The Cornhusker State

Where is it?

State Flag




Great Plains
Geographic coordinates:
40°N to 43°N
95°25'W to 104°W
total: 77,358 sq mi
land: 76,878 sq mi
water: 481 sq mi
coastline: N/A
shoreline: N/A
Bordering States:
Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wyoming
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Missouri River 840 ft
highest point: Panorama Point 5,424 ft
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 behind after the glaciers retreated. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills; Omaha and Lincoln are located within this region.

The Great Plains occupy the majority of western Nebraska. The Great Plains itself is comprised 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 the highest point in Nebraska; despite its name and elevation, it is merely a low rise near the Colorado and Wyoming borders.

A past Nebraska tourism slogan was "Where the West Begins"; locations given for the beginning of the "West" 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.




1,881,503 (2014)
Largest City:
Omaha: 408,958 (2010)
Age structure:
0-5 years old: 7.0%
<18 years old: 24.9%
65 years and over: 13.3%
Male: 49.4% Female: 50.6%
Population growth rate:
2.8% (2000-2005)
Population density:
22.3 per sq mi
Race(2000 Census):
White non-Hispanic: 85.7%
Hispanic: 6.9%
Black: 4.3%
Asian: 1.5%
Native American: 0.9%
Multi-Race: 1.1%
Christian: 90%
Other: 1%
Non-Religious: 9%




The Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 28, 1854; it established the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas. The territorial capital of Nebraska was Omaha. In the 1860s, the first great wave of homesteaders poured into Nebraska to claim free land granted by the federal government. Many of the first farm settlers built their homes out of sod because they found so few trees on the grassy land. Nebraska became the 37th state in 1867, shortly after the American Civil War. At that time, the capital was moved from Omaha to Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln after the recently assassinated President of the United States Abraham Lincoln. Arbor Day began in Nebraska, and the National Arbor Day Foundation is still headquartered in Nebraska City. Prohibition in the U.S. was adopted in 1918, with Nebraska as the thirty-sixth state necessary to make the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.




March 1, 1867 (37th State)
State Tree:
State Bird:
Western Meadowlark
State Flower:
Nebraska's government operates under the framework of the Nebraska Constitution, adopted in 1875 and is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The head of the executive branch is the Governor Dave Heineman. Other elected officials in the executive branch are the Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy (elected on the same ticket as the Governor), Attorney General Jon Bruning, Secretary of State John A. Gale, State Treasurer Ron Ross, and State Auditor Kate Witek. All elected officials in the executive branch serve four-year terms. Nebraska is the only state in the United States with a unicameral legislature; that is, a legislature with only one house. Although this house is officially known simply as the "Legislature", and more commonly called the "Unicameral", its members still call themselves "senators". Nebraska's Legislature is also the only state legislature in the United States that is nonpartisan. The senators are elected with no party affiliation next to their names on the ballot, and the speaker and committee chairs are chosen at large, so that members of any party can be (and often are) chosen for these positions. The Nebraska Legislature can also override a governor's veto with a three-fifths majority, in contrast to the two-thirds majority required in some other states.

The judicial system in Nebraska is unified, with the Nebraska Supreme Court having administrative authority over all Nebraska courts. Nebraska uses the Missouri Plan for the selection of judges at all levels. The lowest courts in Nebraska are the county courts, which are grouped into 12 districts (containing one or more counties); above those are 12 district courts. The Court of Appeals hears appeals from the district courts, juvenile courts, and workers' compensation courts. The Nebraska Supreme Court is the final court of appeal.

Nebraska allows for capital punishment; the sole method of execution is the electric chair, making Nebraska the only place in the world to use only this mode of execution. However, executions in Nebraska have been infrequent; none have been carried out in the 21st century, and the state has strongly flirted with the idea of a moratorium on, or complete abolition of, capital punishment.




The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates of Nebraska's gross state product in 2004 was $68 billion. Per capita personal income in 2004 was $31,339, 25th in the nation. Once considered part of the Great American Desert, it is now a leading farming state. Nebraskans have practiced scientific farming to turn the Nebraska prairie into a land of ranches and farms. Much of the history of the state is the story of the impact of the Nebraska farmer. Nebraska has a large agriculture sector, and is a national leader in the production of beef, pork, corn (maize), and soybeans. Other important economic sectors include freight transport (by rail and truck), manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, and insurance.

Nebraska has 4 personal income tax brackets, ranging from 2.56% to 6.84%. Nebraska has a state sales tax of 5.5%. In addition to the state tax, some Nebraska cities assess a city sales and use tax, up to a maximum of 1.5%. All real property located 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.