Galva has an extremely high ratio of green space to residents for an American city. There is a four-square-block park in the residential center of town surrounded by Queen Anne Victorians. There is also a large city park on the south edge of town with two picnic shelters, a large swimming pool, tennis courts, and ball fields. This is the scene of the annual 4th of July "Freedomfest" fireworks display, which draws a crowd of thousands from as far as 50 miles away. The name Galva honors the Swedish immigrants of nearby Bishop Hill and refers to Gävle, Sweden, the town's sister city. Around 80% of the town has Scandinavian ancestry.
There were 1,164 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 32.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,071, and the median income for a family was $45,880. Males had a median income of $31,467 versus $21,714 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,165. About 6.9% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.