Kansas City metropolitan area

"Kansas City" redirects here. For other uses, see Kansas City (disambiguation).
Kansas City metropolitan area
Kansas City, MO-KS
Map of Kansas City metropolitan area
Coordinates: 39°06′N 94°35′W / 39.1°N 94.58°W / 39.1; -94.58
Country United States
State(s)  - Missouri
 - Kansas
Largest city Kansas City, Missouri
Other cities  - Overland Park
 - Kansas City, KS
 - Independence
 - Olathe
 - Lee's Summit
 - Shawnee
 - Blue Springs
 - Liberty
 - Lenexa
 - Leavenworth
 - Leawood
  Total 8,472 sq mi (21,940 km2)
Highest elevation 1,1601 ft (353.51 m)
Lowest elevation 6901 ft (210.31 m)
  Total (2015) 2,159,159
  Rank 30th MSA (2,087,471), 24th CSA (2,428,362) in the U.S.
  Density 260.0/sq mi (100.4/km2)

The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, that straddles the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of about 2,340,000, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area with its core in Missouri (after Greater St. Louis). Alongside Kansas City, the area includes a number of other cities and suburbs, the largest being Overland Park, Kansas; Kansas City, Kansas; Olathe, Kansas, and Independence, Missouri; all over 100,000 in population.The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) serves as the Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the area.

Geographic overview

Kansas City satellite map. The larger Missouri River is zigzagging from west to east; the much smaller Kansas is approaching from the south and joins it at Kaw Point. Kansas City, Missouri, is located immediately south of their intersection; North Kansas City, Missouri, is to its northeast; and Kansas City, Kansas, is to the west.

The larger Kansas City Metropolitan Area as seen on a map can be visualized roughly as four quadrants:

The map's northeast quadrant is locally referred to as "north of the river" or "the Northland". It includes parts of Clay County, Missouri including North Kansas City, Missouri. North Kansas City is bounded by a bend in the Missouri River that defines a border between Wyandotte County, Kansas and Clay County, Missouri running approximately North-South and a border between North Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri running approximately East-West. The river band's sharpest part forms a peninsula containing the Kansas City Downtown Airport.

The southeast quadrant includes Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas in Missouri. It includes the notorious Grandview Triangle.

The southwest quadrant includes all of Johnson County, Kansas, which includes the towns in the area known as Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Interstate 35 runs diagonally through Johnson County, Kansas from the southwest to downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

The northwest quadrant contains Wyandotte County, Kansas and parts of Platte County, Missouri. Wyandotte County, Kansas, sometimes referred to as just Wyandotte, which contains Kansas City, Kansas, Bonner Springs, Kansas and Edwardsville, Kansas is governed by a single unified government. Often the Wyandotte government is referred to simply as "The Unified Government". Another bend in the Missouri River forms the county line between Wyandotte County, Kansas and Platte County, Missouri to the north and northeast.

Divisions of the Kansas City metropolitan area


Main article: Downtown Kansas City

Downtown almost always refers to downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Downtown is the Kansas City's historic center, located entirely within Kansas City, Missouri, and containing the city's original town site, business districts and residential neighborhoods. Downtown is bounded by the Missouri River on the north, the Missouri-Kansas state line on the west, 31st Street on the south and the Blue River on the east. The downtown area includes the Central Business District and its buildings, which form the city's skyline. The downtown loop is formed by Interstates 670, 70 and 35. Within the downtown loop are many of the tall buildings and skyscrapers that make up the city's skyline. Also within the downtown loop are small, distinct neighborhoods such as Quality Hill, the Garment District, the Financial District, the Convention Center District, and the Power and Light District.

Other neighborhoods within downtown are the River Market and Columbus Park, both located between the downtown loop and the Missouri River. Between the downtown loop and the state line are the Westside neighborhood and the West Bottoms, located at the bottom of the bluff adjacent to Kaw Point. East of the loop are the 18th & Vine District, the North Bottoms, East Bottoms, Northeast, and Pendleton Heights. South of the loop is the Crossroads District, Union Hill, Crown Center, Hospital Hill, Longfellow, Wendell Phillips, and Washington Wheatley.

The Kansas City Convention Center, Municipal Auditorium, City Hall, Lyric Theater, Midland Theatre, Ilus Davis Park, and Barney Allis Plaza are within the Central Business District inside the downtown loop. The Sprint Center and the College Basketball Experience are within Power & Light District, also within the downtown loop. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is perched upon a high point immediately south of the downtown loop. South of the loop is the Crossroads District, Union Station, Crown Center, the National World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial, Penn Valley Park, Truman Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, and the 18th & Vine District. North of the loop are City Market within the River Market and Richard L. Berkeley Riverfront Park. West of the loop within the West Bottoms are Kemper Arena and Hale Arena.


Midtown is entirely within Kansas City, Missouri, just south of downtown, and bounded by 31st Street on the north, the state line on the west, West Gregory Boulevard (71st Street) on the south, and Troost Avenue on the east. Midtown is the core of the metropolitan area, as it contains numerous cultural attractions, shopping and entertainment areas, large hospitals, universities, and the metro area's most densely populated neighborhoods.

Midtown consists of numerous distinct and historic neighborhoods such as Westport, Hyde Park, and Southmoreland. Shopping is centered on the Country Club Plaza, which contains numerous luxury retailers, hotels, and restaurants. Brookside and Westport also contain smaller-scale, neighborhood-oriented, and niche-market retailers. Midtown is home to Saint Luke's Hospital and Research Medical Center. Cultural attractions include the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Uptown Theater, Starlight Theater, the Kansas City Zoo, Loose Park, and Swope Park. Major educational institutions include the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University, Kansas City Art Institute, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Midwest Research Institute, and Penn Valley Community College.

South Side of the Metro (or "South KC")

Also known as "South Kansas City" and sometimes called "the Southland," this area consists of the southern half of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the suburbs of Grandview, Harrisonville, Belton, Loch Lloyd, Pleasant Hill, Peculiar and Raymore.

The Northland

The Northland is the area north of the Missouri River, bordered by the Kansas state line on the west and Missouri Highway 291 on the east. All of Platte County, Missouri, and much of Clay County make up the area. The economy of the Northland is dominated by Kansas City International Airport, Ford Motor Kansas City Assembly Plant, the Zona Rosa shopping community, and three riverboat casinos. Communities of the Northland outside the city limits include Parkville, Kearney, Liberty, Platte City, Gladstone , Riverside, and North Kansas City. Also communities on the "Kansas Side" Leavenworth, Lansing.

East Side of the Metro ("Eastern Jackson County" or "Eastern Jack")

Eastern Jackson County is an area of the Kansas City Metro that contains the far-eastern urban side of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the Missouri suburbs of Independence, Blue Springs, Raytown, Lees Summit, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, Sugar Creek, Lake Lotawana, Greenwood, Buckner, Pleasant Hill, and Lone Jack.

Kansas Side of the Metro (Kansas Suburbs)

The Kansas side are the cities in the state of Kansas in the Kansas City Metro area some communities on the Kansas side are Overland Park, Kansas City, Olathe, Shawnee, Lenexa, Leavenworth, Leawood, Prairie Village, Gardner, Lansing, Merriam, Bonner Springs, Mission, Roeland Park, Fairway, Lake Quivira, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Westwood, and Westwood Hills.

Cultural attractions

Photo Name City Notes
Chicago & Alton Hotel Museum Blue Springs The oldest business building in Blue Springs, Missouri. In 1978, the hotel, which originally served the railroad, moved from the original site, just south of Main Street, to its present location.
Dillingham-Lewis House Museum Blue Springs Built in 1906, the only native limestone structure in Blue Springs. The house is named after two families.
Fort Osage National Historic Site Sibley, Missouri Part of the early 19th century U.S. factory trading post system for the Osage Nation.
Jackson County Jail and Marshal's House Independence Former jail site, operated by the county historical society, which housed thousands of prisoners including Frank James and William Clark Quantrill.
Leila's Hair Museum Independence A museum of hair art dating back to the 19th century.
Lone Jack Battlefield Museum Lone Jack The only Civil War Museum in Jackson County, Missouri, and one of the few battlefields where the soldiers – who perished during the battle – are still buried on the battlefield.
Midwest Genealogy Center Independence The largest freestanding public genealogy research library in the USA.
National Frontier Trails Museum Independence A museum, interpretive center, and research library about the history of principle western U.S. trails.
Rice-Tremonti Home Raytown Home built on the Santa Fe Trail in 1844 by Archibald Rice and his family.
Silverstein Eye Centers Arena Independence A 5,800-seat multi-purpose arena that hosts the Missouri Mavericks ice hockey team.
Harry S. Truman Historic District Independence and Grandview
Associated with 33rd U.S. President Harry S. Truman, the district includes:
The Truman Presidential Library, in Independence.
The Truman home, in Independence, where Truman lived for most of his time in Missouri.
The Truman Farm, in Grandview, built in 1894 by Truman's maternal grandmother.
Truman Sports Complex Kansas City Two major sports venues:
* Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs (football)
* Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City Royals (baseball)
Grinter Place Kansas City, KS A home built in 1857 by one of the earliest settlers.

Metropolitan area

In recent years, the Kansas City metropolitan area has been experiencing continued growth. Between July 2000 and July 2007, the population of the Kansas City MSA grew from 1,842,965 to an estimated 2,037,357, an increase of 10%.[1]

Anchor city
Municipalities with 100,000+ inhabitants
Municipalities with 50-100,000 inhabitants
Municipalities with 10-50,000 inhabitants
Municipalities with 1-10,000 inhabitants


The MSA covers a total area of 7,952 sq mi (20,600 km2) including 97 sq mi (250 km2) of water.

Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area
County 2015 Estimate 2010 Census Change
Jackson County 687,623 674,158 +2.00%
Johnson County 580,159 544,179 +6.61%
Clay County 235,637 221,939 +6.17%
Wyandotte County 163,369 157,505 +3.72%
Cass County 101,603 99,478 +2.14%
Platte County 96,096 89,322 +7.58%
Leavenworth County 79,315 76,277 +3.98%
Miami County 32,553 32,787 −0.71%
Lafayette County 32,701 33,381 −2.04%
Ray County 22,810 23,494 −2.91%
Clinton County 20,609 20,743 −0.65%
Bates County 16,446 17,049 −3.54%
Linn County 9,536 9,656 −1.24%
Caldwell County 9,014 9,424 −4.35%
Total 2,087,471 2,009,342 +3.89%

Associated areas

Often associated with Kansas City, the cities of Lawrence, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri, are identified as separate Metropolitan Statistical Areas.[2]

The Kansas City-Overland Park-Kansas City, Missouri-Kansas Combined Statistical Area, which encompasses the Kansas City MO-KS MSA, the Warrensburg, Missouri Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA) (in Johnson County, Missouri), and the Atchison, Kansas µSA (in Atchison County, Kansas), covers a total area of 9,220 sq mi (23,900 km2) including 103 sq mi (270 km2) of water.



The Kansas City metropolitan area has more freeway lane miles per capita than any other large metropolitan area in the United States (over 27% more than the second-place Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex), over 50% more than the average American metro area, and nearly 75% more than the large metro area with the least: Las Vegas.[3]


The Kansas City area is a confluence of four major U.S. interstate highways:

Other interstates that cross through the area include:

US Highways

U.S. Highways serving the Kansas City Metro Area include:

Kansas state highways

Kansas highways in the area include:

Missouri state highways

Missouri highways in the area include:

Other notable roads

Other notable roads in the area are:


The Kansas City metropolitan area is served by two airports. It is primarily served by Kansas City International Airport, located 15 miles northwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was built to serve as a world hub for the supersonic transport and Boeing 747. The airport's gates were positioned 100 feet (30 m) from the street; however, since the September 11, 2001 attacks, these have undergone expensive overhauls, retrofitting it to incorporate elements of conventional security systems.

The much smaller Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, located to the immediate north of downtown near the Missouri River, was the original headquarters of Trans World Airlines (TWA) and houses the Airline History Museum. It served as the area's major airport until 1972, when Kansas City International (then known as Mid-Continent International Airport and was home to an Overhaul Base for TWA) became the primary airport for the metropolitan area after undergoing $150 million in upgrades that were approved by voters in a 1966 bond issue. Downtown Airport is still used to this day for general aviation and airshows.

Rail and bus

Union Station serves as a hub for Amtrak, which maintains daily service by long-distance trains to and from Kansas City, Missouri.

Public transportation in the Kansas City area is only provided by city buses operated by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA). The Metro Area Express (MAX) went online as Kansas City, Missouri's first bus rapid transit line in July 2005, and operates and is marketed akin to a rail system as opposed to a local bus line; the MAX links the River Market, Downtown, Union Station, Crown Center and the Country Club Plaza.[4][5] Buses in Johnson County, Kansas, are operated by Johnson County Transit (known as "The JO").

The Kansas City Downtown Streetcar is a two-mile modern streetcar line in downtown Kansas City that is scheduled to be completed in late 2015, and will be maintained and operated by the Kansas City Streetcar Authority, a non-profit corporation made up of private sector stakeholders and city appointees. A ballot initiative to fund construction of the $102 million line was approved by voters on December 12, 2012.[6] The system will run between River Market and Union Station, mostly on Main Street,[7] with extensions to the starter line planned for addition at a later date.

Local navigation tips

See related article: voy:Kansas City (Missouri) at Wikivoyage

Street numbers

The Missouri side of the metropolitan area shares a grid system with Johnson County on the Kansas side. Most east-west streets are numbered and most north-south streets named. Addresses on east-west streets are numbered from Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, and on north-south streets from St. John Avenue (or the Missouri River, in the River Market area). The direction 'South' in street and address numbers is generally implied if 'North' is not specified, except for numbered 'avenues' in North Kansas City. In the northland, east-west streets use the prefix N.E. or N.W., depending on the side of N. Main on which they lie.


Navigation landmarks

Areas of the metropolitan area

Educational institutions


Other nearby institutions:



Print media

The Kansas City Star is the metropolitan area's major daily newspaper. The McClatchy Company, which owns The Star, is also the owner of two suburban weeklies, Lee's Summit Journal and Olathe Journal.

The Kansas City Kansan serves Wyandotte County, having moved from print to an online format in 2009. Additional weekly papers in the metropolitan area include the Liberty Tribune, Sun Newspapers of Johnson County, The Examiner in Independence and eastern Jackson County, and The Pitch. The area is also served by two newspapers focused the area's faith-based population: The Metro Voice Christian Newspaper and the Jewish Chronicle. The city's Hispanic and Latino American community is served by Dos Mundos, a bilingual newspaper with articles printed in Spanish and English, and Mi Raza magazine, the area's only weekly Hispanic publication printed in Spanish. The Kansas City Call serves the African American community publishing its paper weekly.

Broadcast media

According to Arbitron, about 1.5 million people over the age of 12 live within the Kansas City DMA, making it the 30th largest market for radio and 31st for television according to Nielsen. The Kansas City television and radio markets cover 32 counties encompassing northwestern Missouri and northeast Kansas.


Television stations in the Kansas City metropolitan area, with all major network affiliates represented, include:

The Kansas City television market is in very close proximity to two other media markets, St. Joseph and Topeka. As such, most of the television stations in the Kansas City area are receivable over-the-air in portions of both markets, including their principal cities; likewise, stations from Topeka are receivable as far east as Kansas City, Kansas and stations from St. Joseph are viewable as far south as Kansas City, Missouri's immediate northern suburbs.


Over 30 FM and 20 AM radio stations broadcast in the Kansas City area, with stations from Topeka, St. Joseph and Carrollton also reaching into the metropolitan area. The highest-rated radio stations, according to Arbitron are:

Public and community radio
Specialty radio

Hispanics, which account for 5% of the market's population, are served by three AM radio stations:

Business interests

The Kansas City Metropolitan Area's largest private employer is Cerner Corporation.[13] Cerner, a global healthcare IT company which is headquartered in North Kansas City, employs nearly 10,000 people in the area with a total workforce of nearly 20,000 people including global employees. In August 2014, the company announced its acquisition of competitor Siemens Healthcare, which, if approved, will further increase Cerner's total number of employees.[14] Cerner has several campuses across the area with its World Headquarters building in North Kansas City, Innovations Campus in South Kansas City, and Continuous Campus in the Kansas City, Kansas area.

Other major employers and business enterprises are AT&T, BNSF Railway, Asurion, Sprint Corporation, Citigroup, EMBARQ, Farmers Insurance Group, Garmin, Hallmark Cards, Harley-Davidson, Husqvarna, H&R Block, General Motors, Honeywell, Ford Motor Company, MillerCoors, State Street Corporation, The Kansas City Star, and Waddell & Reed, some of which are headquartered in the metropolitan area. Kansas City also has a large pharmaceutical industry, with companies such as Bayer and Aventis having a large presence.


The following companies and organizations, excluding educational institutions, are among the larger ones that are currently headquartered in or have since relocated from the metropolitan area (headquarters of most companies are located in Kansas City, Missouri, unless otherwise noted):

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank is one of twelve such banks located in the United States.


Shopping centers

Local organizations

See also


  1. "County Population Estimates-U.S. Census Bureau". Census.gov. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  2. "Bulletin" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  3. "publicpurpose.com". publicpurpose.com. January 10, 2002. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  4. "Maps and Schedules". KCATA. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  5. "Light Rail and MAX". KCATA. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  6. "Kansas City voters approve streetcar plan". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  7. "Kansas City streetcar rides will be free". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  8. "Official web site of the". Country Club Plaza. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  9. Library district walking tour Retrieved August 4, 2013
  10. The Union Hill Historic District Retrieved August 4, 2013
  11. "Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City". Mcckc.edu. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  12. "Vatterott College - Kansas City, MO". Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  13. http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/gallery/54001?s=image_gallery&img_no=10
  14. http://cerner.com/newsroom.aspx?id=17179877489&blogid=2147483710&langType=1033

Further reading

External links

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