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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Lancaster County

Communities and Development

Lancaster County Seat: Lincoln

Total County Population (2020): 322,608

  • Cities (pop. & class): Hickman (2,607 • 2nd Class), Lincoln (291,082 • Primary Class), Waverly (4,279 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Bennet (1,082), Davey (135), Denton (189), Emerald (45), Firth (649), Hallam (268), Kramer (26), Malcolm (457), Panama (235), Raymond (159), Roca (201), Sprague (136)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 20,908 (6%)

Land Development (2022) (% of total land in county):

  • Agriculture: 66%
    • By method: Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (49%); Pasture (pure grassland) (13%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (4%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Corn 27%, Soybeans 27%, Livestock (grassland) 18%, Other Hay 2%, Alfalfa 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (1%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 34%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

575 South 10th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

County Board Chairperson: Christa Yoakum

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: Every Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds


NACO District: Southeast

President: Misty Ahmic, Seward County Commissioner

Vice President: Patty McEvoy, Saunders County Clerk of the District Court

Secretary/Treasurer: Amber Mulberry, Saline County Clerk of the District Court

NACO Board Representative: Mark Schoenrock, Jefferson County Commissioner


Click for a live look at Lancaster County (9th St. & N St.)

General

Population: 322,608
Land area (sq. mi.): 837.56
Population per square mile: 385.20


Race and Age

Race

White: 78.1%
African American: 4.1%
American Indian: 0.5%
Asian: 4.3%
Hispanic: 8.0%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 4.4%

Age

0-17: 22.5%
18-64: 62.7%
65+: 14.9%


Socioeconomics

Personal income per capita: $56,782
% of Population in Poverty: 9.4%
# of Housing Units: 153,484
Owner-occupied rate: 59.2%
Median home price: $265,010


Technology

Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 96.0%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.9% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lincolnne

High school graduate or higher: 90.9%

School Districts: Crete Public Schools, Freeman Public Schools, Lincoln Public Schools, Malcolm Public Schools, Milford Public Schools, Norris School District 160, Palmyra District OR1,  Raymond Central Public Schools, Waverly School District 145, Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 25.6%

Community College Service Area: Southeast Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 440 providers; 22,731 children

Find child care: For a list of child care providers in your zip code, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.


Lancaster County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $20,409,844,000

Cattle Producers: 319

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $44/acre/yr

Crop Producers: 161

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $182/acre/yr

Dairy Producers: 5

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Farmers Union Coop, Frontier

Local Grain Market: Click for today's grain prices in Lancaster County

Farmers Markets:

  • Lincoln Haymarket Farmers Market (May - October, Saturdays 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
  • Bennet Farmers Market (May 5 - September, Wednesdays 4 - 7 p.m.)
  • East Campus Farmers Market (June 12, July 10 & Aug. 14, Saturdays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.)
  • Hickman Farmers Market (May - September, Saturdays 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.)
  • Holiday Harvest Farmers Market (November 8, 22 and December 6 & 20, Sundays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.)
  • Hub Cafe Micro Market (May - September; Wednesdays 5 - 7 p.m.)
  • Jazz in June Market (Lincoln) (June, Tuesdays 5 - 8:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday Farmers Market at College View (Lincoln) (April 24 - October 30, Sundays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Special Hours May 8, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.)
  • Thursday Farmers Market in Fallbrook (June - October, Thursdays 4 - 7 p.m.)

Electricity Providers: City of Bennet (Nebraska City Utilities), City of Hickman, Lincoln Electric System, Norris PPD

Wind Turbines Operating (MW): 2 turbines (1,320 MW)

Rail-served Communities: Bennet, Berks, Firth, Hallam, Garratt, Hickman, Lincoln, Raymond, Roca, Waverly


Well Locations (Irrigation/Livestock), Soils, Groundwater & Surface Water

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 412

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 246

Click for real time:

Streamflow data on all creeks in Lancaster County

Groundwater level data near Firth (0.25 mi. south of Firth)

Groundwater level data near Roca (0.25 mi. west of Roca)


Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA), Nebraska Cooperative Council, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIO, Nebraska Power Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

2022 Levies and Valuation

County levy rate: $0.2608 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $88,344,914

Total local government property taxes levied: $657,836,614

Total countywide taxable valuation: $33,872,765,406

Federal PILT payment to Lancaster County (FY2022): $21,816 regarding 7,426 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Lancaster County


County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to the levy limits listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3443.

Statutes and regulations

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Local tax reductions, exemptions, and credits

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902(5)(a) (Deed "stamp tax" exemption): "The [stamp tax] shall not apply to: ... (5)(a) Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (Valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land): "Agricultural land and horticultural land as defined in section 77-1359 shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of property taxation, shall be subject to taxation, unless expressly exempt from taxation, and shall be valued at seventy-five percent of its actual value, except that for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds that are approved by a vote of the people on or after January 1, 2022, such land shall be valued at fifty percent of its actual value."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-6703(1) (Tax credit for school district taxes paid): "(1) For taxable years beginning or deemed to begin on or after January 1, 2020, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, there shall be allowed to each eligible taxpayer a refundable credit against the income tax imposed by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or against the franchise tax imposed by sections 77-3801 to 77-3807. The credit shall be equal to the credit percentage for the taxable year, as set by the department under subsection (2) of this section, multiplied by the amount of school district taxes paid by the eligible taxpayer during such taxable year."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Robert Clements (District 2)
Committees: Appropriations, Nebraska Retirement Systems, Reference, Building Maintenance, Executive Board, Legislative Performance Audit, Legislature's Planning Committee

Map and statistics for Legislative District 2

State Senator: Beau Ballard (District 21)
Committees: Banking, Commerce and Insurance, Health and Human Services, Enrollment and Review, Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406)

Map and statistics for Legislative District 21

State Senator: Carolyn Bosn (District 25)
Committees: Judiciary, Transportation and Telecommunications

Map and statistics for Legislative District 25

State Senator: George Dungan (District 26)
Committees: Banking, Commerce and Insurance, Revenue, Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision

Map and statistics for Legislative District 26

State Senator: Anna Wishart (District 27)
Committees: Appropriations, State-Tribal Relations, Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406), Economic Recovery Special Committee

Map and statistics for Legislative District 27

State Senator: Jane Raybould (District 28)
Committees: Agriculture, General Affairs, Government, Military and Veterans Affairs, Justice Reinvestment Oversight (LB605), Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (LB406)

Map and statistics for Legislative District 28

State Senator: Tom Brandt (District 32)
Committees: Natural Resources, Transportation and Telecommunications

Map and statistics for Legislative District 32

State Senator: Danielle Conrad (District 46)
Committees: Education, Government, Military and Veterans Affairs, Nebraska Retirement Systems

Map and statistics for Legislative District 46

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Lancaster County History

Number of Registered Historic Places:106

Year Authorized: 1859

Year Organized: 1859

Etymology: Lancaster, England (possibly also Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

     Salt Creek is the often-overlooked historical cornerstone of Lancaster County. Though a few settlers had passed through and built temporary camps in the 1850’s, the first enduring communities sprang up along the tributary that runs south-north through the county. Salt Creek was also the border dividing Pawnee territory in the west from Otoe territory in the east, and the early days of Lancaster County were marked by conflicts between Native American tribes. The creek offered not only water and shelter, but as its name suggests, salt, which several companies mined and sold.

     In 1859, the Legislature established Lancaster County and its first boundaries. The county was named for Lancaster, England, but also possibly for Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The village of Lancaster, founded along the marshes of Salt Creek, was named county seat. In 1864, the Legislature dissolved and divided Clay County between Lancaster and Gage County, increasing both counties by approximately one-third. 

     The creation and expansion of Lancaster County confirmed Nebraska’s surging population in southeast and southcentral Nebraska. In 1867, following Nebraska’s declared statehood, the Legislature initiated measures to move the state capital from Omaha to Lincoln (then called Lancaster). The move was an attempt to prevent the growing southern territory from becoming annexed to Kansas. Such action was divisive. Those in Omaha wishing to retain the state capital renamed the village of Lancaster to Lincoln (after President Lincoln, who had been assassinated in 1865), attempting to play upon the theorized Confederate sympathies of those living south of the Platte River. The strategy was unsuccessful, and Lincoln assumed the state capital in 1867, despite having only 30 residents at the time. Lancaster County began to grow rapidly. In 1860, approximately 150 residents called Lancaster County home, but by 1880, the county was approaching 30,000 people. The population grew exponentially as it quickly emerged as Nebraska’s second most populous county.

     Today, Lancaster County is home to not only the three branches of state government, but also several colleges and universities (including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln), historical museums, thousands of businesses, and nearly five hundred agricultural producers.

Highlight an important program in your county in this space! Send an email to:

luke.bonkiewicz@nebraskacounties.org

Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 2

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 18,165

Zoned County: Yes

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 288

Number of County-Owned Dams: 2


Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 56.58%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 202,820

Number of Precincts (2020): 199

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 133

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 6.30 sq. miles


Intergovernmental Data

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: Southeast

Natural Resource Districts: Lower Platte South NRD, Nemaha NRD

State Lands (acres): Bluestem SRA (440.59), Bluestem WMA (365.22), Branched Oak SRA (2,894.86), Branched Oak WMA (2,865.56 Lancaster & Seward), Conestoga Lake SRA (315), Conestoga Lake WMA (396.21), Hedgefield WMA (114.62), Helmuth Public Access Area (120), Jack Sinn Memorial WMA (1,615.72 Lancaster & Saunders), Kildeer WMA (89.54), Lincoln Rest Area WB (33), Little Salt Creek WMA (256.53), Little Salt Creek West WMA (219.99), Olive Creek SRA (247.50), Olive Creek WMA (365.73), Saline Meadows Public Access Area (242), Stagecoach WMA (207.50), Stagecoach Lake WMA SRA (400), Teal WMA (93.34), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (873), Wagon Train SRA (568),  Wagon Train WMA (464.50), Wildwood WMA (491), Yankee Hill WMA (938)

Sources: Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Emergency Management AgencyNebraska Game & Parks CommissionNebraska LegislatureNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Secretary of StateU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (eCFR)

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