With our ample amenities, thriving economy, affordability, and humble spirit, we recently ranked as the happiest city in America.
Lincoln is the capital of and second largest city in Nebraska. Located midway between Chicago and Denver, the city is approximately 101 square miles and serves 294,000 residents. We are the center of the State’s governmental and educational activities, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the state’s largest with 25,000 students.
Prior to the city’s incorporation in 1869, Native Americans inhabited the area for thousands of years and lived and hunted along Salt Creek. The first westward settlers were also drawn to the area due to the abundance of salt.
What does Lincoln’s economy look like?
With our diversified economy, smart and strategic growth, and collaborative atmosphere, we recently ranked as the best city in America for young professionals.
Lincoln is not a boom-and-bust city. We’ve enjoyed a 1% - 1.5% average rate of population growth for the last 100 years. As the seat of government and education, these sectors deliver economic stability through jobs, innovation, and continuity.
The State of Nebraska is the largest employer with nearly 10,000 employees, followed by Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Health care is another major industry and the city’s three largest hospitals employ 7,300 residents and deliver a key service that contributes to our safety and quality of life.
We also have major manufacturers. This includes Kawasaki, Burlington Northern Railroad and Duncan Aviation, who together employ 5,600 people. Simultaneously, we have a burgeoning startup scene that innovates alongside established academic and government sectors.
In short, Lincoln’s economy rests on solid bedrock and points skyward. In 2021, for the first time in the city’s history, we surpassed $1 billion in annual construction permits. That same year a record number of existing homes were sold. With this stability and one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates, Nebraska is the best place to be if the country falls into recession according to a recent survey.
What do Lincoln’s demographics look like?
With our Native American ancestry, immigrant heritage, university luster and growing resettlement population, we are increasingly cosmopolitan.
Lincoln is growing – and growing more diverse. Our population grew by 33,000 from 2010 to 2020. Our city is projected to add roughly 105,000 people between now and 2050. As this happens, the share of persons of color will also grow. Today, they comprise 21% of the county’s population; by 2050, persons of color will represent roughly 1/3 of the county.
Lincoln is a proud resettlement community. Refugees started resettling here in the 1980s, and today 30,000 immigrants and refugees from roughly 150 countries call Lincoln home. We were recently cited as the 12th largest resettlement site per capita in the country.
We are also young and educated. Lincoln’s median age is 33 years old, while the national median age is 38.3. Meanwhile, nearly 40% of adults in Lincoln have a bachelor’s degree compared with 35% nationwide.
What do your residents like about their city?
With outstanding public safety, public schools, infrastructure, and trails and parks, we recently ranked as the third most livable state capital.
Our residents come together to identify – and create – lasting public goods that make Lincoln desirable. Over 98% of homes are located within 1 mile of a public trail and over 80% are within half a mile of a neighborhood park. These visible, aboveground features are bolstered by a sturdy foundation of public support. Community members volunteer on 57 boards and commissions that make Lincoln functional and appealing.
We also are an affordable and convenient city. Lincoln’s cost of living is 7% lower than the national average, with housing and utilities 17% and 28% less, respectively. In fact, we have the nation’s 8th lowest residential electric rates. Our average commute time is 18.5 minutes, nearly 10 minutes less than the national average.
Above all, we prioritize public safety. Thanks to our Lincoln Police Department, violent crime decreased in 2021 compared to the previous five-year average. Our Lincoln Fire and Rescue Department saves the lives of non-traumatic cardiac arrest patients at a rate nearly double the national average.
What makes Lincoln different from other cities?
We are one community. With no competing municipalities, a single school district, and sole supervision of our utilities, we provide high-quality opportunities for all residents wherever they live.
Unlike many communities, Lincoln does not suffer disinvestment from competing suburbs. This leads to stable, strategic growth. At the same time, Lincoln residents reinvest in their community. Voters approved our cutting-edge $180 million arena and $73 million in street improvements. We are generous, too. Our signature charity event, Give to Lincoln Day, has raised over $48 million and a record 479 non-profits participated in 2022.
We are a responsive and responsible community. We are the first city in Nebraska to pass a climate action plan. Our Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has hosted over 400 vaccination clinics to protect 230,000 residents against COVID-19. We were the number one city in the nation for the 2020 U.S. Census self-response rate. And we recently organized a contest to design a new city flag and received over 190 submissions.
We are inclusive. Our Mayor, Chief of Police and three of our seven City Council members are women. Our Human Resources Department is working to ensure our city’s workforce is diverse and representative. We intend to build 5,000 affordable housing units by 2030 to address the needs of low-income residents. Finally, our One Lincoln initiative champions community policies, practices, and culture change initiatives that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion.
What tourist attractions does Lincoln have?
As the state capital and university hub, we have historic sites and proud traditions that attract visitors from around the country and the globe.
Our college football and volleyball teams are supported by the most loyal fans in the country. On football gamedays, Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in the state. The women’s volleyball team, five-time national champions, plays its games at the Bob Devanney Sports Center on Nebraska Innovation Campus.
Lincoln also has a thriving performing arts scene. Regional and national artists flock to venues like the Zoo Bar, Bourbon Theatre, Lied Center, and Pinnacle Bank Arena. Theater has a stage too. Pinewood Bowl hosts everything from Broadway musicals to Disney adaptations.
We also have niche attractions. Robber’s Cave, dug in 1869 for Lincoln’s first brewery, is our oldest tourist attraction. The International Quilt Museum is home to the world’s largest publicly held quilt collection. For motorheads, the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed was recently voted Best Attraction for Car Lovers by USA Today.
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In preparation of these pages, every effort has been made to offer the most current, correct, and clearly expressed information possible. Nevertheless, inadvertent errors in information may occur. In particular but without limiting anything here, the City of Lincoln disclaims any responsibility for typographical errors and accuracy of the information that may be contained on the City of Lincoln web pages. The information and data included on the City of Lincoln servers have been compiled by the City of Lincoln staff from a variety of sources, and are subject to change without notice to the User. The City of Lincoln makes no warranties or representations whatsoever regarding the quality, content, completeness, suitability, adequacy, sequence, accuracy, or timeliness of such information and data.
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LINKS TO THIRD PARTIES' WEB SITES
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By using the City of Lincoln web pages, the User assumes all risks associated with the use of this site, including any risk to User's computer, software or data being damaged by any virus, software, or any other file which might be transmitted or activated via the City of Lincoln web page or User's access to it. The City of Lincoln shall not in any event be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, special, incidental, or consequential damages, including, without limitation, lost revenues, or lost profits, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or misuse of the information or lack of information on the City of Lincoln web site or with the delay or inability to use this web site, or from any information, documents, services, software, or other material obtained through this web site, or otherwise arising out of the use of this web site, whether based on contract, tort, strict liability or otherwise, even if the City of Lincoln and/or any of its employees/affiliates has been advised of the possibility of damages. The City of Lincoln shall not be liable for any loss or injury caused in whole, or in part, by its actions, omissions, or contingencies beyond its control, including in procuring, compiling, or delivering the information, or arising out of any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in the information regardless of how caused, or arising out of any user's decision, or action taken or not taken in reliance upon information furnished.
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USE OF BULLETIN BOARD, OR ANY OTHER COMMUNICATION OR INTERACTIVE FORUMS
To the extent that this web site contains or may in the future contain bulletin boards, discussion webs, chat rooms, or other message, interactive or communication facilities involving the city of Lincoln and other users ("Forums"), the User agrees to use such forums only to send and receive messages and material that are proper and related to the particular forum. By way of example, and not as a limitation, the User agrees that when using a Forum, the User shall not violate the law by:
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- Knowingly accessing or attempting to access or use The City of Lincoln's computer system, computer network, or any part thereof, including this website, for the purpose of devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud; obtaining money property or services by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises; or committing theft, including but not limited to theft of proprietary information.
User agrees to (as available) send and receive electronic mail, engage in conferences and chats, download and upload files, and otherwise use this web site only as permitted by these terms and conditions, any additional policies or procedures published in this web site from time to time by the City of Lincoln, and applicable law.
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The User acknowledges that chats, conferences, bulletin boards, discussion webs and any other such interactive or communications' forums hosted by this web site are public and not private communications. Further, the User acknowledges that chats, posting conferences, discussion webs and other communications by other Users are not endorsed by the City of Lincoln, and such communications shall not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by the City of Lincoln.
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We collect NO personal information like names or addresses when you visit our website. If you choose to provide that information to us it is only used to fulfill your request for information.
We do collect some technical information when you visit to make your visit seamless. The section below explains how we handle and collect technical information when you visit our website.
INFORMATION COLLECTED AND STORED AUTOMATICALLY
When you browse, read pages or download information on lincoln.ne.gov, we automatically gather and store certain technical information about your visit. This information never identifies who you are. The information we collect and store about your visit is listed below:
- The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu" if you connect from a university's domain) and IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
- The type of browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Edge) and operating system (Windows, OSX, iOS, Android) used to access our site;
- The date and time you access our site;
- The pages you visit; and
- If you linked to the lincoln.ne.gov website from another website, the address of that website.
This information is only used to help us make the site more useful for you. With this data we learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use. We never track or record information about individuals and their visits.
Per-session cookies serve technical purposes like providing seamless navigation through lincoln.ne.gov. These cookies do not permanently record data and they are not stored on your computer's hard drive. The lincoln.ne.gov website cookies are stored in memory and are only available during an active browser session. Again, once you close your browser, the cookie disappears.
CITY OF LINCOLN MOBILE APP
The City of Lincoln is using SeeClickFix, an online and mobile service request system developed by SeeClickFix and CivicPlus, to power its UPLNK mobile app and reporting forms. SeeClickFix is an application that allows Lincoln residents to report non-emergency related issues. SeeClickFix can be used via the Web on a desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. SeeClickFix is a public application. The description entered will be visible to the public. Your display name will also be visible unless you choose to submit as Anonymous. Your email address will never be displayed publicly.
IF YOU SEND US PERSONAL INFORMATION
If you choose to provide us with personal information - like filling out a Contact Us form with personal information and submitting it to us through the website - we use that information to respond to your message and to help us get you the information you have requested. We only share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency, or as otherwise required by law. We never create individual profiles or give it to any private organizations. The lincoln.ne.gov website never collects information for commercial marketing.
- For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs commercial software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.
- Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction.
- Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act.