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Nuckolls County, Nebraska facts for kids

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Nuckolls County
Nuckolls County Courthouse in Nelson
Nuckolls County Courthouse in Nelson
Map of Nebraska highlighting Nuckolls County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Nebraska
Founded 1860 (founded)
1871 (organized)
Named for Stephen Friel Nuckolls
Seat Nelson
Largest city Superior
 • Total 576 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Land 575 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 7.43/sq mi (2.87/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Nuckolls County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 4,500. Its county seat is Nelson.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Nuckolls County is represented by the prefix 42 (it had the 42nd-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).


19th century

Nuckolls County was formed in 1860 and later organized in 1871. It was named after Stephen F. Nuckolls, an early pioneer in this area.

In 1887, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built a branch line from Neva (3 miles west of Strong City) to Superior, Nebraska. This branch line connected Strong City, Neva, Rockland, Diamond Springs, Burdick, Lost Springs, Jacobs, Hope, Navarre, Enterprise, Abilene, Talmage, Manchester, Longford, Oak Hill, Miltonvale, Aurora, Huscher, Concordia, Kackley, Courtland, Webber, Superior. At some point, the line from Neva to Lost Springs was pulled but the right of way has not been abandoned. This branch line was originally called "Strong City and Superior line" but later the name was shortened to the "Strong City line". In 1996, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway merged with Burlington Northern Railroad and renamed to the current BNSF Railway. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Santa Fe".


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 576 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 575 square miles (1,490 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (0.1%) is water.

Major Highways

  • US 136.svg U.S. Highway 136
  • N-4.svg Nebraska Highway 4
  • N-8.svg Nebraska Highway 8
  • N-14.svg Nebraska Highway 14

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 22
1870 8 −63.6%
1880 4,235 52,837.5%
1890 11,417 169.6%
1900 12,414 8.7%
1910 13,019 4.9%
1920 13,236 1.7%
1930 12,629 −4.6%
1940 12,781 1.2%
1950 10,973 −14.1%
1960 8,217 −25.1%
1970 7,404 −9.9%
1980 6,726 −9.2%
1990 7,586 12.8%
2000 5,057 −33.3%
2010 4,500 −11.0%
2017 (est.) 4,275 −5.0%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 5,057 people, 2,218 households, and 1,443 families in the county. The population density was 9 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 2,530 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.91% White, 0.02% Black or African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 0.32% from two or more races. 1.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,218 households, out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 4.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.90% were non-families. 32.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.86.

The county population contained 23.40% under the age of 18, 5.40% from 18 to 24, 22.50% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 24.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 92.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,958, and the median income for a family was $35,018. Males had a median income of $24,533 versus $17,806 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,608. About 6.50% of families and 11.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.70% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.


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