Lincoln is the capital city of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. The city covers 99.050 square miles with a population of 293,446 in 2020. It is the second-most populous city in Nebraska and the 73rd-largest in the United States. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area in the southeastern part of the state called the Lincoln Metropolitan and Lincoln-Beatrice Combined Statistical Areas. The statistical area is home to 361,921 people, making it the 104th-largest combined statistical area in the United States.
The city was founded in 1856 as the village of Lancaster on the wild salt marshes of what was to become Lancaster County. Renamed after President Abraham Lincoln, it became Nebraska’s state capital in 1869. The Bertram G. Goodhue–designed state capitol building was completed in 1932, and is the second tallest capitol in the United States. As the city is the seat of government for the state of Nebraska, the state and the United States government are major employers. The University of Nebraska was founded in Lincoln in 1869. The university is the largest in Nebraska with 26,079 students enrolled, and is the city’s third-largest employer. Other primary employers fall into the service and manufacturing industries, including a growing high-tech sector. The region makes up a part of what is known as the greater Midwest Silicon Prairie.
Designated as a “refugee-friendly” city by the U.S. Department of State in the 1970s, the city was the twelfth-largest resettlement site per capita in the United States by 2000. Refugee Vietnamese, Karen (Burmese ethnic minority), Sudanese and Yazidi (Iraqi ethnic minority) people, as well as other refugees from Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, have been resettled in the city. During the 2018–2019 school year, Lincoln Public Schools provided support for approximately 3,000 students from 150 countries, who spoke 125 different languages.