Wichita, Kansas Population 2020
Wichita is a city located in the state of Kansas. It serves as the county seat of Sedgwick County. It is also the largest city by population in Kansas, with recent estimates putting the population at just over 389,255 people. Wichita is an industrial hub, and it is also a center of trade, media, and culture.
It is believed that the area that is now Wichita was inhabited as far back as 3000 BC. The Wichita people were inhabiting the area when Europeans arrived in 1541. However, the Wichita people left the area and moved south following a conflict with the Osage people during the 1700s. The area was originally claimed by France but was acquired by the US during the Louisiana Purchase.
During the Civil War, the Wichita people returned and built a settlement. A trading post was also established. When the war ended, the Wichita once again relocated to what is now known as Oklahoma. In 1868, another trading post was established and shortly after that, a house was built that was used as a post office, hotel and community center. The population began to grow as hunters and traders saw business opportunities in the area. In 1870, plats outlining the first streets of Wichita were filed and later that year, Wichita was incorporated as a city.
The city’s role as a cattle drive destination and the railroad coming to the area resulted in further population growth. The city expanded into the 1880s as more immigrants came to the area. During this period, Fairmount College was established, later becoming Wichita State University. Friends University was also opened as Garfield University. Before the 1900s arrived, the city had already established itself as the most populous in the state. However, an economic recession resulted in bankruptcy for many of the original settlers.
The city bounced back after oil and natural gas deposits were discovered in the early 1900s. The city became prosperous with the many refineries opened during the 1910s and 1920s. This economic boom led to investment in the airplane manufacturing industry. It soon became a center of the industry and was known as “Air Capital of the World.” The city continued to expand, and the economy flourished over the next few decades.
During World War II, the population grew again as the city was a major manufacturing center. The 19tha and 20th centuries saw the introduction of other brands and businesses, including Lear Jet Corporation, Coleman camping retailer, and franchises including Pizza Hut.
Through the 1990s and 2000s, the city government has partnered with local organizations to redevelop the downtown area and gaining neighborhoods. Additional businesses have made their homes in Wichita and new developments, such as the Intrust Bank Arena, have been built.
Wichita Population Statistics
Wichita has a population of over 389,000 residents, which makes it the 48th largest city in the US in addition to being the most populous in the state. The city’s borders stretch across over 163 square miles in total, and the population density is about 2,300 people per square mile.
The largest age group is the 25 to 44 group, which makes up 26.9% of the total population. Over 26% of the population is under age 18, while just 11.5% are at least 65 years old. Almost one-quarter of Wichita’s inhabitants are 45 to 64 years old.
Approximately 15.8% of the population lives below the federal poverty line. There is a slightly higher ratio of female to male residents, with females making up 50.7% of the population, and males making up the remaining 49.3%. The cost of living in Wichita falls well below the national average.
Wichita Population Growth
Wichita has seen continuous population growth since its incorporation as a city. By the 1930s, the city had well over 100,000 inhabitants. This number had more than doubled by 1960. At the time of the census taken in 1990, the city’s population had grown to over 300,000. Wichita’s growth has slowed slightly since the last census in 2010, but so far, estimates show that the population has risen by 2%. This indicates that while Wichita may not be growing as rapidly as it once was, it still has much growing left to do.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Wichita was:
- White: 74.59%
- Black or African American: 11.13%
- Asian: 5.01%
- Two or more races: 4.25%
- Other race: 3.95%
- Native American: 1.02%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.05%