Hays, Kansas is a small city located in Ellis County, about 200 miles west of Kansas City. It has a population of just over 21,000 people as of 2019. The city is situated on the High Plains region of the Great Plains, and the climate is generally dry and sunny. Summers are hot and winters are cold with moderate snowfall.

The history of Hays dates back to the 1800s when it was first established as a trading post for buffalo hunters. Since then, it has developed into an important regional center for agriculture and commerce, and later became known as “the Gateway to the West” due to its significant role in facilitating expansion into the American West. The city was also home to Fort Hays which served as an important military base during World War I.

Politically, Hays is part of Kansas’s 1st congressional district which is represented by Republican Roger Marshall in Congress. The economy of Hays is mostly driven by its agricultural sector with wheat farming being one of its main industries. It also has several manufacturing plants that produce various products such as furniture, plastic products, and electronics components.

Education in Hays is provided by several public schools including three high schools (Hays High School, Thomas More Prep-Marian Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s Catholic School), two middle schools (Washington Junior High School and Roosevelt Junior High School) and seven elementary schools (Lincoln Elementary School, O’Loughlin Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School,Wilson Elementary School, Jefferson Elementary School, Eisenhower Elementary School, and Kennedy Elementary).

Some notable landmarks include Big Creek Crossing which provides access to Fort Hays State Historic Site; Sternberg Museum of Natural History; Ellis Railroad Museum; Fort Hays State University; St Francis Xavier Church; St Joseph’s Church; Christ the King Church; Veterans Memorial Park; FHSU Student Recreation Center; Ellis County Fairgrounds; and Wilson Lake State Park among others.

Population: 20,013. Estimated population in July 2020: 19,632 (-1.9% change)
Males: 9,728 (48.6%), Females: 10,285 (51.4%)

Ellis County

Zip code: 67601

Median resident age: 29.7 years
Median household income: $31,501
Median house value: $90,900

Races in Hays:

  • White Non-Hispanic (94.4%)
  • Hispanic (2.6%)
  • Other race (1.4%)
  • Two or more races (1.0%)
  • Black (0.8%)
  • American Indian (0.6%)

Ancestries: German (45.5%), United States (8.5%), Irish (7.8%), English (7.1%), French (2.6%), Swedish (1.9%).

Elevation: 2010 feet

Land area: 7.6 square miles

Hays, Kansas


Hays, Kansas is a small city with a population of around 21,000 people. It has a diverse population, including Native Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians. The median age of the city is 32 years old. The average household size is 2.6 people and the median household income is $50,531. The cost of living in Hays is lower than the national average, making it an affordable place to live. The median home value in Hays is $133,400 and the median rent is $732 per month. There are many different types of housing available in Hays ranging from single-family homes to apartments and townhomes. The city also offers a variety of amenities such as parks, museums and shopping centers for residents to enjoy. Additionally, there are several healthcare options available in Hays such as hospitals and clinics for medical care needs. Overall, Hays offers its residents an affordable place to live with plenty of amenities to enjoy at an affordable cost of living.

For population 25 years and over in Hays

  • High school or higher: 89.6%
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher: 32.9%
  • Graduate or professional degree: 12.3%
  • Unemployed: 4.7%
  • Mean travel time to work: 12.8 minutes

For population 15 years and over in Hays city

  • Never married: 36.3%
  • Now married: 49.1%
  • Separated: 0.4%
  • Widowed: 6.8%
  • Divorced: 7.4%

2.8% Foreign born (1.3% Latin America, 0.9% Asia).

Population change in the 1990s: +1,336 (+7.2%).


Hospital/medical center in Hays:


Other hospitals/medical centers near Hays:



Airports certified for carrier operations nearest to Hays:

  • HAYS RGNL (about 5 miles; HAYS, KS; Abbreviation: HYS)
  • GREAT BEND MUNI (about 50 miles; GREAT BEND, KS; Abbreviation: GBD)
  • DODGE CITY REGIONAL (about 89 miles; DODGE CITY, KS; Abbreviation: DDC)

Other public-use airports nearest to Hays:

  • PLAINVILLE ARPK (about 21 miles; PLAINVILLE, KS; Abbreviation: 0R9)
  • RUSH COUNTY (about 24 miles; LA CROSSE, KS; Abbreviation: K94)
  • STOCKTON MUNI (about 34 miles; STOCKTON, KS; Abbreviation: 0S2)

Colleges and Universities

Note: See jibin123 for a list of Kansas graduate schools.

Colleges/Universities in Hays:

  • FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY (Full-time enrollment: 4,572; Location: 600 PARK ST; Public; Website: www.fhsu.edu; Offers Master’s degree)
  • HAYS ACADEMY OF HAIR DESIGN (Full-time enrollment: 24; Location: 119 W 10TH ST; Private, for-profit)

Other colleges/universities with over 2000 students near Hays:

  • BARTON COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 52 miles; GREAT BEND, KS; Full-time enrollment: 2,268)
  • HUTCHINSON COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 113 miles; HUTCHINSON, KS; Full-time enrollment: 2,268)
  • UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT KEARNEY (about 137 miles; KEARNEY, NE; Full-time enrollment: 5,588)
  • CENTRAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 149 miles; GRAND ISLAND, NE; Full-time enrollment: 3,730)
  • WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY (about 152 miles; WICHITA, KS; Full-time enrollment: 10,403)
  • FRIENDS UNIVERSITY (about 160 miles; WICHITA, KS; Full-time enrollment: 2,983)
  • BUTLER COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (about 187 miles; EL DORADO, KS; Full-time enrollment: 4,250)


Public high school in Hays:

  • HAYS HIGH (Students: 1,071; Location: 2300 E 13TH; Grades: 09 – 12)

Private high school in Hays:

  • THOMAS MORE PREP MARIAN HIGH (Students: 301; Location: 1701 HALL P O BOX 9; Grades: 9 – 12)

Public primary/middle schools in Hays:

  • FELTEN MIDDLE (Students: 480; Location: 201 W. 29TH; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • ROOSEVELT ELEM (Students: 387; Location: 2000 MACARTHUR; Grades: PK – 05)
  • KATHRYN O’LOUGHLIN MCCARTHY ELEM (Students: 324; Location: 1401 HALL; Grades: KG – 05)
  • WOODROW WILSON ELEM (Students: 293; Location: 101 E 28TH; Grades: PK – 05)
  • KENNEDY MIDDLE (Students: 288; Location: 1309 FORT; Grades: 06 – 08)
  • LINCOLN ELEM (Students: 251; Location: 1906 ASH; Grades: PK – 05)
  • WASHINGTON ELEM (Students: 147; Location: 305 MAIN; Grades: PK – 05)

Private primary/middle schools in Hays:

  • HOLY FAMILY ELEMENTARY (Students: 304; Location: 1800 MILNER ST; Grades: PK – 6)
  • HIGH PLAINS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (Students: 49; Location: PO BOX 648; Grades: PK – 8)


Library in Hays:

  • HAYS PUBLIC LIBRARY (Operating income: $913,724; Location: 1205 MAIN ST.; 137,802 books; 10,106 audio materials; 9,158 video materials; 205 serial subscriptions)
Hays, Kansas
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