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Nebraska is located in the center of the United States. The state the only triply landlocked U.S. state, meaning that is encircled by three states on either side from the nearest gulf, bay, or ocean. Nebraska is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. 

This state’s name comes from Native American words that mean “flat water.” The phrase refers to the Platte River, which runs through the state. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a flat state. Elevation in Nebraska rises from a minimum of 840 feet above sea level in the southeast to a maximum of 5,426 feet near the Colorado and Wyoming boundaries.

STATE POPULATION: 1,963,692

STATE CAPITAL: Lincoln, Nebraska

STATE MOTTO: “Equality before the Law”

STATE FLOWER: Goldenrod

STATE BIRD: Western Meadowlark

STATE TREE: Eastern Cottonwood

STATE GEM: Blue Agate

Nebraska has the U.S.’s largest aquifer (underground lake/water supply), the Ogalala aquifer.

Three rivers cross the state from west to east. The Platte River runs through the state’s central portion, the Niobrara River flows through the northern part, and the Republican River runs across the southern part.

  • The Lied Jungle located in Omaha is the world’s largest indoor rain forest.
  • Nebraska has more miles of river than any other state.
  • The Union Pacific’s Bailey Yards, in North Platte, is the largest rail classification complex in the world.
  • The world’s largest hand-planted forest is Halsey National Forrest near Thedford, Nebraska
  • The 9-1-1 system of emergency communication, now used nationwide, was developed and first used in Lincoln, Nebraska
  • The Nebraska government is the only “unicameral” (a single governing body) and its members are elected without any official reference to political party affiliation.