Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties set the pace of Nebraska population growth

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties are leading the charge in Nebraska's population growth.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, nine Nebraska counties hit record population highs last year with most of the state's residents concentrated in Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy counties.

The three largest counties account for more than 55% of the state's 1.9 million residents.

David Drozd, with the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, said those three counties collectively added more than 12,000 people in the past year. He said the state's 90 other counties lost roughly 700 people combined.

The new figures show the Omaha metro area grew by nearly 10,000 people between 2017 and 2018, and the Lincoln metro area added about 3,100 people.

Lancaster County continued to grow, but at a slower rate. Drozd attributes this to an increase in deaths and retirement among baby boomers, and a slowdown in births.