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Kansas State Guide

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Kansas is nestled in the Midwestern region of the US and it is the 15th most extensive state of the 50 states. Topeka is Kansas's capital city and Wichita is its largest city. Kansas was collaborated in the Union on January 29, 1861 [1] as a free state. Kansas has many nicknames, including The Wheat State and The Sunflower State. In terms of population, Kansas is the 34th most populous state in the United States. Geographically, the state is sectioned into 105 counties with 628 cities.

Kansas Fast Facts

  • Capital city: Topeka
  • Largest city: Wichita
  • State Bird: Western Meadowlark
  • State Tree: Cottonwood
  • State Flower: Native Sunflower
  • State Animal: The American Buffalo or Bison

History of Kansas

Before the arrival of the European explorers, Kansas was home of nomadic Native American tribes. They were hunters who hunted the extensive herds of bison. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquistadores arrived the region. Later the French fur trappers explored the region and they traded with the Native Americans. Almost major portion of Kansas was collaborated into the US in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 brought settlement to the area and it was a significant battlefield that assisted in the American Civil War.

The United States acclaimed all of the French claims, that are western region of the Mississippi River in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. After the victory of US in the Mexican–American War, the United States took over that part. After the war, railroads were established and it brought in heavy immigration from the Eastern part. Farmers succeeded in growing soft spring wheat and in winter, switched to hard wheat. There has been a decline in farm population since 1945 and manufacturing has taken center stage, typified by the presence of Wichita's aircraft industry.

Kansas Territory started building up in 1852 by the congress. With the confirmation of Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854, Kansas Territory's borders were made from the Missouri border to the summit of the Rocky Mountain range. The 37th parallel north is the southern boundary and the northern boundary was the 40th parallel north.
On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state that entered the Union.  In 1881, Kansas became the Unite States' first state to embrace a Constitutional amendment that prohibited all alcoholic beverages.

Kansas History Timeline

  • 1500–1800: Kansas's Proto-historic indigenous peoples are the Pawnee, Kansa,  Apache and Wichita.

  • 1541 : The Spanish conquistador - Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, visited Kansas.

  • 1719 : First Europeans visited the Northern Pawnees.

  • 1803 : According to the Louisiana Purchase, Kansas was annexed to the US as unorganized territory.

  • 1806 : Zebulon Pike passed through the region, and labelled it "the Great American Desert" on his maps.

  • 1830 : Indian Removal Act has resulted in speeding up the process of Indian removal.

  • 1852 : Congress began the process of forming the Kansas Territory.

  • 1854 : A new antislavery party was created in protest by the Republican Party.

  • 1861, January 29 : Under the Wyandotte Constitution, Kansas entered into the Union as a free state.

  • 1861, May 25 : The Kansas Legislature's joint resolution adopted the  established the Great Seal of Kansas.

  • 1861, June 3 : 1st Kansas regiment called to duty in the American Civil War.

  • 1863 : The Union Pacific Eastern Division was created in Kansas.

  • 1916 : Kansas troops served on the United States-Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution.

  • 1925 : Designed flag of Kansas.

Geography of Kansas

Geographical Fast Facts of Kansas:

Total Area: 82,282 square miles
Longitude: 94� 35′ W to 102� 3′ W
Latitude: 37� N to 40� N
Largest city: Wichita
Highest point: Mount Sunflower at 4,041 ft
Mean point: at 2,000 ft
Lowest point: Verdigris River at Oklahoma border at 679 ft
Time Zone: Central Standard Time
Kansas covers a total land area of 82,282 square miles [2], thus making it the 15th largest state in the nation. The state
is bordered on the north by Nebraska; on the east by Missouri; on the south by Oklahoma and Colorado on the west. Kansas has a vast topography comprising of almost two-thirds of a generally flat or undulating surface hemmed in the great central plain of the US, and heavily forested regions and hills in the eastern third of the state. The land has a graduation that rises from east to west. It is a well known belief that Kansas is the nation's flattest state. Almost 75 miles of the northeastern boundary of the state is defined by the Missouri River. Kansas's geographic center lies in Barton County. The highest point of the state is Mount Sunflower at 4,041 ft.

Topography of Kansas

Kansas encompasses rolling plains that rise in elevation from east to west. You will see miles and miles of wheat farms as you graze upon Kansas. Geographically, the Wheat State is categorized into 3 geographic regions - in the northeast is the Dissected Till Plains, to the west is the Southeastern Plains that comprise of the Flint Hills and the Osage Plains and the western half is the Great Plains. The Missouri River defines a huge portion of the northern part of the state.
Dissected Till Plains

The Dissected Till Plains is located in the north-eastern part of Kansas. The region has rich soil, i.e remains of glaciers thousands of years ago. It is geographically defined as the area of the Kansas River
to the north and to the eastern of the Big Blue River. The landscape is dissected by many rivers and streams creating high bluffs.

Southeastern Plains

The Southeastern Plains lies in
the South of the Dissected Till Plains and covers the state to the Oklahoma border in the south and it stretches further west into the center of the state. The gently rolling landscape is interrupted by few hills. The region is roughly divided into 2 portions - the Osage Plains and the Flint Hills. In the east, is the Osage Plains that were created by the erosion of shale and limestone, while  to the west of the Osage Plains lies the Flint Hills that are made up of erosion resistant flint ridges and

The Great Plains

The Great Plains is located in the western half of Kansas. The land rises up from east to west. The western High Plains are a gently rolling landscape while the Southeastern Plains to the east are quite similar but at a higher elevation. The highest point in Kansas, Mount Sunflower, is located in the Great Plains area close to the Colorado border.

Lakes and rivers

Major rivers in Kansas include Arkansas River, Missouri River, Kansas River, Republican River, Smoky Hill River. And major lakes across the state are Tuttle Creek Reservoir and Cheney Reservoir.  The Kansas River is fondly known as the Kaw to the locals which is formed by the junction of the Republican rivers and the Smoky Hill.

Kansas National parks and historic sites

Image by Joseph O'Brien via Wikimedia Commons

Some of the areas under the protection of the National Park Service are listed below -
  • Brown V Board Of Education National Historic Site in Topeka
  • Fort Larned National Historic Site in Larned
  • California National Historic Trail
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site
  • Nicodemus National Historic Site at Nicodemus
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Santa Fe National Historic Trail
  • Pony Express National Historic Trail
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City

Kansas Mountain Ranges

The major mountain ranges in Kansas are -
  • Mount Sunflower at 4,039 ft
  • Rock Hill at 3,890 ft
  • Red Hills at 3,575 ft
  • Motti Hill at 3,484 ft
  • Twin Butte at 3,350 ft
  • Lone Butte at 3,219 ft
  • Pawnee Mound at 3,000 ft
  • Little Pyramids at 2,800 ft
  • Twin Hills at 2,730 ft
  • Chalk Pyramids at 2,690 ft
  • Table Mesa at 2,643 ft
  • Boot Hill at 2,530 ft
  • Horseshoe Hill at 2,392 ft
  • Mount Jesus at 2,349 ft
  • Round House Rock at 2,346 ft / 715
  • Beckys Knob at 2,175 ft
  • Mount Casino at 2,123 ft

Climate of Kansa

The climate of Kansas is characterized into three types - humid continental, humid subtropical and semi-arid steppe. Humid continental climate, with generally humid summers and cold winters, prevail in the northeastern and eastern two-thirds of Kansas. Semiarid steppe climate, with hot summers and lesser humidity and warm to cold winters prevail in the state's western third. The southeastern and far south-central regions have a humid subtropical climate that comprises humid, hot summers and milder winters. Kansas has severe weather, most profound in the spring and early summer.

Most of the rainfall occurs in the summer and spring. Precipitation is heavy in the southeast corner of the state, while the southwest part has fewer rainfall. Snowfall happens in the south fringes and lesser in the far northwest section. Kansas's highest temperature was recorded in Kansas is 121o F at Alton.

Demographics of Kansas

The estimated population of Kansas by the U.S. Census Bureau, 2015 was over 2,911,641. The 2015 census reflected an increase of 2.1% since 2010. As of 2010, the population density of Kansas is 34.9 persons per square mile. The center of population of Kansas is located in Chase County.

Population quick facts of Kansas according to the Census Bureau [3]
  • Population, 2015: 2,911,641
  • Population, 2014: 2,904,021
  • Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015: 2.1%
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2014: 6.9%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2014: 24.9%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2014: 14.3%
  • Female persons, percent, 2014: 50.2%

Kansas Racial groups, 2014 [3]
  • White alone: 86.8%
  • Black or African American alone: 6.3%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone: 1.2%
  • Asian alone: 2.8%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: 0.1%
  • Two or More Races: 2.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.4%
  • White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 76.8%

The major religious groups in Kansas include –
  • Christian - 76% that include Evangelical Protestant, Black Protestant, Mainline Protestant, Mormon, Catholic, Jehovah's Witness.
  • Non-Christian Faiths 4%
  • Unaffiliated 20%

Economy of Kansas

The total GDP of Kansas in 2008 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis was estimated as $122.7 billion. This figure have ranked the state as the 32nd highest state by GDP in the United States. In 2008, per capita personal income was $35,013. An estimation as of April 2015 reflected that the unemployment rate of Kansas is 4.3%.[4]. Kansas's products and services include agriculture, automobiles, information technology, furniture, military equipment, aerospace and mining of copper and iron ore. The economy of the state is also heavily swept by the aerospace industry. Some of the top company headquarters in Kansas include the Sprint Corporation, YRC Worldwide, Embarq, Garmin, Koch Industries and Payless Shoes.

Interesting Economy Fast Facts about Kansas, 2010-2014 estimation- [5]

  • Median gross rent, 2010-2014: $748
  • Persons per household, 2010-2014: 2.52
  • Language except English spoken at home, % of persons age 5 years: 11.1%
  • Median household income: $51,872
  • Per capita income in past 1 year: $27,367
  • Total employer establishments - 73,816
  • Total employment - 1,150,401
  • Total employment, % change (2012-2013) - 1.4%
  • Total non-employer establishments - 190,838

Kansas Agricultural Facts and Figures

  • The top 5 agricultural products based on revenue generated include cattle and calves, corn for grain, wheat, soybeans and hogs.

  • Wheat is the state's largest crop production. Kansas is in-fact the nation's top producer of wheat.

  • Raising cattle and calves generate the highest revenue in Kansas.

  • 15% of the total crop of the nation is contributed by Kansas's wheat.

  • The other important crops of the state include corn, soybeans, hay, sorghum and grain.

  • 12% of total agricultural revenues in Kansas is generated by wheat.

Kansas Industrial Facts and Figures

  • The most valuable manufacturing sector in Kansas is transportation equipment, including light aircraft, missiles, military aircraft, aircraft parts, passenger cars, locomotives and railroad freight.

  • Kansas's 2nd ranked manufacturing sector is food processing sector - flour-milling, meat-packing plants and animal feed.

  • Kansas is ranked 3rd in the production of printed materials including school yearbooks and newspapers.

  • The most important mined products in Kansas are natural gas and petroleum.

  • Other mined products include salt, limestone, helium, gypsum.

  • Kansas's leading service industry are concentrated in the community, personal services and business sectors.

  • The state is ranked second is the wholesale and retail.

  • The 3rd ranking service industry in Kansas is government services.

Tourism in Kansas

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Tourism plays a profound role in the economy of Kansas. The state is an enthralling holiday destination where small-town charm blends perfectly with big-city attractions.The state's top tourist attractions include. Below are listed some of the major tourist attractions in Kansas-

Exploration Place

Address: 300 N McLean Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67203 US
Phone: 1 316-660-0600

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens
701 Amidon Street, Wichita, KS 67203-3199
Phone: (316) 264-0448

Old Cowtown Museum
Address: 1865 Museum Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67203, US
Phone: 1 316-219-1871

Museum of World Treasures
Address: 835 E 1st Street North, Wichita, KS 67202, US
Phone: 1 316-263-1311

Sedgwick County Zoo
Address: 5555 West Zoo Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67212, US
Phone: 1 316-660-9453

Address: 3650 E Avenue G, Hutchinson, KS 67501, US
Phone: 1 866-755-3450

For more information on Kansas tourism, visit their official website

Transportation in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is a profound and efficient sector that works towards offering a convenient and effective multi-modal transit network.  It also provides easy and safe inter state and inter-city connectivity of people and goods to various corners across Kansas and worldwide. KDOT manages and supervizes an extensive system of roadways, highways, tunnels, bridges, railways and also responsible for air and water quality, roads cleanliness and other community services.

With over a total of 874 miles of roadways, Kansas's road transportation is provided by 2 Interstate highways with two spur routes, one beltway and three bypasses. The roadways provide an excellent and affordable mode of inter state and city connectivity.

Kansas has 138 public-use airports, of which 8 are commercial and 130 are general aviation airports. All airports combined together generate a revenue of approximately $10.4 billion in on-airport economic activity. Kansas aviation is a leading edge of an extensive industry.

Learn more about Kansas Transportation

Kansas Government

The Constitution of the state of Kansas guards the Government of  Kansas, which is a republican democracy based on the Federal Government of the US.  The government is structured and established by the State Constitution of Kansas. Kansas was included in the Union and thus rendered statehood on  January 29, 1861[1]. Kansas state’s motto  is "Ad astra per aspera" which is translated as "to the stars through difficulties." The motto represents the hardships the state faced with issues like Indian attacks, slavery and the inevitable war. The State Constitution of Kansas divides the powers of the government into three distinct branches— the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The state government is established in Topeka.

The Kansas Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the state government. Several state government departments work under the executive branch for the smooth functioning of the government.

The Kansas Legislature is the law making and supervising body of the state government. The Legislative power is vested in the General Assembly consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. All of the legislative authority of the state is vested within the Legislature.

The Judicial System of Kansas interprets the laws and constitution of the state. According to the Constitution of the State of Kansas, the judicial power is vested upon the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the district courts in the state. The Governor appoints all judges and justices requiring appointment.

Learn more about the Government of Kansas

Health Care in Kansas

Kansas Department of Health and Environment works efficiently to improve the health and living standards of the community by implementing many health regulation services and policies. Various divisions and sub-divisions work concurrently with the department to optimize the health of the community. The department works in collaboration with local public health, health care providers, policymakers, and many others to successfully protect the health of the community.

Donate Life Kansas is the state-authorized non-profit organization that is committed to offer and manage the organ, eye and tissue donations to those in need and help save as many lives as possible. The Donate Life Kansas is affiliated with Donate Life America and has been operating in collaboration with many volunteers to help provide organ, eye and tissue donation to meet all transplant needs.

The Kansas Division of Health Care Finance (DHCF) overviews the entire health care plans and policies of the residents of Kansas to support and assist the people in their medical and health care needs. The division works with the state’s qualified and certified professional health care to ensure quality health insurance and coverage for all residents. Medical Assistance is a publicly funded health care program implemented for very low-income individuals, children who need financial support, parents with children, seniors, people with disabilities and pregnant women. The Kansas Medicaid Program is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Learn more about the Health Care in Kansas

Education in Kansas

Education system in the state of Kansas is governed by the Kansas State Board of Education at the primary and secondary school level. The Kansas Board of Regents authorizes and supervises the public colleges and universities of the state. It governs 37 public institutions. Among the state-funded universities, the largest based on enrollment is the University of Kansas (KU) and followed by Kansas State University (KSU). Kansas encompasses several other universities and colleges, including Wichita State University, Pittsburg State University (PSU), Fort Hays State University (FHSU) and Emporia State University (ESU)

Image by Wikimedia Commons

Top Universities and Colleges in Kansas

  • University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Barclay College in Haviland, Kansas
  • Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas   
  • Bethel College-North Newton in North Newton, Kansas
  • Newman University in Wichita, Kansas
  • Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas    
  • Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas    
  • Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas
  • Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas
  • MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas
  • Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Kansas   
  • Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas   
  • University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas

Sports in Kansas

Kansas is home to many professional sports teams, college sports, and individual sports. Kansas has 2 major auto racing facilities - The Kansas Speedway and ARCA circuits. Aside the professional sports leaque, the city also boasts of several top college level sports teams.

The professional sports clubs in Kansas are -
  • Topeka Aviators - Basketball
  • Kansas City T-Bones    Baseball 
  • Sporting Kansas City -  Soccer
  • Kansas Magic - Indoor soccer  
  • Dodge City Law - Indoor Football  
  • Kansas Koyotes - Indoor Football   
  • Salina Bombers - Indoor Football  
  • Topeka Roadrunners  -  Ice hockey 
  • Topeka Golden Giants - Baseball    
  • Wichita Thunder  -  Ice hockey
  • Wichita Wings  - Indoor soccer
  • Wichita Wild -  Indoor Football        
  • FC Kansas City -  Soccer
  • Wichita Wingnuts - Baseball 

Interesting Fast Facts about Michigan

  • The birth date of Kansas as 34th state is January 29, 1861.

  • The capital city of Kansas is Topeka.

  • Kansa's smallest cities are Freeport, Benedict, Oak Hill, Frederick.

  • Kansas's Dodge City is the US's windiest city.

  • The name of governor's mansion in Topeka is Cedar Crest.

  • Barton County is the lone Kansas County that is named after nurse Clara Barton - the famous woman volunteer in Civil War.

  • Major Industries in Kansas include aircraft manufacturing, education and agriculture.

  • The Geographic Center of Continental US lies close to Lebanon in Smith County.

  • The state's highest point is Mount Sunflower in west Kansas at 4,039 feet.

  • The lowest point is The Verdigris River in southeastern Kansas at 680 feet.

  • The state motto is "Ad Astra Per Aspera" Latin for "To the stars through difficulty".

  • The state insect is The Honeybee.

  • The state reptile is The Ornate Box Turtle.

  • The state amphibian is Barred Tiger Salamander.

  • The state grass is Little Bluestem.

  • The state March is "The Kansas March," by Duff E. Middleton.

  • The state Song is "Home on the Range," by Dr. Brewster Higley.

  • Kansas has 27 Walnut Creeks.

  • Sumner County is called The Wheat Capital of the World.

  1. Kansas statehood
  2. Kansas Land Area
  3. Kansas Demographic Facts
  4. Kansas Unemployment Rate
  5. Kansas Economy Fast Facts
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