart of our smartest cities with a population breaking the 20,000 mark. Even though it’s a big place the adults here are some of the sharpest around as only 3.4% of them haven’t completed high school.

Come for the sights but stay for the conversation right?

7. Plattsmouth

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,473
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.0%

Coming in at #7 is the town of Plattsmouth, Nebraska. With a population of just under 6,500 and a low drop out rate the potential for greatness is abound.

The kids here are getting a world class education to be sure.

8. Seward

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,050
Adults Without High School Diploma: 8.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 0.4%

The smarties in Seward took the #8 spot in the entire state of Nebraska. Totaling just over 7,000 this medium sized town is chock full of talent and opportunity so stop by and study alongside some of the residents here.

9. Kearney

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,759
Adults Without High School Diploma: 6.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.9%

The city of Kearney came in #9 for the smartest cities in Nebraska. There’s no questioning the smarts of the people here as they boast a low high school dropout rate and an educated population of adults.

10. Bellevue

Smartest Nebraska

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 52,690
Adults Without High School Diploma: 7.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 2.1%

As the biggest city to make our smartest cities list Bellevue is a huge place with a population topping 52,000. But if you get lost you can get great directions from any of the residents here as they are some of the brightest in the state!

What do you know? Bellevue is a pretty cool place where you can have some intelligent conversations with intelligent people.

And that’s how you graduate in style

That is our definitive ranking of the 10 Smartest Cities in Nebraska. Here at Zippia we want to bring important information to our readers. Now you can make a more informed decision on your next visit to the Cornhusker state. Be sure to visit these towns to see their intelligence first hand and experience it for yourself. And next time you’re looking for career advice head to zippia.com to have all of your quesitons answered.

Detailed List Of Smartest Cities In Nebraska

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Gretna 1 5,416 4.4% 0.0%
Sidney 2 6,801 5.9% 0.0%
Chadron 3 5,829 5.1% 1.1%
Holdrege 4 5,506 6.0% 0.0%
York 5 7,878 6.4% 0.0%
Papillion 6 21,100 3.4% 2.5%
Plattsmouth 7 6,473 7.6% 0.0%
Seward 8 7,050 8.3% 0.4%
Kearney 9 31,759 6.3% 2.9%
Bellevue 10 52,690 7.3% 2.1%
Lincoln 11 265,811 6.9% 2.3%
Wayne 12 5,578 9.5% 0.0%
Gering 13 8,463 8.1% 1.9%
Blair 14 7,990 3.6% 5.2%
La Vista 15 17,125 5.3% 5.5%
McCook 16 7,670 6.9% 4.8%
Beatrice 17 12,183 11.1% 0.0%
Alliance 18 8,501 9.4% 2.5%
Ralston 19 6,826 12.0% 0.0%
Hastings 20 25,030 10.3% 2.0%
Columbus 21 22,436 11.9% 1.9%
Norfolk 22 24,364 10.3% 3.2%
Scottsbluff 23 14,998 16.2% 1.9%
Schuyler 24 6,195 45.4% 0.0%
North Platte 25 24,532 9.9% 5.1%
Lexington 26 10,189 45.2% 1.6%
Crete 27 7,055 28.1% 2.3%
Omaha 28 435,454 12.2% 4.0%
Nebraska City 29 7,279 10.9% 5.5%
Fremont 30 26,483 13.7% 3.6%
Grand Island 31 50,059 18.7% 3.1%
South Sioux City 32 13,375 34.3% 15.5%

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