Omaha Population 2016
Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska and sits on the Missouri River, around 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River. Omaha also anchors the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. In 2014, Omaha has an estimated population of 411,000, making it the 42nd largest city in the United States.
Omaha has an estimated population of 411,000, although the population including the suburbs is around 423,000. The 2010 census found a population of 408,958 with a population density of 3,218 people per square mile in Omaha.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA Combined Statistical Area (CSA) has a population of about 935,000, and there are about 1.3 million people in the Greater Omaha area with a 50-mile radius around the city center.
Omaha today is a very diverse city, both in terms of population and economy. Forbes ranked Omaha as the Best Bang-For-The-Buck City in 2009 and the number one Fastest-Recovering City in America.
According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of Omaha was:
- White: 73.1% (non-Hispanic: 68.0%)
- African American: 13.7%
- Asian: 2.4%
- Native American: 0.8%
- Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Other race: 6.9%
- Two or more races: 3.0%
- Hispanic or Latino of any race: 13.1%
Since 2000, the Asian population has grown from 1.7% while the Hispanic and Latino population has grown from 7.5%.
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, with the city of Omaha established by European Americans from Council Bluffs. Over the next century, many ethnic groups made their way to Omaha. In 1910, the population was 3.9% black. Irish immigrants also moved to the area in great numbers, settling in present-day North Omaha, or Gophertown. Irish immigrants were followed by people from Poland who settled in Sheelytown. In the beginning, immigrants to the city worked in the stockyards and meatpacking industries, although later German immigrants founded the beer industry.
Jewish immigrants moved to Omaha in the early 20th century and began setting up businesses in the commercial area, which is now the heart of the African American community. Omaha also has a Little Italy neighborhood south of downtown.
There is a sizable population of Czechs in the city, and many institutions in South Omaha and Downtown show the history of European immigrants in Omaha. The majority of Omaha's Hispanic population are Mexican, who originally came to the city to work in rail yards. Other early ethnic groups include Danes, Swedes and Poles.
In the last two decades, a number of African immigrants have settled in Omaha. There are around 8,500 Sudanese in the city, which is the largest population of Sudanese refugees in the U.S. There are ten tribes from Sudan in Omaha, along with immigrants from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon and Togo.
The area of Omaha was first inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Omaha and Ponca. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area that would later become Omaha in 1804, and members of the expedition met with tribal leaders at the Council Bluff twenty miles from present-day Omaha. Fur trading outposts were eventually built in the area. Through treaties with the federal government, Native American tribes in the state eventually ceded the lands that currently make up Nebraska.
Omaha was settled as residents from nearby Council Bluffs began to stake out claims. The young city has several booms and busts in its early years. From the late 19th century through the 21st century, immigrants have created enclaves throughout Omaha, such as the Irish in Sheelytown, Germans in the Near North Side, and Little Italy and Little Bohemia in South Omaha.
Omaha Population Growth
Since 2000, Omaha has grown more than 13%, and the state has a whole has grown steadily, although it has lagged behind the national average for more than twenty years. Omaha and its suburbs are expected to continue moderate population growth in the coming decade.
Source: Raymond Bucko, SJ