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The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, a Big Ten Conference university - (Michigan State University), the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies. The seat of government of Ingham County is Mason, The first recorded person of European descent to travel through the area that is now Lansing was British fur trader Hugh Heward and his French-Canadian team on April 24, 1790 while canoeing the Grand River.
The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County.It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat.