Olathe, KS

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Olathe is a city located in Johnson County, United States. Founded in 1857 by John T. Barton, this city was named Olathe, meaning ‘beautiful’ in the Shawnee language. It served as a stop along the Oregon Trail, California Trail, and Santa Fe Trail.

Olathe boasts an abundance of natural resources for exploring and recreation including hiking trails, parks, and botanical gardens with stunning flora and fauna. The city also has an arts district with galleries and museums highlighting local culture. With two major medical facilities and quality schools, it offers excellent healthcare and educational options for residents.


Olathe, Kansas is the fourth most populous city in the state of Kansas. Olathe had a population of 141,290 this past year and by 2023, it is estimated to reach 145,916 – an increase of 3.27%, from 2020.

The city has experienced significant growth recently, growing at an annual rate of 1.07%. Some estimates predict it will reach 300,000 within 20 years’ time; this could be attributed to new housing developments and job growth opportunities. 

Olathe offers its citizens many amenities from quality education to numerous recreational activities – making it an attractive destination for people young and old.


Olathe had its share of tension in the mid-19th century due to conflicts between abolitionist settlers and Missouri slave states, leading to Bleeding Kansas. Through this difficult period, Olathe served as a stop on the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails. The Mahaffie House, a prominent supply point for those headed westward, has been maintained as a registered historical site.

The 20th century saw major reform in Olathe with the construction of a new courthouse complete with electricity and steam heat. Other changes included public utilities such as natural gas, phone lines, and water treatment along with population growth climbing to 10,978 people in 1960. 

Urban renewal began taking place in 1967 while MidAmerica Nazarene College also opened its doors during this time. 

Today Olathe is thriving with over 130,000 people living there who benefit from major employers like Garmin, Honeywell, and Farmers Insurance due to their accessible location near these businesses.  Olathe has been highlighted as an excellent place to raise a family owing to its great schools, low crime rates, and high quality of life.

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Olathe’s economy is vibrant—employing about 75,800 people in various industries. The top 3 are health care & social assistance (10,111 people), retail trade (8,454 people), and professional, scientific, & technical services (8,363 people). Information ($80,806) pays the highest wages to Olathe workers while utilities ($75,260) and professional, scientific & technical services ($76,134) follow closely.

The city hosts Johnson County Executive Airport—the second busiest airport in the state. Companies such as Honeywell, Grundfos, and Farmers Insurance Group all maintain a significant presence in this city, with Farmers Insurance Group having the most employees. The Federal Aviation Administration operates and manages an air traffic control center in this location.

Job growth over the next 10 years is estimated to be 34.7%, which is higher than the U.S. average of 33.5%. The unemployment rate in Olathe is low at 2.9% compared to the national average of 6%. The sales tax rate, too, is lower than in many states at 9.5%. All these factors make Olathe an attractive economy for those looking for a job or starting a business here.


Insured persons in Olathe were distributed across different age ranges in 2020. Under 18 years accounted for 29.6%, between 18 and 34, 20.1%, between 35 and 64, 39%, and over 64 years made up 11.2% of the insured citizens. In addition to this age distribution, men constituted 48.8% of the total insured persons, whereas women were at 51.2%.

Between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of uninsured citizens in Olathe declined from 7.19% to 7.16%. It’s a modest decrease but still often enough for people in need of insurance coverage; their lives could be enriched by cheaper access to important services like medical care or car security discounts that depend on insurance status.


Olathe is served by four school districts, DeSoto, Olathe, Spring Hill, and Blue Valley. The total student enrollment in the Olathe School District is 26,894 spread across its 36 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and five high schools: Olathe North, South, East, Northwest, and West.

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) strives to provide equal educational opportunities for all students in Olathe. KSDE offers resources such as professional development opportunities, curriculum and assessment guidance, and funding for school improvement initiatives.

MNA University and the Kansas State School for the Deaf are also part of the education scene in Olathe. Both institutions offer a variety of services for enhancing learning opportunities for individuals in this area. 


Residents of Olathe have access to a wide range of transportation options. Public transit, shared ride programs, and private transportation services are all available in the area. Besides these general services, students enrolled in Olathe Public Schools can benefit from free transportation provided by the school district.

This makes getting around easier and more cost-effective for everyone who lives here. It also helps families save money as there’s no need to provide their own vehicles for the students to use or rely on expensive taxis to get them to school each day. Greater accessibility for those living in Olathe makes life much simpler and more convenient for everyone.

Popular Attractions

Olathe is home to many fascinating attractions, such as the Kansas City Automotive Museum and MidAmerica Nazarene University.

The Automotive Museum showcases a range of cars from vintage to modern muscle, plus special events and exhibitions. For educational pursuits, there’s MidAmerica Nazarene University, founded in 1966 in the area. With its gorgeous campus and diverse programs, it’s one of the leading institutions in the region.

Olathe also has plenty of great outdoor places to explore. There are parks for leisurely strolls, trails for adventurous hikes, and golf courses for enthusiasts. Downtown Olathe features many shops and eateries as well as cultural events – all reasons why it’s a great place to visit or live in.