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 residents (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 State.”
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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.