Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


This article is about the U.S. state. For other uses, see Kansas (disambiguation).

(in detail) (full size version)
State nickname: The Sunflower State

Other U.S. States
Capital Topeka
Largest City Wichita
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Largest Metropolitan Area Kansas City
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 13th
213,283 kmē
212,093 kmē
1,190 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 32nd
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

January 29, 1861
Time zone Central : UTC-6/-5
Mountain: UTC-7/-6
counties are Central except for
4 counties on western border
37°N to 40°N
94°38'W to 102°1'34"W
340 km
645 km
1,231 meters
610 meters
207 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-KS

Kansas, derived from the Siouan word Kansa meaning "People of the south wind", is a midwestern state in the United States. The U.S. postal abbreviation for the state is KS and the state flower is the sunflower.

The population is 2,688,418, as of 2000. The largest city is Wichita.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Major cities and towns
6 Education
7 Professional sports teams
8 External links


Main article: History of Kansas

Kansas, as part of the Louisiana Purchase, was annexed to the United States in 1803 as unorganized territory. Kansas then became part of the Missouri Territory until 1821. Then the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854 established the US territories of Nebraska and Kansas.

Fort Leavenworth was the first community in the area around 1827. To travellers enroute to Utah, California, or Oregon, Kansas was a waystop and outfitting place. On March 30, 1855 "Border Ruffians" from Missouri invaded Kansas during the territory's first election and forced the election of a pro-slavery legislature.

Kansas became the 34th state of the Union on January 29, 1861. Civil War veterans constructed homesteads in Kansas following the war. On February 19, 1861 it became the first U.S. state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages.

Law and government

The State Capital is Topeka.

The Governor of the State is Kathleen Sebelius (Democrat) and the two U.S. Senators are Sam Brownback (Republican) and Pat Roberts (Republican).

Kansas has a reputation as a progressive state with many firsts in legislative initiatives including being the first state to institute a system of workers compensation (1910). The Council-manager government was adopted by many larger Kansas Cities in the years following World War I while many American cities were being run by political machines or organized crime. Kansas schools both public and private continue to have some of the highest standards in the nation. Kansas was first among the states to ban the concept of separate but equal schools. Brown vs. Board of Education took place in Topeka, Kansas and banned racially segregated schools throughout the US.

See also: List of Governors of Kansas, US Congressional Delegates


Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north, Missouri on the east, Oklahoma on the south, and Colorado on the west. It is located equidistant from the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The geographic center of North America is located in Osborne County. This spot is used as the central reference point for all maps produced by the government. The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located in Smith County, and the geographic center of Kansas is located in Barton County.

See also: List of counties in Kansas

Major highways

The state is served by two interstate highways with six spur routes. I-70 is a major east/west route connecting to St. Louis, Missouri, in the east and Denver, Colorado, in the west. Cities along this route (from east to west) include Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Junction City, Salina, Hays, and Colby. I-35 is a major north/south route connecting to Des Moines, Iowa, in the north and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the south. Cities along this route (from north to south) include Kansas City (and its suburbs), Ottawa, Emporia, El Dorado, and Wichita.

Spur routes serve as connections between the two major routes. I-135, a north/south route, connects I-70 at Salina to I-35 at Wichita. I-335, a northeast/southwest route, connects I-70 at Topeka to I-35 at Emporia. I-335 and portions of I-35 and I-70 make up the Kansas Turnpike. I-435 and I-635 serve a dual purpose as connections between the major routes and bypasses around the Kansas City metropolitan area. Other bypasses are I-235 around Wichita and I-470 around Topeka.

In January 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the new Kansas 511 traveler information service.[1] By calling 511, callers will get access to information about road conditions, construction, closures, detours, and weather conditions for the state highway system. Weather and road condition information is updated every 15 minutes.

See also: KDOT road condition information


The 1999 total gross state product of Kansas was $81 billion, placing it 31st in the nation. Its per-capita income is $27,816. The agricultural outputs of the state are cattle, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, hogs and corn. The industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum and mining.

Major cities and towns

Population > 10,000 (urbanized area) Population > 100,000 (urbanized area)
Important Suburbs (of Kansas City, Missouri)

See also: List of cities in Kansas


Colleges and universities

Professional sports teams

External links

[ Edit {}] Political divisions of the United States
States Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district; District of Columbia
Insular areas; American Samoa | Baker Island | Guam | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Northern Mariana Islands | Palmyra Atoll | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Wake Island