What Is the Capital of Kansas?

The state flag of Kansas.
The state flag of Kansas.

The state of Kansas is located in the Midwestern part of the United States. It is famous for its Great Plains, which has provided an excellent environment for cultivating wheat fields. The capital city of Kansas is Topeka. The city is located at the heart of Shawnee County, along Kansas River. The name “Topeka” was derived by Joseph James in 1826 from a language known as Kansa-Osage, and means “a good place to dig potatoes.” Topeka has nicknames such as Capitol City and Top City. The population of Topeka in 2016 was approximately 126,808 people. Kansas is famous for a landmark court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which made racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

History of Topeka

Most parts of Kansas, including Topeka, were part of the land acquired by the United States from the French in the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase was made in 1803 at 2.83 cents for every acre of land. During the 1860s, Topeka became a commercial hub where steamboats docked regularly. The boats would exchange the goods which they carried, such as meat and flour, for corn, wheat, and potatoes. The growth of Topeka slowed during the 19th century due to the American Civil War. In the 20th century, Topeka became home to Oliver Brown, who was plaintiff in the famous Brown v. Board of Education legal case, which led to the abolishment of racial segregation in public schools across Kansas. In 1996 and 2000, Topeka citizens voted to increase sales tax to improve the economic growth of the capital. Taxes would be used in projects such as the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library expansion. Another planned use for the tax is the redevelopment of the Kansas River and the $283 million renovation of the Great Overland Station.

Geography and Demographics of Topeka

Topeka occupies an area of 159.21 km2. In 2007, Forbes named Topeka as the US city with the greatest temperature variations. This is in spite of the fact that it experiences frequent lightning, severe thunderstorms, and even tornadoes. According to the 2010 census, Topeka is inhabited by 127,473 people. This population is composed of the three major demographic groups: Caucasians (76.2%), African Americans (11.3%), and Native Americans (1.4%). Most residents of Topeka are between 25 and 44 years of age, with the median age of 36 years. The largest employer in Topeka is the state of Kansas, which employs around 8,400 people. The economy of Topeka is reliant on manufacturing, finance, real estate, construction, and professional industries, among others.

Tourist Destinations in Topeka

There are many tourist destinations in Topeka. These include the Kansas Expocenter, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Washburn University, Cedar Crest, Great Overland Station, Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Topeka High School, and Combat Air Museum. In addition, there is a famous restaurant known as CW Porubsky’s Deli & Tavern, which is popular for its chili, and has lured many people to north Topeka since 1951.


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