Kansas is barbecue country – and not only that, but many of us know the state for its links to The Wizard of Oz, its oil wells, and its endless wheat fields. However, there’s much more to this midwestern state than meets the eye. Here are some fun facts about Kansas to keep in mind the next time you go quizzing!
1. Here’s where you can find Kansas on the map.
Kansas is a midwestern state in the US. In fact, if you look at a map of the continental US, you’ll see that it’s pretty much smack-bang in the middle! It is surrounded by Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
2. How big is Kansas?
Kansas covers an area of about 213,100 km2, which is around 82,278 square miles. This makes it the 15th biggest state in the US!
3. How many Kansans are there?
As of 2021, there were 2.935 million people living in Kansas. And, as you can imagine, the people from Kansas prefer not to be called “Kansasians”, or any other weird term! In fact, people from Kansas are simply known as Kansans, or Jayhawkers.
4. It’s sparser than you think!
For all Kansas is one of the 15 biggest states in the US, it’s actually only 33rd in terms of population size. That, and its population only seems to grow by around 1% a year!
5. “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”
Well, we are, but we heard some people call the state by a few different names! Kansas is also commonly known as the sunflower state, the Jayhawk state, and the Midway state!
6. Time to go spelunking?
If you’re a big fan of cave trekking, then Kansas is certainly likely to pop up on your vacation radar. It’s one of the most cave-heavy states in the country – there are more than 800 in total statewide, covering 51 different counties. What’s even weirder is the fact that only 30 caves were discovered before 1960!
7. Is it Wichita?
Since Wichita is the biggest city in Kansas, many assume that it is also the state capital. However, many are wrong! The state capital is actually Topeka, but more people live in Wichita – possibly why there’s been so much confusion over the years!
8. Kansas has its share of stars.
Kansas has brought a lot to us over the years, but one of the best things it does is create stars! Some of the most famous people to come from Kansas include Annette Bening, Langston Hughes, Janelle Monáe, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis, and even Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd!
9. There’s no place like home!
Of course, many people know about Kansas thanks to the classic L Frank Baum story, “The Wizard of Oz!” Kansas is the home of Dorothy Gale, the book’s main character. There is even a replica of Dorothy’s famous farm home which people can visit – even though much of the action takes place in weird and wonderful Oz!
10. What does “Kansas” mean, anyway?
It is believed that the name “Kansas” came from the Sioux who used to live in the area. It is thought to mean “people of the Southwind.” And, given just how windy it can get here, that’s a pretty apt name!
FAQs about Kansas
What is Kansas mainly known for?
Kansas is mainly known for its natural beauty! It has abundant wild and natural land, including stunning hills, prairies, and plains - and do make sure to check out one or more of its 800+ caves if you're feeling adventurous!
What is the climate in Kansas?
Kansas has a temperate continental climate. This means that it gets very hot summers and very cold winters. The average temperature throughout the year is about 55 F.
Do you know any fun facts about Kansas? Share them in the comments below!