Kansas Population 2016

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 territory.

Although the last official Census was carried out in 2010, estimates are released every year and in 2013, it was estimated that the population of Kansas had reached 2,902,440. Kansas currently has a growth rate of 0.57% annually, which ranks 31st.

Kansas Population 2013

At the time of the 2010 Census, the survey revealed that there were 2,853,116 people living here and that represented a rise of 6.1% on the 2000 figure of 2,688,418.

The population density statistics make for interesting reading and from an overall surface area of 82,277 square miles (213,096 square kilometres), there is an average of 52.9 people per square mile (13.5 per square kilometer). That makes Kansas the 40th most densely populated state in the US – so, overall, 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 382,000, followed by Overland Park (174,000), Kansas City (127,000) and Topeka (127,000).

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 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’s early growth spurt.

Kansas Demographics

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 here.

Their numbers have heavily declined, though, and today nearly 84% of Kansas residents classify themselves as white, while the American Indian and Alaskan Native populations were recorded at just 1.0%. The breakdown of the racial markup of the Kansas population, according to the 2010 Census, was:

  • 83.8% White
  • 5.9% Black or African American
  • 2.4% Asian American
  • 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 0.1% Native Hawaaian and other Pacific Islander
  • 3.0% from two or more races

10.5% of the total population of Kansas is also 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.

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 25%, while the percentage of persons 65 years and over is currently 13%. This means that, like much of the country, Kansas will be dealing with an aging population in the coming years.

Natural Growth

For most of the 20th century, Kansas has enjoyed health 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

Judging by the 2012 estimate, it's assumed the Kansas population in 2013 has exceeded 2.9 million. The total population in the state has grown by 6% during the last decade, 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 the 2020 Census.

Population Data via US Census