10 Safest Cities in Nebraska

Updated On October 10, 2023

In 1823, the land that would come to be known as Nebraska was settled.

The first city, Bellevue, formed from a tiny trading post on the Mississippi River.

Squeezed in the middle of the nation, Nebraska is landlocked but was once completely underwater.

Nebraska has seen a lot of changes since becoming a state in 1867.

The state is fortunate enough to have well below the national average when it comes to violent crimes, at a rate of 3.3 per 1,000 people.

Property crime is also under the average at 19.1 per 1,000.

Now we will take a look at 10 of the safest cities in the state to get a better picture of the safety of the state overall.

Seward, Nebraska
Seward, Nebraska

1. Seward

Nebraska is safer than the average state in the US, so the safest cities in the state all come up well below the national average in terms of crime.

Most folks know Seward because of the city’s massive Fourth of July celebrations.

Seward has long been considered the safest in Nebraska, with violent crimes being 41.6 per capita.

There has not been a murder or robbery in over a decade.

Blair, Nebraska
Blair, Nebraska

2. Blair

Named after the man who brought railroads into this part of Nebraska, Blair has less than 8,000 inhabitants.

While it may be on the smaller side, there is steady growth and a good economy in town.

The violent crimes per capita are at 98.7.

The most common crime is property-related.

The town is only about half an hour from the bigger city, Omaha, so employment is never too far away.

Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Plattsmouth, Nebraska

3. Plattsmouth

Once known as the barracks, Plattsmouth is another small town with very little crime happening.

The city was named for being at the head of the Platts River.

Due to the low crime rate, people feel safe visiting from out of town and enjoy things like the Main Street Revitalization. 

Norfolk, Nebraska
Norfolk, Nebraska

4. Norfolk

There was a time that this part of Nebraska was known for the Insane Asylum built in the late 1800s.

Today, Norfolk is the most financially prosperous city in the region.

With 25,000 citizens, it is considered the retail trade center of Northeast Nebraska.

The crime rate is over 2 times below the national average.

The most common crime is property.

Papillion, Nebraska
Papillion, Nebraska

5. Papillion

This is a place people come out of town for when they are looking to escape into nature.

Tourism is a good part of the town’s economy, which facilitates these outdoor adventures.

It happens in a safe spot, Papillion’s violent crime rate is low, with only one homicide in a number of years.

Gering, Nebraska
Gering, Nebraska

6. Gering

A long-time dream of future postmaster, Oscar Gardner, Gering finally became an official town in 1887.

Many of the younger generations might recognize the city as part of the Oregon Trail and Scotts Bluff National Monument.

That is not where the good scenery stops.

Gering is nestled between Yellowstone and the Front Range in Colorado.

The most common type of crime is the property and violent crime per capita is 168.9. 

La Vista, Nebraska
La Vista, Nebraska

7. La Vista

The newest city in Nebraska is also the fastest growing.

Only official since 1960, La Vista was actually scoped out as early as 1805 during the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Due to the view of Big Papio Creek, the name stuck.

The crime rate is three times less than the national average.

The cost of living also falls below the average, so it is definitely an attractive place to live.

That and the summer temperatures do not get above 80 degrees.

Ralston, Nebraska
Ralston, Nebraska

8. Ralston

Would you believe the city of Ralston used to be someone’s farm?

Around the turn of the last century, Dr. George Miller sold his land to the company responsible for structuring the town.

The first post office popped up in 1909, solidifying Ralston as an official town.

Still small, with a population under 7,500, the area continues to be up and coming.

On a regular basis, there are new establishments coming up to appease the young professionals moving in.

While there has been a slight rise in violent crime here, it is still 1.5 times less than the national average.

Lexington, Nebraska
Lexington, Nebraska

9. Lexington

If you are a parent with a school-aged child, this might be a place you would want to look into.

Not only is the crime rate at 41% under the national average, but the city also spends more money on each student in education than most other cities in the US.

Lexington has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a frontier trading post in the 1860s.

Today, the city is proud of its wide cultural variety and local activities.

Beatrice, Nebraska
Beatrice, Nebraska

10. Beatrice

Just over the border from Kansas, Beatrice is known for being the first place where land was given to a citizen.

This came after the Free Homestead Act became law during Lincoln‘s presidency.

The violent crime rate here is 3.2 per every 1,000 people.

It is not the lowest, but it is still a good bit under the national average.

In recent years, both violent crime and property crime have decreased.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Nebraska

  1. In rural areas, keep your belongings secured. Nebraska is part of America’s heartland. These rolling fields of corn may be tempting to stop and walk through to get photos for Instagram, but don’t be fooled. Rural areas have less crime but not zero crime. If you leave your vehicle, keep everything locked up and valuables out of sight.
  2. Check the forecast. Nebraska is part of Tornado Alley, which is a group of states where tornadoes hit more often than anywhere else. Before hitting the road, have a solid understanding of what the weather might bring while you’re there. Not only so you can pack appropriate clothes, but so that you will be abreast of when to stay in safe areas.
  3. Avoid Omaha. Okay, to be fair, that’s not always possible. There are plenty of positives about the city. However, it’s imperative that when you’re in the most populated place in Nebraska, you are extra vigilant. Don’t stop for strangers. Don’t leave your car in a suspicious-looking part of town. Don’t bring any valuables with you. Don’t loosely carry a purse or multiple bags. Make sure all your windows are up and doors are locked.
  4. Stay in touch. For most spots across the state, you shouldn’t have a lot of problems with getting a signal. If you’re traveling through, even if you’re not alone, be sure someone knows where you are and what plans you have coming up. It also never hurts to send someone your location. It’s always best that someone has the information on you in case of an emergency.
  5. Bring extra fuel. Sometimes there can be quite a distance between gas stations. When driving through long periods of wilderness, it can be most helpful to be prepared for anything. This can come in handy if you are on a camping trip or if you happen to be making stops along the way. In addition to having all the gas you need, you may want to throw in a first aid kit.

Nebraska Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Nebraska Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most dangerous city in Nebraska?

It is probably not super surprising that the largest city, Omaha, has been the one most inundated with a crime.

The crime rate is at 6.13 per 1,000 people and there were almost 2,900 violent crimes in 2019.

This is one of the cities where the population far exceeds that of the capital.

Of the 2,000,000 people who live in Nebraska, one-fourth call Omaha home.

Unfortunately, the bigger the city, the more likely there are criminal networks.

How safe is Lincoln?

Compared to other capital cities, Lincoln’s crime rate is not as high as more populated places.

It actually is not even the city with the most crime in Nebraska.

It comes in third place for that.

In other areas, such as public transportation, education, and local engagement, there are plenty of reasons to enjoy living there.

So, it is safer than other capitals comparatively.

It is also safer than two other big cities in the state.

However, you would probably prefer living in the suburbs of Lincoln as opposed to in Lincoln.

What is the most dangerous animal in Nebraska?

Poisonous snakes.

Nebraska has four deadly snakes you will want to watch out for; copperhead, prairie rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, and the Western massasauga rattlesnake.

A swift bite from any one of those snakes would mean an immediate trip to the emergency room.

If you are planning to be out in areas that are more prone to slithering creatures, take a deep dive through some first-aid tips first.

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