The United States acquired the area of Nebraska from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Nebraska Territory was organized on May 30, 1854, from the northwestern part of Missouri Territory (also called Indian Country or Indian Territory). At the time of its organization, the territory included almost all of present-day Nebraska and parts of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The area of the territory was reduced greatly in 1861 with the organization of Colorado and Dakota territories. In 1882, Nebraska acquired from Dakota Territory an area north of the Keya Paha River and Niobrara River to assume generally the same boundary as the present state. Nebraska and Iowa have made periodic adjustments to their boundary as the Missouri River has changed its course.
Census data for Nebraska are available beginning with the 1860 census. The 1860 population is for part of the area of the Nebraska Territory including all of present-day Nebraska, and settlements now within Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If the part of Nebraska Territory in 1860 that is in present-day Montana and North Dakota, as well as additional parts of South Dakota, was enumerated, the population was included as part of unorganized Dakota; thus, no accurate data are available for the entire Nebraska Territory as legally defined.
Data for the legally established state of Nebraska are available beginning with the 1870 census.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
There are 93 counties in Nebraska. All counties are active governmental entities, each governed by a board of commissioners, except in counties having township governments where each is governed by a board of supervisors.
There are 1,198 county subdivisions in Nebraska that are known as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 27 counties with townships, 64 counties with election precincts, and 2 counties with election districts. There are 435 active functioning townships and 30 inactive townships that have the ability to activate and perform governmental functions. Each township is governed by a board of thirteen elected officials. There are 654 election precincts and election districts which are nonfunctioning, nongovernmental county subdivisions used for conducting elections. There are 77 incorporated places that are independent of MCDs and constitute 79 county subdivisions.
Counties with townships:
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
Nebraska has 580 places; 530 incorporated places and 50 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places consist of 147 cities and 383 villages. Cities have a minimum population of 801 and villages have a population of 100-800. Incorporated places are dependent within county subdivision. There are 77 cities that are independent of any election precinct or township. Two cities, Tilden and Newman Grove, are independent of any township in one county and of any election precinct in the other. North Platte, Bellevue, La Vista, Papillion, and Springfield cities are coextensive with a single precinct of the same name. Imperial, Kimball, and Gretna cities are coextensive with two precincts. Grant city contains one whole precinct and a portion of one other precinct. Chadron contains four whole precincts and portions of three other precincts.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
Nebraska Civil Features
Nebraska Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas
There are 3 Metropolitan and 9 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Nebraska. NE Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
Nebraska ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 586 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Nebraska. View Nebraska ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
Nebraska has 254 unified school districts. View Nebraska Public and Private Schools.
Nebraska has 3 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each Nebraska district. View Map of Nebraska Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
Nebraska has a unicameral legislature with 49 state senate districts which are represented by the Census Bureau as state legislative districts – upper chamber.
American Indian Areas
Nebraska has seven federally recognized American Indian areas. There are six reservations, two with off-reservation trust land. There is also one trust land.