Nebraska’s 10 Safest Cities of 2020

Nebraska safest cities badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Nebraska for 2020. See if your city made the list.

10 percent have experienced violent crime, 23 percent have experienced property crime, 7 percent have been affected by a mass shooting

Overall, Nebraska is less concerned about safety on a daily basis than much of the country. That could be due to lower crime rates than national averages—especially in the state’s 10 safest cities.

See the complete list of Nebraska’s 10 safest cities of 2020. 

According to our 2020 State of Safety survey, 40% of Nebraskans feel high concern about their safety every day. Across the country, 46% are highly concerned each day.

Nebraska crime stats infographic

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.
Nebraska crime stats infographic
Nebraska crime stats infographic

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%. 
Nebraska crime stats infographic
Nebraska crime stats infographic

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.
Nebraska safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 10 Safest Cities in Nebraska

VC = Violent Crime PC = Property Crime

Seward, Nebraska
#1
Seward
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,209
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,589
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.4, Not available, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    9.8, Not available, 7.9
Map of Schuyler, Nebraska
#2
Schuyler
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,210
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $53,756
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.9, Not available, Not available
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    6.1, Not available, Not available
Lexington, Nebraska
#3
Lexington
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,996
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $49,881
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.0, Not available, 2.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    14.1, Not available, 20.4
La Vista, Nebraska
#4
La Vista
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    17,177
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $63,034
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    0.9, Not available, 1.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    15.7, Not available, 14.5
Blair, Nebraska
#5
Blair
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,103
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $44,855
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.0, Not available, 1.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    15.8, Not available, 12.8
Columbus, Nebraska
#6
Columbus
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    23,257
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $54,822
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.1, Not available, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    15.4, Not available, 21.8
Alliance, Nebraska
#7
Alliance
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,122
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $54,291
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.1, Not available, 2.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    16.0, Not available, 11.8
Gering, Nebraska
#8
Gering
(
New
)
  • Population
    8,291
  • Median Income
    $56,010
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.7, Not available, Not available
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    13.6, Not available, Not available
Norfolk, Nebraska
#9
Norfolk
  • Population
    24,458
  • Median Income
    $46,542
  • VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.2, 1.5, 1.6
  • PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    18.2, 19.1, 22.9
Ralston, Nebraska
#10
Ralston
(
New
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,535
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $55,837
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    1.5, Not available, 3.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018
    17.3, Not available, 36.1

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 recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for 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, which is based on the median population of the state. 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 2018.

2020 RankingCity Population Violent Crime (per 1,000) Property Crime (per 1,000)
11

Chadron

5,621

1.6

16.7

12

Papillion

19,588

2

18.7

13

Plattsmouth

6,444

2.2

17.5

14

Bellevue

53,683

2.1

18.3

15

Fremont

26,465

2.2

20.2

16

York

7,875

0.8

30.5

17

McCook

7,518

2.8

17.2

18

Sidney

6,602

2.4

20.1

19

Kearney

34,261

2.5

23.4

20

Beatrice

12,244

2.7

23.9

21

South Sioux City

12,845

1.9

30.3

22

Hastings

24,963

2

33.2

23

Crete

7,185

5

16.3

24

Lincoln

288,589

3.6

28.8

25

Scottsbluff

16,029

3.4

30.3

26

Nebraska City

7,316

4

30.2

27

Grand Island

51,768

4.7

29.1

28

North Platte

23,774

4.1

42.3

29

Omaha

469,351

5.6

34.8

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

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

Sources

FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports

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.”

Rebecca Edwards
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.