Grand Island is a city in and the county seat of Hall County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 48,520 at the 2010 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 three times (1955, 1967, and 1981–82) 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. They set up farms but initially had no market to sell their goods until a market opened at Fort Kearny. When the Pike's Peak Gold Rush began, Grand Island was the last place travelers could obtain supplies before they crossed the plains.
Surveyors from the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 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.