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State of Kansas

ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for the Kansa (or Kaw) Indians, the "people of the south wind."

NICKNAME: The Sunflower State; the Jayhawker State.

CAPITAL: Topeka.

ENTERED UNION: 29 January 1861 (34th).

SONG: "Home on the Range;" "The Kansas March." (march).

MOTTO: Ad astra per aspera (To the stars through difficulties).

FLAG: The flag consists of a dark blue field with the state seal in the center; a sunflower on a bar of twisted gold and blue is above the seal; the word "Kansas" is below it.

OFFICIAL SEAL: A sun rising over mountains in the background symbolizes the east; commerce is represented by a river and a steamboat. In the foreground, agriculture, the basis of the state's prosperity, is represented by a settler's cabin and a man plowing a field. Beyond this is a wagon train heading west and a herd of buffalo fleeing from two Indians. Around the top is the state motto above a cluster of 34 stars; the circle is surrounded by the words "Great Seal of the State of Kansas, January 29, 1861."

BIRD: Western meadowlark.

FLOWER: Wild native sunflower.

TREE: Cottonwood.

LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME: 6 AM CST = noon GMT; 5 AM MST = noon GMT.


Located in the western north-central United States, Kansas is the second-largest Midwestern state (following Minnesota) and ranks 14th among the 50 states.

The total area of Kansas is 82,277 sq mi (213,097 sq km), of which 81,778 sq mi (211,805 sq km) are land, and the remaining 499 sq mi (1,292 sq km) inland water. Shaped like a rectangle except for an irregular corner in the ne, the state has a maximum extension e-w of about 411 mi (661 km) and an extreme n-s distance of about 208 mi (335 km).

Kansas is bounded on the n by Nebraska, on the e by Missouri (with the line in the ne following the Missouri River), on the s by Oklahoma, and on the w by Colorado, with a total boundary length of 1,219 mi (1,962 km). The geographic center of Kansas is in Barton County, 15 mi (24 km) ne of Great Bend.


Although the popular image of the state is one of unending flatlands, Kansas has a diverse topography. Three main land regions define the state. The eastern third consists of the Osage Plains, Flint Hills, Dissected Till Plains, and Arkansas River Lowlands. The central third comprises the Smoky Hills (which include the Dakota sandstone formations, Greenhorn limestone formations, and chalk deposits) to the north and several lowland regions to the south. To the west are the Great Plains proper, divided into the Dissected High Plains and the High Plains. Kansas generally slopes eastward from a maximum elevation of 4,039 ft (1,232 m) at Mt. Sunflower (a mountain in name only) on the Colorado border to 679 ft (207 m) by the Verdigris River at the Oklahoma border. The mean elevation of the state is approximately 2,000 ft (610 m). More than 50,000 streams run through the state, and there are hundreds of artificial lakes. Major rivers include the Missouri, which defines the state's northeastern boundary; the Arkansas, which runs through Wichita; and the Kansas (Kaw), which runs through Topeka and joins the Missouri at Kansas City.

The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located in Smith County, in north-central Kansas, at 39°50n and 98°35w. Forty miles (64 km) south of this point, in Osborne County at 39°1327n and 98°3231w, is the North American geodetic datum, the controlling point for all land surveys in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Extensive beds of prehistoric ocean fossils lie in the chalk beds of two western counties, Logan and Gove.


Kansas's continental climate is highly changeable. The average mean temperature is 55°f (13°c). The record high is 121°f (49°c), recorded near Alton on 24 July 1936, and the record low, 40°f (40°c), was registered at Lebanon on 13 February 1905. The normal annual precipitation ranges from slightly more than 40 in (101.6 cm) in the southeast to as little as 16 in (40.6 cm) in the west; in Wichita, average annual precipitation (19712000) was 30.4 in (77.2 cm). The overall annual precipitation for the state averages 27 in (68.6 cm), although years of drought have not been uncommon. About 70%-77% of the precipitation falls between 1 April and 30 September. The annual mean snowfall ranges from about 36 in (91.4 cm) in the extreme northwest to less than 11 in (27.9 cm) in the far southeast. Tornadoes are a regular fact of life in Kansas. Dodge City is said to be the windiest city in the United States, with an average wind speed of 14 mph (23 km/h).


Native grasses, consisting of 60 different groups subdivided into 194 species, cover one-third of Kansas, which is much overgrazed. Bluestemboth big and littlewhich grows in most parts of the state, has the greatest forage value. Other grasses include buffalo grass, blue and hairy gramas, and alkali sacaton. One native conifer, eastern red cedar, is found generally throughout the state. Hackberry, black walnut, and sycamore grow in the east while box elder and cottonwood predominate in western Kansas. There are no native pines. The wild native sunflower, the state flower, is found throughout the state. Other characteristic wildflowers include wild daisy, ivy-leaved morning glory, and smallflower verbena. The western prairie fringed orchid and Mead's milkweed, listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in April 2006, are protected under federal statutes.

Kansas's indigenous mammals include the common cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, black-tailed prairie dog, muskrat, opossum, and raccoon; the white-tailed deer is the state's only big-game animal. There are 12 native species of bat, 2 varieties of shrew and mole, and 3 types of pocket gopher. The western meadowlark is the state bird. Kansas has the largest flock of prairie chickens remaining on the North American continent. The US Fish and Wildlife Service named 12 animal species occurring in the state as threatened or endangered in April 2006. Among these are the Indiana and gray bats, bald eagle, Eskimo curlew, Topeka Shiner, and black-footed ferret.

Cheyenne Bottoms, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, serves as a habitat for the endangered whooping crane and is also considered to be an important site for over 800,000 migratory birds each year. Nearly 45% of all migratory shorebirds that nest in North America use Cheyenne Bottoms as a staging area. The salt marshes of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (also a Ramsar site) serve as a nesting, migration, and winter habitat for over 311 species of bird, including the endangered peregrine falcon and bald eagle.


No environmental problem is more crucial for Kansas than water quality, and its protection remains a primary focus of the state's environmental efforts, which include active regulatory and remedial programs for both surface and groundwater sources. Maintenance of air quality is also a primary effort, and the state works actively with the business community to promote pollution prevention.

Strip-mining for coal is decreasing in southeast Kansas, and the restoration of resources damaged by previous activities is ongoing.

Kansas is home to two Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. Cheyenne Bottoms, located in Barton County, was designated in 1988. The site includes a state wildlife area, managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve, managed by the Nature Conservancy. The site is also considered to be part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge was designated by Ramsar in 2002. It includes freshwater and inland salt marshes. This site has been a National Wildlife Refuge since 1955.

In 2003, 28.9 million lb of toxic chemicals were released in the state. The state has sufficient capacity for handling solid waste, although the total number of solid waste facilities has decreased in recent years. In 2003, Kansas had 307 hazardous waste sites listed in the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) database, 10 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006. Five sites were deleted from the National Priority List in 2006, but another two, the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant and the Tri-County Public Airport, were proposed. In 2005, the EPA spent over $512,000 through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state. The same year, federal EPA grants awarded to the state included $9.7 million for a wastewater state revolving fund and $4.2 million for additional water quality projects.


Kansas ranked 33rd in population in the United States with an estimated total of 2,744,687 in 2005, an increase of 2.1% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Kansas's population grew from 2,477,574 to 2,688,418, an increase of 8.5%. The population is projected to reach 2.85 million by 2015 and 2.91 million by 2025. The population density in 2004 was 33.4 persons per sq mi.

When it was admitted to the Union in 1861, Kansas's population was 107,206. During the decade that followed, the population grew by 240%, more than 10 times the US growth rate. Steady growth continued through the 1930s, but in the 1940s, the population declined by 4%. Since then, the population has risen, though at a slower pace than the national average.

In 2004, the median age for Kansans was 36.1; 25% of the population was below the age of 18 while 13% was 65 or older.

Whereas the populations of Wichita and Topeka grew 8.6% and 1.0% respectively, the population of Kansas City dropped 7.1% during the 1980s. Estimates for 2004 showed about 353,823 residents for Wichita, 162,728 for Overland Park, and 145,004 for Kansas City. The Wichita metropolitan area had an estimated 584,671 residents.


White settlers began to pour into Kansas in 1854, dispersing the 36 Indian tribes living there and precipitating a struggle over the legal status of slavery. Remnants of six of the original tribes still make their homes in the state. Some Indians live on three reservations covering 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares); others live and work elsewhere, returning to the reservations several times a year for celebrations and observances. There were 24,936 Indians in Kansas as of 2000. In 2004, American Indians made up 1% of the population.

Black Americans in Kansas numbered 154,198, or 5.7% of the population, in 2000, when the state also had 188,252 Hispanics and Latinos. In 2004, 5.9% of the population was black and 8.1% of Hispanic or Latino origin. The 2000 Census recorded 46,806 Asian residents, the largest group being 11,623 Vietnamese (up from 6,001 in 1990), followed by 8,153 Asian Indians and 7,624 Chinese. There were also sizable communities of Laotians and Cambodians. In 2004, 2.1% of the population was Asian, and 0.1% was of Pacific Island origin. That year, 1.6% of the population reported origin of two or more races.

The foreign born numbered 80,271 (2% of the population) in 2000, the most common lands of origin being Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam. Among persons who reported descent from a single ancestry group, the leading nationalities were German (914,955), English (391,542), and Irish (424,133).


Plains Indians of the Macro-Siouan group originally populated what is now Kansas; their speech echoes in such place-names as Kansas, Wichita, Topeka, Chetopa, and Ogallah.

Regional features of Kansas speech are almost entirely those of the Northern and North Midland dialects, reflecting the migration into Kansas in the 1850s of settlers from the East. Kansans typically use fish(ing) worms as bait, play as children on a teetertotter, see a snakefeeder (dragonfly) over a /krik/ (creek), make white bread sandwiches, carry water in a pail, and may designate the time 2:45 as a quarter to, or of, or till three.

The migration by southerners in the mid-19th century is evidenced in southeastern Kansas by such South Midland terms as pullybone (wishbone) and light bread (white bread); the expression wait on (wait for) extends farther westward.

In 2000, 2,281,705 Kansans91.3% of the residents five years old or older (down from 94.3% in 1990)spoke only English at home.

The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over.

Population 5 years and over2,500,360100.0
  Speak only English2,281,70591.3
  Speak a language other than English218,6558.7
Speak a language other than English218,6558.7
  Spanish or Spanish Creole137,2475.5
  French (incl. Patois, Cajun)6,5910.3


Protestant missions played an important role in early Kansas history. Isaac McCoy, a Baptist minister, was instrumental in founding the Shawnee Baptist Mission in Johnson County in 1831. Later, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, Presbyterian, and Jesuit missions became popular stopover points for pioneers traveling along the Oregon and Santa Fe trails. Mennonites were drawn to the state by a law passed in 1874 allowing exemption from military service on religious grounds. Religious freedom is specifically granted in the Kansas constitution, and a wide variety of religious groups are represented in the state.

Roman Catholics constitute the single largest religious group in the state, with 409,906 adherents in 2004. One of the leading Protestant denominations is the United Methodist Church, with 162,202 members in 2004. Others (with 2000 membership data) include the Southern Baptist Convention with 101,696 adherents; the American Baptist Church, 64,312; the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 62,712; and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 56,908. The estimated Jewish population in 2000 was 14,500, which represents an increase of over 5,000 adherents since 1990. There were over 18,000 Mennonites throughout the state and about 3,470 Muslims. About 50.6% of the population (or over 1.3 million people) did not report affiliation with a religious organization.


In the heartland of the nation, Kansas is at the crossroads of US road and railway systems. In 2001, Kansas had 25,638 bridges (third in the nation behind Texas and Ohio). In 2004, the state had 135,017 mi (217,377 km) of public roads. In that same year, there were some 845,000 automobiles, around 1.71 million trucks of all types, and some 1,000 buses registered in Kansas. In 2004, Kansas had 1,979,746 licensed drivers.

In the late 1800s, the two major railroads, the Kansas Pacific (now the Union Pacific) and the Santa Fe (now the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe) acquired more than 10 million acres (4 million hectares) of land in the state and then advertised for immigrants to come and buy it. By 1872, the railroads stretched across the state, creating in their path the towns of Ellsworth, Newton, Caldwell, Wichita, and Dodge City. One of the first "cow towns" was Abilene, the terminal point for all cattle shipped to the East.

In 2003, the state had 6,269 route mi (10,093 km) of railroad track. As of 2006, Amtrak's Southwest Chief passenger train crosses Kansas, serving six stations in the state en route from Chicago to Los Angeles.

In 2005, Kansas had a total of 409 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 370 airports, 38 heliports, and 1 STOLport (Short Take-Off and Landing). The state's busiest airport is Kansas City International. In 2004, the airport had 5,040,595 enplanements, making it the 39th busiest airport in the United States.

River barges move bulk commodities along the Missouri River. The chief river ports are Atchison, Leavenworth, Lansing, and Kansas City. In 2004, Kansas had 120 mi (193 km) of navigable inland waterways. In 2003, waterborne shipments totaled 1.694 million tons.


Present-day Kansas was first inhabited by Paleo-Indians approximately 10,000 years ago. They were followed by several prehistoric cultures, forerunners of the Plains tribesthe Wichita, Pawnee, Kansa, and Osagethat were living or hunting in Kansas when the earliest Europeans arrived. These tribes were buffalo hunters who also farmed and lived in small permanent communities. Around 1800, they were joined on the Central Plains by the nomadic Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowa.

The first European, explorer Francisco Coronado, entered Kansas in 1541, searching for riches in the fabled land of Quivira. He found no gold but was impressed by the land's fertility. A second Spanish expedition to the Plains was led by Juan de Onate in 1601. Between 1682 and 1739, French explorers established trading contacts with the Indians. France ceded its claims to the area to Spain in 1762 but received it back from Spain in 1800.

Most of Kansas was sold to the United States by France as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. (The extreme southwestern corner was gained after the Mexican War.) Lewis and Clark examined the country along the Missouri River in 1804, and expeditions under the command of Zebulon Pike (1806) and Stephen Long (1819) traversed the land from east to west. Pike and Long were not impressed with the territory's dry soil, the latter calling the area "unfit for civilization, and of course uninhabitable by a people depending on agriculture for their subsistence."

Largely because of these negative reports, early settlement of Kansas was sparse, limited to a few thousand eastern Indians who were removed from their lands and relocated in what is now eastern Kansas. Included were such once-powerful tribes as the Shawnee, Delaware, Ojibwa, Wyandot, Ottawa, and Potawatomi. They were joined by a number of Christian missionaries seeking to transform the Indians into Christian farmers.

William Becknell opened the Santa Fe Trail to wagon traffic in 1822, and for 50 years that route, two-thirds of which lay in Kansas, was of commercial importance to the West. During the 1840s and 1850s, thousands of migrants crossed northeastern Kansas on the California-Oregon Trail. In 1827, Ft. Leavenworth was established, followed by Ft. Scott (1842) and Ft. Riley (1853). Today, Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Riley are the two largest military installations in the state.

The Kansas Territory was created by the Kansas-Nebraska Act (30 May 1854), with its western boundary set at the Rocky Mountains. Almost immediately, disputes arose as to whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state. Both free-staters and proslavery settlers were brought in, and a succession of governors tried to bring order out of the chaos arising from the two groups' differences. Free-staters established an extralegal government at Topeka following the establishment of a territorial capital at Lecompton.

Because of several violent incidents, the territory became known as "Bleeding Kansas." One of the most memorable attacks came in May 1856, when the town of Lawrence was sacked by proslavery forces. John Brown, an abolitionist who had recently arrived from upstate New York, retaliated by murdering five proslavery settlers. Guerrilla skirmishes continued for the next few years along the Kansas-Missouri border. The final act of violence was the Marais des Cygnes massacre in 1858, which resulted in the death of several free-staters. In all, about 50 people were killed in the territorial periodnot an extraordinary number for a frontier community.

After several attempts to write a constitution acceptable to both anti- and proslavery groups, the final document was drafted in 1859. Kansas entered the Union on 29 January 1861 as a free state. Topeka was named the capital, and the western boundary was moved to its present location.

Although Kansas lay west of the major Civil War action, more than two-thirds of its adult males served in the Union Army, giving it the highest military death rate among the northern states. Kansas units saw action in the South and West, most notably at Wilson's Creek, Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, and Chickamauga. The only full-scale battle fought in Kansas was at Mine Creek in 1864, at the end of General Sterling Price's unsuccessful Confederate campaign in the West. The most tragic incident on Kansas soil came on 21 August 1863, when Confederate guerrilla William C. Quantrill raided Lawrence, killing at least 150 persons and burning the town.

Following the Civil War, settlement expanded in Kansas, particularly in the central part of the state. White settlers encroached on the hunting grounds of the Plains tribes, and the Indians retaliated with attacks on white settlements. Treaty councils were held, the largest at Medicine Lodge in 1867, but not until 1878 did conflict cease between Indians and whites. Most of the Indians were eventually removed to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. Also during this period, buffalo, slaughtered for food and hides, all but disappeared from the state.

By 1872, both the Union Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads crossed Kansas, and other lines were under construction. Rail expansion brought more settlers, who established new communities. It also led to the great Texas cattle drives that meant prosperity to a number of Kansas townsincluding Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Caldwell, and Dodge Cityfrom 1867 to 1885. This was when Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Wild Bill Hickok reigned in Dodge City and Abilenethe now romantic era of the Old West.

A strain of hard winter wheat that proved particularly well suited to the state's soil was brought to Kansas in the 1870s by Russian Mennonites fleeing czarist rule, and Plains agriculture was thereby transformed. There were also political changes: The state adopted limited female suffrage in 1887. Prohibition, made part of the state constitution in 1880, was a source of controversy until its repeal in 1948.

Significant changes in agriculture, industry, transportation, and communications came after 1900. Mechanization became commonplace in farming, and vast areas were opened to wheat production, particularly during World War I. Some automobile manufacturing took place, and the movement for "good roads" began. The so-called agrarian revolt of the late 19th century, characterized politically by populism, evolved into the Progressive movement of the early 1900s, which focused attention on control of monopolies, public health, labor legislation, and more representative politics. Much of the Progressive leadership came from Kansas; Kansan newspaper editor and national Progressive leader William Allen White devoted considerable energy to Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose campaign in 1912.

Kansas suffered through the Great Depression of the 1930s. The state's western region, part of the Dust Bowl, was hardest hit. Improved weather conditions and the demands of World War II revived Kansas agriculture in the 1940s. The World War II era also saw the development of industry, especially in transportation. Wichita had been a major center of the aircraft industry in the 1920s and 1930s, and its plants became vital to the US war effort. Other heavy industry grew, and mineral productionoil, natural gas, salt, coal, and gypsumexpanded greatly. In 1952, a native Kansan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was elected to the first of two terms as president of the United States. Two years later, Topeka became the focal point of a landmark in US historythe US Supreme Court ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case that banned racial segregation in the nation's schools.

After World War II, Kansas grew increasingly urban. Agriculture became highly commercialized and the state became home to dozens of large companies that process and market farm products and supply materials to crop producers. Livestock production, especially in closely controlled feedlots, is a major enterprise. Kansas farmers were hit hard by the recession of the 1980s. Agricultural banks failed and many farms were lost, their owners forced into bankruptcy. As part of a solution, the state government worked to expand international exports of Kansas products, securing, for example, a trade agreement with the St. Petersburg region of Russia in 1993. The late 1980s and early 1990s also saw dramatic extremes of weather. Kansas received less than 25% of its normal average rainfall in 1988. Topsoil erosion damaged 865,000 acres (354,650 hectares) and drought drove up commodity prices and depleted grain stocks. From April through September of 1993, Kansas experienced the worst floods of the century. Some 13,500 people evacuated their homes, and the floods caused $574 million worth of damage.

In the 1990s, in response to the economic problems created by severe weather and a slowdown in industrial growth, the state government implemented a number of measures, including block grants to cities, to bolster economic development. Amid the sustained economic boom of the late 1990s, Kansas generally prospered. Unemployment dropped to just 3%, more than 1 percentage point below the national average, in 1999. The state's poverty rate declined in the period between 1989 (when it was 11.5%) and 1998, when it was 9.6%. But with farmers and ranchers still struggling in 1999, a bipartisan group of rural legislators came together to introduce a plan to address what was by then perceived as a crisis in the state's agricultural economy. Their nine-point plan aimed to shore up the farming sector by restraining the anticompetitive market forces they believed threatened family farmers.

In 1996, native son and US Senate majority leader Robert Dole won the Republican presidential nomination but was defeated by Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton, although Dole carried his home state with 54% of the vote to Clinton's 36%.

In 1999, the Kansas Board of Education voted 6-4 to adopt standards that downplayed the importance of evolution and omitted the Big Bang theory of the universe's origin from the curriculum. Though the standards were not mandatory, they drew national attention, with critics decrying the standards as "backward looking." The decision was later reversed. In 2005, Kansas adopted a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and the Kansas Board of Education resumed hearings to determine whether evolution should once again be eliminated from state science standards.

The Kansas economy was improving in 2003, after the 2001 US recession. Unemployment in Kansas stood at 5% in July 2003. The national unemployment rate in July 2003 was 6.2%. In 2003, Kansas had a $230 million budget deficit for 2004, and Governor Kathleen Sebelius in April called for bond sales, expanded gambling, and more rapid tax collection to cover the shortfall. Her plans were met with opposition from the Republican-controlled legislature, however. In 2003, Sebelius focused on education, health care, transportation, and the economy. She also set forth plans to streamline state government and encourage citizen involvement in local communities. Sebelius in 2005 continued to stress goals of improving education, health care, and creating jobs. From 2003 to 2005, Wichita's aircraft industry was shored up, business development in small Kansas towns was increasing, and heavy investments were made in bioscience research at universities and medical centers.

Kansas Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 19482004
*Won US presidential election.
19488Dewey (R)351,902423,0394,6032,8076,468
19528*Eisenhower (R)273,296616,3026,0385306,038
19568*Eisenhower (R)296,317566,8783,048
19608Nixon (R)363,213561,4744,138
19647*Johnson (D)464,028386,5791,9015,393
19687*Nixon (R)302,996478,67488,9212,192
19727*Nixon (R)270,287619,81221,8084,188
19767Ford (R)430,421502,7524,7243,2421,403
19807*Reagan (R)326,150566,8127,55514,470
19847*Reagan (R)333,149677,2963,329
19887*Bush (R)422,636554,0493,80612,553
IND. (Perot)
19926Bush (R)390,434449,951312,3584,314
19966Dole (R)387,659583,24592,6394,557
20006*Bush, G. W. (R)399,276622,33236,0864,5257,370
20046*Bush, G. W. (R)434,993736,4569,3484,0132,899


The form of Kansas's constitution was a matter of great national concern, for the question of whether Kansas would be a free or slave state was in doubt throughout the 1850s. After three draft constitutions failed to win popular support or congressional approval, a fourth version, banning slavery, was drafted in July 1859 and ratified by Kansas voters that October. Signed by President James Buchanan on 29 January 1861, this constitution (with 92 subsequent amendments as of 2005, one of which was subsequently nullified by the state supreme court) governs Kansas to the present day.

The Kansas legislature consists of a 40-member Senate and a 125-member House of Representatives. Senators serve four-year terms and House members serve for two years; elections are held in even-numbered years. Legislative sessions, which begin the second Monday of January each year, are limited to 90 calendar days in even-numbered years but are unlimited in odd-numbered years. Legislators may call a special session by petition to the governor of two-thirds the membership of each house. Length of special sessions is not limited. Legislators must be at least 18 years old, state citizens, residents of their districts, and qualified voters. In 2004, legislators received a per diem salary of $78.75 during regular sessions.

Constitutional amendments are proposed by the legislature, where they must be approved by two-thirds of the members before being sent to the voters for ratification. A maximum of five proposed amendments may be submitted to the state's voters at any one time.

Officials elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and commissioner of insurance. Members of the state Board of Education are elected by districts. All elected state officials serve four-year terms. The governor cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. Every office in the executive branch is controlled by either the governor or another elected official. There are no formal age, citizenship, or residency provisions for a gubernatorial candidate's qualifications for office. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $98,331.

A bill becomes law when it has been approved by 21 senators and 63 representatives and signed by the governor. A veto can be overridden by two-thirds of the elected members of both houses. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs a bill, it becomes law after 10 days (whether or not the legislature is in session).

To vote in the state, a person must be a US citizen, 18 years old at the time of the election, a resident of Kansas, and not able to claim the right to vote elsewhere. Restrictions apply to those convicted of certain crimes and to those judged by the court to be mentally incompetent to vote.


Kansas was dominated by the Republican Party for the first three decades of statehood (1860s1880s). Although the Republicans remain the dominant force in state politics, the Democrats controlled the governorship in the early 2000s.

The Republican Party of early Kansas espoused the abolitionist ideals of the New England settlers who sought to ban slavery from the state. After the Civil War, the railroads played a major role in Republican politics and won favorable tax advantages from the elected officials. The party's ranks swelled with the arrival of immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, who tended to side with the party's strongly conservative beliefs.

The Republicans' hold over state life was shaken by the Populist revolt toward the end of the 19th century. The high point of Populist Party power came in 1892, when the insurgents won all statewide elective offices and also took control of the Senate. When electoral irregularities denied them control of the House, they temporarily seized the House chambers. The two parties then set up separate houses of representatives, the Populists meeting one day and the Republicans the next. This continued for six weeks, until the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the Republicans constituted the rightful legal body. After a Republican sweep in 1894, the Populists returned to office in 1896, but the party declined rapidly thereafter.

The Democrats rose to power in the state as a result of a split between the conservative and progressive wings of the Republican Party in 1912. Nevertheless, the Democrats were very much a minority party until after World War II. Democratic Kathleen Sebelius was elected governor in 2002. Republicans have regularly controlled the legislature. In 2004, there were 1,694,000 registered voters. In 1998, 29% of registered voters were Democratic, 45% Republican, and 26% unaffiliated or members of other parties.

In 1988 and 1992, Kansans voted for George H. W. Bush in the presidential elections. In the 1996 election, native Kansan Bob Dole won 54% of the vote; Bill Clinton received 36%; and Independent Ross Perot garnered 9%. In the 2000 and 2004 elections, Republican George W. Bush won 58% and 62% of the vote, respectively, to Democrat Al Gore's 37% (in 2000) and Democrat John Kerry's 36% (in 2004). The state had six electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.

Bob Dole, first elected to the US Senate in 1968 and elected Senate majority leader in 1984, reclaimed the post of majority leader when the Republicans gained control of the Senate in the elections of 1994. In a surprise move in May 1996, Dole announced his retirement from the Senate to concentrate on his presidential campaign. In November, the race to fill his remaining term was won by Republican Sam Brownback. Completing the term, Brownback won his first full term in November 1998; he was reelected in 2004. Kansas's other Republican senator, Nancy Landon Kassebaum, also vacated her seat in 1996; it was won by Republican congressman Pat Roberts, who was reelected in 2002. In the 2004 elections, Kansas voters sent three Republicans and one Democrat to the US House. In the state legislature in mid-2005, there were 30 Republicans and 10 Democrats in the state Senate and 83 Republicans and 42 Democrats in the state House.


As of 2005, Kansas had 105 counties, 627 municipal governments, 304 public school districts, and 1,533 special districts. As of 2002, there were 1,299 townships.

By law, no county can be less than 432 sq mi (1,119 sq km). Each county government is headed by elected county commissioners. Other county officials include the county clerk, treasurer, register of deeds, attorney, sheriff, clerk of district court, and appraiser. Most cities are run by mayor-council systems.

In 2005, local government accounted for about 137,278 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.


To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Kansas operates under the authority of the governor; the adjutant general is designated as the state homeland security adviser.

All education services, including community colleges, are handled by the state Board of Education; the state university system lies within the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents. The Department of Human Resources administers employment and worker benefit programs. The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation creates housing opportunities for Kansans. Social, vocational, and children's and youth programs are run by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The Department of Health and Environment supervises health, environment, and laboratory services. Other departments focus on agriculture, corrections, revenue, transportation, wildlife and parks, aging, and information systems and communication.

A "Sunset Law" automatically abolishes specified state agencies at certain times unless they receive renewed statutory authority.


The Kansas Supreme Court, the highest court in the state, is composed of a chief justice and six other justices. All justices are appointed by the governor but after one year must run for election in the next general election. They are then elected for six-year terms. In case of rejection by the voters, the vacancy is filled by appointment. An intermediate-level court of appeals consists of a chief judge and six other judges appointed by the governor; like supreme court justices, they must be elected to full terms, in this case for four years.

In January 1977, probate, juvenile, and county courts, as well as magistrate courts of countywide jurisdiction, were replaced by district courts. The 31 district courts are presided over by 156 district and associate district judges and 69 district magistrate judges.

As of 31 December 2004, a total of 8,966 prisoners were held in state and federal prisons in Kansas, a decrease (from 9,132) of 1.8% from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 620 inmates were female, down from 629 or 1.4% from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (includes some sentenced to one year or less), Kansas had an incarceration rate of 327 per 100,000 population in 2004.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kansas in 2004, had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 374.5 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 10,245 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 108,694 reported incidents or 3,973.5 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Kansas had a death penalty until 17 December 2004 when the state's death penalty statutes were declared unconstitutional. However, as of 1 January 2006, eight inmates remained on death row.

In 2003, Kansas spent $56,896,421 on homeland security, an average of $21 per state resident.


The US Army's First Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, was located at Ft. Riley in Junction City until 1996, when the colors of the First Infantry Division moved to Würzburg, Germany. Founded in 1827, Ft. Leavenworth is the oldest continuously active military fort west of the Mississippi. The Army's Combined Arms Center Command (CAC) and General Staff College is housed there. McConnell Air Force Base is located in Wichita. A total of 20,039 active-duty federal military personnel, along with 3,762 civilian personnel, were stationed in Kansas in 2004. In 2004, $1.4 billion in defense contracts was awarded to state firms, up from $762 million in 199596 and down from $2.4 billion in 198384. In addition, another $1.5 billion in defense payroll spending, including retired military pay, came to the state.

There were 246,359 veterans of US military service in Kansas as of 2003, of whom 36,042 served in World War II; 26,804 in the Korean conflict; 76,710 during the Vietnam era; and 38,422 in the Gulf War. During fiscal year 2004, expenditures on veterans were $592 million.

As of 31 October 2004, the Kansas Highway Patrol employed 535 full-time sworn officers.


By the 1770s, Kansas was inhabited by a few thousand Indians, mainly from five tribes: the Kansa (Kaw) and the Osage, both of whom had migrated from the East, the Pawnee from the North, and the Wichita and Comanche, who had come from the Southwest. In 1825, the US government signed a treaty with the Kansa and Osage that allowed eastern Indians to settle in the state.

The first wave of white migration came during the 1850s with the arrival of New England abolitionists who settled in Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan. They were followed by a much larger wave of emigrants from the eastern Missouri and the upper Mississippi Valley, drawn by the lure of wide-open spaces and abundant economic opportunity.

The population swelled as a result of the Homestead Act of 1862, which offered land to anyone who would improve it and live on it for five years. The railroads promoted the virtues of Kansas overseas and helped sponsor immigrant settlers. By 1870, 11% of the population was European. More than 30,000 blacks, mostly from the South, arrived during 187880. Crop failures caused by drought in the late 1890s led to extensive out-migration from the western half of the state. Another period of out-migration occurred in the early 1930s, when massive dust storms drove people off the land. Steady migration from farms to cities has been a feature of Kansas since the early 20th century, with urban population surpassing farm population after World War II. From 1980 to 1990, the urban population increased from 66.7% to 69.1% of the state's total. Also from 1980 to 1990, Kansas had a net loss of 63,411 from migration. Only 10 of Kansas's 105 counties recorded a net gain from migration in the 1980s. Between 1990 and 1998, the state had a net loss of 13,000 in domestic migration and a gain of 24,000 in international migration. In 1998, 3,184 foreign immigrants arrived in the state. Between 1990 and 1998, Kansas's overall population increased 6.1%. In the period 200005, net international migration was 38,222 and net internal migration was 57,763, for a net loss of 19,541 people.


Kansas is a member of the Arkansas River Compact of 1949, Arkansas River Compact of 1965, Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact, Kansas-Nebraska Big Blue River Compact, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas-Missouri Boundary Compact and Culture District Compact, Missouri River Toll Bridge Compact, Republican River Compact, and other interstate bodies. The Interstate Cooperation Commission assists state officials and employees in maintaining contact with governmental units in other states. In fiscal year 2001, Kansas received over $2.7 billion in federal grants. Following a national trend, that amount dropped to $2.561 billion in fiscal year 2005, before gradually recovering to an estimated $2.663 billion in fiscal year 2006 and an estimated $2.755 billion in fiscal year 2007.


Although wheat production has long been the mainstay of the Kansas economy, efforts to bring other industries into the state began as early as the 1870s, when the railroads linked Kansas to eastern markets. By 2000, agricultural products and meat-packing industries were rivaled by the large aircraft industry centered in Wichita. Four Kansas companies, all located in Wichita, manufacture 70% of the world's general aviation aircraft. The Kansas City metropolitan area is a center of automobile production and printing. Metal fabrication, printing, and mineral products industries predominate in the nine southeastern counties. Kansas continues to lead all states in wheat production. The national recession of 2001 had a relatively mild impact on the Kansas economy. The annual economic growth rate, which had averaged 5% from 1998 to 2000, dipped to 3.2% in 2001. Net job creation, though sharply slowed by layoffs in 2001 and 2002, including several rounds of layoffs in the Wichita aircraft manufacturing industry, remained positive, in contrast to the nation as whole, in which job creation turned to net layoffs in the second half of 2001 and stayed negative throughout 2002. In December 2002, however, unemployment in Kansas was at the relatively high level of 4.6%. The farm sector was also afflicted by drought conditions, which persisted into the winter of 200203. In 2002, on a year-by-year basis, wheat production was down 19%, corn production down 26%, and soybean production down 29%. Kansas's rural population continues its long-term decline as people migrate to urban areas seeking better employment opportunities. Since 1970, 67 of the state's 105 counties have lost population, and in 19 of these, the rate of decrease accelerated during the 1990s. From 1997 to 2001, Kansas farm output experienced a net decrease of 34.5%, from $2.7 billion to $1.8 billion.

The state's gross state product (GSP) in 2004 totaled $98.946 billion, of which manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) accounted for the largest portion at $14.897 billion or 15% of GSP, followed by real estate at $8.790 billion (8.8% of GSP) and health care and social services at $6.930 billion (7% of GSP). In that same year, there were an estimated 229,776 small businesses in Kansas. Of the 69,241 businesses that had employees, a total of 67,120 or 96.9% were small companies. An estimated 6,742 new businesses were established in the state in 2004, down 11.6% from the year before. Business terminations that same year came to 7,250, down 13.6% from 2003. There were 268 business bankruptcies in 2004, down 11.6% from the previous year. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 585 filings per 100,000 people, ranking Kansas as the 21st highest in the nation.


In 2005, Kansas had a gross state product (GSP) of $105 billion, which accounted for 0.9% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state at number 32 in highest GSP among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004, Kansas had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $31,078. This ranked 27th in the United States and was 94% of the national average of $33,050. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.0%. Kansas had a total personal income (TPI) of $84,957,195,000, which ranked 31st in the United States and reflected an increase of 5.0% from 2003. The 19942004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 4.6%. Earnings of persons employed in Kansas increased from $61,785,883,000 in 2003 to $65,176,017,000 in 2004, an increase of 5.5%. The 200304 national change was 6.3%.

The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 200204 in 2004 dollars was $43,725 compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period, 10.7% of the population was below the poverty line, compared to 12.4% nationwide.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006, the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Kansas numbered 1,481,300. Approximately 67,400 workers were unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 4.6%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 1,345,900. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Kansas was 7.4% in September 1982. The historical low was 2.9% in October 1978. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 4.9% of the labor force was employed in construction; 19.3% in manufacturing; 19.3% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 9.8% in professional and business services; 12.4% in education and health services; 8.4% in leisure and hospitality services; and 18.9% in government. Data were unavailable for financial services.

The BLS reported that in 2005, a total of 85,000 of Kansas's 1,210,000 employed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 7% of those so employed, down from 8.4% in 2004 and below the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 115,000 workers (9.5%) in Kansas were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Kansas is one of 22 states with a right-to-work law, which is a part of the state's constitution.

As of 1 March 2006, Kansas had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $2.65 per hour. However, that rate does not apply to employment covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 46% of the employed civilian labor force.


Known as the Wheat State and the breadbasket of the nation, Kansas typically produces more wheat than any other state. It ranked fifth in total farm income in 2005, with cash receipts of $9.7 billion.

Because of fluctuating prices, Kansas farmers have always risked economic disaster. During the 1920s, depressed farm prices forced many new farmers out of business. By World War II, Kansas farmers were prospering again, as record prices coincided with record yields. Since then, improved technology has favored corporate farms at the expense of small landholders. Between 1940 and 2002, the number of farms declined from 159,000 to 64,500, while the average size of farms more than doubled (to 732 acres/296 hectares). Income from crops in 2005 totaled $3.1 billion.

Other leading crops are alfalfa, hay, oats, barley, popcorn, rye, dry edible beans, corn and sorghums for silage, wild hay, red clover, and sugar beets.


In 2001, Kansas dairy farmers had an estimated 111,000 milk cows that produced 2.11 billion lb (0.96 billion kg) of milk.

In 2005, Kansas farmers had an estimated 6.65 million cattle and calves (second in the United States) worth $5.51 billion. Kan-sas farmers had an estimated 1.72 million hogs and pigs worth around $160 million in 2004. An estimated 6.9 million lb (3.1 million kg) of sheep and lambs were produced by Kansas farmers in 2003 and sold for $6.1 million. The wool clip in 2004 totaled 485,000 lb (220,000 kg).


There is little commercial fishing in Kansas. Sport fishermen can find bass, crappie, catfish, perch, and pike in the state's reservoirs and artificial lakes. In 2004, there were 265,238 fishing licenses issued by the state. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks' objectives for fisheries include provision of 11.7 million angler trips annually on Kansas reservoirs, lakes, streams, and private waters, while maintaining the quantity and quality of the catch. There are four state hatcheries.


Kansas was at one time so barren of trees that early settlers were offered 160 acres (65 hectares) free if they would plant trees on their land. This program was rarely implemented, however, and today much of Kansas is still treeless.

Kansas has 1,545,000 acres (625,000 hectares) of forestland, 2.9% of the total state area. There are 1,491,000 acres (491,000 hectares) of commercial timberland, of which 96% are privately owned.


According to data from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the value of nonfuel mineral production by Kansas in 2004 was $754 million, an increase from 2003 of 8.3%. The USGS data ranked Kansas as 23rd among the 50 states by the total value of its nonfuel mineral production, accounting for almost 1.7% of total US output.

Portland cement, Grade-A helium, salt, and crushed stone were the leading nonfuel mineral commodities produced by the state, accounting for around 28%, 25%, 17%, and 14%, respectively, of all nonfuel mineral production by value in 2004 and about 84% of all output collectively. Nationally, Kansas continued to rank first out of only two states in the production of Grade-A and crude helium. In addition, the state was fifth in the production of salt and eighth in the production of gypsum.

Portland cement production in 2004 totaled 2.69 million metric tons and was valued at an estimated $212 million. Grade-A helium output that same year totaled 82 million cu m and was valued at $189 million, while salt production totaled 2.89 million metric tons, with a value of $127 million. The production of crushed stone totaled 19.8 million metric tons and was valued at $109 million. Kansas was also a producer of common clays and dimension stone in 2004.

A total of 7,041 people were employed in Kansas in all aspects of mining during 2004.


As of 2003, Kansas had 154 electrical power service providers, of which 119 were publicly owned and 29 were cooperatives. The remaining, six were investor owned. As of that same year, there were 1,400,945 retail customers. Of that total, 952,229 received their power from investor-owned service providers. Cooperatives accounted for 212,001 customers, while publicly owned providers had 236,715 customers.

Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 10.887 million kW, with total production that same year at 46.567 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, 99.1% came from electric utilities, with the remainder coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 35.109 billion kWh (75.4%), came from coal-fired plants, with nuclear plants in second place at 8.889 billion kWh (19.1%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 0.8%% of all power generated, with petroleum and natural gas-fired plants at 2.1% and 2.6%, respectively.

As of 2006, Kansas had one single-unit nuclear plant, the Wolf Creek plant in Burlington.

As of 2004, Kansas had proven crude oil reserves of 245 million barrels, or 1% of all proven US reserves, while output that same year averaged 92,000 barrels per day. Including federal offshore domains, the state that year ranked 11th (10th excluding federal offshore) in proven reserves and ninth (eighth excluding federal offshore) in production among the 31 producing states. In 2004, Kansas had 40,474 producing oil wells. As of 2005, the state's three refineries had a combined crude oil distillation capacity of 296,200 barrels per day.

In 2004, Kansas had 18,120 producing natural gas and gas condensate wells. In that same year, marketed gas production (all gas produced excluding gas used for repressuring, vented and flared, and nonhydrocarbon gases removed) totaled 397.121 billion cu ft (11.2 billion cu m). As of 31 December 2004, proven reserves of dry or consumer-grade natural gas totaled 4,652 billion cu ft (132.1 billion cu m).

Kansas in 2004, had only one producing coal mine, a surface operation. Coal production that year totaled 71,000 short tons, down from 154,000 short tons in 2003. One short ton equals 2,000 lb (0.907 metric tons).


Kansas is a world leader in aviation, claiming a large share of both US and world production and sales of commercial aircraft. Wichita is a manufacturing center for Boeing, Cessna, Learjet, and Raytheon, which combined manufacture approximately 70% of the world's general aviation aircraft.

According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Kansas's manufacturing sector covered some 17 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $56.464 billion. Of that total, transportation equipment manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $15.553 billion. It was followed by food manufacturing at $14.704 billion; machinery manufacturing at $4.413 billion; petroleum and coal products manufacturing at $4.286 billion; and chemical manufacturing at $3.654 billion.

In 2004, a total of 167,982 people in Kansas were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 117,307 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the transportation equipment manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees at 40,982 with 24,250 actual production workers. It was followed by food manufacturing at 30,574 employees (24,828 actual pro-duction workers); machinery manufacturing at 17,677 employees (11,786 actual production workers); fabricated metal product manufacturing at 13,598 employees (9,941 actual production workers); and plastics and rubber products manufacturing with 11,632 employees (9,782 actual production workers).

ASM data for 2004 showed that Kansas's manufacturing sector paid $6.937 billion in wages. Of that amount, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $2.239 billion. It was followed by food manufacturing at $918.509 million; machinery manufacturing at $710.873 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $483.794 million; and plastics and rubber products manufacturing at $435.765 million.


Domestically, Kansas is not a major commercial state. According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Kansas's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $44.1 billion from 4,705 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 2,535 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 1,741 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 429 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $18.1 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $21.9 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $4.03 billion.

In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Kansas was listed as having 11,890 retail establishments with sales of $26.5 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (1,612); gasoline stations (1,464); miscellaneous store retailers (1,382); and food and beverage stores (1,379). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $6.8 billion, followed by general merchandise stores $4.7 billion; food and beverage stores at $3.8 billion; gasoline stations $2.6 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers $2.3 billion. A total of 144,874 people were employed by the retail sector in Kansas that year.

Exporters located in Kansas exported $6.7 billion in merchandise during 2005.


The attorney general's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division enforces the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, which protects consumers against fraud and false advertising. The consumer credit commissioner is responsible for administering the state's investment and common credit codes.

When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's Attorney General's Office (through its Consumer Protection Division) can initiate civil and criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; administer consumer protection and education programs; handle formal consumer complaints; and exercise broad subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the Attorney General's Office can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own and can initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts. However, the office cannot commence criminal proceedings, nor can it represent counties, cities, and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.

The attorney general's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division is located in Topeka. County government-based consumer protection offices are located in the cities of Olathe and Wichita.


As of June 2005, Kansas had 371 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 94 state-chartered and 26 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas) market area had the most financial institutions in the state with 152 and deposits at $32.593 billion, followed by Wichita at 58 and $8.453 billion, respectively. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 5% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $3.082 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 95% or $58.460 billion in assets held.

Regulation of Kansas's state-chartered financial institutions is handled by the Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner. In 1993, the state savings and loan commissioner's office was merged into the state bank commissioner's office.

In 2005, the state's insured financial institutions reported a median return on assets (ROA) of 1.02%, up slightly from 2004, which stood at 1%. The improvement in ROA resulted from lower loan losses and improved net interest margins.


In 2004 there were over 1.6 million individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of over $129 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was about $195 billion. The average coverage amount was $76,800 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $570 million.

In 2003, 12 life and health and 27 property and casualty insurance companies were domiciled in Kansas. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled $4.4 billion. That year, there were 9,933 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $1 billion. About $290 million of coverage was offered through FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance) Plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas.

In 2004, 59% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 6% held individual policies, and 21% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 11% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 23% for single coverage and 29% for family coverage. The state offers a six-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.

In 2003, there were over 2.2 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $25,000 per individual and $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $10,000. Personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage are also required. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $610.29.


There are no stock exchanges in Kansas. In 2005, there were 800 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 1,480 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 46 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 26 NASDAQ companies, 4 NYSE listings, and 2 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had one Fortune 500 company; YRC Worldwide (on NASDAQ) ranked 263rd in the nation with revenues of over $8.7 million. Seaboard (AMEX), Payless Shoesource (NYSE), Ferrellgas Partners (NYSE), and Westar Energy (NYSE) all made the Fortune 1,000 list.


The state budget is prepared by the Division of the Budget and submitted by the governor to the legislature for approval. The fiscal year (FY) runs from 1 July to 30 June. Generally, according to state law, no Kansas governmental unit may issue revenue bonds to finance current activities. These must operate on a cash basis. Bonds may be issued for such capital improvements as roads and buildings.

In fiscal year 2006, general funds were estimated at $5.6 billion for resources and $5.1 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Kansas were $3.4 billion.

In the fiscal year 2007 federal budget, Kansas was slated to receive $33.9 million in State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds to help the state provide health coverage to low-income, uninsured children who do not qualify for Medicaid. This funding is a 23% increase over fiscal year 2006. The state was also scheduled to receive $14.5 million for the HOME Investment Partnership Program to help Kansas fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. This funding is a 13% increase over fiscal year 2006.


In 2005, Kansas collected $5,599 million in tax revenues or $2,040 per capita, which placed it 32nd among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Property taxes accounted for 1.1% of the total, sales taxes 35.6%, selective sales taxes 14.1%, individual income taxes 36.6%, corporate income taxes 4.4%, and other taxes 8.2%.

As of 1 January 2006, Kansas had three individual income tax brackets ranging from 3.5% to 6.45%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 4.0%.

In 2004, state and local property taxes amounted to $3,246,616,000 or $1,187 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state 14th nationally. Local governments collected $3,189,062,000 of the total and the state government $57,554,000.

Kansas taxes retail sales at a rate of 5.30%. In addition to the state tax, local taxes on retail sales can reach as much as 3%, making for a potential total tax on retail sales of 8.30%. Food purchased for consumption off premises is taxable, although an income tax credit is allowed to off set sales tax on food. The tax on cigarettes is 79 cents per pack, which ranks 27th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Kansas taxes gasoline at 24 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.

According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Kansas citizens received $1.12 in federal spending.


The first state commission to promote industrial development was formed in 1939. In 1986, this commission was reorganized into the Kansas Department of Commerce, and in 1992 it became the Department of Commerce and Housing. The department later renamed itself the Department of Commerce (KDOC) once again. The department in 2006 consisted of five divisions: Agriculture

KansasState Government Finances
(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)
Abbreviations and symbols: - zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.
source: U.S Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.
Total Revenue11,044,1464,039.56
  General revenue9,868,9563,609.71
    Intergovernmental revenue3,000,0371,097.31
      General sales1,932,927707.00
      Selective sales790,225289.04
      License taxes274,619100.45
      Individual income tax1,915,530700.63
      Corporate income tax166,60960.94
      Other taxes203,76674.53
    Current charges897,814328.39
    Miscellaneous general revenue687,429251.44
  Utility revenue--
  Liquor store revenue--
  Insurance trust revenue1,175,190429.84
Total expenditure11,207,1214,099.17
  Intergovernmental expenditure2,878,8011,502.96
  Direct expenditure8,328,3203,046.20
      Current operation5,736,5242,098.22
      Capital outlay1,032,362377.60
      Insurance benefits and repayments1,104,320403.96
      Assistance and subsidies288,708105.60
      Interest on debt166,40660.87
Exhibit: Salaries and wages1,639,641599.72
Total expenditure11,207,1214,099.17
  General expenditure10,102,8013,695.25
    Intergovenmental expenditure2,878,8011,052.96
    Direct expenditure7,224,0002,642,28
  General expenditures, by function:
    Public welfare2,475,046905.28
    Police protection74,19327.14
    Natural resources185,65867.91
    Parks and recreation7,4662.73
    Government adminsitration420,302153.73
    Interest on general debt166,40660.87
    Other and unallocable391,658143.25
  Utility expenditure--
  Liquor store expenditure--
  Insurance trust expenditure1,104,320403.92
Debt at end of fiscal year4,571,4081,672.06
Cash and security holdings14,077,5795,149.08

Marketing Development; Community Development; Travel and Tourism; Business Development; and Trade Development. In the 21st century, the KDOC has recommended investments in the fields of aviation, plastics, value-added agriculture, call centers, administrative service centers, and wholesale, packaging, and distribution. Events sponsored by the KDOC include training in downtown revitalization, conferences on finding new markets though international trade and, for leaders, facilitating international business, and workshops on applying for community development block grants (CDBGs).

Kansas provides tax-exempt bonds to help finance business and industry. Specific tax incentives include job expansion and investment tax credits; tax exemptions or moratoriums on land, capital improvements, and specific machinery; and certain corporate income tax exemptions.


The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 6.3 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 14.5 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 21.4 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 87.8% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 78% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.

The crude death rate in 2003 was 9 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were as follows: heart disease, 246; cancer, 197.4; cerebrovascular diseases, 67.9; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 50.3; and diabetes, 28.2. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 1.4 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 4.2 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 57.5% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 19.8% of state residents were smokers.

In 2003, Kansas had 134 community hospitals with about 10,600 beds. There were about 331,000 patient admissions that year and 6 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 5,900 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $952. Also in 2003, there were about 374 certified nursing facilities in the state with 27,045 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 78%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 74.5% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year. Kansas had 235 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 923 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there was a total of 1,360 dentists in the state.

About 21% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 11% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $2.7 million.

The University of Kansas has the state's only medical and pharmacology schools. The university's Mid-America Cancer Center and Radiation Therapy Center are the major cancer research and treatment facilities in the state. The Menninger Foundation has a research and treatment center for mental health.


Public assistance and social programs are coordinated through the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. In 2004, about 68,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $272. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 177,782 persons (78,165 households); the average monthly benefit was about $84.37 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $179.9 million.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. Kansas's TANF program is called Kansas Works. In 2004, the state program had 44,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this TANF program totaled $83 million fiscal year 2003.

In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 447,140 Kansas residents. This number included 291,570 retired workers, 45,770 widows and widowers, 51,520 disabled workers, 24,660 spouses, and 33,620 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 16.4% of the total state population and 93.7% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $979; widows and widowers, $956; disabled workers, $866; and spouses, $497. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $497 per month; children of deceased workers, $628; and children of disabled workers, $253. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments went to 38,476 Kansas residents in December 2004, averaging $384 a month.


Kansas has relatively old housing stock. According to a 2004 survey, about 20% of all housing units were built in 1939 or earlier and 49.6% were built between 1940 and 1979. The overwhelming majority (73.8%) were one-unit, detached structures and 69.5% were owner occupied. The total number of housing units in 2004 was estimated at 1,185,114, of which 1,076,366 were occupied. Most units relied on utility gas and electricity for heating. It was estimated that 46,269 units lacked telephone service, 3,554 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 5,093 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household had 2.47 members.

In 2004, 13,300 privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $102,458. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,013. Renters paid a median of $567 per month. In 2006, the state received over $17.2 million in community development block grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


In 2004, 89.6% of those age 25 and older were high school graduates, compared to the national average of 84%. Some 30% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher.

In 1954, Kansas was the focal point of a US Supreme Court decision that had enormous implications for US public education. The court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that Topeka's "separate but equal" elementary schools for black and white students were inherently unequal, and it ordered the school system to integrate.

Total public school enrollment for fall 2002 stood at 471,000. Of these, 322,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 149,000 attended high school. Approximately 76.4% of the students were white, 8.9% were black, 11% were Hispanic, 2.3% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 1.4% were American Indian/Alaskan Native. Total enrollment was estimated at 465,000 in fall 2003 and was estimated to be 471,000 by fall 2014, an increase of 0.1% during the period 200214. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $3.96 billion. There were 41,762 students enrolled in 229 private schools in fall 2003. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005, eighth graders in Kansas scored 284 out of 500 in mathematics compared with the national average of 278.

As of fall 2002, there were 188,049 students enrolled in institutions of higher education; minority students comprised 13.3% of total postsecondary enrollment. In 2005 Kansas had 63 degree-granting institutions. There are 9 four-year public institutions, 27 public two-year schools, and 21 private nonprofit four-year institutions. In addition, Kansas has a state technical institute, a municipal university (Washburn University, Topeka), and an American Indian university. Kansas State University was the nation's first land-grant university. Washburn University and the University of Kansas have the state's two law schools. The oldest higher-education institution in Kansas is Highland Community College, which was chartered in 1857. The oldest four-year institution is Baker University, a United Methodist institution, which received its charter just three days after Highland's was issued. The Kansas Board of Regents offers scholarships and tuition grants to Kansas students in need.


The Kansas Arts Commission is a state arts agency governed by a 12-member panel of commissioners appointed for four-year rotating terms by the governor. The commission's annual budget is made up of funds appropriated by the Kansas legislature and grants awarded to the agency by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2005, the Kansas Arts Commission and other Kansas arts organizations received 12 grants totaling $767,470 from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts Commission is also in partnership with the regional Mid-America Arts Alliance. The Kansas Humanities Council, founded in 1972, sponsors programs involving over 500,000 people each year. In 2005, the state received $864,264 in the form of 13 grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The largest and most active arts organization in the state is the Wichita Symphony Orchestra; established in 1944, it is one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. The Koch Industries Twilight Pops Concert has become the largest event of the annual Wichita River Festival. Attracting some 100,000 people, the Wichita Symphony performs a wide range of music at this outdoor concert, including favorite patriotic pieces and rock choices. The Topeka Performing Arts Center presents concerts and shows of a variety of music. Topeka also hosts the Topeka Symphony, established in 1946. The 2005/06 season marked the Topeka Symphony's 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebration.

The Wichita Art Museum, established in 1915, is noted for its emphasis on American art and American artistic heritage. Its permanent Roland P. Murdock Collection boasts works by Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, and Edward Hopper.


In 2001, Kansas had 321 public library systems, with a total of 373 libraries, of which 53 were branches. In that same year, the state's public library system had 10,438,000 volumes of books and serial publications on its shelves and a total circulation of 21,488,000. The system also had 339,000 audio and 411,000 video items, 21,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and five bookmobiles. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene houses a collection of papers and memorabilia from the 34th president. There is also a museum. The Menninger Foundation Museum and Archives in Topeka maintains various collections pertaining to psychiatry. The Kansas State Historical Society Library (Topeka) contains the state's archives. Volumes of books and documents on the Old West are found in the Cultural Heritage and Arts Center Library in Dodge City. with 10,207,000 volumes and a circulation of 20,808,000. In 2001, operating income for the state's public library system totaled $770,029,000, which included $607,000 in federal grants and $1,870,000 in state grants.

Almost 188 museums, historical societies, and art galleries were scattered across the state in 2000. The Dyche Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, draws many visitors. The Kansas State Historical Society maintains an extensive collection of ethnological and archaeological materials in Topeka.

Among the art museums are the Mulvane Art Center in Topeka, the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, and the Wichita Art Museum. The Dalton Museum in Coffeyville displays memorabilia from the famed Dalton family of desperadoes. La Crosse is the home of the Barbed Wire Museum, displaying more than 500 varieties of barbed wire. The Emmett Kelly Historical Museum in Sedan honors the world-famous clown born there. The US Cavalry Museum is on the grounds of Ft. Riley. The Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita and the Topeka Zoo are the largest of seven zoological gardens in Kansas.

The entire town of Nicodemus, where many blacks settled after the Civil War, was made a national historic landmark in 1975. The chalk formations of Monument Rocks in western Kansas constitute the state's only national natural landmark. Ft. Scott and Ft. Larned are national historic parks.


About 94.8% of all households had telephone service in 2004. Additionally, by June of that same year, there were 1,345,160 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 63.8% of Kansas households had a computer and 54.3% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 419,938 high-speed lines in Kansas, 385,369 residential and 34,569 for business.

The state had 15 major AM and 54 major FM radio stations, 14 major commercial television stations, and 4 public television stations in 2005. In 2000, Kansas had registered a total of 42,009 Internet domain names.


Starting with the Shawnee Sun, a Shawnee-language newspaper founded by missionary Jotham Meeker in 1833, the press has played an important role in Kansas history. The most famous Kansas newspaperman was William Allen White, whose Emporia Gazette was a leading voice of Progressive Republicanism around the turn of the century. Earlier, John J. Ingalls launched his political career by editing the Atchison Freedom's Champion. Captain Henry King came from Illinois to found the State Record and Daily Capital in Topeka.

In 2005, Kansas had 43 daily newspapers (9 morning and 34 evening) and 14 Sunday papers.

Leading newspapers and their circulations in 2005 were as follows:

TopekaCapitalu-Journal (m,S)89,46964,585
WichitaEagle (m,S)96,506146,727

The Kansas City (Missouri) Star (275,747 daily; 388,425 Sundays) is widely read in the Kansas as well as in the Missouri part of the metropolitan area.


In 2006, there were over 3,790 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 2,440 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations. Among the national organizations headquartered in Kansas are the American Association for Public Opinion Research, American Institute of Baking, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, International Association for Jazz Education, and Lefthanders International.

State and regional cultural and educational organizations include the Association of Community Arts Agencies of Kansas and the Kansas State Historical Society, as well as a number of county historical societies and regional arts groups. The national offices of Mennonite Women USA and Mennonite Voluntary services are in Newton.


Kansas has 23 state parks, 2 national historic sites, 24 federal reservoirs, 48 state fishing lakes, more than 100 privately owned campsites, and more than 304,000 acres (123,000 hectares) of public hunting and game management lands. The two major national historic sites are Ft. Larned and Ft. Scott, both 19th-century Army bases on the Indian frontier. In 2002, the top five parks (based on number of visitors) were Hillsdale State Park (1.6 million), El Dorado State Park (1 million), Clinton Lake, Perry Lake, and Tuttle Creek Lake.

The most popular tourist attraction, with over 2.4 million visitors in 2002, is Cabela's (Kansas City), a 190,000 square-foot showroom and shopping center featuring a mule deer museum, a 65,000 gallon aquarium, a gun library, and Yukon base camp grill. The next-ranking visitor sites in 2002 were Harrah's Prairie Band Casino (Mayetta), the Kansas City Speedway, Sedgwick County Zoo (Wichita), Woodlands Race Tracks (Kansas City), New Theatre Restaurant (Overland Park), Exploration Place (Wichita) and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center (Hutchinson).

Topeka features a number of tourist attractions, including the state capitol, state historical museum, and Menninger Foundation. Dodge City offers a reproduction of Old Front Street as it was when the town was the "cowboy capital of the world." Historic Wichita Cowtown is another frontier-town reproduction. In Hanover stands the only remaining original and unaltered Pony Express station. A recreated "Little House on the Prairie," near the childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, is 13 mi (21 km) southwest of Independence. The Eisenhower Center in Abilene contains the 34th president's family home, library, and museum. The state fair is held in Hutchinson.

Kansas has six national parks including the site of the famous school desgregation lawsuit Brown v. the Board of Education (in Shawnee County). Carrie Nation (of Medicine Lodge) founded the Temperance Movement leading to the Prohibition Act, which outlawed the sale and consumption of alcohol. The University of Kansas (at Lawrence) is home to the Dole Institute of Politics, founded by former vice president Robert Dole. Famous aviator Amelia Earhart hails from Abilene, as does President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Each April, the city of Flint Hills hosts the Prairie Fire Festival, when there is a controlled burn of dead prairie material.


There are no major professional sports teams in Kansas. The minor league Wichita Wranglers play in the Double-A Texas League and the Kansas City T-Bones play in the Northern League. There is also a minor league hockey team in Wichita. During spring, summer, and early fall, horses are raced at Eureka Downs. The national Greyhound Association Meet is held in Abilene.

The University of Kansas and Kansas State both play collegiate football in the Big Twelve Conference. Kansas went to the Orange Bowl in 1948 and 1969, losing both times. The Jayhawks won the Aloha Bowl in 1992 and 1995. Kansas State played in the Cotton Bowl in 1996 and 1997, winning in 1996, and they won the Fiesta Bowl in 1998. In basketball, Kansas won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship in 1952 and 1988 and has appeared in 12 Final Four Tournaments. The National Junior College Basketball Tournament is held in Hutchinson each March. The Kansas Relays take place at Lawrence in April. The Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City is one of many rodeos held statewide. The Kansas Speedway hosts the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch series event.

A US sporting event unique to Kansas is the International Pancake Race, held in Liberal each Shrove Tuesday. Women wearing housedresses, aprons, and scarves run along an S-shaped course carrying skillets and flipping pancakes as they go.

Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson was born in Humboldt, NFL great Barry Sanders in Wichita, and basketball legend Adolph Rupp in Halstead.


Kansas claims only one US president and one US vice president. Dwight D. Eisenhower (b.Texas, 18901969) as elected the 34th president in 1952 and reelected in 1956; he had served as the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in World War II. He is buried in Abilene, his boyhood home. Charles Curtis (18601936) was vice president during the Herbert Hoover administration.

Two Kansans have been associate justices of the US Supreme Court: David J. Brewer (18371910) and Charles E. Whittaker