Census figures show steady growth in Nebraska's 3 largest counties
New Census figures show that nearly 40 percent of Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster County’s residents are between the ages of 18 and 44.
Those were among the numbers released Tuesday at the 2013 Nebraska Data Conference. According to the figures, 69 of Nebraska’s 93 counties saw their population decline during the 2000s. During that time, 23 counties lost more than 10 percent of their population.
David Drozd, research coordinator in UNO’s Center for Public Affairs Research, says growth in all parts of Nebraska is important to the state’s representation in Congress.
"We have to see Nebraska doing well in all areas, not just in our urban areas, from a population growth standpoint if we want to keep our current voice in Washington, D.C. The Census is money and power. For every person we count we get so many federal dollars to come this way, and we get our voice there on the voting. If we lose out on a seat to Arizona or Nevada, they have different priorities than we do."
The Census figures show the median income statewide is up 5.2 percent from 1990. Drozd says poverty rates in non-metro areas of Nebraska are higher than in metro areas.
The metro areas are Omaha, Lincoln, Sioux City, and Grand Island.