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Nebraska’s Lincoln ranked as third-best state capital for living in U.S.

By: - September 5, 2022 4:00 am
Lincoln at Dusk with Silhouetted Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol on the Lincoln skyline at sunset. (Getty Images)

LINCOLN — An online financial advice firm is ranking Lincoln as the nation’s third best state capital to live in, right behind Pierre, South Dakota, and Madison, Wisconsin.

SmartAsset.com rated state capitals on a variety of factors, including estimated cost of living, unemployment rate, income growth, and high school graduation rate.

 Lincoln ranked highest for employment and education as well as for affordability, according to SmartAsset

 Lincoln tied for the fifth-lowest June 2022 unemployment rate of 2.4% and had the 14th-highest high school graduation rate, 93%. 

 Nebraska’s Capital City also had the 14th-lowest annual cost of living ($23,419) and the 15th-lowest down payment-to-income ratio at 60%.

Dover, Delaware, was ranked as the worst state capital, with the worst education and employment score among the capitals.

Interestingly, Denver ranked as the fourth worst state capitol, getting low scores for affordability and for leisure and safety.

SmartAsset said that with so many people moving to new locations, it made sense to assess which state capitals would be most attractive.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.

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