Skip to main content

Nebraska Counties Explorer

Madison County

Madison County Seat (pop.): Madison (2,283)

Cities, Towns, and Villages (pop.): Battle Creek (1,941), Meadow Grove (287), Newman Grove (667), Norfolk (25,865), Tilden (992)

Courthouse Address and Hours:

1313 North Main Street
Madison, Nebraska 68748
M-F 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Troy Uhlir

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Northeast

President: Monica Rotherham, Madison County Clerk of the District Court 

Vice President: Lisa Lunz, Dixon County Supervisor

Secretary: Krista Nix, Knox County Deputy Clerk 

Treasurer: Krista Nix, Knox County Deputy Clerk 

NACO Board Representative: Bill Tielke, Holt County Supervisor 

Click for a live look at Madison County (north of Newman Grove)


Population: 35,337
Land area (sq. mi.): 572.62
Population per square mile: 62.1


White: 92.5%
African American: 1.7%
American Indian: 2.2%
Asian: 1.8%
Hispanic: 16.4%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%


0-17: 25.8%
18-64: 57.6%
65+: 16.6%


Personal income per capita: $63,343
% of Population in Poverty: 13.1%
# of Housing Units: 15,485
Owner-occupied rate: 67.8%
Median home price: $93,190


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 89.2%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.7% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 90.8%

Bachelor's degree or higher: 23.7%

School Districts: Battle Creek Public Schools, Elkhorn Valley Schools, Humphrey Public Schools, Newman Grove Public Schools, Norfolk Public Schools

Countywide child care capacity: 74 providers; 2,360 children

Find child care: For a list of child care providers in your zip code, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.

Madison County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $26,025,000

Ag. Producers (Cattle): 75

Ag. Producers (Crop): 32

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Aurora Cooperative, Farmers Pride

Local Grain Market: Click for today's grain prices in Madison County

Electricity Providers: City of Battle Creek, City of Madison, Elkhorn Rural PPD, Loup River PPD, Nebraska PPD, Stanton County PPD

Rail-served Communities: Enola, Madison, Norfolk

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA), Nebraska Cooperative Council, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIO, Nebraska Power Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

2022 Levies and Valuation

County levy rate: $0.3853 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $17,858,570

Total local government property taxes levied: $80,554,669

Total countywide taxable valuation: $4,634,596,685

Click here for all levy rates in Madison County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to the levy limits listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3443.

Statutes and regulations

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Local tax reductions, exemptions, and credits

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902(5)(a) (Deed "stamp tax" exemption): "The [stamp tax] shall not apply to: ... (5)(a) Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (Valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land): "Agricultural land and horticultural land as defined in section 77-1359 shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of property taxation, shall be subject to taxation, unless expressly exempt from taxation, and shall be valued at seventy-five percent of its actual value, except that for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds that are approved by a vote of the people on or after January 1, 2022, such land shall be valued at fifty percent of its actual value."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-6703(1) (Tax credit for school district taxes paid): "(1) For taxable years beginning or deemed to begin on or after January 1, 2020, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, there shall be allowed to each eligible taxpayer a refundable credit against the income tax imposed by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or against the franchise tax imposed by sections 77-3801 to 77-3807. The credit shall be equal to the credit percentage for the taxable year, as set by the department under subsection (2) of this section, multiplied by the amount of school district taxes paid by the eligible taxpayer during such taxable year."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Rob Dover (District 19)
Committees: Appropriations, Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406)

Map and statistics for Legislative District 19

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Madison County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 12

Year Authorized: 1867

Year Organized: 1867

Etymology: James Madison (4th U.S. president)

A small group of German pioneers was credited with the early development of what is today Madison County. Fertile soil, sufficient water, and natural groves of timber attracted the first settlers to the area.

Madison County was created by the Territorial Legislature on Jan. 26, 1856. Eleven years later the county was officially organized and the first election conducted. The county's boundaries would be redefined in 1873.

In 1865, two years before the county was created, German pioneers Herman Braasch and Frederick Wagner came to the area in search of a location to establish a colony. They chose a site on the north fork of the Elkhorn River. The pair returned to Wisconsin and organized a group of 125 people who would settle on this new land. The group arrived by wagon in July 1866 only to find a small party of young men from Illinois had settled there in the meantime.

The Illinois men did not desire to share the area with the Germans, so they sold their 160-acre claim to Braasch for $200 and moved on. The Germans proceeded to lay out claims. Lots were determined by a random drawing to ensure equality and prevent any conflicts. The Germans, said to represent 24 families, lived in their wagons while they built log cabins before winter arrived. The settlement would eventually evolve into Norfolk, the county's largest city.

There is an interesting note regarding the city's name. When it came time to establish a post office, the name Nor'Fork was submitted since the settlement was on the north fork of the Elkhorn River. The post office department accepted the petition, but respelled the name Norfolk, presuming the petitioners had misspelled it.

There are two accounts regarding the county's name. One is that it was named in honor of President James Madison. The second and most widely accepted is that it was named after the Wisconsin county from which the German settlers came. It is said the county seat of Madison was named either after the county or after a descendant of an early homesteader.

Highlight an important program from your county in this space! Send an email to:

License Plate Number: 7

Time Zone: Central

Zoned County: Yes

Number of Veterans: 33

Voter Turnout (2022): 53.98%

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: Northeast

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 230

Number of County-Owned Dams: 1

State Lands (acres): Oak Valley WMA (640), Yellowbanks WMA (663.71)

Sources: Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Emergency Management AgencyNebraska Game & Parks CommissionNebraska LegislatureNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Secretary of StateU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (eCFR)