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More About Wichita, Kansas
Wichita ( WITCH-i-taw) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Sedgwick County. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 397,532. The Wichita metro area had a population of 647,610 in 2020. It is located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River.
Wichita began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860s and was incorporated as a city in 1870. It became a destination for cattle drives traveling north from Texas to Kansas railroads, earning it the nickname “Cowtown”. Wyatt Earp served as a police officer in Wichita for around one year before going to Dodge City.
In the 1920s and 1930s, businessmen and aeronautical engineers established aircraft manufacturing companies in Wichita, including Beechcraft, Cessna, and Stearman Aircraft. The city became an aircraft production hub known as “The Air Capital of the World”. Textron Aviation, Learjet, Airbus, and Boeing/Spirit AeroSystems continue to operate design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita, and the city remains a major center of the American aircraft industry. Several airports located within the city of Wichita include McConnell Air Force Base, Colonel James Jabara Airport, and Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, the largest airport in Kansas.
As an industrial hub, Wichita is a regional center of culture, media, and trade. It hosts several universities, large museums, theaters, parks, shopping centers, and entertainment venues, most notably Intrust Bank Arena and Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center. The city’s Old Cowtown Museum maintains historical artifacts and exhibits the city’s early history. Wichita State University is the third-largest post-secondary institution in the state.