Lincoln, Neb.

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Two commonalities for small metros that attract students are being the home of a flagship university or the state capital, and Lincoln is both. The state government and the University of Nebraska are two of the largest employers in the city, which has the lowest unemployment rate among small metros. The city is economically ideal, with relatively high employment in tech and the innovation sector, along with low Midwestern rents. Thanks to the university’s presence, Lincoln also provides a lively bar and restaurant scene and culture within the historical Haymarket District. It is not surprising that Lincoln, in the heart of the Midwest, is not racially and ethnically diverse.

#14 Lincoln, Neb.

POPULATION: 318,316
STUDENTS: 38,700
RANKING DETAIL:
#9 COLLEGE EDUCATED
#18 DIVERSITY

Quality of life

#12 CITY ACCESS
#20 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
#8 BARS AND RESTAURANTS

Economics

#1 YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
#2 LABOR FORCE
#16 INNOVATION
#10 RENT

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