After decades of decline, urban Omaha sees ‘incredible’ population growth

New 2020 Census figures show Omaha’s urban center population grew over the past decade inside the Interstate 680 loop and especially east of 72nd Street.

Over the last 50 years — a period of ever-stretching suburban expansion for Omaha — the population east of 72nd Street has still fallen by more than 40,000 people. But that decline would have been even larger if not for the urban area’s growth since 2010. A World-Herald analysis of 2020 Census counts shows that the area east of 72nd Street gained more than 13,000 people during the decade.

Not only that, but the neighborhoods west of 72nd Street and inside the I-680 loop increased by another 7,000 people. That means that the population inside I-680 surged by 20,000 people since 2010.

Throughout this millennium, Omaha government, business and philanthropy have focused billions of dollars in investment in and around downtown, the riverfront and midtown to reestablish the urban core’s presence. Even as the suburbs grow, civic leaders consider a thriving downtown and urban core to be a driver of the entire metro area’s economy and vitality.

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