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5 Biggest Cities in Nebraska: How Well Do You Know the Cornhusker State?

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 02:47 AM

The state of Nebraska had about 1.8 million residents in the 2010 census. With an entire state population that is smaller than that of Houston, Texas, a list of the biggest cities in Nebraska is a relative term compared to the more densely inhabited regions of the Eastern Seaboard or the West Coast.

Nebraska's largest city, Omaha, comes in at No. 42 on a nationwide list. Only the 10 biggest cities in Nebraska have populations more than 20,000 people. However, all the cities and towns on the list are proud of their history and heritage.

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All population counts are according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

1. Omaha: 408,958

Omaha is probably one of the few major U.S. cities that was founded by way of a picnic. The city was named after the Omaha Tribe, which means “Dwellers on the bluff,” according to a history on the city's website. After a treaty was signed with the tribe, the city founders held a picnic at what is now the Central High School site to set up the new city. Omaha was also the capital of the Nebraska Territory until a compromise between different geographic interests in the new state settled on the small village of Lancaster, later renamed Lincoln.

2. Lincoln: 258,379

Lincoln, originally Lancaster or Capital City before being renamed after the assassinated president three years after his death, is the state capital and second largest city. Home of the University of Nebraska, it is also home of the honorary third largest city in the state – the 92,000 strong crowd at Memorial Stadium during Nebraska Cornhusker football games, according to Sports Illustrated.

3. Bellevue: 50,137

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This town south of Omaha is the oldest continuously settled town in Nebraska. Joshua Pilcher, a fur trader from St Louis, built the field headquarters for the Missouri Fur Company at what is now Bellevue in 1823, NebraskaStudies.org said. In modern times, the town is known as being adjacent to Offutt Air Force Base, home of the U.S. Strategic Command.

4. Grand Island: 48,520

Grand Island is home of the Nebraska State Fair. The agriculture industry of the surrounding farmland sheltered the area from the 2008 recession, according to a profile of the area in Time magazine in 2011. The community was hit by a tornado outbreak in 1980. Seven twisters hit the area, killing five people and injuring about 200.

5. Kearney: 30,787

The self-proclaimed “Heart of Nebraska” rounded out the list of five largest cities in Nebraska with populations over 30,000 in the 2010 census. The city along the Platte River was a U.S. Army fort that helped protect the Oregon Trail. The fort and surrounding support community were built in 1848 to accommodate the needs of travelers heading to the California gold fields. The Pony Express and the Transcontinental Railroad also used Kearney because of the area's centralized location within the region.

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The state of Nebraska had about 1.8 million residents in the 2010 census. With an entire state population that is smaller than that of Houston, Texas, a list of the biggest cities in Nebraska is a relative term compared to more densely inhabited regions.
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2015-47-14
Tuesday, 14 Apr 2015 02:47 AM
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