Kansas Population 2017


Situated in an almost central location in the United States, Kansas is the 15th largest state in the country with regards to pure surface area, but in terms of population, sparsely spread numbers mean that it is only the 33rd most populous US state. As of 2016, the estimated population of Kansas is 2.9 million.

Although the last official Census was carried out in 2010, estimates are released every year and in 2015, it was estimated that the population of Kansas had reached 2,911,641. Kansas currently has a growth rate of 0.57% annually, which ranks 31st among all 50 states.

At the time of the 2010 Census, the survey revealed that there were 2,853,118 people living in Kansas, and that represented a rise of 6.1% on the 2000 figure of 2,688,418.

The population density statistics make for interesting reading. From an overall surface area of 82,277 square miles (213,096 square kilometres), there is an average of 34.9 people per square mile. That makes Kansas the 40th most densely populated state in the US -- so, overall, the state consists of lots of wide open country. The center of population is in Chase County, three miles north of Strong City, although the most populous city is Wichita, with a population of over 389,000, followed by Overland Park (186,515), Kansas City (151,306) and Topeka (127,265).

The rural population of Kansas continues to decline in a process known as rural flight. The past few decades have been marked by a migration from the countryside into the cities. Kansas now has more than 6,000 ghost towns and dwindling communities, while communities in Johnson County (home to metropolitan Kansas City) are some of the fastest-growing in the United States.

Kansas Demographics

In terms of age, the Kansas population is very in line with the United States as a whole. The population under the age of 18 is estimated at around 25%, while the percentage of persons 65 years and over is currently 14.6%. This means that, like much of the country, Kansas will be dealing with an aging population in the coming years.

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Kansas Population Chart

Kansas Population History

Early population records are openly available from 1860 when it was confirmed that 107,206 people resided in the state. It’s fair to assume that growth prior to 1860 had been healthy and just ten years later, the 1870 Census showed a leap in the Kansas population of 239.9% to 364,399.

Further significant growth throughout the rest of the 19th century took those figures to just under 1.5 million, and while steady increases have generally been recorded ever since, they have slowed down from Kansas' early growth spurt.

Kansas Growth

For most of the 20th century, Kansas has enjoyed healthy population growth even if the percentage rises haven’t been as high as some areas in the country. In 2007, natural growth figures were released and they showed that in the seven years from the previous Census of 2000, there had been an increase of 93,899 people. This figure was calculated by taking a total of 246,484 births minus 152,585 deaths and a fall due to net migration of 20,742 people.

Kansas Population Projections

Estimates show that the Kansas population in 2016 has exceeded 2.9 million. The total population in the state has grown by 6% during the last decade, with most of this increase occurring in Johnson County and counties around Wichita, Kansas State University and Fort Riley.

According to some sociologists, though, this growth is not necessarily a good thing as Kansas will continue to see an increase in its aging population and greater loss in rural areas. Unlike many fast-growing states with a lot of uncertainty, Kansas' population trends are generally stable and easy to predict. While the population of Kansas will continue to rise, it is still not keeping pace with the United States as a whole, or many other states in the country.

Based on growth over the last decade, it's projected that the Kansas population will surpass 3 million by 2025.

Population Data via US Census

Kansas Growth Rate

Kansas State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 2,957,311 0.31%
2019 2,948,177 0.31%
2018 2,939,043 0.31%
2017 2,929,909 0.31%
2016 2,920,775 0.31%
2015 2,911,641 0.31%
2014 2,902,507 0.27%
2013 2,894,630 0.29%
2012 2,886,281 0.57%
2011 2,869,917 0.59%
2010 2,853,118 0.60%
2000 2,688,418 0.82%
1990 2,477,574 0.47%
1980 2,363,679 0.51%
1970 2,246,578 0.31%
1960 2,178,611 1.35%
1950 1,905,299 0.56%
1940 1,801,028 -0.43%
1930 1,880,999 0.61%
1920 1,769,257 0.45%
1910 1,690,949 1.41%
1900 1,470,495 0.29%
1890 1,428,108 3.67%
1880 996,096 10.58%
1870 364,399 13.01%
1860 107,206 0.00%

Kansas Facts

Kansas Population in 2017 Source: No machine-readable author provided. Infilms assumed (based on copyright claims).

  • Kansas was named after the Kansa Indian tribe, who settled the land approximately 12,000 years ago.
  • Dodge City is the windiest city in the US, with average wind speeds of 14 miles-per-hour. This is ironic since Chicago -- known as The Windy City -- has average wind speeds of just 10 miles-per-hour.
  • There are over 600 incorporated towns located in Kansas.
  • The geographical center of the contiguous states is located in Smith County.
  • Kansas gained its nickname "Bleeding Kansas" following fights between residents over whether or not to abolish slavery.
  • Kansas is the country's leader in wheat production.

Kansas Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Kansas Population Growth Rate by County

Based on data from the 2010 Census and 2015 estimates from the Census Bureau, the counties in the state of Kansas have experienced both increases and decreases in population. While the majority of the counties have shown population declines during the 5-year period, there are some areas that have shown growth. The most significant growth was recorded in Pottawatomie County, with 7.29% growth. Growth also was reported in Greeley County along the western border of the state, showing 5.72% growth. Other counties that posted larger percentages of growth during this time period include Johnson, Douglas, and Riley Counties.

As far as decreases in population, Elk County's 9.33% decline was the highest in the state. Hamilton County's 8.54% was also at the top of the list, followed by other counties primarily located along the western border and in the southeast, including Morton, Wilson, Woodson, and Montgomery.

Population Pyramid

To compare Kansas to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

At the birth of Kansas, the state was home to one of the most wide and diverse set of Native American tribes. In fact, the name Kansas derives from the Kansa tribe who originally lived in the area. Their numbers have heavily declined, though, and today nearly 87% of Kansas residents classify themselves as white, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native populations were recorded at just 1.2%.

11.6% of the total population of Kansas is of Hispanic or Latino origin of any race. People of Mexican descent live primarily in southwest Kansas and account for up to half of the population in some counties. Many of the African Americans in the state are descended from Exodusters, who were newly freed blacks who left the South for Kansas after the Civil War.

Languages Spoken in Kansas

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 2,665,346 100
English 2,417,421 90.7
Spanish 195,105 7.32
German 13,095 0.49
Chinese 8,665 0.33
French 4,715 0.18
Swahili 2,815 0.11
Telugu 2,135 0.08
Portuguese 1,340 0.05
Mandarin 1,175 0.04

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Kansas. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Kansas Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 90
BachelorsDegree 31
Disabled 9
NoHealthInsurance 12
LaborForceTotal 67
LaborForceFemale 62
FoodServiceSales 4,873,411
HealthCareRevenue 18,248,370
ManufacturerShipments 86,076,260
MerchantWholesalesSales 60,226,324
RetailSales 38,276,461
RetailSalesPerCapita 13,263
MeanWorkTravelTime 19
MedianHouseholdIncome 51,872
PerCapitaIncome 27,367
PovertyPercentage 14

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Kansas for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.9% and the labor force participation rate is 67%.

Kansas Business

NonemployerEstablishments 193,919
AllFirms 239,118
MenOwnedFirms 125,169
WomenOwnedFirms 77,194
MinorityOwnedFirms 26,127
NonminorityOwnedFirms 204,562
VeteranOwnedFirms 21,610
NonveteranOwn 203,401

Kansas Housing

HousingUnits 1,253,861
HousingUnits 1,233,215
OwnerOccupiedRate 67
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 129,400
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,294
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 452
MedianGrossRent 748
BuildingPermits 8,644
Households 1,112,335
PersonsPerHousehold 3
SameHouseOneYearAgo 83
NonEnglishAtHome 11
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts