Although it has an almost central location within the United States, Nebraska is located on the Midwest plains and has many landmarks that claim to be the gateway to the west. Like many states in the region, Nebraska enjoyed a population explosion in the second half of the 19th century due to the great California Gold Rush. Nebraska's growth rate is now 0.80%, which ranks 25th in the country.
The last nationwide census within the United States of America took place in 2010, and it was confirmed that 1,826,341 citizens were living in the Cornhusker State. Those figures represented a rise of 6.7% on the findings from the 2000 Census, which declared final numbers of 1,711,263. It is now estimated that these figures have climbed even further to a total population of 1,896,190, an increase of 3.8% since the last Census.
Nebraska Area and Population Density
Nebraska’s surface area covers approximately 77,354 square miles (200,520 square kilometers) and that makes this the 16th largest state in the US in terms of size. Based on 2011 population estimates, for every square mile of Nebraskan territory, there is an average of 23.8 people. Overall, Nebraska is only the 43rd ranked state in terms of population density.
Approximately one in three Nebraskans live in its two major cities, Omaha and Lincoln. 89% of Nebraska's cities have less than 3,000 people, which is on par with 5 other Midwestern states, but hundreds of towns in Nebraska have less than 1,000 residents. Many rural schools in the state have been forced to consolidate.
With over 530 villages and cities in the state, only one has a population of more than 300,000. Omaha has a population estimated at 443,885, while Lincoln, the capital city, has 277,348 residents. These are the only two cities with a population over 60,000.
53% of the 93 counties in Nebraska reported declining numbers between 1990 and 2000, and this trend has continued as more urban areas have experienced great growth. Between 2000 and 2010, Lincoln saw a 14.5% increase, while Omaha's population grew 6.3% in just 5 years.
Nebraska Gender and Religion Statistics
The median age in Nebraska is approximately 36.2 years of age. The ratio of females to males is currently at approximately 50.3% females and 49.7% males.
In terms of religious preferences across the state, Nebraska weighs in with 75% Christian based faiths, 4% non-Christian based faiths, 20% are unaffiliated with any religion.
Nebraska Boundary, Census, and Statehood History
Nebraska was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and became part of Louisiana (later Missouri) Territory. It was established as a territory in 1854, including extensive areas northwest and west of the present State; it underwent various reductions in area in 1861 and 1863. Nebraska was admitted as a State on March 1, 1867, with nearly its present boundaries. Its last significant boundary change was the transfer of an area from Dakota Territory in 1882.
Census coverage of Nebraska began in 1860 in the eastern part of the present State. The 1860 census of Nebraska Territory also included scattered forts and settlements in present-day Wyoming and the Dakotas west of the Missouri River. Other such settlements in the portion of the Territory included in present-day Montana were reported with Dakota Territory, and those in present-day Colorado were reported with Colorado Territory, although these two territories were not established until 1861. By 1890, census coverage included the entire State.