Lack of Women in Rural Nebraska According to UNL Study

By: Nick Starling Email
By: Nick Starling Email

If you live in a rural community, you probably see more men than women. Now there's research to back that up. According to a new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study, Robert Shepard, a UNL doctoral candidate says young men outnumber young women in rural Nebraska.

Shepard examined census data from 2000 and 2010, and found that more than half of 1,627 villages, rural townships, precincts and other locales with 800 or fewer people experienced an increased ratio of young men to young women.

The median increase was just under 7 percent, but many of the smallest communities saw extreme increases -- in excess of 200 percent -- in the proportion of males to females.

Brian Turnwall owns a grocery store in Valparaiso and knows first hand the challenges of small towns.

"Smaller towns just don't seem to have the job opportunities so we tend to see the younger people go to college," said Turnwall.

The study suggest rural leaders need to come up with a plan to think of the needs of young women in economic and community development.

"Just for financial opportunities and those types of purposes I think we see the young people anymore go in Lincoln or Omaha," said Turnwall.

Turnwall knows times are different now, then 20 years ago.

"It takes two incomes to provide, especially if you have kids," said Turnwall.

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