Lincoln Population 2017

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 273,000, 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 327,000, which makes it the 158th largest metro area in the U.S.

Lincoln Demographics

At the 2010 census, the racial composition of Lincoln was:

  • White: 86.0%
  • African American: 3.8%
  • Asian: 3.8%
  • Native American: 0.8%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Other races: 2.5%
  • Two or more races: 3.0%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 6.3%

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, Tajikstan, 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 are the Karen, who come from Thailand or Burma to escape 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 growing 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 largest collection of elephant skeletons.
  • In 2014, the American Lung Association ranked the Lincoln-Beatrice area has 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.
Year Population Change
2015 277,348 7.30%
2010 258,379 14.50%
2000 225,581 17.50%
1990 191,972 11.70%
1980 171,932 15.00%
1970 149,518 16.30%
1960 128,521 30.00%
1950 98,884 20.60%
1940 81,984 8.00%
1930 75,933 38.20%
1920 54,948 25.00%
1910 43,973 9.50%
1900 40,169 -27.20%
1890 55,154 324.20%
1880 13,003 0.00%

Lincoln Population in 2017 Source: Justin Lonas - Moviegoer84 at English Wikipedia

Lincoln Race Data

Race Population Percentage
White 230,834 86.84%
Black or African American 11,388 4.28%
American Indian and Alaska Native 1,610 0.61%
Asian 11,345 4.27%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 206 0.08%
Some Other Race 2,998 1.13%
Two or More Races 7,430 2.80%

Population Pyramid

Lincoln Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Total Housing Units 113,018
Owner-Occupied Units 60,965
Renter-Occupied Units 46,609
Median Home Value $147,100
Median Rent $729
Vacancy Rate 4.8%
Houses With Mortgage 42,700
Houses Without Mortgage 18,265
Median Number of Rooms (per House) 5.5

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Lincoln for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.8% and the labor force participation rate is 71.6%.

Lincoln Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Average Household Size 2.39
Average Family Size 3.03
Married Couple Families 46,829
Male Householder (no wife) Families 4,596
Female Householder (no husband) Families 11,036
Non Family Households
Unmarried Martner Households (Opposite Sex) 6.7%
Unmarried Martner Households (Same Sex) 0.4%