Pollsters say economic worries may have contributed to a decline in rural Nebraskans' views of their communities.
The 2009 Nebraska Rural Poll was conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Applied Rural Innovation. It was taken in March and April, when by many measures the state's economic outlook was dour.
The percentage of people who said their community improved over the past year declined to 23 percent from 30 percent in 2008. That 23 percent tied the poll's record low set in 2003.
And 26 percent of respondents said their communities got worse, the highest rate in the poll's 14-year history.
The poll response rate was about 44 percent from 6,400 mailed surveys. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.