Omaha /Council Bluffs is a dynamic metropolis with nearly 1 million people living within a 50-mile radius. The metro area consists of five counties, four (Cass, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington) of which are in Nebraska and one (Pottawattamie) in Iowa. The city of Omaha, located in Douglas County, has a population of 373,361 and ranks as the nation’s 45th largest city.
Omaha is strategically located at the intersection of Interstate Highways 29 and 80. Interstate 80 connects New York City and San Francisco through Omaha. Within a 500-mile radius of Omaha, resides approximately 19.7% of the United States population. Major cities inside this 500-mile radius include Chicago (471 miles), Denver (540 miles), Kansas City (188 miles), Milwaukee (510 miles), Minneapolis (380 miles), Oklahoma City (464 miles) and St. Louis (444 miles).
Eppley Airfield is located five minutes from downtown Omaha and is only 20 to 25 minutes from most points in the metro area. Eleven major airlines provide Omahans with an efficient means of reaching destinations, with approximately 180 flights daily. Some major carriers include America West, America, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Midwest Express, Northwest, Southwest and United.
Omaha was recently named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 15 regions in the nation – both economic and quality of life factors were analyzed. Parenting magazine has named Omaha as one of the top 10 cities in the nation for raising a family. Omaha is also one of the top "eco-cities" in the nation based on air and water quality, open space and population stability according to "E", the environmental magazine. Redbook magazine has called Omaha one of the 10 best cities for working mothers.
Year after year, national publications have noted the high quality of life that both Nebraskans and Iowans enjoy. The area is consistently rated in the top 20% of the best places to live by Places Rated Almanac.
There are over 18,600 businesses located in the metropolitan area, according to an U.S. Department of Commerce business survey. Omaha/Council Bluffs area is home to five Fortune 500 companies – ConAgra, Mutual of Omaha Companies, Union Pacific, Berkshire Hathaway and Peter Kiewit and Sons. In addition, there are 35 other Fortune 500 companies that have manufacturing plants or service centers in the metropolitan area.
There is always something to see or do in Omaha and many of its attractions are unique to the area. It is the national headquarters of Girls and Boys Town, which continues to care for hundreds of children and is open to the public. The Henry Doorly Zoo has won numerous awards and is one of the region’s most popular attractions. It features the world’s largest indoor rainforest, an aquarium complex with a walk-through tunnel, as well as a collection of rare tigers. Omaha has a professional symphony and opera company. The Omaha Community Playhouse is the largest community theater in the country. Additionally, Omaha boasts the nation’s third largest professional children’s theater, the Omaha Theater for Young People. The Strategic Air Command Museum is of interest to many fans, while the Children’s Museum of Omaha can make anyone want to be a child again.