Best Cities 2010: Omaha, NE

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Best Cities 2010: Omaha, NE

Omaha ranks high across the board with seven Blue Ribbon schools, a short commute, low unemployment and 9,560 acres of parkland.

City: Omaha 

State: Nebraska 

Best Cities Overall Rank: 9

About Omaha:

With a 5.9 percent unemployment rate, Omaha is a promising place in which to find a job. Plus, parents here enjoy an enviable average commute of only 17.6 minutes. Omaha’s children have some of the best schools around, including 13 preschools accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). And the 9,560 acres of parks, playgrounds, and pools mean that outdoor family fun is readily accessible.

What moms say: “All the neighbors look out for each other, and there’s really a feeling of community,” says mom Amy Grace, a blogger for, a social-networking site at the Omaha World-Herald. “There’s a real family-friendly mentality.” Their two children, Jackson, 3 1/2, and Grant, 11 months, love visiting the zoo, and the family meets friends there at least once a week to see their favorite animals.

What’s great for families: The Omaha Children’s Museum has “Family Date” nights for parents and kids the first Friday of each month. It stays open till 8p.m. and there’s a theme, such as circus crafts at “Under the Big Top” or musical fun at “Rock Out!”

County: Douglas

Population: 439,000

Official website for city visitors’ bureau/city:  Visitor’s bureau website 

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Omaha World-Herald

Omaha blogs:


Omaha Mama

Newly Wed, Newly Bred

Omaha‘s Facebook page: Follow Omaha on Facebook

Omaha‘s Twitter page: Follow Omaha on Twitter


Education rank: 35

High School graduation rate 2008: 70.55%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 7

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 1.59

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 13

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 2.96

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 267

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 14.3

Total Expenditures Per Student: $9,662


Health rank: 16

Quality children’s hospitals: 2

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 0.46

Quality Pediatricians: 1

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.23

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 0


Safety rank: 33

Violent Crimes, 2008: 2,648

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 603.68

Sex Offenders: 788

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 179.64


Economy rank: 13

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 17.6        

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 5.9        

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 816.62

Median Home Sale Price: $111,100                                      

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 1.24%        


Recreation Rank:  24

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 9,560         

Parkland per 100,000: 2,179.43