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  •   State: 
    Ellis County
      County FIPS: 
    38°52′46″N 99°19′20″W
      Area total: 
    8.48 sq mi (21.96 km²)
      Area land: 
    8.48 sq mi (21.96 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.00 sq mi (0.00 km²)
    2,018 ft (615 m)
    1867; Incorporated 1885
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Hays, KS
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Hays, Ellis County, Kansas, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,500 residents per square mile of area (960/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. It is the economic and cultural center of the region. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 21,116. The city is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University. Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Hays was located near where the territories of the Arapaho, Kiowa, and Pawnee met. The U.S. Army established Fort Fletcher southeast of present-day Hays to protect stagecoaches traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. In late 1866, anticipating the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway, a party from St. Louis, Missouri led by William Webb selected three sections of land for colonization near the fort. As the western terminus of the railway, Hays City grew rapidly, serving as the supply point for territories to the west and southwest. Several notable figures of the Old West lived in the Hays city of this era, including George Armstrong Custer, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wild Bill Hickok who served a brief term as sheriff in 1869. Hays experienced significant racial violence during the same period. In 1869, the murder of Union Pacific watchman James Hayes led to the lynching of three African American soldiers. That same year, six black soldiers at Fort Hay were murdered, their bodies were dropped in a well that was sodded over, and they were falsely reported as deserters. The town's black residents were expelled.


Hays is the primary city name, but also Antonino are acceptable city names or spellings. Fort Hays was established in 1865 to protect stagecoaches traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. Buffalo Bill Cody and railroad contractor William Rose founded the settlement of Rome near the fort's new location. In 1866, anticipating the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway as far west as Fort Hays, a party from St. Louis, Missouri led by William Webb selected three sections of land for colonization. In June 1867, to better serve the railroad, the Army relocated the fort 15 miles northwest to a site near where the railroad was to cross Big Creek. The railroad's arrival, combined with a cholera epidemic that hit Rome, drove Rome businesses and residents to relocate to Hays City. As the western terminus of the railway, Hays grew rapidly, serving as the supply point for territories to the west and southwest. Several notable figures of the Old West lived in the Hays city of this era, including George Armstrong Custer, his wife Elizabeth Bacon Custer and Calamity Jane. Hays experienced significant racial violence during the same period, including the lynching of three African American soldiers and the expulsion of the town's black residents. In 1895, the U.S. Congress secured the Fort's land and facilities for educational purposes. The following year, the Legislature established the Kansas State Agricultural College on the land for the reservation. In 1907, three fires destroyed 60 buildings in downtown Hays. In 1967, it became the Fort Hay's State Historic Site. In 1999, it was acquired by the Kansas Historical Society.


Hays is located at 38°5246N 99°1920W (38.879399, 99.322277) at an elevation of 2,024 feet (617 m) Located in northwestern Kansas at the intersection of Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 183, Hays is 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Wichita, 256 miles (412 km) west of Kansas City, and 311 miles (501 km) east-southeast of Denver. On average, January is the coldest month, and July is both the hottest and wettest month. Hays sits near the convergence of a humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa) and a temperate semi-arid climate. It typically experiences hot summers with variable humidity and cold winters. Due to its geographic location at a climatic boundary, severe weather is common, with tornadoes a major threat, especially in the spring and early summer months. The city has a total area of 7.95 square miles (20.59 km²) according to the United States Census Bureau, all land. The average relative humidity is 64%. There are, on average, 77 days of measurable precipitation each year. Annual snowfall averages 16.7 inches (42 cm) Measurable snowfall occurs an average of 11 days a year with at least an inch of snow being received on six of those days. Snow depth of at least a half inch occurs anAverage of 25 inches (62 cm).


As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 20,510 people, 8,698 households, and 4,639 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 92.8% Caucasian American, 1.1% African American, 0.3% American Indian, 1,8% Asian, 2.1%. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 4.7% of the population. The median income for a household was $44,227, and the median income. for a family was $62,775. The per capita income for the city is $24,536. About 5.9% of those under age 18 and 7.8%. of those age 65 or over are living below the poverty line. The city's median age is 29.1 years, and its population is 19.7%. The city has a population density of 2,579.5 people per square mile (996/km²). There were 9,311 housing units at an average density of 1,171 per squaremile (452.1/km 2) The city is located on the Missouri River, which runs through the center of the town. It is the only city in the state to be on the National Highway System, which connects to the Missouri and Missouri Turnpike. The state's population growth rate has been slow, with the city's growth rate outpacing the national average in the last decade. It has a median age of 29 years, which is about the same as the state's average.


As of 2012, 76.8% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: educational services, health care, and social assistance. Hays Medical Center, Fort Hays State University, and Hays Public Schools are the city's three largest employers. EnerSys, a producer of sealed lead batteries, operates a plant in the city as do Adronics, an auto parts maker, and Rans Designs, a manufacturer of aircraft and bicycles. Other major employers include local government, Nex-Tech, Eagle Communications, AT&T Inc., and other telecommunications firms. The cost of living in Hays is relatively low; compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost-of-living index for the city is 81.7. As of 2012 the median home value was $147,300, the median selected monthly owner cost was $1,254 for housing units with a mortgage and $445 for those without, and the median gross rent was $584. The median household income was $62,000, compared to the national average of $50,000. The city's unemployment rate was 3.6% as of 2012. The average household income is $42,000; the city has a poverty rate of 8.2%. The city has an unemployment rate of 3.7%. The average cost of housing is $58,000 for a family of four.


Hays is a city of the second class with a commission-manager form of government, which it adopted in 1919. The city commission consists of five commissioners elected at-large every two years. One commissioner serves as mayor, presiding over commission meetings and representing the city at ceremonial events. Hays lies within Kansas's 1st U.S. Congressional District. For the purposes of representation in the Kansas Legislature, the city is located in the 40th district of the Kansas Senate and the 111th districts of theKansas House of Representatives. As the county seat, Hays is the administrative center of Ellis County. The county courthouse is located downtown, and all departments of the county government base their operations in the city. The Hays Police Department is based in the downtown area of the city, as is the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and the Hays Fire Department. The City of Hays was founded in 1858. It was named after Hays, Kansas, which was then a small town. It is now a suburb of Kansas City, Kansas. It has a population of around 2,000. It lies in the central part of the state, near the junction of Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas City. It also is in the eastern part of Kansas County, which is home to much of the town of Ellis. It's in the state's central business district, which includes the city's downtown area and the county courthouse. The town is also in the county's eastern part, where the county jail is located.


The community is served by Hays USD 489 public school district, which operates eight schools. Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is the third largest university in Kansas. Immediately south of the city, Kansas State University operates its Agricultural Research CenterHays. Hays Public Library, located downtown, is the city's main library. The library offers several services to the public, including computer classes, ESL and literacy tutoring, and programs for adults, teens, and children. The city is home to the Dorothy D. Richards Kansas Room, a local history and reference collection consisting of books and resources pertaining to the history of Kansas and the American West. The room is named after Dorothy Richards, the library's former director and first Kansas Room Librarian, who started the collection by setting aside Kansas related materials behind her desk. The Kansas Room offers programs related to history, natural history, and genealogy. FHSU's Forsyth Library holds more than 225,000 volumes and serves as a federal depository library. There are two Catholic schools in Hays: Holy Family Elementary School (Pre-K-6) and Thomas More Prep-Marian (7-12) There are also two other Christian schools in the city: Hays Seventh-Day Adventist School (K-8) and High Plains Christian School (pre-k-8). There are no public colleges or universities in the area, but there are two two-year public colleges based in Beloit.


Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 run concurrently southeast-northwest immediately north of Hays. Hays Medical Center is the sole hospital in the city. Midwest Energy, Inc. provides both electric power and natural gas service. Greyhound Lines offers long-distance bus service with a stop in Hays, Kansas. United Express offers daily jet service to Denver, Colorado, from Hays Regional Airport, which is located just southeast of the city, and is the only commercial airline in the area. The city government's Public Works Department and several local businesses provide trash removal, and water production and distribution is the responsibility of the Utilities Department. The Hays Police Department is the city's oldest police department, having been formed in 1872. The police department was created in response to a local uprising against the state's annexation of the town in 1871. The current police chief was first elected in 1974; he was re-elected in 1980. The mayor was elected again in 1986. The last mayor was last elected in 2010. The town has a population of 3,000. It is located in the western part of the Kansas Bootheel, a region known for its cattle ranching. It has one major airport, which serves as a regional referral center for northwestern Kansas. It also hosts one commercial airline, United Express, which offers daily flight service from the city to Denver. It was founded in 1874; it is the oldest commercial airport in the state, and was the only one in the region at the time.

Parks and recreation

The city government's Parks Department maintains 16 parks in the city. The largest is Frontier Park, located immediately south of downtown across the U.S. 183 bypass route from the Fort Hays State Historic Site. The department also maintains three baseball parks, a soccer complex, tennis courts, a roller hockey and skateboard park, and a second, 9-hole disc golf course. In addition, the Hays Recreation Commission manages a municipal swimming pool and a waterpark, Hays Aquatic Park. There are two golf courses, one municipal course and one private, 18-hole course. The municipal course is located immediately southwest of the city, built around theFort Hays historical site. Smoky Hill Country Club is a private course that opened in the western part of theCity in 1962. The city also has a public swimming pool, which was built in the 1970s. The pool is located in the former Hays High School and is open to the public. There is also a public pool in the downtown area, which is used by the city's senior citizens. The swimming pool was opened in 1978. It is the first municipal pool to be built in Hays since the city was founded in 1881. The Hays Municipal Golf Course was built around Fort Hay's historical site in the early 1960s. It has an 18- hole course and a private, private course, which opened in 1961. The waterpark is located near the city center and is used for swimming and other activities.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas = 94.1. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 33. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 89. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Hays = 4.9 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 21,116 individuals with a median age of 31.6 age the population grows by 0.12% in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,500 residents per square mile of area (960/km²). There are average 2.24 people per household in the 8,437 households with an average household income of $40,479 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 3.40% of the available work force and has dropped -2.30% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 32.00%. The number of physicians in Hays per 100,000 population = 265.1.


The annual rainfall in Hays = 22.8 inches and the annual snowfall = 19.6 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 69. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 237. 93 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 15.2 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 34, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas which are owned by the occupant = 54.43%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 36 years with median home cost = $118,600 and home appreciation of 0.46%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $12.77 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,814 per student. There are 13.8 students for each teacher in the school, 290 students for each Librarian and 385 students for each Counselor. 4.29% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 21.15% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 12.51% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Hays's population in Ellis County, Kansas of 1,136 residents in 1900 has increased 18,59-fold to 21,116 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.05% female residents and 48.95% male residents live in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas.

    As of 2020 in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas are married and the remaining 49.90% are single population.

  • 13.8 minutes is the average time that residents in Hays require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    84.78% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 8.14% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 0.05% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 1.87% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas, 54.43% are owner-occupied homes, another 39.38% are rented apartments, and the remaining 6.19% are vacant.

  • The 47.78% of the population in Hays, Ellis County, Kansas who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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