Kansas’ population will continue to decline over the next 30 years in a process that began more than 100 years ago, according to a new study from Wichita State University.

The study said 37 of the state’s 105 counties will lose population through 2040 if migration is not considered because of a low number of women of child-bearing age.

If migration is considered, 83 counties will see a decline.

Most of the demographic shrinkage will occur in western Kansas.

The report from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research said 77 Kansas counties lost population since the 2000 census. Population peaked in 41 counties in 1910, and 28 counties have not shown an increase from census to census since 1940.

Four counties could have fewer than 1,000 residents by 2040, the study said.

Population increases will be limited to the areas around the state’s major population centers, including Topeka, Wichita, and Kansas City.

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