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Kansas is a state of the United States, located in the Midwest, around
the Kansas and Arkansas rivers. The state borders the states of Nebraska in the
north, Missouri in the east, Oklahoma in the south and Colorado in the west. The
capital is Topeka and the largest city is Wichita.
Kansas has a total area of about 213,100 square miles and has 2,913,123
inhabitants (US Census, 2017). Kansas was listed as the state number 34 in the
United States on January 29, 1861.
The name comes from sioux -words Kansa, meaning "south wind (the
people)."Kansas's nickname is The Sunflower State, the "Sunflower
Most of Kansas is a rolling plain. The prairie in the east gradually turns
into steppe in the west, while at the same time the land rises from about 200 to
about 1200 meters above sea level.
The climate is markedly continental, with extreme summer and winter
temperatures, but rarely longer periods of intense heat or cold. The annual
average temperature is 13 °C, the annual rainfall varies from less than 500
millimeters in the west to more than 1000 millimeters in the
southeast. In Wichita, the average temperature is 0 °C in January and 27 °C in
July and August; The rainfall is 720 millimeters.
The population increased by 4.8 per cent between 1980 and 1990, which was
only half the national average for the USA. Between 1990 and 2000, the
population increased by 8.5 per cent (against the national average of 13.2 per
cent). Of the population, 86.5 percent are considered white - including 11.9
percent Hispanic or Latino - 6.2 African Americans and 3.1 percent
of Asian descent (US Census, 2017). The state's largest cities are Wichita,
Overland Park, Kansas City and the capital Topeka.
Kansas sends two senators and four representatives to Congress. The State
Senate has 40 members and the House of Representatives 125 members.
About 90 percent of the land in this particular agricultural state is
cultivated land and pasture, and the state is the United States' largest
producer of wheat and sorghum. Kansas also has large crops
of soybeans, rye, oats and barley. Livestock farming plays an important role,
including significant cattle and sheep farming. The average size of use is very
high (2200 acres).
Mining is considerable, with the extraction of coal, petroleum, helium (the
largest producer of the states), salt, lead and zinc. The industry is varied,
with emphasis in the slaughter and meat industries, production of transport
equipment (especially aircraft - Wichita is called "Air Capital of the World"due
to its small aircraft production) and petrochemical industry.
Among higher education institutions are the University of Kansas
at Lawrence (founded 1866), Kansas State University (with the Faculty of
Agricultural Sciences considered one of the leading in the United States)
in Manhattan, Wichita State University, and Washburn University in Topeka.
The first known European to come to Kansas was the Spaniard Francisco Vásquez
de Coronado in 1541. In 1682, France claimed the area, and as part of
the Louisiana acquisition it came to the United States in 1803, was organized as
territory in 1854, and as 34 State admitted to the Union in 1861.
The question of whether Kansas should be admitted as a slave or "free"state
created bitter controversy and formed some of the background to the American
Civil War. The population was still only 107,000 in 1860, but already reached
1842 in 1890.