Nebraska - right in the middle  
Community "Fast Facts" Profile              
Kearney, Nebraska              

Date generated: 4/21/2014

Navigation: Location | Population | Labor | Transportation | Utilities | Tax Structure | Municipal Services | Education | Recreation | Housing | Health Facilities | Commercial Services | Local Manufacturing | Largest Employers | Industrial Properties | Community Notes | Local Contacts |

top of page LOCATION

Kearney, Nebraska

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  Kearney, the county seat of Buffalo County, is located near the banks of the Platte River at it's southern most point as it dips in a great arc across Nebraska. Kearney is truly the crossroads of commerce and culture for the nation - located 1,733 miles from Boston and 1,733 miles from San Francisco.

top of page POPULATION
Last CensusCurrent Year%
Buffalo County .......46,10247,4633.0%
Labor Market Population1.......196,441199,3711.5%

1) Labor market population is the county population plus the contiguous county population.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Estimates, March 2013. City populations estimated to be released July 2013.

County Age Distribution (2012) :
Age: 0-19 20-24 25-44 45-64 65+ 85+ Total % Split
Male......... 6,935 2,696 6,094 5,323 2,472 318 23,523 49.6 %
Female...... 6,491 2,705 5,825 5,548 3,371 681 23,940 50.4 %

Total: 13,429 5,401 11,919 10,871 5,843 999

Median Age (2012):     State 36.3 years       County 31.9 years

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, County Population Estimates by Selected Age and Gender. Released June 2012.
State Data. U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey

top of page LABOR
Labor Force
Labor Force.....1,020,91328,853113,681    
Total Employment.....980,66827,979109,727    
Unemployment as % of Labor Force.....4.4%3.0%3.5%    

1) Area labor force and employment data are for the county plus the contiguous counties.
For further information regarding underemployment in the area, please contact NPPD at (800) 282-6773.
Source: Year end 2012, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Online Data, Released 6/28/2013.

Wages: Sample of hourly wage rates in manufacturing occupations (production and/or clerical).
Job Title 10th
Median 90th
Accountants and Auditors$18.12$26.48$47.55
Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other$9.69$13.68$18.36
Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics$8.63$14.26$26.66
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks$9.92$14.02$21.06
Civil Engineers$20.69$33.83$50.64
Computer Operators$8.83$13.19$17.72
Computer Programmers$16.89$26.81$40.21
Computer Systems Analysts$17.67$31.98$52.38
Customer Service Representatives$9.00$13.53$20.61
Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders$12.72$15.89$18.76
Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$10.15$13.13$19.20
Data Entry Keyers$8.23$10.24$15.62
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$10.41$13.88$20.60
Driver/Sales Workers$8.04$9.75$18.99
Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians$14.60$30.73$35.15
Electrical Engineers$26.08$32.71$47.59
Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$11.01$16.41$19.10
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks$7.87$8.95$11.13
Industrial Engineers$23.47$33.04$46.68
Industrial Machinery Mechanics$12.97$20.04$28.94
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators$10.21$12.74$17.24
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand$8.67$12.53$17.19
Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$10.55$15.67$18.63
Maintenance Workers, Machinery$15.58$19.15$23.85
Mechanical Engineers$24.31$35.64$45.53
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists$19.82$26.38$32.73
Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$13.27$20.80$23.61
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic$12.17$16.45$18.96
Nursing Assistants$9.27$10.98$14.53
Office Clerks, General$8.21$10.93$15.91
Packers and Packagers, Hand$8.39$12.35$14.80
Receptionists and Information Clerks$8.79$11.54$15.16
Registered Nurses$20.15$25.68$34.63
Retail Salespersons$8.08$9.71$20.29
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive$8.94$12.94$18.63
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks$10.63$14.51$19.22
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers$8.06$9.79$18.44
Tool and Die Makers$14.70$23.10$28.67
Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer$11.73$18.02$26.22
Truck Drivers, Light or Delivery Services$8.71$11.96$23.63
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers$12.17$16.43$22.72
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders$16.89$21.37$27.24

Source: Nebraska Workforce Development, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, Fourth Quarter 2013.

Percent of Manufacturing Labor Force Unionized............0%
Number of Work Stoppages in Past 5 Years ............8

Kearney has enjoyed growth in the labor force an average of 1.5% per year since 1999. A sustainable source of new labor and population comes from the 6,000 students enrolled at the University of Nebraska Kearney campus. Nearly 17% of the labor force is engaged in manufacturing and/or processing. Nearly 1,500 are employed in the Good Samaritan Health System in Kearney, a recognized regional health care center supporting 307,000 people in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. Another 1,400 are employed at the University of Nebraska Kearney campus. Other employment focus is the travel and tourism industry and of course agricultural production is a major component of our economy.


Motor Carrier:

Number & Type of Roads Serving Community -
Limited Access, Four-Lane Hwys.....010
Improved Two-Lane Hwys.....130
Hwy. NameMiles
Miles to nearest Interstate hwy.....Interstate 801
Miles to nearest four-lane hwy.....N/A0

Motor Freight Carriers:
  More than 13,500 licensed motor carriers with worldwide connections are based in Nebraska and serve businesses throughout North America.

Nebraska Right in the Middle!

Transit Time for Carload or Truckload Lots to:
Distance by
Hwy. Miles
Days by
Days by
Motor Freight
Omaha.....1861-2 days1 Day
Lincoln.....1331-2 days1 Day
Chicago.....6501-3 days1-2 days
Dallas.....6713-4 days2-3 days
Denver.....3611-3 days1-2 days
Kansas City.....3241-3 days1-2 days
Los Angeles.....13724-7 days2-3 days
Minneapolis.....5611-3 days1-2 days
New York.....14234-7 days3-5 days
St. Louis.....5751-3 days2-3 days
Legal Trucking Distances - Nebraska

Two truckline terminals are based in Kearney; Brown Transfer, headquartered in Kearney, serves the city and region with four trucks daily and Yellow Freight Systems, Inc., serves the city with 15 trucks daily. In addition, because of the agricultural products produced in the area, many trucks come off Interstate 80 knowing a back-haul can be found in Central Nebraska.

Distance to nearest public airport.....5 minute(s)
Elevation.....2,130 feet
Length of longest runway.....7,094 feet
Runway lighted.....Yes
Private aircraft storage available.....Yes
Private aircraft maintenance available.....Yes
Distance to nearest commercial air transportation.....1 minute(s)

Distance to nearest international airport:

Name of Airport Miles to Airport
from Community
Omaha Eppley International 190
Kansas City International 307
Denver International 354

The Kearney Regional Airport is served by Great Lakes Airlines with 4 daily flights to Denver International Airport aboard an Embraer Brasilia 120. The Kearney Regional Airport recently earned Federal Aviation Association Part 139 certification. In 2007, YTD enplanements reached over 13,000, allowing it to qualify for $1 million in federal funding. It is anticipated enplanements will be over 10,000 for 2008 as well.

Community Served by Railroad.....Yes
Distance to Nearest Railroad..... 1 mile(s)
Number of Freight Trains Per Day.....150
Functional Piggyback Ramp Available.....No

Name of Railroad(s) Serving Community: Union Pacific

Kearney is served by the Union Pacific Railroad. More than 150 trains pass through Kearney daily on the nation's busiest rail corridor, Union Pacific's triple main line tracks. Industrial land sites with rail spurs are available in Kearney.

top of page UTILITIES


 State Electric Power Deregulated.....   No

Electric System Operator: Nebraska Public Power District
  phone - Econ Dev: 800-282-6773 or 24-Hours: 877-275-6773
  website -
  email -
  comments -
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), the state's largest electric utility, has a diverse mix of generation, including nuclear, coal, hydro, gas and oil, and wind. NPPD delivers power to approximately 1 million Nebraskans and has ample capacity to meet the needs of new loads. Nebraska's electric costs are among the lowest in the nation. NPPD's professional Economic Development Team is available to assist with expansion and retention of existing business and new business locations. Contact the Economic Development Team by emailing or by calling (800) 282-6773. Further information can be found online @ Utility information can be found @

Wholesale Supplier: Nebraska Public Power District
Additional Comments: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is the only electric utility in the nation owned by state government. The members of the board of directors are elected by the citizens of the state. Electrical rates are nearly the lowest in the Mid-West if not the nation. NPPD generates power with coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro, and wind generating plants.

Natural Gas:
Natural Gas Service Available.....Yes
Supplier in Community.....NorthWestern Energy and SourceGas

NorthWestern Energy distributes natural gas in the community with corporate offices in Sioux Falls, SD, and a division office in Kearney. NorthWestern Energy is also the interstate pipeline carrier. Kinder Morgan Inc., is also the distributor of natural gas within the community, serving residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Major Source.....Well
If Wells, Average Depth.....60 feet
Rated Capacity.....28.000 mgd
Average Capacity.....6.500 mgd
Peak Demand.....19.000 mgd
Storage Capacity.....3,500,000 gallons
Hardness.....276 ppm
Temperature Range.....52-56 (degrees Fahrenheit)

The municipal water system in Kearney is supplied by 15 wells at the City of Kearney Platte River Well Field. The system serves 100 percent of the city population.

Sanitation/Waste Water:
Name of Provider.....City
Type of Service.....secondary treatment with trickling filters and aeration
Rated Capacity.....4.800 (mgd)
Average Daily Demand.....4.100 (mgd)
Peak Demand.....4.300 (mgd)
Sewer Connection Fee.....No

Kearney has a municipal sanitary sewerage system and a storm sewer system.

Name of Local Service Provider.....Frontier Communications
Number of Long Distance Service Providers.....5

Services available include: Business and Residential Service, T-1 Service, DS3 Service, OC3 Capabilties, ISDN PRI and ISDN BRI, Frame Relay Service, ADSL Service, Centrex Service, Self Healing Sonet Ring to protect against loss of service. There are five fiber optic carriers in Kearney including Frontier, AT&T,Qwest, Pinpoint Fiber Optics, and Windstream Communications.

top of page TAX STRUCTURE

Actual Valuation of City: $1,594,936,569 (year 2009)
Real Property Tax Rates ($ per $100 of actual value):
For Year: 2009

Bond Indebtedness:
For Year: 2009
General Obligation.........$20,350,000.00

Property taxes for the City of Kearney are some of the lowest rates in the state.

Type of Government..... City Manager/City Council
Comprehensive City Plan..... Yes, 1997 (year)
City Manager..... Yes
City Engineer..... Yes
City Zoning Ordinance in Effect..... Yes
County Zoning Ordinance in Effect..... Yes
Garbage Service Provider..... City
Public Library in City..... Yes
Percent of Streets Paved..... 95 %
Number Full-Time Fire Department Personnel..... 11
Number Volunteer Fire Department Personnel..... 70
Number Full-Time Police Officers..... 52
Inside CityOutside City
Fire Insurance Class..... 29/10

Kearney has a city manager/city council type of government with a mayor elected from the city council by the council.

Public Schools# of SchoolsEnrollmentTeacher/Student Ratio
Elementary 122,5001:25
Middle / Jr. High 21,0401:16
Senior High 11,5001:17
Trade & Tech Schools 0
Community College 125,961
Four-Year College 0
University 16,650
Private Schools# of SchoolsEnrollmentTeacher/Student Ratio
Elementary 21081:13
Middle / Jr. High 31581:10
Senior High 11621:13
Colleges 0


Type of facilities in city or within 30 minutes:
Public Golf Course(s).....3
Private Golf Course(s).....1
Public Tennis Court(s).....16
Public Swimming Pool(s).....2
Public Park(s).....14
Public Camp Ground(s).....1
Nearest Public Access to Lake or River.....3 mile(s)
Motorized Boats.....No
Water Skiing/Tubing.....No

The city of Kearney parks and recreations department maintains 14 parks in the city, including Yanney Heritage Park, a zero depth splashground, and 17 miles of hike/bike trails. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy watching the Storm Hockey Team, as well as public skating and ice hockey leagues, at the FirsTier Event Center. In addition, the University of Nebraska Kearney campus is a Level 2 NCAA school with successful sports programs in football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and track.

top of page HOUSING
Number of Single Units Built in Last 2 Years..... 139
Number of Multiple Units Built in Last 2 Years..... 82
Average Cost Per Square Foot of Single Units Built in Last 2 Years..... $110
Average Monthly Rental - 3 Bedroom House..... $900
Average Monthly Rental - 2 Bedroom Apartment..... $450
Average Cost of Houses Sold (last 2 years)..... $127,502

Kearney has a strong housing market which provides quality housing at all price ranges. Kearney mortgage lenders did not actively participate in sub-prime lending so there is little to no defaults in Kearney.

Number of Hospitals in Community.....2
Number of Beds in Hospital(s).....287
Number of Outpatient Clinics.....30
Medical Personnel in or Serving Community:
Medical Doctor(s) / Physician Assistant(s).....151
Dentist(s) / Orthodontist(s).....28
Nurse(s) (registered or practical).....582
Optometrist(s) / Ophthalmologist(s).....4

Kearney health facilities include Good Samaritan Hospital, a medical, surgical and acute care facility, Richard Young Hospital, a premier psychiatric facility, and Kearney Clinic PC, an outpatient clinic.

Machine Shops in City.......3
Tool & Die Services in City.......2
Electric Motor Repair Services in City.......2

Type of Newspaper in City.......daily
Local Radio Station(s).......7

Number of TV Channels Received without Cable.......5
Cable Antenna Television Serves City.......Yes
Maximum Number of Cable Channels Received.......70

Number of Protestant Churches.......32
Number of Catholic Churches.......3
Number of Synagogues.......none

Number of Motels & Hotels in Community.......20
Total Number of Rooms Available.......1,536

Number of Banks in City.......19
Number of Savings & Loan Firms.......1

Chamber of Commerce.......Yes
Chamber Executive is Full-Time.......Yes

As of June 2007, total deposits for banks inside Kearney $873,191,000. Deposits for Savings and Loan Institutions are not available.

Number of Manufacturing Plants in Community.....23
Number of Manufacturing Plants with Unions.....0
Number of Manufacturing Employees.....2,405

Kearney enjoys a very diverse and qualified workforce.


Leading Employers in Community:

#1.Business Name:Good Samaritan Health Systems
Service Sector: Education & Health Services
Employment Number: Total: 1,487   (Male: 263   Female: 1,224)
Year Established:1924
Products/Service:Regional Healthcare Facilities
#2.Business Name:The University of Nebraska at Kearney
Service Sector: Education & Health Services
Employment Number: Total: 948   (Male: 414   Female: 534)
Year Established:1905
Products/Service:4 year University
#3.Business Name:Kearney Public Schools
Service Sector: Education & Health Services
Employment Number: Total: 850   (Male: 204   Female: 646)
Year Established:1872
#4.Business Name:Baldwin Filters
Service Sector: Manufacturing
Employment Number: Total: 796   (Male: 451   Female: 345)
Year Established:1935
Products/Service:Manufacturing oil, air, and fuel filters
#5.Business Name:Cabela's
Service Sector: Retail and Wholesale Trade
Employment Number: Total: 496   (Male: 180   Female: 316)
Year Established:1986
Products/Service:Retail and catalog outdoor goods sales
#6.Business Name:Walmart Superstore
Service Sector: Retail and Wholesale Trade
Employment Number: Total: 485   (Male: 919,999   Female: 919,999)
Year Established:1984
Products/Service:Retail sale of discount goods and services
#7.Business Name:Eaton Corporation
Service Sector: Manufacturing
Employment Number: Total: 411   (Male: 341   Female: 70)
Year Established:1969
Products/Service:Manufacturing auto valves and forged gears
#8.Business Name:Cash Wa Distributing
Service Sector: Retail and Wholesale Trade
Employment Number: Total: 310   (Male: 260   Female: 50)
Year Established:1934
Products/Service:Food distribution
#9.Business Name:Viaero Event Center
Service Sector: Leisure & Hospitality
Employment Number: Total: 300   (Male: 155   Female: 145)
Year Established:2000
Products/Service:Entertainment and sports
#10.Business Name:West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
Service Sector: Manufacturing
Employment Number: Total: 275   (Male: 169   Female: 106)
Year Established:1962
Products/Service:Manufacturing of pharmaceutical stoppers & closures

Industrial Buildings Available in Community.......4
Spec Buildings Available.......0
Details Available Online.......Yes
Details Available in Print.......Yes
Buildings Available on LOIS for Kearney

Controlled Industrial Sites Available in Community.......3
Details Available Online.......Yes
Details Available in Print.......Yes
Sites Available on LOIS for Kearney

Our Community: Nearly 30,000 people call the Kearney area home. They enjoy an enviable balance of urban amenities and Main Street America quality of life - "Norman Rockwell plugged in" so to speak. Kearney is home to the 6,700 student University of Nebraska at Kearney, two major hospitals, regional shopping services, cultural and recreational attractions, excellent public (designated a Gold Medal School District) and private schools and numerous corporate headquarters. Great work ethic, great schools, great career opportunities - safe, secure and affordable - a great quality of life!' Come see Kearney for yourself and thanks for viewing the Kearney profile.

Facts Book:
Kearney Facts Book (PDF)
Suggested Sites:
The Economic Development Council of Buffalo County @
Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce @
City of Kearney @
Shovel Ready Tech Park @
certified community

Darren Robinson, President
The Economic Development Council of Buffalo County
P.O. Box 607
1007 2nd Avenue
Kearney, NE 68848-0607
Phone:(308) 237-9346
Fax:(308) 237-3103
 Jamie Frerichs
The Economic Development Council of Buffalo County
P.O. Box 607
1007 2nd Avenue
Kearney, Nebraska 68848
State Contacts:Catherine Lang, Director
Neb. Dept. of Economic Development
PO Box 94666
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-4747 or (800) 426-6505
 Rick Nelsen, Economic Development Manager
Nebraska Public Power District
PO Box 499
1414 15th Street
Columbus, NE 68601
Phone: (402) 563-5534 or (800) 282-6773, ext. 5534
Fax: (402) 563-5090

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