Kansas /ˈkænzəs/ (listen) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, with its most populated county being Johnson County. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The tribe’s name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean “people of the (south) wind” although this was probably not the term’s original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.
Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. The state is divided into 105 counties with 628 cities, and is located equidistant from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is in Smith County near Lebanon. Until 1989, the Meades Ranch Triangulation Station in Osborne County was the geodetic center of North America: the central reference point for all maps of North America. The geographic center of Kansas is in Barton County.
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Kansas was 2,911,505 on July 1, 2018, a 2.05% increase since the 2010 United States Census and an increase of 58,387, or 2.05%, since the year 2010. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 93,899 people (that is 246,484 births minus 152,585 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 20,742 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 44,847 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 65,589 people.
The population density of Kansas is 52.9 people per square mile. The center of population of Kansas is located in Chase County, at 38°27′N 96°32′W / 38.450°N 96.533°W / 38.450; -96.533, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north of the community of Strong City.
The focus on labor-efficient grain-based agriculture – such as large wheat farm that requires only one or a few people with large farm machinery to operate, rather than a vegetable farm that requires many people during planting and harvest or a non-agricultural facility that requires many employees – is causing the de-population of rural areas across Kansas.
According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial makeup of the population was:
Ethnically 10.5% of the total population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (they may be of any race).
As of 2004, the population included 149,800 foreign-born (5.5% of the state population). The ten largest reported ancestry groups, which account for nearly 90% of the population, in the state are: German (33.75%), Irish (14.4%), English (14.1%), American (7.5%), French (4.4%), Scottish (4.2%), Dutch (2.5%), Swedish (2.4%), Italian (1.8%), and Polish (1.5%). German descendants are especially present in the northwest, while those of descendants of English and of white Americans from other states are especially present in the southeast.
Mexicans are present in the southwest and make up nearly half the population in certain counties. Many African Americans in Kansas are descended from the Exodusters, newly freed blacks who fled the South for land in Kansas following the Civil War.
As of 2011, 35.0% of Kansas’s population younger than one year of age belonged to minority groups (i.e., did not have two parents of non-Hispanic white ancestry).
English is the most-spoken language in Kansas, with 91.3% of the population speaking only English at home as of the year 2000. Among the 8.7% who speak a language other than English at home, 5.5% speak Spanish, .7% speak German, and .4% speak Vietnamese.
The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed the religious makeup of adults in Kansas was as follows:
As of 2010, the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) reported that the Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Kansas (at 426,611), followed by the United Methodist Church with 202,989 members, and the Southern Baptist Convention, reporting 99,329 adherents.
Kansas’s capital Topeka is sometimes cited as the home of Pentecostalism as it was the site of Charles Fox Parham’s Bethel Bible College, where glossolalia was first claimed as the evidence of a spiritual experience referred to as the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1901. It is also the home of Reverend Charles Sheldon, author of In His Steps, and was the site where the question “What would Jesus do?” originated in a sermon of Sheldon’s at Central Congregational Church.
Topeka is also home of the Westboro Baptist Church, a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The church has garnered worldwide media attention for picketing the funerals of U.S. servicemen and women for what church members claim as “necessary to combat the fight for equality for gays and lesbians.” They have sometimes successfully raised lawsuits against the city of Topeka.
Known as rural flight, the last few decades have been marked by a migratory pattern out of the countryside into cities. Out of all the cities in these Midwestern states, 89% have fewer than 3,000 people, and hundreds of those have fewer than 1,000. In Kansas alone, there are more than 6,000 ghost towns and dwindling communities, according to one Kansas historian, Daniel C. Fitzgerald. At the same time, some of the communities in Johnson County (metropolitan Kansas City) are among the fastest-growing in the country.
Kansas has 627 incorporated cities. By state statute, cities are divided into three classes as determined by the population obtained “by any census of enumeration.” A city of the third class has a population of less than 5,000, but cities reaching a population of more than 2,000 may be certified as a city of the second class. The second class is limited to cities with a population of less than 25,000, and upon reaching a population of more than 15,000, they may be certified as a city of the first class. First and second class cities are independent of any township and are not included within the township’s territory.
Note: Births in table don’t add up, because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race, giving a higher overall number.
The northeastern portion of the state, extending from the eastern border to Junction City and from the Nebraska border to south of Johnson County is home to more than 1.5 million people in the Kansas City (Kansas portion), Manhattan, Lawrence, and Topeka metropolitan areas. Overland Park, a young city incorporated in 1960, has the largest population and the largest land area in the county. It is home to Johnson County Community College and the corporate campus of Sprint Nextel, the largest private employer in the metro area. In 2006, the city was ranked as the sixth best place to live in America; the neighboring city of Olathe was 13th.
Olathe is the county seat and home to Johnson County Executive Airport. The cities of Olathe, Shawnee, De Soto and Gardner have some of the state’s fastest growing populations. The cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, De Soto, and Gardner are also notable because they lie along the former route of the Santa Fe Trail. Among cities with at least one thousand residents, Mission Hills has the highest median income in the state.
Several institutions of higher education are located in Northeast Kansas including Baker University (the oldest university in the state, founded in 1858 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church) in Baldwin City, Benedictine College (sponsored by St. Benedict’s Abbey and Mount St. Scholastica Monastery and formed from the merger of St. Benedict’s College (1858) and Mount St. Scholastica College (1923)) in Atchison, MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Ottawa University in Ottawa and Overland Park, Kansas City Kansas Community College and KU Medical Center in Kansas City, and KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park. Less than an hour’s drive to the west, Lawrence is home to the University of Kansas, the largest public university in the state, and Haskell Indian Nations University.
To the north, Kansas City, with the second largest land area in the state, contains a number of diverse ethnic neighborhoods. Its attractions include the Kansas Speedway, Sporting Kansas City, Kansas City T-Bones, Schlitterbahn, and The Legends at Village West retail and entertainment center. Nearby, Kansas’s first settlement Bonner Springs is home to several national and regional attractions including the Providence Medical Center Amphitheather, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, and the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Further up the Missouri River, the city of Lansing is the home of the state’s first maximum-security prison. Historic Leavenworth, founded in 1854, was the first incorporated city in Kansas. North of the city, Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi River. The city of Atchison was an early commercial center in the state and is well known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.
To the west, nearly a quarter million people reside in the Topeka metropolitan area. Topeka is the state capital and home to Washburn University and Washburn Institute of Technology. Built at a Kansas River crossing along the old Oregon Trail, this historic city has several nationally registered historic places. Further westward along Interstate 70 and the Kansas River is Junction City with its historic limestone and brick buildings and nearby Fort Riley, well known as the home to the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division (nicknamed “the Big Red One”). A short distance away, the city of Manhattan is home to Kansas State University, the second-largest public university in the state and the nation’s oldest land-grant university, dating back to 1863. South of the campus, Aggieville dates back to 1889 and is the state’s oldest shopping district of its kind.
In south-central Kansas, the Wichita metropolitan area is home to over 600,000 people. Wichita is the largest city in the state in terms of both land area and population. ‘The Air Capital’ is a major manufacturing center for the aircraft industry and the home of Wichita State University. Before Wichita was ‘The Air Capital’ it was a Cowtown. With a number of nationally registered historic places, museums, and other entertainment destinations, it has a desire to become a cultural mecca in the Midwest. Wichita’s population growth has grown by double digits and the surrounding suburbs are among the fastest growing cities in the state. The population of Goddard has grown by more than 11% per year since 2000. Other fast-growing cities include Andover, Maize, Park City, Derby, and Haysville.
Wichita was one of the first cities to add the city commissioner and city manager in their form of government. Wichita is also home of the nationally recognized Sedgwick County Zoo.
Up river (the Arkansas River) from Wichita is the city of Hutchinson. The city was built on one of the world’s largest salt deposits, and it has the world’s largest and longest wheat elevator. It is also the home of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Prairie Dunes Country Club and the Kansas State Fair. North of Wichita along Interstate 135 is the city of Newton, the former western terminal of the Santa Fe Railroad and trailhead for the famed Chisholm Trail. To the southeast of Wichita are the cities of Winfield and Arkansas City with historic architecture and the Cherokee Strip Museum (in Ark City). The city of Udall was the site of the deadliest tornado in Kansas on May 25, 1955; it killed 80 people in and near the city. To the southwest of Wichita is Freeport, the state’s smallest incorporated city (population 5).
Located midway between Kansas City, Topeka, and Wichita in the heart of the Bluestem Region of the Flint Hills, the city of Emporia has several nationally registered historic places and is the home of Emporia State University, well known for its Teachers College. It was also the home of newspaper man William Allen White.
Southeast Kansas has a unique history with a number of nationally registered historic places in this coal-mining region. Located in Crawford County (dubbed the Fried Chicken Capital of Kansas), Pittsburg is the largest city in the region and the home of Pittsburg State University. The neighboring city of Frontenac in 1888 was the site of the worst mine disaster in the state in which an underground explosion killed 47 miners. “Big Brutus” is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) outside the city of West Mineral. Along with the restored fort, historic Fort Scott has a national cemetery designated by President Lincoln in 1862.
Salina is the largest city in central and north-central Kansas. South of Salina is the small city of Lindsborg with its numerous Dala horses. Much of the architecture and decor of this town has a distinctly Swedish style. To the east along Interstate 70, the historic city of Abilene was formerly a trailhead for the Chisholm Trail and was the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and is the site of his Presidential Library and the tombs of the former President, First Lady and son who died in infancy. To the west is Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas.
Westward along the Interstate, the city of Russell, traditionally the beginning of sparsely-populated northwest Kansas, was the base of former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and the boyhood home of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. The city of Hays is home to Fort Hays State University and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, and is the largest city in the northwest with a population of around 20,001.
Two other landmarks are located in smaller towns in Ellis County: the “Cathedral of the Plains” is located 10 miles (16 km) east of Hays in Victoria, and the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler is 15 miles (24 km) west of Hays in Ellis. West of Hays, population drops dramatically, even in areas along I-70, and only two towns containing populations of more than 4,000: Colby and Goodland, which are located 35 miles (56 km) apart along I-70.
Dodge City, famously known for the cattle drive days of the late 19th century, was built along the old Santa Fe Trail route. The city of Liberal is located along the southern Santa Fe Trail route. The first wind farm in the state was built east of Montezuma. Garden City has the Lee Richardson Zoo. In 1992, a short-lived secessionist movement advocated the secession of several counties in southwest Kansas.
Zip Code Map
Kansas neighborhoods include: Abbyville, Abilene, Admire, Agenda, Albert, Alden, Allen, Alma, Altamont, Alta Vista, Altoona, Americus, Andale, Andover, Arcadia, Arkansas City, Arlington, Arma, Ashland, Assaria, Atchison, Atlanta, Auburn, Augusta, Aurora, Axtell, Baileyville, Baldwin City, Barnes, Bartlett, Basehor, Baxter Springs, Bel Aire, Belleville, Beloit, Belvidere, Belvue, Bendena, Benedict, Bennington, Bentley, Benton, Bern, Berryton, Bison, Blaine, Bloom, Blue Mound, Bonner Springs, Bronson, Brookville, Bucyrus, Buffalo, Buhler, Bunker Hill, Burden, Burdett, Burlingame, Burlington, Burns, Burrton, Bushton, Cambridge, Canton, Carbondale, Carlton, Cassoday, Catharine, Cawker City, Cedar Vale, Centerville, Centralia, Chanute, Chapman, Chase, Cheney, Cherokee, Cherryvale, Chetopa, Cimarron, Circleville, Claflin, Clay Center, Clearwater, Clifton, Climax, Clyde, Coffeyville, Colony, Columbus, Colwich, Concordia, Copeland, Corning, Courtland, Crestline, Cuba, Deerfield, Delia, Delphos, Denison, Dennis, Denton, Derby, De Soto, Dexter, Dighton, Dorrance, Douglass, Dundee, Dwight, Eastborough, Easton, Edgerton, Edna, Edwardsville, El Dorado, Ellinwood, Ellis, Elsmore, Emmett, Emporia, Englewood, Ensign, Enterprise, Erie, Eskridge, Eudora, Eureka, Fairway, Fall River, Falun, Farlington, Fontana, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, Fort Scott, Fowler, Franklin, Fredonia, Frontenac, Fulton, Galena, Galesburg, Galva, Garden City, Garden Plain, Gardner, Garfield, Garland, Garnett, Geneseo, Geuda Springs, Girard, Glasco, Glen Elder, Goddard, Goff, Gorham, Grantville, Great Bend, Greeley, Green, Greensburg, Greenwich, Gridley, Gypsum, Haddam, Halstead, Hamilton, Hartford, Harveyville, Haven, Havensville, Haviland, Hays, Haysville, Heizer, Hepler, Herington, Hesston, Highland, Hoisington, Holcomb, Holton, Hope, Horton, Hoyt, Humboldt, Hunter, Hutchinson, Ingalls, Inman, Iola, Jamestown, Junction City, Kansas City, Kechi, Kincaid, Lacygne, La Harpe, Lake Quivira, Lancaster, Lane, Langdon, Lansing, Larned, Latham, Latimer, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Leawood, Lebo, Lecompton, Lenexa, Leon, Leona, Leonardville, Le Roy, Lindsborg, Linn Valley, Linwood, Little River, Longford, Louisburg, Louisville, Lucas, Luray, Lyndon, Lyons, Madison, Mahaska, Maize, Manhattan, Maple City, Maple Hill, Mapleton, Marquette, Mayetta, McConnell Afb, Mc Cracken, Mc Cune, Mc Louth, McPherson, Meade, Melvern, Meriden, Merriam, Milford, Milton, Miltonvale, Minneapolis, Minneola, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Montezuma, Moran, Morganville, Mound City, Moundridge, Mound Valley, Mount Hope, Mulberry, Mullinville, Mulvane, Munden, Muscotah, Narka, Natoma, Neodesha, Neosho Falls, Neosho Rapids, Netawaka, New Albany, New Cambria, New Century, New Strawn, Newton, Nickerson, North Newton, Nortonville, Norway, Odin, Ogden, Olathe, Olmitz, Olpe, Olsburg, Onaga, Oneida, Osage City, Osawatomie, Oskaloosa, Oswego, Ottawa, Overbrook, Overland Park, Oxford, Ozawkie, Palmer, Paola, Paradise, Park City, Parker, Parkerfield, Parsons, Partridge, Pawnee Rock, Paxico, Peabody, Peck, Perry, Petrolia, Pfeifer, Piedmont, Pierceville, Pittsburg, Plains, Plainville, Pleasanton, Plevna, Pomona, Potwin, Prairie Village, Prescott, Preston, Pretty Prairie, Princeton, Quenemo, Ramona, Randolph, Rantoul, Raymond, Reading, Redfield, Republic, Richmond, Riley, Riverton, Robinson, Rock, Roeland Park, Rosalia, Rose Hill, Rossville, Roxbury, Rozel, Russell, Sabetha, Saint George, Saint Marys, Saint Paul, Salina, Savonburg, Scammon, Scandia, Schoenchen, Scott City, Scranton, Sedgwick, Seneca, Severy, Shawnee, Silver Lake, Simpson, Smolan, Soldier, Solomon, South Hutchinson, Spring Hill, Stark, Sterling, Stilwell, Susank, Sylvia, Syracuse, Talmage, Tecumseh, Tescott, Thayer, Tipton, Tonganoxie, Topeka, Toronto, Towanda, Treece, Troy, Turon, Udall, Uniontown, Valley Center, Valley Falls, Vassar, Vermillion, Victoria, Viola, Virgil, Wakarusa, Wakefield, Waldo, Walker, Walnut, Walton, Wamego, Wathena, Waverly, Weir, Wellsville, Westmoreland, Westphalia, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Wetmore, White Cloud, Whitewater, Whiting, Wichita, Williamsburg, Wilson, Winchester, Windom, Winfield, Woodbine
For more information, see Kansas wiki