Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. It is bordered by South Dakota to the north; Iowa to the east and Missouri to the southeast, both across the Missouri River; Kansas to the south; Colorado to the southwest; and Wyoming to the west. It is the only triply landlocked U.S. state.
Nebraska’s area is just over 77,220 square miles (200,000 km2) with a population of almost 1.9 million people. Its state capital is Lincoln, and its largest city is Omaha, which is on the Missouri River.
Indigenous peoples, including Omaha, Missouria, Ponca, Pawnee, Otoe, and various branches of the Lakota (Sioux) tribes, lived in the region for thousands of years before European exploration. The state is crossed by many historic trails, including that of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Nebraska was admitted as the 37th state of the United States in 1867. It is the only state in the United States whose legislature is unicameral and officially nonpartisan.
Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The Dissected Till Plains region consists of gently rolling hills and contains the state’s largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. The Great Plains region, occupying most of western Nebraska, is characterized by treeless prairie, suitable for cattle-grazing.
Nebraska has two major climatic zones. The eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa); a unique warmer subtype considered “warm-temperate” exists near the southern plains like in Kansas and Oklahoma which have a predominantly humid subtropical climate. The western half of the state has a primarily semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk). The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, variations that decrease moving south in the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur primarily during spring and summer and sometimes in autumn. Chinook winds tend to warm the state significantly in the winter and early spring.