Kansas Facts
Kansas Facts

30 Knockout Kansas Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published May 17, 2019
  • Kansas has been home to humans for thousands of years; the first people to call Kansas home migrated to the area during the last Ice Age, when glaciers pushed them to move farther south.[2]
  • Spanish explorers came to Kansas in 1541, bringing horses with them, which eventually helped Kansas become an agricultural region.[2]
  • Kansas got its name from the Native American Kansa tribe, who lived on the land for over 12,000 years.[2][4]
  • Kansas became a state on January 29, 1861, and was the 34th state added to the union.[3]
  • As of 2019, Kansas has a population of 2,929,907.[4]
  • Kansas is the 15th largest state in terms of surface area but ranks only 35th in population.[2]
  • There are 34.9 people per square mile in Kansas, making it the 40th most densely populated state in the United States.[4]
  • Kansas is overwhelmingly white, with 85.2% of the population being Caucasian.[4]
  • Seventy-six percent of Kansas citizens are Christian.[4]
  • Kansas Facts American Bison
    The American bison is the official animal of Kansas, and it looks like they're loving life in the Midwest!
  • The American bison is the official animal of Kansas.[5]
  • Kansas produces the most wheat of any state in the United States.[4]
  • Kansas is sometimes called the “World’s Bread Basket” because of its high production of wheat and flour.[5]
  • Kansas is home to the Geodetic Center of North America, the point by which all property lines and boundaries for the North American continent are drawn.[4]
  • Kansas has the fourth highest number of tornados out of the 50 states.[2]
  • Kansas’ state motto is “Ad astra per aspera,” which is Latin for, “To the stars through difficulties.”[3]
  • Kansas is home to several Native American tribes, including the Wichita, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, Arikara, and Comanche.[2]
  • Kansas Native American Fact
    Several Native American tribes originated from the Kansas region; the state tries to honor that heritage, as in this art installation in Wichita.

  • In 1830, President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act, which relocated native tribes to settlements in the U. S. Midwest, many of which were located in Kansas.[2]
  • In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing settlers to move to the territory. In order to determine if the new region would allow slavery, northern and southern states worked hard to send the most settlers into the area.[3]
  • Fighting broke out between Kansas settlers who wanted slavery to be legal in the new territory and those who did not, leading to the state’s nickname “Bleeding Kansas.”[2]
  • Kansas Civil War Fact
    Kansas was integral to the Civil War, and their loyalty to the Union was paramount.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 is often cited by historians as the cause of the Civil War, due to the infighting among settlers regarding the legality of slavery.[6]
  • Kansas was eventually declared a slavery-free state, but only after four different state constitutions were drafted.[2]
  • During the Civil War, Kansas suffered the loss of more soldiers than any other state in the Union.[4]
  • The Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which ended "separate but equal" discrimination laws, was centered on the Topeka, Kansas, school district.[3]
  • Despite Chicago holding the title of Windy City, Dodge City in southwest Kansas is meteorologically the real winner, with average wind speeds of 14 miles per hour.[4]
  • The popular children’s book The Wizard of Oz is set in Kansas, before Dorothy is taken to the magical land of Oz by a tornado.[4]
  • Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

    - L. Frank Baum

  • Kansas fought for the North in the Civil War.[2]
  • Kansas earned the nickname of the “Great Soldier State” after the Civil War, since many veterans moved to Kansas when the fighting ceased.[2]
  • Kansas was a pioneering state in women’s rights, and their constitution granted women some property and voting rights before the federal government mandated such policies.[2]
  • The first Civil Rights Movement lunch counter sit-in was held in 1958 at the Dockum Drug store in Wichita, Kansas.[2]
  • Kansas is the birthplace of several famous celebrities, including Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones), Dianne Wiest (Footloose, Hannah and Her Sisters), and Ellie Kemper (The Office, The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt).[1]
  • Fun Kansas Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Interesting Kansas Infographic

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