2012 Nebraska Rural Poll Reports

Community Well-Being in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska

released October 9, 2012

Recent community level Census data show that most small communities in Nebraska experienced
population decline since 2000. However, most of the larger communities experienced population
growth during this same time period. Given these conditions, how do rural Nebraskans feel about their
community? Are they satisfied with the services provided by their community? Are they planning to
move from their community in the next year? Have these views changed over the past seventeen years?
How involved are residents in their community? What strategies are important to the future of their
community? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions.

Business and Wealth Transfer in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska 

released September 12, 2012

According to a recent survey of small businesses, as many as one-quarter of all Nebraska small business owners are likely to exit their business in the next five years and up to one-half are likely to exit their small business over the next ten years. How do rural Nebraskans believe their community or household will be impacted by business closings and transitions? What strategies do they think are appropriate for the community to follow when a business owner is planning to exit the business? Similarly, a major intergenerational transfer of wealth is expected to occur in Nebraska in the coming years. The Nebraska Community Foundation and the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship estimate that the peak years for this wealth transfer will occur before 2020 in many counties. Where this wealth will go has important implications for the state. Do rural Nebraskans have a will or estate plan? To whom will their estate go? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions.

Natural Resources in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska: Use and Priorities
released August 14, 2012

Natural resources are vital to Nebraska’s economy and quality of life. Policies to protect these valuable natural resources – such as soil and water – ensure that they will be available for future generations. However, development of natural resources for economic gain must often be balanced with these policies. Developing such a compromise is often difficult. What barriers are preventing rural Nebraskans from recycling more? What collection methods are they using to recycle? How do they feel about some of the issues surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline? What priorities do rural Nebraskans give for various uses of land and natural resources? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions.

Quality of Life in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska: Perceptions of Well-Being and Church Life ,
released July 26, 2012

Nebraska’s unemployment rate has been one of the lowest in the nation in recent years. The agricultural economy has also been strong with record levels of farm income in 2011. Given the challenges and uncertainties of recent years, how do rural Nebraskans believe they are doing and how do they view their future? Have these views changed over the past seventeen years? How satisfied are they with various items that influence their well-being? Most rural Nebraskans have also reported high satisfaction levels with their religion/spirituality in previous polls. How often do they attend church? How do they view their church? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions.