Kansas Geography

Kansas Geography

Kansas is bordered to the north by the state of Nebraska, to the east by Missouri, to the south by Oklahoma and to the west by Colorado. Forests cover less than 5% of the state.

Kansas is covered entirely by the Missouri River watershed, which serves as the border between northeast Kansas and Missouri. This river basin can be divided into two smaller basins. The first of these is the watershed of the Kansas River, which covers the north and east of the state, whose rivers run mostly in an easterly direction. The second basin is the Arkansas River, which covers southern Kansas. The Arkansas River runs south.

Kansas has few natural lakes, due to its relatively flat terrain. Most of the 150 lakes in the state are artificial reservoirs, created by dams, of which the largest of them, Lake Milford, has an area of ​​6.47 thousand hectares.

The geographic center of the 48 contiguous United States — that is, the United States without Alaska and Hawaii — is located in northern Kansas, in Smith County.

The geodetic center of North America is also located in Kansas, in Osborne County. This center is used as a reference point for all maps made by the United States government.

Geographic regions

According to Abbreviationfinder, Kansas can be divided into three distinct geographic regions:

  • The Dissected Till Plains covers northeast Kansas, east of the Kansas River, and north of the Big Blue River. This is the smallest of the three surface regions. The soilin this region is mainly made up of sediments deposited by ancient glaciers. This soil is extremely fertile.
  • The Southeastern Plains cover southeastern Kansas. This region has a very flat terrain, covered mainly by flattened low-lying mountains. The Southeastern Plains have the lowest elevations in Kansas, including the lowest point in the state, 207 meters. The region’s soil is the least fertile of the three geographic regions of Kansas.
  • The Great Plains, the largest of the three regions, cover the entire west-central region of Kansas. It is characterized by its slightly rugged terrain and variable altitude, which increases as one travels towards the west. The highest point in Kansas, Mount Sunflower, with its 1,231 meters of altitude, is located in this region.

Main cities

According to CountryAAH.com, Kansas has 627 incorporated cities. By Kansas statute, cities are divided into three classes which are determined by the population obtained “by any enumeration census.”

A third-class city has a population of less than 5,000 residents, although cities that reach a population of more than 2,000 residents can be certified as a second-class city. The second class is limited to cities with a population of less than 25,000 residents, and a population of more than 15,000, can be certified as a first-class city. First and second class cities are independent of any municipality and are not included within the territory of the municipality.


The first schools in Kansas were founded during the 1830s by missionaries, and created primarily for the education of Native American children. In 1855, Kansas passed a law establishing a public school system for the education of white children, a law that was amended in 1859 to include any child, regardless of race.

Currently, all educational institutions in Kansas need to follow the regulations and instructions issued by the Kansas State Board of Education. This council directly controls the state’s public school system, which is divided into different school districts.

The council is made up of eight members chosen by the governor for terms of up to four years in length. These eight members appoint a ninth member, who will act as commissioner of education, and president of the council.

Each main city (city), several secondary cities (towns) and each county, is served by a school district. In cities, the responsibility for the administration of the public school system rests with the municipal districts, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility rests with the school districts, which operate throughout the county as a whole.

Kansas allows the operation of “charter schools” (independent public schools, which are not run by school districts, but depend on public budgets to operate). School attendance is compulsory for all children and adolescents over seven years of age, until the conclusion of secondary education or up to fifteen years of age.

In 1999, Kansas public schools served about 472.2 thousand students, employing approximately 33 thousand teachers. Private schools served about 43.1 thousand students, employing approximately 3.2 thousand teachers. The state’s public school system invested about $ 2.84 billion, and public school spending was about $ 6.7 thousand per student. About 88.6% of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have a high school diploma.

The first public library in Kansas was founded in 1859, in Vinland. Currently, the state has 321 public library systems, which annually move about 9.6 books per resident.

Kansas’ first institution of higher learning, Baker University, in Baldwin City, was founded in 1858. Currently, Kansas has 60 institutions of higher education, of which 35 are public and 25 are private.

The University of Kansas, founded in 1859 in Lawrence, is the largest educational institution in the state, and the oldest public institution of higher education in Kansas.


In 2002, Kansas had 8,138 kilometers of railroad tracks. In 2003, the state had 217,281 kilometers of public roads, of which 1,407 kilometers were interstate highways, part of the federal highway system of the United States.

The mileage on the Kansas public highway system is the fourth highest in the United States, second only to California, Texas and Illinois. The International Wichita Airport is the airport ‘s busiest state.


Kansas’ first newspaper, the Shawnee Sun, was first published in 1835. This newspaper, created by Jotham Meeker (Baptist missionary, defender of the Shawnee, Ottawa and Delaware peoples of Kansas), was published in the Shawnee language, and was directed to the native Shawnee living in Kansas.

The first newspaper published in present-day Kansas in English was the Kansas Weekly Herald, in 1854, in Leavenworth. Currently, about 260 newspapers are published in the state, of which 43 are daily.

Kansas’ first radio station was founded in 1922, in Wichita. The state’s first television station was founded in 1932, in Manhattan. This radio station, one of the first in the country, was created on an experimental basis, and the first commercial television station in the state was founded in 1953, in Hutchinson.

Currently, Kansas has 132 radio stations – of which 49 are AM and 83 are FM – and 20 television stations.

Kansas Geography

Comments are closed.