Kansas

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Kansas

Kansas is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is an agricultural state and the largest producer of wheat in the United States. The capital of Kansas is Topeka. The most populous city is Wichita followed by Overland Park and Kansas City. It is the among the twenty least populous states in the nation with a population of 2,688,418 according to the 2000 census.

The state name may have originated from the Kansas River that was named by the French after the Sioux Indian word "KaNze" meaning, in the Kansas language "south wind."

Geography

The state is in the West North Central census region. It has a surface area of 82,277 square miles, and 0.56% of the surface area is covered by water. It is the fifteenth largest state in area. Kansas has a temperate climate. It ranks among the bottom five in the total amount of surface water among the fifty states. The geographical center of the 48 contiguous states is in Smith County. To the north is Nebraska, to the east is Missouri, Oklahoma is on the southern border, and to the west is Colorado. The highest point in the state is Mount Sunflower with an elevation of 4,039 feet.

The Geodetic Center of North America is at Meade's Ranch 40 miles south of Lebanon. It is the beginning reference point for land surveying in North America.


History

The Arapaho, Comanche, Kansa, Kiowa, Osage, and Pawnee were some of the Native American tribes living in the area that would become Kansas during the initial European exploration and settlement. The first documented European exploration of the area was by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (1541). In 1744 French soldiers established a garrison at Fort Cavagnial near present day Fort Leavenworth. American soldiers commanded by Colonel Henry Leavenworth established a garrison and founded the first permanent colony at Fort Leavenworth in 1827.

The land that would later become Kansas was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Prior to entering the Union it was part of the so-called "Indian Country" of old Missouri Territory, which was left unorganized when Missouri was admitted as a State. Kansas was admitted as the 34th state on January 29, 1861 by an Act of Congress recognizing a state government already formed.


Business and Economy

The economic product (GSP or gross state product) of the state in 2003 was 93,352 million dollars. The state produces various commodities including cattle, wheat, and corn. Kansas farmers produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997. This is enough wheat to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread. Communications, farming and printing & publishing are notable industries. From 2000 to 2003 the GSP increased by 7.25%. Kansas's GSP represents 0.86% percent of the combined GSP of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.


Society and Culture

Amelia Earhart, a native of Atchison Kansas, was the first woman to earn a pilot's license in 1923. She later became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. A person from Kansas is called a Kansan. The state is nicknamed the Sunflower State or Jayhawker State. Its tourism slogan is “Simply Wonderful”.


Demographics

The population was 2,477,574 at the time of the 1990 census. The US Census Bureau estimated the State’s population in 2003 to be 2,723,507. The state experienced an estimated growth of 1.3% between 2000 and 2003.

Kansas's population is largely homogenous with a substantial non-Latino white majority. According to the 2003 census, the ethnic breakdown of the state is:
White: 86.1%
Black: 5.7%
Indian: 0.9%
Asian: 1.7%
Pacific Islander: 0%
Other Races: 3.4%
Two or more races: 2.1%

The state's Latinos represent 7% of the total population. 83.1% of the population classifies itself as non-Latino white.


Regional Area
Surface: 82282 sq.mi
Population: 2,688,418
Located in: North America
Area Code: 82282 sq.mi
President/Governor: Bill Graves
Flag/Coat of Arms: