November 26, 2022
Alliance is a city and the county seat of Box Butte County, in the western part of the state of Nebraska, in the Great Plains. Its population was 8,151 at the 2020 census.
Alliance is the home to Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge constructed with automobiles, which is located north of the city. It is also the location of Alliance Municipal Airport, the least-used airport in the mainland United States.
The town was originally named Grand Lake. When the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad came to Grand Lake in 1888, the railroad superintendent, G.W. Holdrege, wanted to change it to a simple one-word name closer to the beginning of the alphabet, which he thought would be better for business. The U.S. Post Office gave Holdrege permission, and he picked "Alliance" for the new name of the town. Alliance was incorporated as a city in 1891.
The Alliance Army Airfield was established in 1942. Construction was completed in August 1943 and the Army Air Corps used the facility as a training base until the end of World War II. The facility was transferred from the federal government to the City of Alliance in 1953 and is currently in use as the Alliance Municipal Airport.
In the Lakota language, Alliance is known as čhasmú okáȟmi, meaning "Sand River Bend".
Alliance is located at the western edge of Nebraska's Sand Hills. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.73 square miles (12.25 km2), of which 4.72 square miles (12.22 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Located in the High Plains, Alliance's climate is rather typical of the surrounding region. Under the Köppen climate classification, the town features a BSk climate, commonly described as a "Cold Steppe", with winters just below the −3 °C (26.6 °F) threshold needed to be classified as a Continental climate, if it had enough precipitation to not be arid or semi-arid.
The all-time record high for Alliance is 110 °F (43 °C), set in 1983, and the all-time record low is −42 °F (−41 °C), set in 1989. Precipitation is significantly higher in summer than in winter, with the wettest month being June, and the driest month being January.
The BNSF mechanical division operates 13 locomotive maintenance facilities that perform preventive maintenance, repairs and servicing of equipment. The largest of these facilities are located in Alliance, Nebraska and Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kansas.
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,491 people, 3,559 households, and 2,276 families living in the city. The population density was 1,798.9 inhabitants per square mile. There were 4,075 housing units at an average density of 863.3 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% White, 0.5% African American, 4.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 4.2% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.3% of the population.
There were 3,559 households, of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.0% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.
The median age in the city was 39.8 years. 25.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 14.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.