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Ethnic groups

White settlers began to pour into Kansas in 1854, dispersing the 36 Indian tribes living there and precipitating a struggle over the legal status of slavery. Remnants of six of the original tribes still make their homes in the state. Some Indians live on three reservations covering 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares); others live and work elsewhere, returning to the reservations several times a year for celebrations and observances. There were 24,936 Indians in Kansas as of 2000.

Black Americans in Kansas numbered 154,198, or 5.7% of the population, in 2000, when the state also had 188,252 Hispanics and Latinos. The 2000 census recorded 46,806 Asian residents, the largest group being 11,623 Vietnamese (up from 6,001 in 1990), followed by 8,153 Asian Indians and 7,624 Chinese. There were also sizable communities of Laotians and Cambodians.

The foreign born numbered 80,271 (2% of the population) in 2000, the most common lands of origin being Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam. Among persons who reported descent from a single ancestry group, the leading nationalities were German (914,955), English (391,542), and Irish (424,133).