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  •   State: 
    Thomas County
      County all: 
    Thomas | Rawlins
      County FIPS: 
    20193 | 20153
    39°23′05″N 101°02′43″W
      Area total: 
    3.58 sq mi (9.27 km²)
      Area land: 
    3.58 sq mi (9.27 km²)
      Area water: 
    0.00 sq mi (0.00 km²)
    3,166 ft (965 m)
    1885; Incorporated 1886
  •   Latitude: 
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Colby, Thomas County, Kansas, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,600 residents per square mile of area (600/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Colby is a city in and the county seat of Thomas County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 5,570. The city is located at 39°2332N 101°0251W (39.392093, -101.047532) It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains. Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City. In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. It was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, and one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St.Thomas Historic Residences. The hottest temperature recorded in Colby was 113 °F (45 °C) in 2012; the coldest temperature recorded was -32 °F (-36 °C in 1989. It has a transitional climate between a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) and a semiarid climate with hot summers and cold, dry winters. Over the course of a year, temperatures range from an average low of 12 °F in January to an average high of 90 °f (32 °C), in July. The high temperature reaches or exceeds 90 °F an average of 50 days a year.


J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. Interstate 70 reached Colby in 1965, stimulating the growth of a local hospitality industry. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St.Thomas Historic Residences. It was one of two hospitals to be built in Kansas alone, the other was built in Missouri. It is now one of the largest hotels in the state, with more than 2,000 rooms. The city is located in Thomas County, Kansas, which is home to the University of Kansas and the Kansas State University. It has a population of about 3,000 people, making it the second largest city in Kansas after Kansas City. The U.S. Post Office was established in 1882, near the center of Thomas County. In 1887, the Union Pacific Railroad reached the city. The Rock Island Railroad followed the next year. The town is located three miles north of the post office in March 1885. In March 1884, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. The next month, the U.P. railroad reached the town and the town was incorporated. In April 1885 the town received its first post office.


Colby is located at 39°2332N 101°0251W (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m) It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains. The average temperature in Colby is 50 °F (10 °C), and the average relative humidity is 61%. During a typical year, the total amount of precipitation may be anywhere from 15 inches (380 mm) to 29 inches (740 mm) Colby receives nearly 21 inches (530 mm) of precipitation during an average year with the largest share being received from May through July. Typically, January is the coldest month, and July is both the hottest and wettest month. There are, on average, 72 days of measurable precipitation each year. Annual snowfall averages 29 inches, but the median is less than 23 inches (58 cm). Measurable snowfall occurs an average of 70 days a year with at least an inch of snow being received on nine of those days. Snow depth of at least one inch occurs anAverage of 31 days per year. The hottest temperature recorded in Col by was 113 °F in 2012. The coldest temperature recorded was -32 °F (-36 °C) in 1989. Colby has a transitional climate between a humid continental climate and a semiarid climate (Köppen BSk).


As of the census of 2010, there were 5,387 people, 2,211 households, and 1,320 families residing in the city. There were 2,423 housing units at an average density of 716.9 per square mile (276.8/km²) The racial makeup of the city was 96.73% White, 0.64% African American, 0,39% Native American,0.39% Asian, 0.,02% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population. The median income for a household in theCity was $34,615, and the median income. for a family was $45,127. The per capita income for the city is $18,872. About 8.1% of families and 12.4% of. the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under the age of 18 and 9.2% ofThose age 65 or over. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was2.89. The. median age in the City was 34.5 years and the. median. age of a resident was 44.6 years old. The city has a population density of 1,593.8 inhabitants per squaremile (615.4/km 2) and a median age of 44.5.


Colby has a mayor-council form of government. The mayor shares responsibility for setting policy and approving the city budget with the council. The city manager is hired by the council and is responsible for preparing the budget, administering day-to-day operations, and managing city government personnel. A city council consists of eight members elected by ward every four years. The council has final approval over ordinances the mayor passes. It also appoints all members of the city boards and, if necessary, serves as the tie-breaking vote on council business. It is the only city in the state to have a mayor and a city council in the same administration. It has a population of 2,000, with the majority of its residents living in the town of 1,500. It was founded in 1858. The current mayor and city council are elected at-large, and the mayor is elected by the city's residents. It's the only state in which the mayor and the city council share responsibility forsetting policy, approving the budget and appointing the city board members. It takes place in a city that has been in existence for more than 100 years, the longest of any state in the U.S. and the second longest in the nation. It began as a settlement with the U.,S. state of Vermont in 1854. It became a state in 1855. It received its first city charter in 1859, and its current mayor was elected in 1881. It had a city manager in 1883.


The community is served by Colby USD 315 public school district, and operates four public schools in the city. There are also two private schools in Colby: Sacred Heart Catholic School (Pre-K-5) and Heartland Christian School (K-12) Colby has a community college, Colby Community College, and Colby High School. Colby also has a high school, Thomas County Academy, a charter school, and a middle school. The community is also served by the Colby School District, which has four schools. The school district also operates Colby Middle School (5-8), Colby Grade School (Grades K-4), and Thomas County School (9-12). Colby is home to the University of Colby, which offers classes in English, Spanish, math, and science. It also offers a college program for high school students, which runs from September through May. The city also has its own high school and middle school, which operate from September to May. It has a public high school that runs from August to September. It is also home to Colby State College, which educates students in science, math and social studies. The town also has two high schools, one for pre-k-5, and one for K-12. There is also a private school, Sacred Heart Christian School, which serves children from pre-K to 12 years of age. It was founded in the 1950s and is located in the heart of the town.


Kyle Railroad operates rail via the former Rock Island Railroad which runs eastwest through Colby. A Union Pacific Railroad branch line ends in Colby, entering the city from the southeast. Colby Municipal Airport is located on K-25 approximately 2 miles (3 km) north of the city. The city is home to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers's Colby Army Ammunition Plant. The Colby Area Air Force Base is located in the city's northern part. It is the only air base in the state, with a runway that is less than a mile in length. It was built in the early 1900s and is located near the town of Colby's historic center. The base is currently home to a military base that was established in the mid-19th century and is known as the Colby Air Force Station. It has a runway which is about a mile and a half in length and sits on a base that is about three miles (5 km) wide. The airport is located at the base's base, which is approximately two miles (4 km) south of the town's central business district. It also has a terminal at Colby High School, which opened in the late 1950s. The town is also the site of the Colbysville High School which was founded in the 1960s and was the first high school in the area. The high school was closed in the 1970s and 1980s due to the construction of Interstate 70, which runs through the town. It reopened in the 1990s.

Points of interest

The Prairie Museum of Art and History, 1905 S. Franklin St., serves as a cultural center. The Cooper Barn located at the museum complex is known as the "Largest Barn in Kansas" Colby Aquatic Park was opened in 2012. The Colby Event Center opened in July 2021. The Event Center is home to all Colby High School and Colby Community College basketball and volleyball games. The city-made reservoir is situated on the South Side of Villa High Park, which was created in the 1960s by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Fike Park is located just north of City Hall at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Eighth Street. The park has gazebos, a volleyball area, horseshoe pitching pits, and tennis courts. Colby Swimming Pool was located just south of the park, but has since been converted into a parking lot. In 1998 and 1999, over $100,000 was raised by civic groups and parents for new playground equipment. In 2000, the tennis courts in this area were replaced and are used by Colby community College and Unified School District #315. The library is at 375 W. 4th St., named in honor of the pioneers who built the community. It is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is at 300 N. Court in Colby. The courthouse was constructed in 1907 by local firms Holland, JC & Squires, Frank, Crosby, and L. & Son. It has served as a correctional facility, fire station, library and meeting hall throughout its 80-year history.

In popular culture

Colby is mentioned in John Denver's 1974 song Matthew. Colby is also mentioned in the film "The Godfather: Part II" Colby was named after the town of Colby, New Hampshire. The town is located in the U.S. state of South Dakota. It is also known as "Colby County" in the state of New Hampshire, where it is named after Colby. The name Colby comes from the word "colby" which means "town" or "village" in English. It was also used as the name of a town in South Dakota in the 19th century, and again in the early 20th century. It means "little town" in French. It also means "place" in Spanish, which is used to refer to the town's name. It has also been known to mean "place of the dead" in other languages, such as Spanish and German. It can also mean "town of the sick" in these languages, which refers to people who are sick or have died in the past. It may also refer to a place in the United States where the dead have been buried, as in the case of John Denver, who was buried in Colby in 1974. It's also known to be the site of the song "Matthew" by John Denver in 1974, which was written about the death of his son, Matthew, in which Colby played a key role. It could also be the location of the town in the movie "The Lord of the Flies".

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas = 98. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 37. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 51. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Colby = 5 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 5,570 individuals with a median age of 35.9 age the population dropped by -13.17% in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,600 residents per square mile of area (600/km²). There are average 2.26 people per household in the 1,963 households with an average household income of $42,585 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 3.00% of the available work force and has dropped -5.54% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 25.92%. The number of physicians in Colby per 100,000 population = 52.7.


The annual rainfall in Colby = 18.4 inches and the annual snowfall = 25.8 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 69. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 258. 92 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 15.4 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 32, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas which are owned by the occupant = 55.39%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 43 years with median home cost = $103,650 and home appreciation of 1.49%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $12.45 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,060 per student. There are 10.6 students for each teacher in the school, 235 students for each Librarian and 517 students for each Counselor. 9.27% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 15.12% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 7.78% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Colby's population in Thomas County, Kansas of 1,739 residents in 1900 has increased 3,2-fold to 5,570 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 52.55% female residents and 47.45% male residents live in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas.

    As of 2020 in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas are married and the remaining 41.18% are single population.

  • 12 minutes is the average time that residents in Colby require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    85.45% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 7.25% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool and 4.24% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas, 55.39% are owner-occupied homes, another 31.13% are rented apartments, and the remaining 13.47% are vacant.

  • The 46.95% of the population in Colby, Thomas County, Kansas who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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