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Riley County, Kansas facts for kids

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Coordinates: 39°20′N 96°42′W / 39.333°N 96.7°W / 39.333; -96.7

Riley County, Kansas
Map
Map of Kansas highlighting Riley County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the USA highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded August 25, 1855
Seat Manhattan
Largest City Manhattan
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

622 sq mi (1,611 km²)
610 sq mi (1,580 km²)
12 sq mi (31 km²), 2.0%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

75,247
117/sq mi (45/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: Bennet C. Riley

Riley County (standard abbreviation: RL) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,115. The largest city and county seat is Manhattan.

Riley County is home to two of Kansas' largest employers: Fort Riley and Kansas State University.

History

Riley County, named for Mexican-American War general Bennet Riley, was on the western edge of the 33 original counties established by the Kansas Territorial Legislature in August 1855. For organizational purposes, Riley County initially had attached to it Geary County and all land west of Riley County, across Kansas Territory into present-day Colorado.

The first Territorial Capital of Kansas Territory was located in the boundaries of Riley County, in the former town of Pawnee. The site now falls within the boundaries of Fort Riley, a U.S. Army post.

Manhattan was selected as county seat in contentious fashion. In late 1857, an election was held to select the county seat, with Ogden prevailing. However, Manhattanites suspected election fraud, and were eventually able to prove that a number of votes were illegally cast. Sheriff David A. Butterfield was forced to secure the county's books and records for Manhattan, and Manhattan was finally officially declared the county seat in 1858.

On May 30, 1879, the "Irving, Kansas Tornado" began in Riley County. This tornado is estimated to have been an F4 on the Fujita scale, with a damage path 800 yards (700 m) wide and 100 miles (200 km) long. Eighteen people were killed and sixty were injured.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 610 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (2.0%) is water.

The eastern border of the county follows the former course of the Big Blue River. The river was dammed in the 1960s and Tuttle Creek Lake was created as a result. The county falls within the Flint Hills region of the state.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

USA Riley County, Kansas age pyramid
Age pyramid
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,224
1870 5,105 317.1%
1880 10,430 104.3%
1890 13,183 26.4%
1900 13,828 4.9%
1910 15,783 14.1%
1920 20,650 30.8%
1930 19,882 −3.7%
1940 20,617 3.7%
1950 33,405 62.0%
1960 41,914 25.5%
1970 56,788 35.5%
1980 63,505 11.8%
1990 67,139 5.7%
2000 62,843 −6.4%
2010 71,115 13.2%
Est. 2015 75,247 5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2014

Riley County is part of the Manhattan, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area. Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.

Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 62,843 people, 22,137 households, and 12,263 families residing in the county. The population density was 103 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 23,397 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.78% White, 6.88% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.22% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.89% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. 4.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,137 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.20% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.60% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 18.80% under the age of 18, 34.50% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 13.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 114.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,042, and the median income for a family was $46,489. Males had a median income of $26,856 versus $23,835 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,349. About 8.50% of families and 20.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.20% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Map of Riley Co, Ks, USA
2005 KDOT Map of Riley County (map legend)

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

  • Lasita
  • Walsburg
  • May Day

These former places were flooded when Tuttle Creek Lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s. Randolph was also flooded, but moved a mile west of its original location.

  • Cleburn
  • Garrison Cross
  • Stockdale
  • Winkler

Fort Riley

Located north of the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers in Geary County, Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres (407 km2) in Geary and Riley counties. The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000 and includes a census-designated place:

Townships

Riley County 1887 Township map
Riley County Township map (1887)

Riley County is divided into fourteen townships. The city of Manhattan is considered governmentally independent and is excluded from the census figures for the townships. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

Sources: 2000 U.S. Gazetteer from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Ashland 02725 150 2 (4) 89 (35) 1 (0) 0.75% 39°6′48″N 96°37′42″W / 39.11333°N 96.62833°W / 39.11333; -96.62833
Bala 03825 Leonardville 762 7 (18) 108 (42) 0 (0) 0.12% 39°20′34″N 96°53′47″W / 39.34278°N 96.89639°W / 39.34278; -96.89639
Center 12100 81 1 (3) 82 (32) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°29′22″N 96°52′54″W / 39.48944°N 96.88167°W / 39.48944; -96.88167
Fancy Creek 22950 126 2 (4) 83 (32) 0 (0) 0.07% 39°24′55″N 96°53′14″W / 39.41528°N 96.88722°W / 39.41528; -96.88722
Grant 28075 833 9 (23) 92 (35) 7 (3) 7.38% 39°17′52″N 96°41′31″W / 39.29778°N 96.69194°W / 39.29778; -96.69194
Jackson 34900 Randolph 326 4 (10) 84 (32) 10 (4) 10.30% 39°26′43″N 96°45′1″W / 39.44528°N 96.75028°W / 39.44528; -96.75028
Madison 44125 Fort Riley CDP (part) 8,173 22 (58) 366 (141) 0 (0) 0.11% 39°15′32″N 96°50′26″W / 39.25889°N 96.84056°W / 39.25889; -96.84056
Manhattan 44275 3,275 37 (95) 89 (35) 3 (1) 3.28% 39°12′45″N 96°35′46″W / 39.2125°N 96.59611°W / 39.2125; -96.59611
May Day 45225 78 1 (2) 81 (31) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°32′39″N 96°53′41″W / 39.54417°N 96.89472°W / 39.54417; -96.89472
Ogden 52300 Ogden 2,423 69 (178) 35 (14) 1 (0) 2.32% 39°7′6″N 96°41′54″W / 39.11833°N 96.69833°W / 39.11833; -96.69833
Sherman 65075 524 7 (18) 76 (29) 5 (2) 6.06% 39°22′30″N 96°43′58″W / 39.375°N 96.73278°W / 39.375; -96.73278
Swede Creek 69650 Cleburne (hist.) 157 1 (3) 125 (48) 4 (1) 3.00% 39°32′24″N 96°42′9″W / 39.54°N 96.7025°W / 39.54; -96.7025
Wildcat 79175 750 10 (25) 77 (30) 0 (0) 0.10% 39°13′26″N 96°42′28″W / 39.22389°N 96.70778°W / 39.22389; -96.70778
Zeandale 80900 357 2 (6) 154 (60) 2 (1) 0.97% 39°7′39″N 96°27′19″W / 39.1275°N 96.45528°W / 39.1275; -96.45528
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