While the name may remind you of the borough in New York City, the Manhattan that we examine here is a city located in the state of Kansas. It is located in Riley County, with part of the city located in Pottawatomie. It is the county seat of Riley County. This city is most known for having a college-town vibe, as it is the location of Kansas State University.
It is also known by its nickname “The Little Apple” to New York City’s “Big Apple.” According to recent estimates, the population of Manhattan is 54,983.
Native tribes originally inhabited what is now Manhattan. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kansa people were the primary inhabitants. The tribe gave up their rights to the land with the signing of a treaty in 1846. Just a few years later, the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed US citizens to settle the territory. George Park founded a settlement that year, naming it Polistra. A nearby area was also established and was named Canton.
In 1855, New England Free-Staters came into the area. The sites of Canton and Polistra were chosen for settlement. The same year, it was decided that the town settlements would be joined and named Boston. Dozens of settlers continued to come into the area. A steamer came ashore carrying 75 immigrants. They were stranded and decided to settle in the area but only if the name was changed, which it was. The city was incorporated just two years later.
Because Manhattan was Free-State, it was subject to violence. However, it was protected under neighboring Fort Riley, so it was spared much of the violence and destruction faced by other cities during the Bleeding Kansas period. Because of this, the area developed quite quickly. It was in the late 1850s when the city was selected as the county seat, and the same year, a college was established.
The population continued to grow as Fifty-Niners came to the area following the discovery of gold. The city flourished by selling supplies to miners. Later that year, the first newspaper was established. The population was continuing to grow, especially with the arrival of the Kansas Pacific Railroad.
The city of Manhattan has continued to expand, and its population has grown every decade. Today, the city has been named as one of the best places to retire and one of the best small communities for business and career. Public entities are the hub of the economy, and the city is home to many historic buildings and homes, Kansas State University, and cultural hotspots.
Manhattan Population and Economy Statistics
Manhattan has a population of almost 55,000 people. The city is nearly 19 square miles in total area, with a population density of 2,800 people per square mile.
Over 39% of the population is between the ages of 18 and 24. Only 7.5% are at least 65 years old. The city’s median age is 23.8. There are slightly more males than females, making up about 50.9% of the total population. Nearly 25% of the population lives below the federal poverty line.
The largest employer in Manhattan is Kansas State University. The school district, Fort Riley, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture are also significant employers in the area.
Manhattan Population Growth
Manhattan has seen consistent growth every decade since the census of 1870. The population surpassed 10,000 residents in 1930 and had more than doubled just 30 years later. At the time of the 2010 census, the population had grown to over 50,000. Since the 2010 census, current estimates show that the population has already increased by over 5%, indicating that this city will continue on its upward growth trend well into the future.