Nebraska, a state in the central United States. It occupies more than 77,000 square miles (some 200,000 km 2) of the prairies and plains lying west of the Missouri River. Except for a panhandle in the west, Nebraska is roughly rectangular in shape. It is bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.

Nebraska in brief
General information
Statehood: March 1, 1867, the 37th state.
State abbreviations: Nebr. or Neb. (traditional); NE (postal).
State capital: Lincoln, chosen as Nebraska's capital in 1867. The government moved there from Omaha a year later. Omaha was the capital from 1855 to 1868.
State motto: Equality Before the Law.
Popular name: The Cornhusker State.
State song: "Beautiful Nebraska." Words by Jim Fras and Guy G. Miller; music by Jim Fras.
Symbols of Nebraska
State bird: Western meadowlark.
State flower: Goldenrod.
State tree: Cottonwood.
State flag and seal: The state flag, adopted in 1925, bears the state seal. The seal, adopted in 1867, includes a blacksmith with a hammer and anvil, a settler’s cabin, sheaves of wheat, a steamboat on the Missouri River, and a train. The Rocky Mountains rise in the background. Above the landscape is a banner with the state motto, “Equality Before the Law.” At the bottom of the seal is the date of Nebraska’s statehood, March 1, 1867.
Land and climate
Area: 77,359 mi2 (200,358 km2), including 481 mi2 (1,245 km2) of inland water.
Elevation: Highest--5,426 ft (1,654 m) above sea level in southwestern Kimball County. Lowest--840 ft (256 m) above sea level in Richardson County.
Record high temperature: 118 °F (48 °C) at Geneva on July 15, 1934, at Hartington on July 17, 1936, and at Minden on July 24, 1936.
Record low temperature: –47 °F (–44 °C) at Camp Clarke, near Northport, on Feb. 12, 1899, and at Oshkosh on Dec. 22, 1989.
Average July temperature: 76 °F (24 °C).
Average January temperature: 23 °F (–5 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 22 in (56 cm).
People
Population: 1,711,263.
Rank among the states: 38th.
Density: 22 per mi2 (9 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 70 percent urban, 30 percent rural.
Largest cities in Nebraska: Omaha (390,007); Lincoln (225,581); Bellevue (44,382); Grand Island (42,940); Kearney (27,431); Fremont (25,174).
Economy
Chief products
Agriculture: beef cattle, corn, hay, hogs, soybeans, wheat.
Manufacturing: chemicals, food products, machinery, medical equipment, transportation equipment.
Mining: limestone, natural gas, petroleum, sand and gravel.
Government
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 49; 4-year terms. (Nebraska has a one-house legislature.)
Counties: 93.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 3.
Electoral votes: 5.
Sources of information
The Tourism Division of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development handles requests for information about the state's tourism, government, and history. Write to: Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division, Box 98907, Lincoln, NE 68509-8907. The Web site at http://visitnebraska.org also provides tourism information. The state's official Web site at http://www.state.ne.us also provides a gateway to much information on Nebraska's economy, government, and history.