Here are the most rural counties in Kansas

Kansas News

Elk County, Kansas // Photo by Michael Adams/Wikimedia Commons

A surprising number of U.S. counties have 100% rural land — 702 counties, in fact. 

Stacker compiled a list of the most rural counties in Kansas using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the percent of land area that is rural, as of the 2010 Census, with ties broken by residents per square mile, according to 2019 5-year population estimates.

According to the Census Bureau, rural land encompasses any land that isn’t an urban area. To be considered an urban area, a place has to have a densely settled core of census tracts or blocks and count at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of whom must be residents of non-institutional buildings. Areas with 50,000 people or more are considered urbanized areas, while areas with between 2,500 and 50,000 people are considered urban clusters.

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Ellsworth County

– Rural area: 99.8% (715 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 716 square miles
— #66 largest county in state, #1,267 nationwide

– Population density: 8.7 people / square mile (6,231 residents)
— #53 lowest density county in state, #523 nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the most super commuters in Kansas

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Marshall County

– Rural area: 99.8% (899 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (2 square miles)
– Total land area: 900 square miles
— #23 largest county in state, #853 nationwide

– Population density: 10.8 people / square mile (9,749 residents)
— #56 lowest density county in state, #601 nationwide

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Norton County

– Rural area: 99.9% (877 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.2% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 878 square miles
— #37 largest county in state, #914 nationwide

– Population density: 6.2 people / square mile (5,446 residents)
— #39 lowest density county in state, #419 nationwide

Braniffair // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Greenwood County

– Rural area: 99.9% (1,142 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,143 square miles
— #5 largest county in state, #541 nationwide

– Population density: 5.3 people / square mile (6,081 residents)
— #34 lowest density county in state, #383 nationwide

Spacini // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Marion County

– Rural area: 99.9% (943 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.1% (1 square miles)
– Total land area: 944 square miles
— #20 largest county in state, #750 nationwide

– Population density: 12.7 people / square mile (11,964 residents)
— #59 lowest density county in state, #662 nationwide

You may also like: Where people in Kansas are moving to most

Jcakp // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Jefferson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (532 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 533 square miles
— #96 largest county in state, #1,957 nationwide

– Population density: 35.5 people / square mile (18,890 residents)
— #87 lowest density county in state, #1,348 nationwide

g Todd Comer // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Linn County

– Rural area: 100.0% (594 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 594 square miles
— #83 largest county in state, #1,645 nationwide

– Population density: 16.3 people / square mile (9,671 residents)
— #67 lowest density county in state, #777 nationwide

Bhall87 // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Wabaunsee County

– Rural area: 100.0% (794 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 794 square miles
— #46 largest county in state, #1,078 nationwide

– Population density: 8.7 people / square mile (6,889 residents)
— #52 lowest density county in state, #520 nationwide

shannonpatric17 // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Ottawa County

– Rural area: 100.0% (721 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 721 square miles
— #57 largest county in state, #1,241 nationwide

– Population density: 8.1 people / square mile (5,822 residents)
— #50 lowest density county in state, #497 nationwide

Douglas Kulp // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Morris County

– Rural area: 100.0% (695 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 695 square miles
— #70 largest county in state, #1,339 nationwide

– Population density: 8.0 people / square mile (5,566 residents)
— #49 lowest density county in state, #490 nationwide

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Halisdarkstone // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Harper County

– Rural area: 100.0% (801 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 801 square miles
— #45 largest county in state, #1,059 nationwide

– Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (5,594 residents)
— #45 lowest density county in state, #452 nationwide

Tinboy2341 // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Haskell County

– Rural area: 100.0% (578 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 578 square miles
— #87 largest county in state, #1,710 nationwide

– Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (4,018 residents)
— #44 lowest density county in state, #451 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Gray County

– Rural area: 100.0% (869 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 869 square miles
— #39 largest county in state, #941 nationwide

– Population density: 7.0 people / square mile (6,039 residents)
— #43 lowest density county in state, #450 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Republic County

– Rural area: 100.0% (717 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 717 square miles
— #65 largest county in state, #1,257 nationwide

– Population density: 6.5 people / square mile (4,658 residents)
— #41 lowest density county in state, #433 nationwide

25or6to4 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Woodson County

– Rural area: 100.0% (498 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 498 square miles
— #98 largest county in state, #2,091 nationwide

– Population density: 6.3 people / square mile (3,157 residents)
— #40 lowest density county in state, #428 nationwide

You may also like: States sending the most people to Kansas

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Washington County

– Rural area: 100.0% (895 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 895 square miles
— #30 largest county in state, #874 nationwide

– Population density: 6.1 people / square mile (5,493 residents)
— #38 lowest density county in state, #412 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Rooks County

– Rural area: 100.0% (891 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 891 square miles
— #33 largest county in state, #888 nationwide

– Population density: 5.7 people / square mile (5,053 residents)
— #36 lowest density county in state, #396 nationwide

Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Stafford County

– Rural area: 100.0% (792 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 792 square miles
— #47 largest county in state, #1,082 nationwide

– Population density: 5.3 people / square mile (4,181 residents)
— #33 lowest density county in state, #380 nationwide

Michael Adams // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Chautauqua County

– Rural area: 100.0% (639 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 639 square miles
— #78 largest county in state, #1,489 nationwide

– Population density: 5.2 people / square mile (3,323 residents)
— #32 lowest density county in state, #376 nationwide

John Margolies // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Edwards County

– Rural area: 100.0% (622 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 622 square miles
— #81 largest county in state, #1,552 nationwide

– Population density: 4.6 people / square mile (2,869 residents)
— #31 lowest density county in state, #354 nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the most college graduates in Kansas

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Kearny County

– Rural area: 100.0% (871 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 871 square miles
— #38 largest county in state, #936 nationwide

– Population density: 4.5 people / square mile (3,907 residents)
— #30 lowest density county in state, #345 nationwide

Brylie // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Meade County

– Rural area: 100.0% (978 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 978 square miles
— #18 largest county in state, #706 nationwide

– Population density: 4.3 people / square mile (4,180 residents)
— #29 lowest density county in state, #332 nationwide

antisocialtory // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Lincoln County

– Rural area: 100.0% (719 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 719 square miles
— #59 largest county in state, #1,247 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (3,044 residents)
— #28 lowest density county in state, #328 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Rush County

– Rural area: 100.0% (718 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 718 square miles
— #61 largest county in state, #1,252 nationwide

– Population density: 4.2 people / square mile (3,022 residents)
— #27 lowest density county in state, #324 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Barber County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,134 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,134 square miles
— #6 largest county in state, #550 nationwide

– Population density: 4.1 people / square mile (4,624 residents)
— #26 lowest density county in state, #313 nationwide

You may also like: Highest-earning counties in Kansas

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Smith County

– Rural area: 100.0% (895 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 895 square miles
— #28 largest county in state, #872 nationwide

– Population density: 4.1 people / square mile (3,627 residents)
— #25 lowest density county in state, #311 nationwide

Jmorgan1959 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Osborne County

– Rural area: 100.0% (893 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 893 square miles
— #32 largest county in state, #881 nationwide

– Population density: 4.0 people / square mile (3,530 residents)
— #24 lowest density county in state, #305 nationwide

Michael Adams // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Elk County

– Rural area: 100.0% (644 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 644 square miles
— #75 largest county in state, #1,475 nationwide

– Population density: 3.9 people / square mile (2,523 residents)
— #23 lowest density county in state, #302 nationwide

Spacini // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Morton County

– Rural area: 100.0% (730 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 730 square miles
— #53 largest county in state, #1,215 nationwide

– Population density: 3.8 people / square mile (2,754 residents)
— #22 lowest density county in state, #288 nationwide

Lane Pearman // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Kiowa County

– Rural area: 100.0% (723 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 723 square miles
— #56 largest county in state, #1,232 nationwide

– Population density: 3.5 people / square mile (2,505 residents)
— #21 lowest density county in state, #268 nationwide

You may also like: Fastest-growing counties in Kansas

Steve Ferro // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Chase County

– Rural area: 100.0% (773 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 773 square miles
— #50 largest county in state, #1,122 nationwide

– Population density: 3.4 people / square mile (2,637 residents)
— #20 lowest density county in state, #264 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Decatur County

– Rural area: 100.0% (894 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 894 square miles
— #31 largest county in state, #878 nationwide

– Population density: 3.2 people / square mile (2,860 residents)
— #19 lowest density county in state, #248 nationwide

IveGoneAway // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Trego County

– Rural area: 100.0% (889 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 889 square miles
— #34 largest county in state, #891 nationwide

– Population density: 3.2 people / square mile (2,840 residents)
— #18 lowest density county in state, #247 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Jewell County

– Rural area: 100.0% (910 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 910 square miles
— #22 largest county in state, #822 nationwide

– Population density: 3.2 people / square mile (2,885 residents)
— #17 lowest density county in state, #245 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Stanton County

– Rural area: 100.0% (680 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 680 square miles
— #71 largest county in state, #1,379 nationwide

– Population density: 3.0 people / square mile (2,052 residents)
— #16 lowest density county in state, #237 nationwide

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Wichita County

– Rural area: 100.0% (719 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 719 square miles
— #60 largest county in state, #1,249 nationwide

– Population density: 3.0 people / square mile (2,130 residents)
— #15 lowest density county in state, #233 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Graham County

– Rural area: 100.0% (899 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 899 square miles
— #25 largest county in state, #861 nationwide

– Population density: 2.8 people / square mile (2,519 residents)
— #14 lowest density county in state, #222 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Sheridan County

– Rural area: 100.0% (896 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 896 square miles
— #27 largest county in state, #870 nationwide

– Population density: 2.8 people / square mile (2,506 residents)
— #13 lowest density county in state, #221 nationwide

Catlady95 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Ness County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,075 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,075 square miles
— #9 largest county in state, #593 nationwide

– Population density: 2.7 people / square mile (2,876 residents)
— #12 lowest density county in state, #212 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Logan County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,073 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,073 square miles
— #11 largest county in state, #598 nationwide

– Population density: 2.6 people / square mile (2,805 residents)
— #11 lowest density county in state, #205 nationwide

You may also like: Counties with the oldest homes in Kansas

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Cheyenne County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,020 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,020 square miles
— #15 largest county in state, #650 nationwide

– Population density: 2.6 people / square mile (2,665 residents)
— #10 lowest density county in state, #204 nationwide

Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Hamilton County

– Rural area: 100.0% (997 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 997 square miles
— #17 largest county in state, #685 nationwide

– Population density: 2.6 people / square mile (2,591 residents)
— #9 lowest density county in state, #203 nationwide

Art davis // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Gove County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,072 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,072 square miles
— #12 largest county in state, #599 nationwide

– Population density: 2.5 people / square mile (2,644 residents)
— #8 lowest density county in state, #193 nationwide

Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Rawlins County

– Rural area: 100.0% (1,069 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 1,069 square miles
— #13 largest county in state, #601 nationwide

– Population density: 2.3 people / square mile (2,502 residents)
— #7 lowest density county in state, #182 nationwide

DepotDaveWebb // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Comanche County

– Rural area: 100.0% (788 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 788 square miles
— #48 largest county in state, #1,092 nationwide

– Population density: 2.2 people / square mile (1,740 residents)
— #6 lowest density county in state, #172 nationwide

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Hodgeman County

– Rural area: 100.0% (860 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 860 square miles
— #41 largest county in state, #965 nationwide

– Population density: 2.2 people / square mile (1,876 residents)
— #5 lowest density county in state, #169 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lane County

– Rural area: 100.0% (717 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 717 square miles
— #63 largest county in state, #1,255 nationwide

– Population density: 2.2 people / square mile (1,564 residents)
— #4 lowest density county in state, #168 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Clark County

– Rural area: 100.0% (975 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 975 square miles
— #19 largest county in state, #713 nationwide

– Population density: 2.1 people / square mile (2,026 residents)
— #3 lowest density county in state, #160 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Wallace County

– Rural area: 100.0% (914 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 914 square miles
— #21 largest county in state, #810 nationwide

– Population density: 1.7 people / square mile (1,574 residents)
— #2 lowest density county in state, #128 nationwide

Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Greeley County

– Rural area: 100.0% (778 square miles)
– Urban area: 0.0% (0 square miles)
– Total land area: 778 square miles
— #49 largest county in state, #1,110 nationwide

– Population density: 1.5 people / square mile (1,185 residents)
— #1 lowest density county in state, #111 nationwide

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