Nebraska’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.

Safest Cities 2021 badge for Nebraska

Here are the 10 safest cities in Nebraska for 2021

1. Schuyler
2. Seward
3. La Vista
4. Gering
5. Columbus
6. Blair
7. Norfolk
8. Ralston
9. Beatrice
10. Lexington

See if your city made the full list.

In our 2021 State of Safety survey, half of Nebraskans (50%) said they worried about their safety on a daily basis, which is more than the average American (47%). Survey participants also reported higher levels of personal experience with violent crime and property crime than last year's survey. 

There was a small increase in Nebraska's violent crime rate while the state's property crime rate went down. Every one of The Cornhusker State's top 10 safest cities reported lower crime rates than the state at large.

Half of Nebraskans are highly worried about safety every day, but 7 in 10 feel safe calling Nebraska home.

2021 Nebraska crime rates

Nebraska's violent crime rate was higher than last year, increasing from 2.8 per 1,000 people to 3.0. The property crime rate, on the other hand, saw a slight year-over-year decrease from 20.8 per 1,000 to 20.4.

Among the seven states in the West North Central region, Nebraska ranked in the middle (fourth-lowest) for both violent and property crime rates but under the overall regional average in both categories. For violent crime rates, Nebraska ranked above Minnesota (2.4), Iowa (2.7), and North Dakota (2.8). In terms of property crime, Nebraska topped Iowa (17.3), South Dakota (17.7), and North Dakota (19.8). 

Nebraska comes in under the US average for violent crime and property crime. Among all 50 states, Nebraska had the twenty-first-lowest violent crime rate and the twenty-third-lowest property crime rate.

Nebraska crime rates 2021 infographic

Level of concern and experience with crime in Nebraska

Compared to last year, more Nebraska residents worried about their safety, which meant the state grew more concerned than the nation for the first time. This aligns with respondents reporting more personal experience with violent crime and property crime as well as an increase in the state's violent crime rate since last year.

While many states have package theft and property crime as top concerns, Nebraskans worried more about violent crime. Still, respondents reported a decrease in personal experiences with gun violence, which was almost half as low as last year.

Nebraska experiences with crime 2021

Crime concerns in Nebraska

We asked Nebraska residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Nebraska residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Nebraska levels of crime concern 2021 infographic

*Percent of respondents concerned about this crime happening to them

View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Nebraska: Fear vs. reality

Nebraskans feel very safe in their home state compared to most Americans but reported more personal experience with violent crime than last year's survey. Overall, the state's increase in violent crimes supports 77% respondents saying that crime is increasing in The Cornhusker State.

  • 71% of Nebraska residents reported feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans—Nebraska is 1 of just 8 states where more than 70% of residents felt safe.
  • 11% of Nebraskans reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the last 12 months—up from 10% last year.
  • Murder is an uncommon violent crime in The Cornhusker State, making up just 0.8% of violent crimes (US 1%)—the state's 10 safest cities averaged 1%.
  • Rape accounts for 22% of violent crimes in Nebraska (US 8%) but the 10 safest cities have nearly double the occurences at 40%.
  • 37% of survey participants report using some form of personal protection—slightly higher than the US average (34%).
  • 45% of Nebraska residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.

Attitudes about police and gun violence in Nebraska

  • 38% of people in Nebraska cited gun violence as a top safety concern—15% lower than the US average of 53%.
  • 4% of survey respondents reported experiencing gun violence in the last 12 months, a drop from 7% last year.
  • There was a single mass shooting in Nebraska in 2019 and 2 in 2020.
  • 38% of Nebraska residents worry about police violence daily—lower than the US average of 40%.
  • 66% of Nebraskans reported having confidence in law enforcement. This is higher than the US average of 56% and the fifth-highest in the country.
  • There were 12 officer-involved shootings in 2020, a 37% decrease from 19 in 2019.
Violent crime rates 3 year trend for Nebraska

Property crime in Nebraska: Fear vs. reality

While Nebraskans reported more personal experiences with property crime in the last 12 months, the state's property crime rate slightly dropped. Still, residents were more likely to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their property's security than most Americans.

  • More Nebraskans (24%) reported personal experiences with property crime this year compared to last year (23%).
  • Burglary accounts for 12% of all property crimes in The Cornhusker State (the 10 safest cities average 10%), which is lower than the national rate of 16%.
  • 16% of participants reported experiencing package theft in the last 12 months, putting Nebraska below the US average of 20%.
  • 56% of people in Nebraska use some form of property protection. This is close to the 62% national average.
  • The top form of property protection in Nebraska this year was security cameras with 24% of survey respondents using them. This is a lower adoption rate than the national average of 28%.
  • 39% of Nebraskans say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property—this is noticeably higher than the US average of 29%—and it’s the sixth-highest in the country.
Property crime rates 3 year trend for Nebraska

A closer look at the safest cities in Nebraska

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • The top 2 cities swapped places this year, with Schuyler taking the top spot from Seward.
  • 7 cities increased in rank this year, with Beatrice making the biggest leap in the state—up 11 spots. It's also the only new city in the top 10 this year.
  • Lexington had the biggest drop in ranking, moving down 7 spots since last year.
  • None of the safest cities has a population over 25,000—Norfolk comes the closest at 24,698.
  • Seward had the lowest violent crime rate in the state for the second year in a row.
  • 70% of the safest cities reported 20 or fewer violent crimes this year—3 reported in single digits.
  • There were 2 reported murders among the safest cities.
  • Rape accounts for 40% of violent crimes in the safest cities. This is nearly twice the state average and almost 5 times the US average.
  • Schuyler had the lowest property crime rate in Nebraska for the second year in a row.
  • Gering joined Schuyler and Seward as the only cities with fewer than 100 total property crimes.
Nebraska map of safest cities

The 10 Safest Cities in Nebraska

Schuyler, NE map
#1
Schuyler
(
+1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,396
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $54,798
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.5, 1.9, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    3.9, 6.1, N/A
Seward, NE map
#2
Seward
(
-1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,250
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $64,180
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.3, 0.4, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    5.5, 9.8, N/A
La Vista, NE map
#3
La Vista
(
+1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    17,223
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,605
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.1, 0.9, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    10.5, 15.7, N/A
Gering, NE map
#4
Gering
(
+4
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,189
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,047
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.1, 1.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    11.6, 13.6, N/A
Columbus, NE map
#5
Columbus
(
+1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    23,406
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $59,894
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.2, 1.1, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    15.3, 15.4, N/A
Blair, NE map
#6
Blair
(
-1
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,836
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $48,511
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.3, 1.0, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    15.2, 15.8, N/A
Norfolk, NE map
#7
Norfolk
(
+2
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    24,698
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $49,490
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.3, 1.2, 1.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    15.4, 18.2, 19.1
Ralston, NE map
#8
Ralston
(
+2
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,468
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,469
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.6, 1.5, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    14.5, 17.3, N/A
Beatrice, NE map
#9
Beatrice
(
+11
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,227
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $44,067
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    1.8, 2.7, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    15.9, 23.9, N/A
Lexington, NE map
#10
Lexington
(
-7
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    10,108
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $53,701
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.0, 1.0, N/A
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    16.2, 14.1, N/A

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't find your city in the top 10?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.

2021 Rank
City
Population
VC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
PC per 1,000Icon Tooltip  Dark
11Plattsmouth6,4782.613.1
12Bellevue53,8802.017.8
13McCook7,5331.522.3
14York7,8771.722.7
15Papillion20,5801.921.0
16Fremont26,5231.822.2
17Hastings24,7781.829.3
18South Sioux City12,7712.328.1
19Sidney6,3313.523.9
20Scottsbluff15,8623.327.3
21Lincoln291,1283.827.5
22Grand Island51,8214.625.5
23North Platte23,7053.833.7
24Nebraska City7,2732.542.1
25Crete7,0946.517.9
26Omaha470,4816.136.4

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

Recent Articles

SimpliSafe UK Home Alarm Review
SimpliSafe combines the convenience of DIY purchase and installation with the comfort of professional monitoring....
security system being installed on wall
Best DIY Home Security Systems of 2021
DIY install home security systems are cost-efficient, effective, and easy to install. See which DIY...
couple sitting on floor with moving boxes and a dog
Best Home Security Systems for Renters
These renter-friendly home security systems keep your house or apartment safe and require less commitment...
Large craftsman style house at twilight with lights on
Best Home Security Systems of 2021
After hundreds of hours of tests and research, plus a combined 50+ years of experience,...