According to a projection by the Wichita State University, the population of Kansas will increase 22% by 2064 to 3.5 million. Nearly one-third of Kansans are expected to live in Johnson County, including Overland Park and Kansas City. The population of the county is projected to increase 91% to 1.1 million by 2064.
Overland Park has a history dating back to 1905 when the founder, William Strang, Jr., plotting subdivisions on a former military road. He eventually developed what became the city’s downtown area. Overland Park was incorporated in 1960 with a population of 28,000. By 1990, the population had grown to almost 112,000. Within a decade, it was the second largest city in Kansas after Witchita when it surpassed Kansas City.
Overland Park’s growth can be attributed more to annexation and later development of “greenfield” land than to natural population growth. The city has added more than 8 square miles of annexed land which has caused the state to change its laws governing annexation to require a majority vote by affected residents in the future. Over the last decade, Overland Park has received awards for its economy, low tax rate, public safety record, and quality of life, all of which have contributed to the city’s growth.