Spread out over the expansive prairies of the Great Plains, the rock formations of the panhandle, and the rolling dunes of the Sandhills, the Cornhusker State boasts a rich history that dates back to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. While it's the 16th-largest state, it ranks 37th in population, resulting in a nature-rich landscape, as well as the 43rd-ranked population density in the country. It's the kind of place where farming can flourish—and it has, turning Nebraska into an agricultural powerhouse and saddling the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. It makes sense, then, that Nebraska is also one of the safest states in the land, as evidenced by the safety statistics of its five safest cities.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
When it comes to the 4th of July, no Nebraska town celebrates like Seward. Ever since 1979, when Governor J. James Exon was in charge, Seward has been designated “Nebraska's Official 4th of July City.” These days, the city of 7,165 is also known as Nebraska's safest city, and experienced only four cases of violent crime and a paltry 54 cases of property crime per year. And whenever residents aren't getting excited for the annual 40,000-person 4th of July celebration, they're probably checking out the Nebraska National Guard Museum or the World's Largest Time Capsule.
2. LA VISTA
It may be technically a suburb of Omaha, but residents of La Vista will tell you that La Vista stands on its own. At 18,049 residents, La Vista's population is nothing to sneeze at, but you might need to pull out a microscope to look at the tiny crime statistics for the city. With 23 instances of violent crime, and 11.69 instances of property crime per 1,000 people experienced last year, La Vista remains one of the safest cities in the state. Take that, Omaha.
Located near the western border of Nebraska, the town of Gering is a close-knit community of 8,335 people. It's also a place that is definitely not into funny business and where residents keep their eyes peeled for any riffraff, as evidenced by the fact that only 5 violent crimes and 114 property crimes occurred here last year. When they're not keeping their community safe, they're likely strolling through the beautiful landscape of nearby parks such as Wildcat Hills of the Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Named after the creek that flows through its center, the charming city of Papillion also shares its name with the French word for “butterfly.” The story goes that when early French explorers were in the area, many butterflies were found on the banks of the creek. These days, butterflies may not be filling the skies here, but the sizable city of 24,335 still remains one of the safest in Nebraska. Case in point: only 18 cases of violent crime and 15.73 cases of property crime per 1,000 people occurred here last year. As a bonus, Papillion enjoys plenty of green space, including Carter Lake and nearby Chalco Hills.
Named after railroad magnate John Insley Blair, this city on the border of eastern Nebraska was established in 1869 when the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad extended to its current site. While there may not be many railroad tycoons gallivanting around Blair these days, there are 7,981 safety-minded residents who run a tight ship. With only 10 violent crimes and 117 property reported crimes, Blair sneaks is as #5 on Nebraska's list of safest cities, and also offers plenty of outdoor fun to be had at nearby Black Elk Neihardt Park and the Missouri River.
The Top 25 Safest Cities in Nebraska, 2017
2. La Vista
25. North Platte
19. Grand Island
10. Nebraska City
20. South Sioux City
To identify the safest cities in Nebraska, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.