Kansas Faces Demographic Changes

KDHE Publishes 2017 Annual Summary of Vital Statistics

The report may suggest Kansas is facing demographic changes.


TOPEKA –  The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has posted the Kansas Annual Summary of Vital Statistics, 2017 online at http://www.kdheks.gov/phi/as/2017/Annual_Summary_2017.pdf. The annual report may suggest Kansas is facing demographic changes.


“The Annual Summary of Vital Statistics summarizes key demographic and health information gathered from vital event records registered in 2017,” said Lou Saadi, State Registrar and Director Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics. “Since the data collected represents the entire population of the State, it serves as an excellent source for policy makers, program managers and the public to assess and study the health of Kansans.”


The report documents:

  • slowing population growth and an aging population
  • continuing declines in the number and rate of births
  • total fertility rates below the replacement rate
  • decreases in the rate of natural increase,
  • decreases in marriage rates
  • decreases in teen pregnancy


Other trends being noted for 2017 included:

  • homicides in the state increased by 21 percent
  • suicides increased by 6.3 percent
  • unintentional injuries increased by 7.2 percent


Kansas’s total population as of July 1, 2017 was estimated at 2,913,123, an increase of 5,834 (0.2%) from the estimate of Kansas’s total population as of July 1, 2016 (2,907,289) released in 2017. The median age of Kansans in 2017 was 36.6 years, a 4.0 percent increase from the median age of 35.2 in 1998. The median ages for men and women were 35.4 and 37.9, respectively.


There were 36,464 live births to Kansas resident mothers in 2017. The most recent year with fewer live births was 1976, when there were 35,278 live births. The birth rate in 2017 was 12.5 births per 1,000 population, the lowest rate since Kansas began statewide recording of vital events in 1912.


The 2017 birth rate of 12.5 births per 1,000 population is the lowest birth rate on record. The rate is part of a birth rate decrease that began in 2008.


One element of the decline in childbearing in recent years is due to factors generally considered desirable: teen pregnancy rates have declined from 32.4 pregnancies per 1,000 young women in the 10-19 age-group in 1998 to 12.7 per 1,000 in 2017.


In 2017, the state’s rate of natural increase was 3.3 persons per 1,000 population, a decrease of 19.5 percent from 4.1 per 1,000 population in 2016, and the lowest rate of natural increase in the past twenty years. The rate of natural increase is the birth rate minus the death rate.  A negative value for rate of natural increase would mean the insufficient births are occurring to replace the number of people dying in the state. Over the past 20 years (1998-2017), the rate of natural increase has fluctuated between a maximum of 6.3 persons per 1,000 population (2007) and a minimum of 3.3 persons per 1,000 population (2017).


The Kansas total fertility rate (TFR) in 2017 was 2,053 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The Kansas TFR has been below the replacement rate of 2,100 for each of the last five years. Total fertility rate is the number of children who would be born per 1,000 women if women were to pass through the childbearing years bearing children according to the current distribution of age-specific fertility rates.


Deaths in Kansas, 26,725, represented a 2.3% increase from the 26,129 deaths in 2016. Increases in 2017 over 2016 were noted for selected causes:

  • Suicide, 512 in 2016 to 544 in 2017, up 6.3 percent;
  • Homicide, 148 in 2016 to 179 in 2017, up 21.0 percent;
  • Unintentional Injury, 1,468 in 2016 to 1,573 in 2017, up 7.2 percent.


Heart disease with 5,636 deaths was the leading cause of death in 2017, followed by cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, and stroke.


In 2017, 17,274 marriages occurred in Kansas, a decrease of 3.8 percent from the 2016 total of 17,948 marriages. The Kansas marriage rate in 2017 was 5.9 marriages per 1,000 population. This rate was 4.8 percent lower than the 6.2 marriages per 1,000 population recorded in 2016, and was the lowest rate recorded for the state of Kansas in the last twenty years (1998–2017). For the entire period, Kansas marriage rates have been lower than U.S. marriage rates.


The annual summary does not attempt to determine causes for these trends, as it is a summary of events recorded by the KDHE Office of Vital Statistics. Factors impacting the state’s demography can not be discerned from vital event records.


Kansas Information for Communities in a query tool the public can use to look at specific birth and death outcomes and prepare statistics.  The web location is http://kic.kdheks.gov/

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