Lincoln, Nebraska Population 2020

287,401

Lincoln is the capital and the second-most populous city in Nebraska behind Omaha. Lincoln was founded as Lancaster in 1856 amid the salt flats and marshes. Lincoln is located in southeastern Nebraska, south of the Platte River.

Lincoln has an estimated population of 284,000, which makes it the 72nd largest city in the United States. The city has a population density of 2,900 people per square mile, or 1,120 per square kilometer. The larger urban area has a population of 285,000, which makes it the 145th largest in the country. The Lincoln metropolitan area includes all of Lancaster County and Seward County. There is very little development outside of the city limits and Lincoln has no contiguous suburbs, with the largest town considered a suburb being Waverly, with a population of 3,300. The Lincoln metropolitan area has a population estimated at 287,401, which makes it the 158th largest metro area in the U.S.

Refugees in Lincoln

Lincoln was designated as a refugee-friendly city by the government in the 1970s because of its size, educational institutions, and stable economy. Many refugees have settled in the city, and it was recently named as one of the Top 10 Most Welcoming Cities in America by Welcoming America. The refugee population began increasing in the 1980s in the area, and by the turn of the century, Lincoln had settled nearly 5,500 refugees. Lancaster County is now the 18th largest resettlement area in the country for Asian immigrants and refugees. Nebraska also ranks fifth in refugee resettlement per capita compared to other states of similar population.

Refugees from over 40 countries have settled in the city, which has brought new cultures and religions into the area. Lincoln is now home for Bosnian, Vietnamese, Afghani, Mexican, Russian, Kurdish, Sudanese, Ukrainian, Tajikistan, Chinese and other refugee populations.

In 2011 alone, 738 refugees from 13 countries made their way to Nebraska, but this official figure only includes people who were officially resettled in the state, not those who have moved to the area after being placed somewhere else.

The fastest-growing group of refugees in Lincoln is the Karen, who come from Thailand or Burma to escape an ethnic and political war. Close to 1,000 people from Thailand and Burma have arrived in the state since 2000, and there are estimated to be thousands of Karen in the state, with up to 1,500 in Lincoln. You can learn more about refugees in Nebraska here.

Lincoln Population Growth

In 2011, census estimates showed that Nebraska's population grew at a faster rate than the U.S. average for the past two years. Nebraska has been increasing at a rate of around 1% since 2008, while the U.S. population posted its smallest growth since 1945 of just 0.84%. Nebraska and Lincoln, in particular, are growing as more people move to the area for jobs, as the state has consistently had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

Most of Nebraska is seeing a declining population, as most growth is concentrated around Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, and Kearney.

Lincoln Facts

  • Lincoln was named the healthiest city in the U.S. in 2008 and 2013 by the CDC.
  • Lincoln was renamed for recently assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Nebraska was once known as the Great American Desert.
  • The 911 emergency system, now used across the country, was first developed and used in Lincoln.
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has the largest weight room in the United States that covers 3/4 of an acre.
  • Elephant Hall, a Lincoln museum, has the world's most extensive collection of elephant skeletons.
  • In 2014, the American Lung Association ranked the Lincoln-Beatrice area as being among the Cleanest U.S. Cities for Ozone Air Pollution.
  • Arbor Day got its start in Nebraska in 1872 when J. Sterling Morton proposed a holiday to promote planting trees in the state. About 1 million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day, and 45 other states had adopted the holiday by 1920.

Lincoln Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Lincoln was:

  • White: 85.18%
  • Asian: 4.67%
  • Black or African American: 4.42%
  • Two or more races: 3.64%
  • Other race: 1.41%
  • Native American: 0.62%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.07%

How Many People Live in Lincoln, Nebraska?

287,401
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018287,4012,8951.02%
2017284,5063,2521.16%
2016281,2544,0761.47%
2015277,1783,2331.18%
2014273,9455,0081.86%
2013268,9373,2741.23%
2012265,6633,1971.22%
2011262,4663,2051.24%
2010259,26133,6801.40%
2000225,58133,6091.63%
1990191,97220,0401.11%
1980171,93222,4141.41%
1970149,51820,9971.52%
1960128,52129,6372.66%
195098,88416,9001.89%
194081,9846,0510.77%
193075,93320,9853.29%
192054,94810,9752.25%
191043,9733,8040.91%
190040,169-14,985-3.12%
189055,15442,15115.55%
188013,0030.00%
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018334,5903,4111.02%
2017331,1793,6291.10%
2016327,5504,4191.35%
2015323,1313,4791.08%
2014319,6525,5411.73%
2013314,1113,7871.21%
2012310,3243,7371.20%
2011306,5873,6291.18%
2010302,9580.00%

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White239,21585.18%
Asian13,1094.67%
Black or African American12,4144.42%
Two or More Races10,2113.64%
Some Other Race3,9531.41%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,7420.62%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2050.07%

Lincoln Population Pyramid 2020

Lincoln Median Age

32.6


Total

31.8


Male

33.6


Female

Lincoln Adults

There are 217,559 adults, (35,880 of whom are seniors) in Lincoln.

Lincoln Age Dependency

54.6

Age Dependency Ratio

19.7

Old Age Dependency Ratio

34.8

Child Dependency Ratio

Lincoln Sex Ratio

Female

139,952

49.83%

Male

140,897

50.17%

Lincoln Households and Families

Lincoln Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Lincoln Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married79.9%20.1%
All57.3%42.7%
Male46%54%
Female40.2%59.8%
Non Family39.4%60.6%

57.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All112,1242.3957.3
Married48,5213.1379.9
Non Family47,5661.3839.4
Female11,3223.1740.2
Male4,7153.0346

3.04

Average Family Size

2.39

Average Household Size

6.7%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.3%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Lincoln Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade4,9132.85%
9th to 12th Grade6,8783.99%
High School Graduate37,56021.78%
Some College37,40321.69%
Associates Degree18,72610.86%
Bachelors Degree42,74024.78%
Graduate Degree24,24614.06%

Lincoln Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White145,200139,23559,094
Hispanic9,6156,7841,947
Asian7,6456,0203,456
Black6,4705,6811,485
Multiple Races3,1232,696909
Other Race1,9801,132250
Native American984774170
Islander16313142

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 95.89%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 45.21%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$38,235$43,388$32,465
Less Than High School$24,221$28,877$18,870
High School Grad$29,596$32,789$23,703
Some College$34,540$41,502$29,360
Bachelors Degree$44,995$53,926$38,789
Graduate Degree$56,982$64,796$52,283

$38,235

Average Earnings

$43,388

Average Male

$32,465

Average Female

Lincoln Language

Lincoln Language by Age

Lincoln Language

87.89% of Lincoln residents speak only English, while 12.11% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 4.49% of the population.

Lincoln Poverty

Lincoln Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White215,30125,36811.78%
Hispanic19,6014,92425.12%
Black11,0403,44631.21%
Multiple9,6532,41325.00%
Asian12,4411,99716.05%
Other3,7131,48439.97%
Native1,48634523.22%
Islander20014271.00%

14.23%

Overall Poverty Rate

13.14%

Male Poverty Rate

15.31%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Lincoln

The race most likely to be in poverty in Lincoln is Islander, with 71.00% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Lincoln is White, with 11.78% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.39%. Among those working part-time, it was 26.91%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 20.87%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School25.22%
High School12.35%
Some College9.34%
Bachelors or Greater4.00%
Name Poverty
Male Unemployed41.27%
Female Unemployed41.06%
Female Employed11.68%
Male Employed8.50%

Lincoln Income

Lincoln Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$55,224$73,422
Families$74,996$92,088
Married Families$89,918$106,896
Non Families$35,387$45,292

Lincoln Marital Status

Lincoln Marital Status

Marriage Rates

45.1%

Overall Marriage Rate

45.8%

Male Marriage Rate

44.4%

Female Marriage Rate

Lincoln Married by Age and Sex

Lincoln Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Lincoln Marital Status by Race

Lincoln Veterans

13,863

Number of Veterans

12,754

Male Veterans

1,109

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam4,724
Second Gulf War2,952
First Gulf War2,887
Korea1,312
World War II857
Age Group Veterans
65 to 743,729
35 to 543,389
75+3,262
55 to 642,020
18 to 341,463

Lincoln Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White13,0026.86%
Black4274.83%
Hispanic2982.34%
2 or More2154.90%
Asian1281.24%
Other622.32%
Indian292.33%

Lincoln Veterans by Education

6.93%

Veteran Poverty Rate

27.86%

Veteran Disability Rate

Lincoln Employment Status

71.5%

Labor Force Participation

68.8%

Employment Rate

3.6%

Unemployment Rate

Lincoln Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

65.49%

Born in Nebraska

91.59%

Native Born

8.41%

Foreign Born

4.57%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

91.59% of Lincoln residents were born in the United States, with 65.49% having been born in Nebraska. 4.57% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.