Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and has a population of about 460,000 as of 2018. The city is probably most famous for being the headquarters to the Fortune 500 Company Berkshire Hathaway and its popular businessman and legendary investor Warren Buffett who has also called the city home since the early 1950s. An expat moving to Nebraska will be wise to consider living in Omaha. The city lies on the Mississippi River and is beautiful. It is considered the ‘Gateway to the West’ in America and is an important commercial, industrial and agricultural hub.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to live? Omaha has the feel of a small town despite being a large city. The city’s residents are a lot more connected than other cities its size. The city is affordable and has great facilities for education, entertainment and health. The city’s friendly residents and simple lifestyle make it a good place to live.
According to a US News ranking that analyzed 125 metropolitan areas in the USA, Omaha was ranked 32nd in best places to live. Moving to Omaha reveals that Nebraska is not a flyover state as you will commonly hear from residents of larger cities. The state has a stable economy and attracts plenty of young professionals. The city is changing and attracting tech startups and other modern companies. One of the best parts about living in Nebraska is that you will never find better steaks. Only the citizens of Omaha know what a pleasure it is to live here.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to live?
Despite Omaha being one of the best cities to live in the United States, it carries disparities just like any other city in the world. The inequality is not as profound as in other American cities but it does allow Omaha’s neighbourhoods to be judged based on certain criteria like unemployment, income levels, population density, home values and crime. Based on the above judgment, the worst neighbourhoods in Nebraska are Florence, Aksarben, Rockbrook, North Omaha, Southwest Omaha, Holy Cross, Benson, South Central Omaha, Northwest Omaha and Millard. The best neighbourhoods in Nebraska include Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Seward, Blair, Sidney, Kearney, Holdredge, Columbus and Gering.
Omaha’s crime levels and Nebraska, in general, are pretty high. The city has a safety index of 8 meaning that it is safer than only 8% of cities in the country. Violent crimes and property crimes make up the majority of the crimes in Omaha. The crime rate in Omaha is 44 crimes per 1000 residents. You have a 1 in 160 chance of being a victim of violent crime in Omaha which is higher than in Nebraska and the USA. Moreover, you have a 1 in 27 chance of becoming a victim of property crime in the city which includes vandalism and theft.
The Omaha Public Schools is the biggest school district in the city and has over 80 elementary and secondary schools serving over 51,000 students. Other school districts include the Millard Public Schools and Elkhorn Public Schools. The Westside Community Schools also referred to as District 66 is an award-winning school district serves students from pre-school to the 12th grade. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha manages many private Catholic schools including 32 elementary schools and nine high schools. Omaha’s higher education institutions comprise of 11 colleges and universities with the University of Nebraska the most prominent among them. Other noteworthy institutions of higher learning include Creighton University and the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases.
Omaha plays a starring role in the USA’s transportation system and has done so since the 20th century. It has earned the city the moniker ‘Gate City of the West.’ Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, passes through Omaha. The Burlington Train Station and Union Station are the two major train stations located in the Omaha Rail and Commerce Historic District. The dominant mode of transportation in Omaha is by road. The freeways servicing the Omaha metropolitan area include I-80, I-480, I-680, I-29, and Route 75. Metro Transit provides public bus services all over Omaha. Eppley Airfield is the city’s main airport serving millions of passengers annually. Smaller airports in the area include Millard Municipal Airport, North Omaha Airport and the Council Bluffs Airport. Omaha is also a great city in which to cycle and walk.
Omaha has plenty of social meeting places including theatres, museums, zoos, clubs, bars, cinemas and sports arenas. You will always find a congregation of people with similar interests in Omaha.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to work?
The degree of unemployment in Omaha stands at 2.9% and is lower than the US national average unemployment rate of 4%. It is, therefore, no surprise that the average annual salary for employees in Omaha which at $47,660 is slightly higher than the national average annual salary of $44,564. What the above figures show is that Omaha is a great place to work with a lot of opportunities for employment and above average salaries.
Omaha’s economy is diversified and includes industries like finance, banking, insurance, transport and telecommunication. The city is home to many multinational corporations, the biggest being Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. In 2013, Omaha received credit from Forbes for being one of the best places to own a business or have a career. The top employers in the city as per the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership include Offutt Air Force Base, CHI Health, Omaha Public Schools, Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, First Data, Union Pacific, Hy-Vee and First National of Nebraska respectively.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to buy a house?
The housing market in Nebraska is quite stable and has experienced stable growth since the financial recession of 2007-2008. However, homes are currently selling than faster before as prices continue to rise with most buyers and investors expecting prices to continue on that trajectory for them to capitalize on the price gains in the future. You will probably have to buy a house via mortgage in Omaha. Regardless, real estate prices still depend on classic factors such as location and security. Classified by those factors bad neighbourhoods in Nebraska include Florence, Aksarben, Rockbrook, North Omaha, Southwest Omaha, Holy Cross, Benson, South Central Omaha, Northwest Omaha and Millard. Good neighbourhoods in Nebraska include Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Seward, Blair, Sidney, Kearney, Holdredge, Columbus and Gering.
The average monthly rent for an unfurnished one bedroom apartment in Omaha is $860. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1110 a month. The average rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1450 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $1770 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $1980 a month.
The average buying price of a single bedroom apartment in Omaha is $135,000. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is €149,500. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is €198,700. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is €230,400. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is €285,900.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to retire?
Omaha is a great city in which to retire for several reasons. The dominant reason is the cheap cost of living. Granted not many cities of its stature are located in the American Midwest but if the location is suitable, you will enjoy great savings. Another reason is that it is a very friendly city where people are connected. Interconnection is a great quality especially for retirees who may need some help every so often.
The negative side to retiring in Omaha is the crime rate. It mostly depends on where you choose to live. Bad neighbourhoods in Nebraska include Florence, Aksarben, Rockbrook, North Omaha, Southwest Omaha, Holy Cross, Benson, South Central Omaha, Northwest Omaha and Millard. Good neighbourhoods in Nebraska include Papillion, La Vista, Gretna, Seward, Blair, Sidney, Kearney, Holdrege, Columbus and Gering.
Most retirement properties charge rent and cost just as much as regular properties hence the above rental rates and prices can be used for reference.
Is Omaha, Nebraska a good place to visit?
There are plenty of tourist attractions in Omaha. The major tourist attractions are the Henry Doorly Zoo and the College World Series. The Old Market in Omaha is also a significant tourist attraction. Other noteworthy attractions and landmarks include the Durham Museum, Kenefick Park, Heartland of America Park, Fun-Plex Waterpark & Rides and Mt. Crescent Ski Area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Omaha, Nebraska?
The cost of living in the city of Omaha, Nebraska is 12% lower than the national average. However, it has been rising in the recent past.
Is Omaha a good place to invest in property?
Omaha is a great place to invest in property, especially in the current real estate market. Property prices have been steadily increasing boosted by population growth and increasing household incomes. Housing demand is expected to continue growing in Omaha so investors can expect excellent returns going forward.
Is Omaha a good place to raise a family?
Omaha is a good place to raise a family for many reasons the foremost among them being the cost of living. Living in America’s food basket ensures the price of food is low. Rental rates and property prices in Omaha are also quite conservative. The only apprehension to raising a family in Omaha is insecurity.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.