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Grand Island, Nebraska
Hall County Courthouse in Grand Island
Hall County Courthouse in Grand Island
Location of Grand Island in County and State
Location of Grand Island in County and State
Country United States
State Nebraska
County Hall
 • Total 29.89 sq mi (77.41 km2)
 • Land 29.69 sq mi (76.89 km2)
 • Water 0.20 sq mi (0.51 km2)
1,860 ft (567 m)
 • Total 53,131
 • Density 1,726.86/sq mi (666.75/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 308
FIPS code 31-19595
GNIS feature ID 0829622

Grand Island is a city in and the county seat of Hall County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 53,131 at the 2020 census.

Grand Island is the principal city of the Grand Island metropolitan area, which consists of Hall, Merrick, Howard and Hamilton counties. The Grand Island metropolitan area has an official population of 83,472 residents.

Grand Island has been given the All-America City Award four times (1955, 1967, 1981, and 1982) by the National Civic League.

Grand Island is home to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, which is the sole agency responsible for training law enforcement officers throughout the state, as well as the home of the Southern Power District serving southern Nebraska.


In 1857, 35 German settlers left Davenport, Iowa, and headed west to Nebraska to start a new settlement on an island known by French traders as La Grande Isle, which was formed by the Wood River and the Platte River. The settlers reached their destination on July 4, 1857, and by September had built housing using local timber. Over the next nine years, the settlers had to overcome many hardships, including blizzards and conflicts with Native Americans.

Grand Island, Nebraska (1867)
Grand Island, 1867

Surveyors from the Union Pacific Railroad laid out a town called Grand Island Station and many settlers living on Grand Island moved to the new town, located slightly inland from the island. In 1868 the railroad reached the area, bringing increased trade and business. By 1870, 1,057 people lived in the town and in 1872 the town was incorporated as Grand Island.

In about 1890, sugar beets were introduced as a crop in Nebraska. The first sugar beet processing factory in the United States was built in the southwest part of Grand Island.

1980 tornadoes

On June 3, 1980, Grand Island was hit by a massive supercell storm. Through the course of the evening, the city was ravaged by seven tornadoes, the worst of which was rated F4 on the Fujita Scale. The hardest hit area of town was the South Locust business district. There were five deaths as a result of the tornadoes.

Tornado Hill is a local landmark created as a direct result of the tornadoes. Debris that could not be recycled was burnt near Fonner Park and buried within Ryder Park, on the west end of town. The base of the hill was a hole 6–8 feet deep and nearly 200 feet across, and the hill is 40 feet high. It is used for sledding in this naturally flat area.

A book, Night of the Twisters, by Ivy Ruckman, and movie were based on this event.

Geography and climate

Grand Island is located in Nebraska. 40°55′20″N 98°21′29″W / 40.922316°N 98.357996°W / 40.922316; -98.357996. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.55 square miles (73.94 km2), of which, 28.41 square miles (73.58 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 76 80 90 96 101 107 109 110 104 97 82 76
Norm High °F 32.6 38.6 49.5 61.9 71.9 83 87.1 84.8 76.9 64.6 46.8 35.3
Norm Low °F 12.2 17.7 27 37.8 49.3 59.1 64.4 62.3 51.8 39.3 25.9 15.9
Rec Low °F -28 -19 -21 7 23 38 42 40 23 9 -11 -26
Precip (in) 0.54 0.68 2.04 2.61 4.07 3.72 3.14 3.08 2.43 1.51 1.41 0.66
Source: [1]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 1,057
1880 2,963 180.3%
1890 7,536 154.3%
1900 7,554 0.2%
1910 10,326 36.7%
1920 13,947 35.1%
1930 18,041 29.4%
1940 19,130 6.0%
1950 22,682 18.6%
1960 25,742 13.5%
1970 32,358 25.7%
1980 33,180 2.5%
1990 39,386 18.7%
2000 42,940 9.0%
2010 48,520 13.0%
2020 53,131 9.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 48,520 people, 18,326 households, and 11,846 families living in the city. The population density was 1,707.8 inhabitants per square mile (659.4/km2). There were 19,426 housing units at an average density of 683.8 per square mile (264.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.0% White, 2.1% African American, 1.0% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 13.1% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 26.7% of the population.

There were 18,326 households, of which 35.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.5% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.4% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.20.

The median age in the city was 34.7 years. 27.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 23.9% were from 45 to 64; and 13% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.

State Fair

In 2010 Grand Island became the home of the Nebraska State Fair.


Interstate 80 is located four miles south of the city. U.S. Route 281 is the main north–south route in the city, running through the city's west edge south to Hastings, and north to O'Neill. U.S. Route 30 runs east–west through the center of Grand Island.

Central Nebraska Regional Airport is located in Grand Island. On September 4, 2008, Allegiant Air began nonstop service from Grand Island to Las Vegas, Nevada. In June 2011, American Eagle Airlines began providing service to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, twice daily.

The city's transit system is entirely demand-responsive, with rides requiring reservation 24 hours in advance.


School districts

  • Grand Island Public Schools
  • Grand Island Northwest Public Schools

High schools

  • Central Catholic High School
  • Grand Island Senior High School
  • Heartland Lutheran High School
  • Northwest High School


  • Central Community College
  • Doane College

Notable people

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Grand Island (Nebraska) para niños

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