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Richardson County, Nebraska facts for kids

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Richardson County
Richardson County Courthouse in Falls City
Richardson County Courthouse in Falls City
Map of Nebraska highlighting Richardson County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Nebraska
Founded 1854 (founded)
1855 (re-authorized)
Named for William Alexander Richardson
Seat Falls City
Largest city Falls City
 • Total 555 sq mi (1,440 km2)
 • Land 552 sq mi (1,430 km2)
 • Water 2.7 sq mi (7 km2)  0.5%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 14.4/sq mi (5.6/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Richardson County is the easternmost county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,363. Its county seat is Falls City.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Richardson County is represented by the prefix 19 (it had the nineteenth-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).

Parts of the Ioway Reservation and the Sac and Fox Reservation are located in the southeast corner of the county between Falls City, Rulo (Nebraska), and Hiawatha (Kansas). The incorporated village of Preston, Nebraska is located inside the latter reservation.


The Nebraska Territory, including this county, was opened for settlement through the Kansas–Nebraska Act on May 30, 1854. Richardson County was created that same year and reorganized in 1855 by the first territorial legislature. It was named after William A. Richardson, a U.S. Representative from the state of Illinois who had sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act; subsequently, in 1858, Richardson was appointed governor of the Nebraska Territory.

The first courthouse was built in 1863. The second courthouse was built in 1873 and burned on May 7, 1919.

On May 30, 1879, the "Irving, Kansas Tornado" passed through Richardson County. This tornado measured F4 on the Fujita scale, and had a damage path 800 yards (730 m) wide and 100 miles (160 km) long. Eighteen people were killed and sixty were injured in this tornado.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 555 square miles (1,440 km2), of which 552 square miles (1,430 km2) is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) (0.5%) is water. The lowest point in the state of Nebraska is located on the Missouri River in Richardson County, where it flows out of Nebraska and into Kansas and Missouri. Richardson County is covered with rolling hills and farm land.

A portion of the county, northeast of Rulo, extends beyond the Missouri River, which is otherwise its border with the state of Missouri.

Major highways

  • US 73.svg U.S. Highway 73
  • US 75.svg U.S. Highway 75
  • US 159.svg U.S. Highway 159
  • N-8.svg Nebraska Highway 8
  • N-62.svg Nebraska Highway 62
  • N-67.svg Nebraska Highway 67
  • N-105.svg Nebraska Highway 105

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 2,835
1870 9,780 245.0%
1880 15,031 53.7%
1890 17,574 16.9%
1900 19,614 11.6%
1910 17,448 −11.0%
1920 18,968 8.7%
1930 19,826 4.5%
1940 19,178 −3.3%
1950 16,886 −12.0%
1960 13,903 −17.7%
1970 12,277 −11.7%
1980 11,315 −7.8%
1990 9,937 −12.2%
2000 9,531 −4.1%
2010 8,363 −12.3%
2018 (est.) 7,937 −5.1%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 9,531 people, 3,993 households, and 2,567 families in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km2). There were 4,560 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.65% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 2.32% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,993 households, out of which 29.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.40% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.70% were non-families. 32.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

The county population contained 25.50% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,884, and the median income for a family was $39,779. Males had a median income of $25,938 versus $18,775 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,460. About 6.30% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 11.50% of those age 65 or over.


A number of communities were established in the early days of the county, but did not survive to the 21st century. Among these are Mt. Roy, Yankton, Winnebago, Archer, and Arogo.

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