Manhattan is a city located in Riley County Kansas. Manhattan has a 2023 population of 55,204. It is also the county seat of Riley County.Manhattan is currently growing at a rate of 0.4% annually and its population has increased by 1.21% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 54,544 in 2020.
The average household income in Manhattan is $75,791 with a poverty rate of 25.93%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Manhattan is 25 years, 24.9 years for males, and 25.1 years for females.
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.
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 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.
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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Manhattan was:
Two or more races
Black or African American
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among native american people with a rate of 89.29%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 63.24%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
89.64% of Manhattan residents speak only English, while 10.36% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 4.92% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Manhattan is Islander, with 51.18% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Manhattan is Other, with 17.78% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 6.18%. Among those working part-time, it was 51.6%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 29.07%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Manhattan
103.11% of Manhattan residents were born in the United States, with 56.96% having been born in Kansas. 6.43% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.