How Big Is Kansas? See Its Size in Miles, Acres, and How It Compares to Other States

Written by Rob Amend
Updated: August 7, 2023
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From the tiny, well-populated states in the eastern U.S. to the large, sparsely-populated ones covering the interior mountains and plains west of the Mississippi, there is quite a diversity among American states regarding size and population. So, how big is Kansas, and how does it compare to other states in the U.S.?

How Big Is Kansas in Square Miles?

Using the old imperial measurement system, Kansas has an area of 82,278 square miles. That’s large enough to contain the country’s nine smallest states.

Map of Kansas

Kansas is among the largest states in the U.S. How big is it?

©iStock.com/PeterHermesFurian

How Many Square Kilometers Is Kansas?

Using the metric system, which will be more familiar to most of the world’s citizens, Kansas measures 213,099 square kilometers. This is about the size of Austria.

How Big Is Kansas? A Table of the State’s Measures

As the 15th largest state in the U.S., Kansas measures 82,278 square miles, 213,099 square kilometers, or 52,657,920 acres. Despite being such a large state, Kansas only has a population of 2.9 million people.

Measurements
Acres52,657,920 acres
Square Miles (sq. mi)82,278 sq. mi
Kilometers Squared (km2)213,099 km2

How Big Is Kansas Compared to Other States?

Many of the states in the American West are larger than the original states on the east coast. Part of this concerns the size of the land purchases made by the federal government. Another reason for the larger states is the rule laid out in the Northwest Ordinance for territories to have populations of 60,000 to apply for statehood. This threshold was reached soonest in the larger territories.

States Similar in Size

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that states with similar size profiles to Kansas, like Idaho and Nebraska, would be found in the western half of the United States.

StateSquare MilesSquare Kilometers
Idaho83,569 sq. mi.216,443 km2
Kansas82,278 sq. mi213,099 km2
Nebraska77,348 sq. mi.200,330 km2

The Largest States Compared to Kansas

States that are larger than Kansas are also found in the American West. The largest U.S. state of all, Alaska, is eight times larger than Kansas. Texas is over three times larger.

StateSquare MilesSquare Kilometers
Alaska665,384 sq. mi1,723,337 km2
Texas268,596 sq. mi695,662 km2
California163,695 sq. mi423,967 km2
Montana147,040 sq. mi380,831 km2
New Mexico121,590 sq. mi314,917 km2
Kansas82,278 sq. mi213,099 km2

How Big Is Kansas Compared to the Smallest States?

The smallest states tend to be near the East Coast. Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined don’t equal one-ninth of Kansas’ area. Regarding Rhode Island, the smallest state in the U.S., Kansas is over 53 times its size!

StateSquare MilesSquare Kilometers
Kansas82,278 sq. mi213,099 km2
Connecticut5,543 sq. mi14,357 km2
Delaware2,488 sq. mi6,446 km2
Rhode Island1,544 sq. mi4,001 km2

About Kansas

The plains of Kansas are covered in wild sunflowers, giving it its designation as “The Sunflower State.” Its windswept plains also make it an excellent location for windmills, which you can see when traveling its interstate highways. Though situated in the American West, Kansas is the center of the lower 48 states. Interestingly, Osborne County is the geographical center of North America. Kansas is bordered on the north by Nebraska, with Oklahoma to the south. Missouri is on its eastern border, while the Kansas plains gradually ascend to the Colorado foothills in the west. Wichita is its largest city, though Topeka is its capital.

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita has the largest population of any city in Kansas.

©iStock.com/benkrut

What Is the Population of the State?

Though Kansas is one of the larger states in the U.S., it has a relatively small population of 2,937,880. Its largest city, Wichita, has a population of only 395,699. Not including the District of Columbia, Kansas ranks 40th among the states for population density at 35 people per square mile.

Conclusion

Though not the largest, Kansas is still in the top 15 as far as size goes in the U.S. It dwarfs most of the states on the East Coast, but it pales in size compared to Alaska or Texas. It is even larger than some countries—it is nearly equal in size to Austria! Among other states in the American West, Kansas more than holds its own.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Oleksii Liskonih


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About the Author

Rob Amend is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering meteorology, geology, geography, and animal oddities. He attained a Master's Degree in Library Science in 2000 and served as reference librarian in an urban public library for 22 years. Rob lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, photography, woodworking, listening to classic rock, and watching classic films—his favorite animal is a six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.

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