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State of Nebraska
Cornhusker State
Equality before the law
Anthem: "Beautiful Nebraska"
Nebraska in United States.svg
Map of the United States with Nebraska highlighted
Country United States
Before statehood Nebraska Territory
Admitted to the Union March 1, 1867 (37th)
Capital Lincoln
Largest city Omaha
Largest metro Omaha–Council Bluffs
   Governor Pete Ricketts (R)
   Lieutenant governor Mike Foley (R)
Legislature Nebraska Legislature
   Upper house None (unicameral)
   Lower house None (unicameral)
U.S. senators Deb Fischer (R)
Ben Sasse (R)
U.S. House delegation 1: Jeff Fortenberry (R)
2: Don Bacon (R)
3: Adrian Smith (R) (list)
  Total77,358 sq mi (200,356 km2)
  Land76,874 sq mi (199,099 km2)
  Water481 sq mi (1,247 km2)  0.7%
Area rank 16th
  Length430 mi (690 km)
  Width210 mi (340 km)
2,600 ft (790 m)
Highest elevation5,424 ft (1,654 m)
Lowest elevation840 ft (256 m)
  Total1,929,268 (2,018)
  Rank 37th
  Density24.94/sq mi (9.63/km2)
  Density rank 43rd
   Median household income
$59,970 [3]
  Income rank
Demonym(s) Nebraskan
   Official language English
Time zones
most of state UTC−06:00 (Central)
  Summer (DST) UTC−05:00 (CDT)
Panhandle UTC−07:00 (Mountain)
  Summer (DST) UTC−06:00 (MDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 code US-NE
Trad. abbreviation Neb., Nebr.
Latitude 40° N to 43° N
Longitude95° 19′ W to 104° 03′ W
Nebraska state symbols
Flag of Nebraska.svg
Seal of Nebraska.svg
Living insignia
Bird Western meadowlark [4]
Fish Channel catfish
Flower Tall Goldenrod [5]
Grass Little bluestem [6]
Insect Western honey bee [7]
Mammal White-tailed deer [8]
Tree Eastern Cottonwood [9]
Inanimate insignia
Beverage Milk
Soft drink: Kool-aid
Dance Square dance
Fossil Mammoth [10]
Gemstone Blue agate [11]
Rock Prairie agate [12]
Slogan Welcome to NEBRASKAland where the West begins [13] The official symbol and slogan for the State of Nebraska.jpg
Soil Holdrege series
OtherRiver: Platte River
State route marker
State quarter
2006 NE Proof.png
Released in 2006
Lists of United States state symbols

Nebraska /nəˈbræskə/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ) is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. It is the only triply landlocked U.S. state.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

Great Plains Broad expanse of flat land in western North America

The Great Plains is a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe, and grassland, located in the United States and Canada. It lies west of the Mississippi River tallgrass prairie in the United States and east of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. and Canada. It embraces:

Midwestern United States one of four census regions of the United States of America

The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It was officially named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south.


Nebraska's area is just over 77,220 square miles (200,000 km2) with a population of almost 1.9 million people. Its state capital is Lincoln, and its largest city is Omaha, which is on the Missouri River.

Lincoln, Nebraska State capital city in Nebraska, United States

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 96.194 square miles (249.141 km2) with a population of 287,401 in 2018. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 70th-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially-larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 356,083 people, making it the 105th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Omaha, Nebraska City in Nebraska, United States

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles (15 km) north of the mouth of the Platte River. The nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061.

Missouri River major river in the central United States, tributary of the Mississippi

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river drains a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Although nominally considered a tributary of the Mississippi, the Missouri River above the confluence is much longer and carries a comparable volume of water. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.

Indigenous peoples, including Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe, and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux) tribes, lived in the region for thousands of years before European exploration. The state is crossed by many historic trails, including that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Omaha people Native American tribe

The Omaha are a federally recognized Midwestern Native American tribe who reside on the Omaha Reservation in northeastern Nebraska and western Iowa, United States. The Omaha Indian Reservation lies primarily in the southern part of Thurston County and northeastern Cuming County, Nebraska, but small parts extend into the northeast corner of Burt County and across the Missouri River into Monona County, Iowa. Its total land area is 796.355 km2 (307.474 sq mi) and a population of 5,194 was recorded in the 2000 census. Its largest community is Macy.

The Missouria or Missouri are a Native American tribe that originated in the Great Lakes region of what is now the United States before European contact. The tribe belongs to the Chiwere division of the Siouan language family, together with the Iowa and Otoe.

Ponca ethnic group

The Ponca are a Midwestern Native American tribe of the Dhegihan branch of the Siouan language group. There are two federally recognized Ponca tribes: the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Their traditions and historical accounts suggest they originated as a tribe east of the Mississippi River in the Ohio River valley area and migrated west for game and as a result of Iroquois wars.

Nebraska was admitted as the 37th state of the United States in 1867. It is the only state in the United States whose legislature is unicameral and officially nonpartisan.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.

Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The Dissected Till Plains region consist of gently rolling hills and contains the state's largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. The Great Plains region, occupying most of western Nebraska, is characterized by treeless prairie, suitable for cattle-grazing.

Dissected Till Plains physiographic section of the central United States

The Dissected Till Plains are physiographic sections of the Central Lowlands province, which in turn is part of the Interior Plains physiographic division of the United States, located in southern and western Iowa, northeastern Kansas, the southwestern corner of Minnesota, northern Missouri, eastern Nebraska, and southeastern South Dakota.

Prairie ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome

Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and the steppe of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. Lands typically referred to as "prairie" tend to be in North America. The term encompasses the area referred to as the Interior Lowlands of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which includes all of the Great Plains as well as the wetter, hillier land to the east.

Nebraska has two major climatic zones. The eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa); a unique warmer subtype considered "warm-temperate" exists near the southern plains like in Kansas and Oklahoma which have a predominantly humid subtropical climate. The western half of the state has a primarily semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk). The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, variations that decrease moving south in the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur primarily during spring and summer and sometimes in autumn. Chinook winds tend to warm the state significantly in the winter and early spring.

Humid continental climate Category in the Köppen climate classification system

A humid continental climate is a climatic region defined by Russo-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1900, typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is usually distributed throughout the year. The definition of this climate regarding temperature is as follows: the mean temperature of the coldest month must be below −3 °C (26.6 °F) and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above 10 °C (50 °F). In addition, the location in question must not be semi-arid or arid. The Dfb, Dwb and Dsb subtypes are also known as hemiboreal.

Köppen climate classification climate classification system

The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the German-Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.

Oklahoma State in the United States

Oklahoma is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.


Nebraska's name is the result of anglicization of the archaic Otoe words Ñí Brásge, pronounced [ɲĩbɾasꜜkɛ] (contemporary Otoe Ñí Bráhge), or the Omaha Ní Btháska, pronounced [nĩbɫᶞasꜜka] , meaning "flat water", after the Platte River that flows through the state. [14]


Nebraska in 1718, Guillaume de L'Isle map, with the approximate area of the future state highlighted Nebraska 1718.jpg
Nebraska in 1718, Guillaume de L'Isle map, with the approximate area of the future state highlighted

Indigenous peoples lived in the region of present-day Nebraska for thousands of years before European exploration. The historic tribes in the state included the Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe, and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux), some of which migrated from eastern areas into this region. When European exploration, trade, and settlement began, both Spain and France sought to control the region. In the 1690s, Spain established trade connections with the Apaches, whose territory then included western Nebraska. By 1703, France had developed a regular trade with the native peoples along the Missouri River in Nebraska, and by 1719 had signed treaties with several of these peoples. After war broke out between the two countries, Spain dispatched an armed expedition to Nebraska under Lieutenant General Pedro de Villasur in 1720. The party was attacked and destroyed near present-day Columbus by a large force of Pawnees and Otoes, both allied to the French. The massacre ended Spanish exploration of the area for the remainder of the 18th century. [15] [16] [17]

In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. This left Britain and Spain competing for dominance along the Mississippi; by 1773, the British were trading with the native peoples of Nebraska. In response, Spain dispatched two trading expeditions up the Missouri in 1794 and 1795; the second, under James Mackay, established the first European settlement in Nebraska near the mouth of the Platte. Later that year, Mackay's party built a trading post, dubbed Fort Carlos IV (Fort Charles), near present-day Homer. [15] [18] [19]

In 1819, the United States established Fort Atkinson as the first U.S. Army post west of the Missouri River, just east of present-day Fort Calhoun. The army abandoned the fort in 1827 as migration moved further west. European-American settlement was scarce until 1848 and the California Gold Rush. On May 30, 1854, the US Congress created the Kansas and the Nebraska territories, divided by the Parallel 40° North, under the Kansas–Nebraska Act. [20] The Nebraska Territory included parts of the current states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. [21] The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha.

Homesteaders in central Nebraska in 1888 00DI0943 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg
Homesteaders in central Nebraska in 1888

In the 1860s, after the U.S. government forced many of the Native American tribes to cede their lands and settle on reservations, it opened large tracts of land to agricultural development by Europeans and Americans. Under the Homestead Act, thousands of settlers migrated into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government. Because so few trees grew on the prairies, many of the first farming settlers built their homes of sod, as had Native Americans such as the Omaha. The first wave of settlement gave the territory a sufficient population to apply for statehood. [22] Nebraska became the 37th state on March 1, 1867, and the capital was moved from Omaha to the center at Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln after the recently assassinated President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The battle of Massacre Canyon on August 5, 1873, was the last major battle between the Pawnee and the Sioux. [23]

During the 1870s to the 1880s, Nebraska experienced a large growth in population. Several factors contributed to attracting new residents. The first was that the vast prairie land was perfect for cattle grazing. This helped settlers to learn the unfamiliar geography of the area. The second factor was the invention of several farming technologies. Agricultural inventions such as barbed wire, wind mills, and the steel plow, combined with good weather, enabled settlers to use of Nebraska as prime farming land. By the 1880s, Nebraska's population had soared to more than 450,000 people. [24] The Arbor Day holiday was founded in Nebraska City by territorial governor J. Sterling Morton. The National Arbor Day Foundation is still headquartered in Nebraska City, with some offices in Lincoln.

In the late 19th century, many African Americans migrated from the South to Nebraska as part of the Great Migration, primarily to Omaha which offered working class jobs in meat packing, the railroads and other industries. Omaha has a long history of civil rights activism. Blacks encountered discrimination from other Americans in Omaha and especially from recent European immigrants, ethnic whites who were competing for the same jobs. In 1912, African Americans founded the Omaha chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to work for improved conditions in the city and state.

Since the 1960s, Native American activism in the state has increased, both through open protest, activities to build alliances with state and local governments, and in the slower, more extensive work of building tribal institutions and infrastructure. Native Americans in federally recognized tribes have pressed for self-determination, sovereignty and recognition. They have created community schools to preserve their cultures, as well as tribal colleges and universities. Tribal politicians have also collaborated with state and county officials on regional issues.


Map of Nebraska National-atlas-nebraska.PNG
Map of Nebraska

The state is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. The state has 93 counties and is split between two time zones, with the state's eastern half observing Central Time and the western half observing Mountain Time. Three rivers cross the state from west to east. The Platte River, formed by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte, runs through the state's central portion, the Niobrara River flows through the northern part, and the Republican River runs across the southern part.

Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The easternmost portion of the state was scoured by Ice Age glaciers; the Dissected Till Plains were left after the glaciers retreated. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills; Omaha and Lincoln are in this region. The Great Plains occupy most of western Nebraska, with the region consisting of several smaller, diverse land regions, including the Sandhills, the Pine Ridge, the Rainwater Basin, the High Plains and the Wildcat Hills. Panorama Point, at 5,424 feet (1,653 m), is Nebraska's highest point; though despite its name and elevation, it is a relatively low rise near the Colorado and Wyoming borders. A past tourism slogan for the state of Nebraska was "Where the West Begins" (it has since been changed to "Honestly, it's not for everyone"). [25] Locations given for the beginning of the "West" in Nebraska include the Missouri River, the intersection of 13th and O Streets in Lincoln (where it is marked by a red brick star), the 100th meridian, and Chimney Rock.

Federal land management

Nebraska National Forest Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District, no. 1.jpg
Nebraska National Forest

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

Areas under the management of the National Forest Service include:


Koppen climate types in Nebraska Nebraska Koppen.svg
Köppen climate types in Nebraska
Winter at Scotts Bluff National Monument ScottsBluffNatMon 2002.jpg
Winter at Scotts Bluff National Monument

Two major climatic zones are represented in Nebraska: the state's eastern half and its western half. The eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa). The western half has a semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk). The entire state experiences wide seasonal variations in both temperature and precipitation. Average temperatures are fairly uniform across Nebraska, with hot summers and generally cold winters.

Average annual precipitation decreases east to west from about 31.5 inches (800 mm) in the southeast corner of the state to about 13.8 inches (350 mm) in the Panhandle. Humidity also decreases significantly from east to west. Snowfall across the state is fairly even, with most of Nebraska receiving between 25 to 35 inches (640 to 890 mm) of snow each year. [26] Nebraska's highest-recorded temperature was 118 °F (48 °C) in Minden on July 24, 1936. The state's lowest-recorded temperature was −47 °F (−44 °C) in Camp Clarke on February 12, 1899.

Nebraska is located in Tornado Alley. Thunderstorms are common during both the spring and the summer. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes happen primarily during those two seasons, although they also can occur occasionally during the autumn. The chinook winds from the Rocky Mountains provide a temporary moderating effect on temperatures in the state's western portion during the winter. [27] [28]

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Nebraska [29]
LocationJuly (°F)July (°C)January (°F)January (°C)
Omaha 87/6630/1933/131/–10
Lincoln 89/6631/1935/142/–10
Grand Island 87/6431/1736/142/–10
Kearney 90/6332/1736/122/–11
North Platte 88/6031/1639/114/–11
Papillion 87/6631/1932/120/–11



Historical population
1860 28,841
1870 122,993326.5%
1880 452,402267.8%
1890 1,062,656134.9%
1900 1,066,3000.3%
1910 1,192,21411.8%
1920 1,296,3728.7%
1930 1,377,9636.3%
1940 1,315,834−4.5%
1950 1,325,5100.7%
1960 1,411,3306.5%
1970 1,483,4935.1%
1980 1,569,8255.8%
1990 1,578,3850.5%
2000 1,711,2638.4%
2010 1,826,3416.7%
Est. 20181,929,2685.6%
Source: 1910–2010 [30]
2018 estimate [31]

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Nebraska was 1,929,268 on July 1, 2018, a 5.64% increase since the 2010 United States Census. [31] The center of population of Nebraska is in Polk County, in the city of Shelby. [32]

The table below shows the racial composition of Nebraska's population as of 2016.

Nebraska racial composition of population [33]
RacePopulation (2016 est.)Percentage
Total population1,881,259100%
White 1,655,70888.0%
Black or African American 88,3884.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native 15,7390.8%
Asian 39,7942.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 1,3050.1%
Some other race 36,6721.9%
Two or more races 43,6532.3%
Nebraska historical racial composition
Racial composition1990 [34] 2000 [35] 2010 [36]
White 93.8%89.6%86.1%
Black 3.6%4.0%4.5%
Asian 0.8%1.3%1.8%
Native 0.8%0.9%1.0%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
Other race 1.0%2.8%4.3%
Two or more races -1.4%2.2%

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 10.2% of Nebraska's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (7.8%), Puerto Rican (0.2%), Cuban (0.2%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (2.0%). [33] The five largest ancestry groups were: German (36.1%), Irish (13.1%), English (7.8%), Czech (4.7%), and American (4.0%). [37]

Nebraska has the largest Czech American and non-Mormon Danish American population (as a percentage of the total population) in the nation. German Americans are the largest ancestry group in most of the state, particularly in the eastern counties. Thurston County (made up entirely of the Omaha and Winnebago reservations) has an American Indian majority, and Butler County is one of only two counties in the nation with a Czech-American plurality.

In recent years, Nebraska has become home to many refugee communities. In 2016, it welcomed more refugees per capita than any other state. [38] Nebraska, and in particular Lincoln, is the largest home of Yazidis refugees and Yazidi Americans in the United States. [39] [40] [41]

Birth data

As of 2011, 31.0% of Nebraska's population younger than age 1 were minorities. [42]

Note: Births in table don't add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.

Live Births by Single Race/Ethnicity of Mother
Race 2013 [43] 2014 [44] 2015 [45] 2016 [46]
White:22,670 (86.9%)23,178 (86.5%)23,126 (86.7%)...
> Non-Hispanic White 19,237 (73.7%)19,471 (72.6%)19,201 (72.0%)18,729 (70.4%)
Black 1,979 (7.6%)2,015 (7.5%)2,009 (7.5%)1,685 (6.3%)
Asian 854 (3.3%)1,048 (3.9%)987 (3.7%)894 (3.4%)
American Indian 592 (2.3%)553 (2.1%)557 (2.1%)353 (1.3%)
Hispanic (of any race)3,895 (14.9%)4,143 (15.6%)4,249 (15.9%)4,282 (16.1%)
Total Nebraska26,095 (100%)26,794 (100%)26,679 (100%)26,589 (100%)
  • Since 2016, data for births of White Hispanic origin are not collected, but included in one Hispanic group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.


The religious affiliations of the people of Nebraska are:

Religion in Nebraska (2014) [47]
No religion
Other faith
Don't know

The largest single denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church (372,838), the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (112,585), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (110,110) and the United Methodist Church (109,283). [48]


Population density in Nebraska Nebraska population map.png
Population density in Nebraska

Eighty-nine percent of the cities in Nebraska have fewer than 3,000 people. Nebraska shares this characteristic with five other Midwestern states: Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota, and Iowa. Hundreds of towns have a population of fewer than 1,000. Regional population declines have forced many rural schools to consolidate.

Fifty-three of Nebraska's 93 counties reported declining populations between 1990 and 2000, ranging from a 0.06% loss (Frontier County) to a 17.04% loss (Hitchcock County).

Omaha, Nebraska's largest city Downtown Omaha from the North at Night.jpg
Omaha, Nebraska's largest city

More urbanized areas of the state have experienced substantial growth. In 2000, the city of Omaha had a population of 390,007; in 2005, the city's estimated population was 414,521 (427,872 including the recently annexed city of Elkhorn), a 6.3% increase over five years. The 2010 census showed that Omaha has a population of 408,958. The city of Lincoln had a 2000 population of 225,581 and a 2010 population of 258,379, a 14.5% increase.

As of the 2010 Census, there were 530 cities and villages in the state of Nebraska. There are five classifications of cities and villages in Nebraska, which is based upon population. All population figures are 2017 Census Bureau estimates unless flagged by a reference number.

Metropolitan Class City (300,000 or more)

Primary Class City (100,000 – 299,999)

First Class City (5,000 – 99,999)

Second Class Cities (800 – 4,999) and Villages (100–800) make up the rest of the communities in Nebraska. There are 116 second-class cities and 382 villages in the state.

Other areas


Nebraska has a progressive income tax. The portion of income from $0 to $2,400 is taxed at 2.56%; from $2,400 to $17,500, at 3.57%; from $17,500 to $27,000, at 5.12%; and income over $27,000, at 6.84%. The standard deduction for a single taxpayer is $5,700; the personal exemption is $118. [50]

Nebraska has a state sales and use tax of 5.5%. In addition to the state tax, some Nebraska cities assess a city sales and use tax, in 0.5% increments, up to a maximum of 1.5%. Dakota County levies an additional 0.5% county sales tax. [51] Food and ingredients that are generally for home preparation and consumption are not taxable. [52] All real property within the state of Nebraska is taxable unless specifically exempted by statute. Since 1992, only depreciable personal property is subject to tax and all other personal property is exempt from tax. Inheritance tax is collected at the county level.


Nebraska grain bins and elevator Nebraska grain silo RAAM 2015 by D Ramey Logan.jpg
Nebraska grain bins and elevator

-Total employment 2016 [53]

- Total employer establishments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates of Nebraska's gross state product in 2010 was $89.8 billion. [54] Per capita personal income in 2004 was $31,339, 25th in the nation. Nebraska has a large agriculture sector, and is a major producer of beef, pork, corn (maize), soybeans, and sorghum. [55] Other important economic sectors include freight transport (by rail and truck), manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, and insurance.

As of November 2018, the state's unemployment rate was 2.8%, [56] the fifth lowest in the nation. [57]


Kool-Aid was created in 1927 by Edwin Perkins in the city of Hastings, which celebrates the event the second weekend of every August with Kool-Aid Days, [58] and Kool-Aid is the official soft drink of Nebraska. [59] CliffsNotes were developed by Clifton Hillegass of Rising City. He adapted his pamphlets from the Canadian publications, Coles Notes .

Omaha is home to Berkshire Hathaway, whose chief executive officer (CEO), Warren Buffett, was ranked in March 2009 by Forbes magazine as the second-richest person in the world. The city is also home to Mutual of Omaha, InfoUSA, TD Ameritrade, West Corporation, Valmont Industries, Woodmen of the World, Kiewit Corporation, Union Pacific Railroad, and Gallup. Ameritas Life Insurance Corp., Nelnet, Sandhills Publishing Company, Duncan Aviation, and Hudl are based in Lincoln; The Buckle is based in Kearney. Sidney is the national headquarters for Cabela's, a specialty retailer of outdoor goods.

The world's largest train yard, Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, is in North Platte. The Vise-Grip was invented by William Petersen in 1924, and was manufactured in De Witt until the plant was closed and moved to China in late 2008. [60]

Lincoln's Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing is the only Kawasaki plant in the world to produce the Jet Ski, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), and Mule product lines. The facility employs more than 1,200 people.

The Spade Ranch, in the Sandhills, is one of Nebraska's oldest and largest beef cattle operations.



The Union Pacific Railroad, headquartered in Omaha, was incorporated on July 1, 1862, in the wake of the Pacific Railway Act of 1862. [61] [62] Bailey Yard, in North Platte, is the largest railroad classification yard in the world. The route of the original transcontinental railroad runs through the state.

Other major railroads with operations in the state are: Amtrak; BNSF Railway; Canadian National Railway; and Iowa Interstate Railroad.

Roads and highways

Interstate Highways through the State of Nebraska

I-76.svg     I-80.svg     I-129.svg     I-180.svg     I-480.svg     I-680.svg    
The U.S. Routes in Nebraska
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Law and government

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democrat
2016 58.70%495,96133.70% 284,494
2012 59.80%475,06438.03% 302,081
2008 56.53%452,97941.60% 333,319
2004 65.90%512,81432.68% 254,328
2000 62.25%433,86233.25% 231,780
1996 53.65%363,46734.95% 236,761
1992 46.58%344,34629.40% 217,344
1988 60.15%398,44739.20% 259,646
1984 70.55%460,05428.81% 187,866
1980 65.50%419,93726.00% 166,851
1976 59.19%359,70538.46% 233,692
1972 70.50%405,29830.70% 198,899
1968 59.82%321,16331.81% 170,784
1964 47.39% 276,84752.61%307,307
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election United States presidential election in Nebraska, 2016.svg
Treemap of the popular vote by county, 2016 presidential election

Nebraska's government operates under the framework of the Nebraska Constitution, adopted in 1875, [63] and is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Executive branch

The head of the executive branch is Governor Pete Ricketts. Other elected officials in the executive branch are Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley, Attorney General Doug Peterson, Secretary of State Bob Evnen, State Treasurer John Murante, and State Auditor Charlie Janssen. All elected officials in the executive branch serve four-year terms.

Legislative branch

Nebraska is the only state in the United States with a unicameral legislature. Although this house is officially known simply as the "Legislature", and more commonly called the "Unicameral", its members call themselves "senators". Nebraska's Legislature is also the only state legislature in the United States that is officially nonpartisan. The senators are elected with no party affiliation next to their names on the ballot, and members of any party can be elected to the positions of speaker and committee chairs. The Nebraska Legislature can also override the governor's veto with a three-fifths majority, in contrast to the two-thirds majority required in some other states.

When Nebraska became a state in 1867, its legislature consisted of two houses: a House of Representatives and a Senate. For years, U.S. Senator George Norris and other Nebraskans encouraged the idea of a unicameral legislature, and demanded the issue be decided in a referendum. Norris argued:

The constitutions of our various states are built upon the idea that there is but one class. If this be true, there is no sense or reason in having the same thing done twice, especially if it is to be done by two bodies of men elected in the same way and having the same jurisdiction.

Unicameral supporters also argued that a bicameral legislature had a significant undemocratic feature in the committees that reconciled House and Senate legislation. Votes in these committees were secretive, and would sometimes add provisions to bills that neither house had approved. Nebraska's unicameral legislature today has rules that bills can contain only one subject, and must be given at least five days of consideration. In 1934, due in part to the budgetary pressure of the Great Depression, Nebraska citizens ran a state initiative to vote on a constitutional amendment creating a unicameral legislature, which was approved, which, in effect, abolished the House of Representatives (the lower house).

The Legislature meets in the third Nebraska State Capitol building, built between 1922 and 1932. It was designed by Bertram G. Goodhue. Built from Indiana limestone, the capitol's base is a cross within a square. A 400-foot domed tower rises from this base. The Sower, a 19-foot bronze statue representing agriculture, crowns the building.

Judicial branch

The judicial system in Nebraska is unified, with the Nebraska Supreme Court having administrative authority over all the courts within the state. Nebraska uses the Missouri Plan for the selection of judges at all levels, including county courts (as the lowest-level courts) and twelve district courts, which contain one or more counties. The Nebraska State Court of Appeals hears appeals from the district courts, juvenile courts, and workers' compensation courts, and is the final court of appeal.

Federal representation

The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska Nebraska State Capitol Highsmith.jpeg
The Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska's U.S. senators are Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, both Republicans; Fischer, elected in 2012, is the senior.

Nebraska has three representatives in the House of Representatives: Jeff Fortenberry (R) of the 1st district; Don Bacon (R) of the 2nd district; and Adrian Smith (R) of the 3rd district.

Nebraska is one of two states (Maine being the other) that allow for a split in the state's allocation of electoral votes in presidential elections. Under a 1991 law, two of Nebraska's five votes are awarded to the winner of the statewide popular vote, while the other three go to the highest vote-getter in each of the state's three congressional districts.


For most of its history, Nebraska has been a solidly Republican state. Republicans have carried the state in all but one presidential election since 1940: the 1964 landslide election of Lyndon B. Johnson. In the 2004 presidential election, George W. Bush won the state's five electoral votes by a margin of 33 percentage points (making Nebraska's the fourth-strongest Republican vote among states) with 65.9% of the overall vote; only Thurston County, which is majority-Native American, voted for his Democratic challenger John Kerry. In 2008, the state split its electoral votes for the first time: Republican John McCain won the popular vote in Nebraska as a whole and two of its three congressional districts; the second district, which includes the city of Omaha, went for Democrat Barack Obama.

Despite the current Republican domination of Nebraska politics, the state has a long tradition of electing centrist members of both parties to state and federal office; examples include George W. Norris (who served a few years in the Senate as an independent), J. James Exon, Bob Kerrey, and Chuck Hagel. Voters have tilted to the right in recent years, a trend evidenced when Hagel retired from the Senate in 2008 and was succeeded by conservative Republican Mike Johanns to the U.S. Senate, as well as with the 2006 re-election of Ben Nelson, who was considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate until his retirement in 2013. Johanns retired in 2015 and was succeeded by another conservative, Sasse. Nelson retired in 2013 and was replaced by conservative Republican Fischer.

Former President Gerald Ford was born in Nebraska, but moved away shortly after birth. Illinois native William Jennings Bryan represented Nebraska in Congress, served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, and unsuccessfully ran for President three times.


Colleges and universities




Football game at the University of Nebraska on September 6, 2008 NebraskaCornhuskers-Flags-9-6-08.jpg
Football game at the University of Nebraska on September 6, 2008

Professional sports

TeamHomeFirst gameSportLeague
Nebraska Stampede Ralston April 10, 2010 Football (Women's) Women's Football Alliance
Lincoln Saltdogs Lincoln May 2001 Baseball (independent) American Association
Nebraska Danger Grand Island March 7, 2011 Football (indoor) Indoor Football League
Omaha Beef Omaha May 2000 Football (indoor) Champions Indoor Football
Omaha Storm Chasers Omaha 1969 Baseball (minor league) (AAA) Pacific Coast League
Omaha Heart Ralston April 13, 2013 Football (lingerie) Legends Football League
Bugeaters FC Lincoln April 28, 2018 Soccer United Premier Soccer League

Junior-level sports

Lincoln Stars Ice hockey United States Hockey League 1996
Omaha Lancers Ice hockey United States Hockey League 1986
Tri-City Storm Ice hockey United States Hockey League 2006
No Coast Derby Girls Roller derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association 2005
Omaha Rollergirls Roller derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association 2006

College sports

Nebraska is currently home to 7 member schools of the NCAA, 8 of the NAIA, 7 of the NJCAA, one of the NCCAA, and one independent school.

The College World Series has been held in Omaha since 1950. It was held at Rosenblatt Stadium from 1950 through 2010, and at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha since 2011.

See also

Related Research Articles

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History of Nebraska history of the US state Nebraska

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Native American tribes in Nebraska

Native American tribes in the U.S. state of Nebraska have been Plains Indians, descendants of succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples who have occupied the area for thousands of years. More than 15 historic tribes have been identified as having lived in, hunted in, or otherwise occupied territory within the current state boundaries.

Outline of Nebraska Overview of and topical guide to Nebraska

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Nebraska:

French people in Nebraska

French people have been present in the U.S. state of Nebraska since before it achieved statehood in 1867. The area was originally claimed by France in 1682 as part of La Louisiane, the extent of which was largely defined by the watershed of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Over the following centuries, explorers of French ethnicity, many of them French-Canadian, trapped, hunted, and established settlements and trading posts across much of the northern Great Plains including the territory that would eventually become Nebraska, even in the period after France formally ceded its North American claims to Spain. During the 19th century, fur trading gave way to settlements and farming across the state, and French colonists and French-American migrants continued to operate businesses and build towns in Nebraska. Many of their descendants continue to live in the state.

Dave Bloomfield is a Nebraska state senator from Hoskins, Nebraska, United States, in the Nebraska Legislature.

John S. McCollister is a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. In 2014, he was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, representing an Omaha district. McCollister is a member of the Republican Party who describes his political orientation as "center-right".

Michael K. Groene is a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. In 2014, he was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, representing a district in the southwestern part of the state, including the city of North Platte. Groene is a member of the Republican Party.

Julie Slama is an American politician and a Nebraska state senator in the unicameral Nebraska Legislature representing District 1. Slama is a Republican and fifth-generation Nebraskan from Peru. She filled Dan Watermeier's vacancy in Legislative District 1 on January 9, 2019. Upon taking office, Slama became the youngest female state senator in Nebraska history at age 22. Slama's first year in the Nebraska Legislature included successful efforts to strengthen Nebraska's civics education statutes and a comprehensive package to crack down on human trafficking. She was named the 2019 Young Republicans National Legislator of the Year.


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Scholarly special studies

  • Barnhart, John D. "Rainfall and the Populist Party in Nebraska." American Political Science Review 19 (1925): 527–40. in JSTOR
  • Beezley, William H. "Homesteading in Nebraska, 1862–1872", Nebraska History 53 (spring 1972): 59–75
  • Bentley, Arthur F. "The Condition of the Western Farmer as Illustrated by the Economic History of a Nebraska Township." Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science 11 (1893): 285–370
  • Cherny, Robert W. Populism, Progressivism, and the Transformation of Nebraska Politics, 1885–1915 (1981)
  • Bogue Allen G. Money at Interest: The Farm Mortgage on the Middle Border (1955)
  • Brunner, Edmund de S. Immigrant Farmers and Their Children (1929)
  • Chudacoff, Howard P. Mobile Americans: Residential and Social Mobility in Omaha, 1880–1920 (1972)
    • Chudacoff, Howard P. "A New Look at Ethnic Neighborhoods: Residential Dispersion and the Concept of Visibility in a Medium-sized City." Journal of American History 60 (1973): 76–93. about Omaha; in JSTOR
  • Coletta, Paolo E. William Jennings Bryan. 3 vols. (1964–69)
  • Dick, Everett. The Sod-House Frontier: 1854–1890 (1937)
  • Farragher, John Mack. Women and Men on the Overland Trail (1979)
  • Fuller, Wayne E. The Old Country School: The Story of Rural Education in the Midwest (1982)
  • Grant, Michael Johnston. "Down and Out on the Family Farm" (2002)
  • Harper, Ivy. Walzing Matilda: Life and Times of Nebraska Senator Robert Kerrey (1992)
  • Holter, Don W. Flames on the Plains: A History of United Methodism in Nebraska (1983)
  • Jeffrey, Julie Roy. Frontier Women: The Trans-Mississippi West, 1840–1880 (1979)
  • Klein, Maury. Union Pacific: The Birth of a Railroad, 1862–1893 (1986)
  • Klein, Maury (2006) [1989]. Union Pacific: Volume II, 1894-1969. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN   978-0-8166-4460-5.
  • Larsen, Lawrence H. The Gate City: A History of Omaha (1982)
  • Lowitt, Richard. George W. Norris 3 vols. (1971)
  • Luebke, Frederick C. Immigrants and Politics: The Germans of Nebraska, 1880–1900 (1969)
  • Luebke, Frederick C. "The German-American Alliance in Nebraska, 1910–1917." Nebraska History 49 (1969): 165–85
  • Olson, James C. J. Sterling Morton (1942)
  • Overton, Richard C. Burlington West: A Colonization History of the Burlington Railroad (1941)
  • Parsons Stanley B. "Who Were the Nebraska Populists?" Nebraska History 44 (1963): 83–99
  • Pierce, Neal. The Great Plains States (1973)
  • Pederson, James F., and Kenneth D. Wald. Shall the People Rule? A History of the Democratic Party in Nebraska Politics (1972)
  • Riley, Glenda. The Female Frontier. A Comparative View of Women on the Prairie and the Plains (1978)
  • Wenger, Robert W. "The Anti-Saloon League in Nebraska Politics, 1898–1910." Nebraska History 52 (1971): 267–92
Preceded by
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Admitted on March 1, 1867 (37th)
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 41°30′N100°00′W / 41.5°N 100°W / 41.5; -100