Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. The largest city in northwestern Kansas, it is the economic and cultural center of the region. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,510. It is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University.
Hays is located at 38°52′46″N 99°19′20″W / 38.87944°N 99.32222°W / 38.87944; -99.32222 (38.879399, −99.322277) at an elevation of 2,021 feet (616 m). Located in northwestern Kansas at the intersection of Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 183, Hays is 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Wichita, 256 miles (412 km) west of Kansas City, and 311 miles (501 km) east-southeast of Denver.
The city lies in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains approximately 11 miles (18 km) north of the Smoky Hill River and 15 miles (24 km) south of the Saline River. Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs through the southwestern part of the city. Chetolah Creek, a tributary of Big Creek, flows south through the eastern part of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.95 square miles (20.59 km), all land.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 20,510 people, 8,698 households, and 4,639 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,579.5 people per square mile (996/km²). There were 9,311 housing units at an average density of 1,171 per square mile (452.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.8% Caucasian American, 1.1% African American, 0.3% American Indian, 1.8% Asian, 2.1% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 4.7% of the population.
There were 8,698 households of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.7% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.7% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25, and the average family size was 2.89.
The median age in the city was 29.1 years. 19.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 22.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.6% were from 25 to 44; 21.4% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.
The median income for a household was $44,227, and the median income for a family was $62,775. Males had a median income of $35,905 versus $31,379 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,536. About 5.7% of families and 15.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Hays Kansas neighborhoods include: College Town / South Hays, Country Ln, Main St, Roosevelt, Smoky Hill Estates