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 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 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 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 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%. The breakdown of the racial markup of the Kansas population, according to 2015 Census Bureau estimates, is:

  • 86.7% White
  • 6.3% Black or African American
  • 2.9% Asian American
  • 1.2% American Indian and Alaska Native
  • 0.1% Native Hawaaian and other Pacific Islander
  • 2.9% Multiracial

11.6% 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 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.

Natural 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.

Kansas Population in 2016 Source: No machine-readable author provided. Infilms assumed (based on copyright claims).

Kansas Facts

  • 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.

Population Data via US Census

Year Population % Change Rank
2020 2,957,311 0.31% 35
2019 2,948,177 0.31% 35
2018 2,939,043 0.31% 35
2017 2,929,909 0.31% 35
2016 2,920,775 0.31% 35
2015 2,911,641 0.31% 34
2014 2,902,507 0.27% 34
2013 2,894,630 0.29% 34
2012 2,886,281 0.57% 33
2011 2,869,917 0.59% 33
2010 2,853,118 0.60% 33
2000 2,688,418 0.82% 32
1990 2,477,574 0.47% 32
1980 2,363,679 0.51% 32
1970 2,246,578 0.31% 28
1960 2,178,611 1.35% 28
1950 1,905,299 0.56% 31
1940 1,801,028 -0.43% 29
1930 1,880,999 0.61% 24
1920 1,769,257 0.45% 24
1910 1,690,949 1.41% 22
1900 1,470,495 0.29% 22
1890 1,428,108 3.67% 19
1880 996,096 10.58% 20
1870 364,399 13.01% 29
1860 107,206 0.00% 34
Kansas Population by Race
Race Population Percentage
White 2,501,057 87.66%
Black or African American 173,298 6.07%
American Indian and Alaska Native 33,044 1.16%
Asian 69,628 2.44%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 2,864 0.1%
Two or more races 73,227 2.57%
Languages Spoken in Kansas
Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 2,665,346 100.00%
Spanish 195,105 7.30%
German 13,095 0.50%
Chinese 8,665 0.30%
French 4,715 0.20%
Swahili 2,815 0.10%
Telugu 2,135 0.10%
Portuguese 1,340 0.10%
Mandarin 1,175 0.00%
Tamil 1,080 0.00%
Kansas County Populations
County Population Rank
Johnson County 580,159 1
Sedgwick County 511,574 2
Shawnee County 178,725 3
Wyandotte County 163,369 4
Douglas County 118,053 5
Leavenworth County 79,315 6
Riley County 75,247 7
Butler County 66,741 8
Reno County 63,718 9
Saline County 55,691 10
Crawford County 39,217 11
Finney County 37,118 12
Geary County 37,030 13
Cowley County 35,788 14
Harvey County 35,073 15
Ford County 34,536 16
Lyon County 33,339 17
Montgomery County 33,314 18
Miami County 32,553 19
Ellis County 29,029 20
McPherson County 28,941 21
Barton County 27,103 22
Franklin County 25,609 23
Sumner County 23,535 24
Pottawatomie County 23,298 25
Seward County 23,152 26
Labette County 20,803 27
Cherokee County 20,533 28
Dickinson County 19,303 29
Jefferson County 18,930 30
Atchison County 16,398 31
Neosho County 16,346 32
Osage County 15,847 33
Bourbon County 14,712 34
Jackson County 13,338 35
Allen County 12,717 36
Marion County 12,103 37
Nemaha County 10,227 38
Rice County 9,977 39
Marshall County 9,936 40
Brown County 9,776 41
Pratt County 9,691 42
Linn County 9,536 43
Cloud County 9,219 44
Wilson County 8,856 45
Coffey County 8,384 46
Clay County 8,347 47
Thomas County 7,904 48
Anderson County 7,808 49
Doniphan County 7,797 50
Grant County 7,733 51
Kingman County 7,687 52
Russell County 7,039 53
Wabaunsee County 6,951 54
Pawnee County 6,838 55
Ellsworth County 6,343 56
Mitchell County 6,282 57
Greenwood County 6,244 58
Gray County 6,133 59
Sherman County 5,983 60
Ottawa County 5,975 61
Harper County 5,817 62
Stevens County 5,806 63
Morris County 5,645 64
Washington County 5,598 65
Norton County 5,550 66
Phillips County 5,428 67
Rooks County 5,174 68
Scott County 4,964 69
Barber County 4,823 70
Republic County 4,725 71
Meade County 4,330 72
Stafford County 4,236 73
Haskell County 4,064 74
Kearny County 3,956 75
Smith County 3,704 76
Osborne County 3,683 77
Chautauqua County 3,402 78
Rush County 3,130 79
Woodson County 3,115 80
Lincoln County 3,105 81
Morton County 3,007 82
Ness County 3,005 83
Jewell County 2,970 84
Edwards County 2,968 85
Decatur County 2,932 86
Trego County 2,927 87
Logan County 2,825 88
Chase County 2,679 89.5
Cheyenne County 2,679 89.5
Gove County 2,640 91
Elk County 2,605 92
Graham County 2,591 93
Kiowa County 2,564 94
Sheridan County 2,512 95
Rawlins County 2,506 96
Hamilton County 2,474 97
Wichita County 2,157 98
Clark County 2,096 99
Stanton County 2,072 100
Hodgeman County 1,893 101
Comanche County 1,843 102
Lane County 1,670 103
Wallace County 1,518 104
Greeley County 1,330 105