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About Nebraska

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.

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Nebraska is a state that lies in both the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. The state 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 sq mi (200,000 km2) with 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 and was explored by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Nebraska is composed of two major land regions: the Dissected Till Plains and the Great Plains. The Dissected Till Plains is a region of gently rolling hills and contains the state’s largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln. The Great Plains occupy most of western Nebraska, characterized by treeless prairie, suitable for cattle-grazing. The state has a large agriculture sector and is a major producer of beef, pork, corn and soybeans. There are two major climatic zones: the eastern half of the state has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa), with a unique warmer subtype considered “warm-temperate” near the southern plains like in Kansas and Oklahoma which have a predominantly humid subtropical climate. The western half has a primarily semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk). The state has wide variations between winter and summer temperatures, decreasing south through the state. Violent thunderstorms and tornadoes occur primarily during spring and summer, but sometimes in autumn. Chinook winds tend to warm the state significantly in the winter and early spring.

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There are 9,942 miles of state highways within Nebraska’s state lines. These miles are compsed of 6 different types of highways: Interstate Highways, U.S. Routes, state highways, Link highways, Spur highways, and Recreational Roads. The longest route in the state is state highway N-92 at 489.46 miles. The highway runs east-west from the Wyoming state line west of Lyman to the east at the Iowa state line in Omaha. There are 85 state highways total in Nebraska. There are 6 Interstate Highways within the state, all together only making up 482 miles. The longest Interstate Highway is Interstate 80 at 455 miles, making up nearly 95% of the total interstate mileage in the state. I-80 is an east-west route that begins at the Wyoming state line at Pine Bluffs, Wyo. and continues east through the state before reaching the Iowa state line in Omaha. The other 5 Interstate Highways make up 27 miles combined, the longest being I-680 at 13 miles. Nebraska has 18 U.S. Highways, together making up 3,553 miles. The longest U.S. Highway is U.S. Route 30 at 451.74 miles. US 30 begins in the west at the Wyoming state line west of Bushnell and runs east through the entirety of the state and ends in Blair at the Iowa state line.