Nebraska's daily level of concern stayed the same year over year, but reported experience with crime increased.
The Cornhusker State enjoys low crime rates. Its violent crime rate is 2.8 incidents per 1,000—almost one full point below the national average of 3.7. The property crime rate is 20.8, compared to the national rate of 22.0.
Even though crime rates stayed below national averages and dropped year over year, respondents to the State of Safety reported more personal experience with crime over the past year. Nebraska respondents reported that 10% had a run-in with violent crime and 23% experienced a property crime. Those numbers are both below national averages of 12% and 26%, respectively.
Violent Crime in Nebraska: Fear vs. Reality
Mass shooting is the most worrisome violent crime in the Cornhusker State, but people think they’re more likely to be robbed on the street.
40% named mass shooting as the violent crime they are most concerned about. That’s two points higher than the national average of 38%.
7% reported that they or someone they know have been personally affected by a mass shooting during their lifetime. That matches the national average.
Between 2014 and 2019, Nebraska had seven mass shooting events, leaving 32 people injured and six dead. Across the country, for the same time period, there were 2,087 mass shootings.
25% stated that being robbed on the street is the violent crime they think is most likely to actually happen to them, versus 27% nationally.
Robbery made up just 9% of all violent crime among the safest cities and 14% statewide.
The most common violent crime was aggravated assault, claiming 51% of the incidents reported among the safest cities and 63% across the state.
Property Crime in Nebraska: Fear vs. Reality
Break-ins are the biggest property crime concern in Nebraska, and people think they’re most likely to have property stolen.
64% are highly concerned about someone breaking in when no one’s home, compared to 62% nationwide.
Burglary accounted for 10% of all property crime incidents in the safest cities and 13% across the state.
38% said they think the most likely property crime to happen is having property stolen. That’s two points higher than the national average of 36%.
Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Nebraska, comprising 75% of all incidents statewide and 81% of all property crime in the safest cities.
Only 16% of Nebraska respondents use a security system, versus 24% across the US.
Dogs or other guard animals are the most common security measures used in Nebraska, with 31% using an animal. The national average for using guard animals is 33%.
37% said they don’t take any measure to secure or protect their property—that’s eight percentage points higher than the national average of 29%.
A Closer Look at Nebraska’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
90% of the list is brand new this year—the only repeat is Norfolk, which stayed at number nine for the second year.
Seward tops the list with the lowest violent crime rate of 0.4 incidents per 1,000 people. It also reported the fewest total violent crimes, with only three.
Every city on the list beat both state (2.8) and national (3.7) violent crime rates, and every city kept violent crime to fewer than two incidents per 1,000.
Both Seward and La Vista had less than one violent crime reported per 1,000.
80% of the cities reported 20 or fewer total violent crime incidents.
All cities fell below both state (20.8) and national (22.0) property crime rates.
Schuyler had the lowest property crime rate at 6.1, with just 38 total incidents reported.
Two cities kept property crime under 100 total crimes—Seward with 71 and Schuyler with 38.
The 10 Safest Cities in Nebraska
VC = Violent Crime PC = Property Crime
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 20180.4, Not available, 0.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 9.8, Not available, 7.9
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.9, Not available, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.1, Not available, Not available
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, Not available, 2.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 14.1, Not available, 20.4
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.9, Not available, 1.2
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 15.7, Not available, 14.5
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, Not available, 1.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 15.8, Not available, 12.8
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.1, Not available, 1.1
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 15.4, Not available, 21.8
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.1, Not available, 2.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 16.0, Not available, 11.8
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.7, Not available, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.6, Not available, Not available
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.2, 1.5, 1.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 18.2, 19.1, 22.9
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.5, Not available, 3.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 17.3, Not available, 36.1
Mass Shooting Definition: SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more