Lincoln, the capital city of Nebraska, is home to state government and the largest campus of the state's four campus University system. Lincoln has an excellent educational system and according to Zero Population Growth, is in the top 20 least stressful cities in the nation for children. The city has a thriving economy, with unemployment hovering near 2 percent for several years. Cost of living compares well to other cities, about 10 to 12 percent below the national average. Lincoln is ranked among the top 25 cities in the nation for affordable housing. Lincoln has the most city park land per capita in the United States, with 10 lakes and over 98 miles of bike paths and trails. Lincoln's 200 acres of city park land and 15,000 acres of recreational areas nearby make the outdoors an enjoyable attraction.
Lincoln has been cited for its excellent transportation and commitment to the arts and culture, as well as for its low crime rate, good educational facilities, and recreational opportunities. With a population of approximately 232,000, Lincoln offers the benefits of metropolitan living and the advantages of small-town lifestyle. Additionally, Lincoln is the 18th largest refugee relocation community in the United States. Since 1983, more than 5,500 individuals from over 40 countries have settled in Lincoln, from places such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Mexico, Sudan, Vietnam, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and China. Lincoln psychologist and renowned author Mary Pipher described the Lincoln community as changing from "the middle of nowhere" to "a cultural crossroads."