Kansas sees 3% population growth over past decade, the lowest uptick since 1900
In an once-in-a-decade event, the U.S. Census bureau released Monday its initial results of the 2020 census with population figures for the nation and all 50 states, including Kansas.
It also revealed which states lost or gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives due to population changes over the past decade.
Kansas had a population of 2,937,880 as of April 1, 2020, a 3% growth over the previous census in 2010, when Kansas had around 2,853,118 residents. The state has a population density of 35.9 people per square mile.
Overall, the Sunflower State ranked 35th in the nation for population size.
The new result is a noticeable slowdown in population growth since 1990, when the state grew 8.5% in the first 10 years to 2000 and 6.1% in the next 10 years to 2010. In fact, it's the smallest growth the state has seen since the 1910 census.
The only decade that fared worse didn't see a population growth but a loss, when from 1930 to 1940, Kansas' population shrunk 4.3%.
Overall, the U.S. as a nation had at least 331,449,281 people living within its borders as of April 2020, up 7.4% from 2010 and the second lowest increase over a decade. Over those 10 years, the Midwest saw the lowest population growth among different parts of the country at only 3.1%.
The Sunflower State retained its same number of seats (four) in the U.S. House.
There were only seven seats that shifted between states, with seven states each losing a single seat to six states (with Texas gaining two spots). On average, there will be 761,169 people per representative, an increase of roughly 50,000 from now.
The trustworthiness of the 2020 census is still in question by some, as the COVID-19 pandemic had complicated outreach efforts to count hard-to-reach populations. Monday's results were about four months later than planned.
Census data, updated every 10 years, plays a huge role in many governmental functions, from allocation of federal funding to redistricting. Kansas lawmakers are expected to draw lines for congressional and state legislative districts in 2022.
The bureau will release more specific, broken-down population data for the state by mid-to-late August. That data includes breakdown by demographics, as well as redistricting data, which will be used by state legislators when redistricting comes around next year.