Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What are the populations of each Kansas county?
A:   A chart containing county populations based on the 2010 census.

Q:  How are counties created?
A:   Counties are created by the legislature, pursuant to the Kansas Constitution, Article 9, Section 1.  The legislature organizes new counties, locates county seats, and changes county lines.  The minimum area of a county is 432 square miles; however, Atchison, Doniphan, Geary and Wyandotte are smaller because they were created before the Constitution was adopted.  The names of the counties are given in K.S.A. 18-101 et seq. 

Q:  How did Kansas counties get their names?
A:   The 105 Kansas counties were named for 4 presidents, 4 cabinet officers, 39 soldiers and generals, 11 Indian tribes, 1 Indian chief, 2 Kansas martyrs, 6 rivers, 3 Revolutionary War generals, 3 Kansas governors, 2 out-of-state counties, and one was given a name of French origin and 30 counties were named for important people at the time. 
  • Presidents
    •  Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington
  • Cabinet OfficersSecretary
    • S.P. Chase, Secretary J.A. Rawlins, Secretary W.H. Seward, Secretary E.M. Stanton
  • Soldiers/Generals
    • Clarke, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Harper, Hodgman, Jewell, Kearny, Leavenworth, Logan, Lyon, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Scott, Sedgwick, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stafford, Thomas,Trego, Wallace
  • Indian Tribes
    • Cherokee, Cheyenne, Comanche, Kiowa, Miami, Ottawa, Pawnee, Pottawatomie,  Shawnee, Wichita, Wyandotte
  • Indian Chief
    • Wabaunsee
  • Martyrs
    • Barber, Phillips
  • Rivers
    • Elk, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Republic, Saline
  • Revolutionary War Generals
    • Marion, Montgomery, Washington (listed twice)
  • Governors
    • Geary, Harvey
  • Important People
    • W. Allen, J.C. Anderson, D.R. Atchison, G.W. Browne, A.P. Butler, Henry Clay, S.J. Crawford, S. Decatur, D.S. Dickinson, A.W. Doniphan, S.A. Douglas, W.C. Edwards, D.W. Finney, Ben Franklin, A. Gray, Horace Greeley, A.B. Greenwood, A Hamilton, D.C. Haskell, Rev. Johnson, S.A. Kingman, J.H. Lane, L.F. Linn, F.J. Marshall, T. Morris, O.P. Morton, Thaddeus Stevens, C. Sumner, H.T. Wilson, D. Woodson
  • Out-of-state counties
    • Bourbon (KY), Chautauqua (NY)
  • Woman
    • Clara Barton
  • French
    • Labette
For a detailed explanation of each county's origin.

Q:  What is the size of each county's Board of County Commissioners (i.e., how many commissioners do they have)?
A:  See a map of Kansas counties and the size of their boards of county commissioners.

Q:  What are the elected offices in county government?
A:   Kansas law requires that commissioners, clerks, treasurers, registers of deeds, sheriffs, and district/county attorneys be elected to serve four-year terms of office.  However, Johnson County appoints its clerk, register of deeds and treasurer under its charter government.  The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City holds a nonpartisan election for district attorney, sheriff and register of deeds during spring elections, and appoints a consolidated city/county clerk and city/county treasurer. 

Q:  How many counties have county administrators?
A:  20 counties have a county administrator.  These are Barton, Butler, Cowley, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Harper, Harvey, Johnson, Leavenworth, McPherson, Miami, Pottawatomie, Reno Saline, Sedgwick, Seward and Wyandotte.

Q:  How many counties are zoned?
A:  For a complete listing and map of zoning in Kansas counties, click on the links below
Q:  How many counties have adopted the county unit road system?
A:  66 counties have adopted the county unit system, which was authorized by state law in 1917, and makes the county responsible for maintaining all the public roads outside of cities.  35 counties maintain a county-township system, which divides the maintenance duties between the county and townships.  Three counties have the county-rural system, in which the county maintains all the public roads outside the cities but must create two separate funds for county roads and township roads. The last listing of county road systems reported to the Kansas Department of Transportation (2014) is here.  

Q:  How many counties have mineral production?
A:  A map of the counties with mineral production.