2023 Kansas Population Forecast
Released July 31, 2023
Based on CEDBR's new population forecast of all 105 Kansas counties, the state is expected to expand by over 468,000 residents by 2071, an increase of almost 16% from 2021. Growth is expected to average 0.3% annually through 2071, a modest decline from the 0.54% experienced between 1960 and 2010. The forecast projects faster growth in the 2050s and 2060s compared to the 2030s and 2040s. While the overall growth rate is slower than Kansas' long-term historical trends, it is an acceleration from the slow growth seen since 2010 and masks a number of divergent trends within different groups inside the state. For example, there is expected to be considerable variation in growth across the state, both across different age groups, between rural and urban areas, and by race and ethnicity.
Broadly speaking, metropolitan areas in the state are projected to increase faster than rural areas and older age cohorts are expected to grow more rapidly than younger ones in terms of percent growth. The 19 metropolitan counties of the state comprised approximately 67.6% of Kansas' total population in 2015. This share is projected to grow consistently from 2021 to 2071, reaching 76.0% by 2071 as the metropolitan population in the state increases from 2.05 million to 2.59 million. The state's 18 micropolitan counties comprised 18.9% in 2015, and the 68 rural counties had a 13.5% share of the total population. The micropolitan areas are projected to generally remain consistent in population through 2071, for an overall growth of 0.05% to 506,000 residents. The total rural population of 291,000 residents in 2015 is forecast to decline consistently, contracting by 19.1 percent by 2071 to a population of 309,000. While 55 of Kansas' 68 rural counties are projected to decline, 13 are forecast to experience population increases. The Kansas City, KS, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is the state's highest population MSA, with more than 900,000 residents in 2021, and it is also projected to experience the second-highest growth of any metro area, adding almost 313,000 new residents by 2071. The Lawrence and Manhattan MSAs are also forecast to grow rapidly, expanding their populations by 45.9 and 25.9%, respectively, by 2071. The Wichita MSA's population is projected to grow more slowly and add almost 145,000 people to grow to almost 793,000 residents by 2071. The Topeka population is forecast to decline by 3.2% by 2071, a loss of approximately 7,400 residents.
Kansas' population growth rate is projected to be highest in the 65-year-old and older age cohorts. In 2015, only 14.6% of Kansans were 65 or older, while 57.9% were 20 to 64, and 27.5% were 19 or younger. By 2071, the 65 and older age cohort is expected to have grown by 111,000 residents, an annualized growth rate of 0.45%, representing 17.7% of the state population. Conversely, the 19 and younger age cohorts are expected to have an annual growth rate of 0.17%, adding 67,462 residents and representing 25.1% of the population, retaining its numerical superiority to older people; a projected 852,000 persons under the age of 20 as opposed to the projected 601,000 persons over the age of 65. Though the relative share of elderly persons is expected to grow, these growth rates differ from the previous trend of an increasing population dependency ratio – the number of non-working-age persons to the number of persons aged 20 to 65. In 2021 there were 0.77 non-working-age persons per working-age person; the ratio is expected to decline to 0.75 people in 2071. This trend is enabled by a robust 0.35 percent annualized growth of the working-age population, much of which is concentrated in persons aged 25 to 34.
While the overall rate of population growth for Kansas is projected to be 0.32% through 2071, it differs dramatically by race and ethnicity. In 2021 there were 2.5 million persons identifying as white alone. By 2021, there is projected to be 2.71 million, an annualized growth of only 0.15%. This is in contrast to the 0.72% annualized growth of persons identifying as black alone, growing from 181,676 in 2021 to 246,768 in 2071. The black alone population represents a 35.8% increase from 2021. Even this growth is lower than is projected for other minority races, which together are expected to grow substantially at 1.9% annually, growing from 230,208 in 2021 to 448,837 in 2071, a 95% increase. Much of this growth is seen in persons identifying as more than one race. Hispanic ethnicity, a discrete measure independent of racial identity, is another population segment expected to grow dramatically by an estimated 1.5% annually, or a 74.9% increase from 374,093 in 2021 to 630,134 in 2071. Overall, this rapid projected growth in minorities will lead to a substantially more diverse population. In 2021, persons identifying as white represented 86.0% of the state total, a share that is projected to decline to 79.6% in 2071. The 6.4 percentage points decline is made up by the 1.1 percentage points increase among black persons and 5.3 percentage points among other races. Further, Hispanic persons, who represented 12.7% of the population in 2021, thus grow by 6.5 percentage points to 19.2% of the state population in 2071.
The 2023 Kansas County Population Forecast is an Age-Cohort Survival Model, meaning the population present in the starting year is aged up through the model over time and is subject to mortality, fertility, and migration. For more information about the forecast methodology and to explore the data, visit population.cedbr.org.
|Population by Race/Ethnicity|
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