Atchison is a city and county seat of Atchison County, Kansas, United States, and situated along the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,021. The city is named in honor of David Rice Atchison, United States senator from Missouri, and was the original eastern terminus of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Atchison was the birthplace of aviator Amelia Earhart, and the Amelia Earhart Festival is held annually in July. Atchison is also home of Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal-arts college.
The city is along the western bank of the Missouri River which also marks the Kansas-Missouri state line. Located at the junction of U.S. Route 59 and U.S. Route 73, it is 21 miles (34 km) southwest of St. Joseph, Missouri, along US-59 and 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Leavenworth, Kansas, along US-73. The section of US-73 between Atchison and Leavenworth is part of the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway which follows K-7 northward from Atchison.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.29 square miles (21.47 km²), of which, 7.83 square miles (20.28 km²) is land and 0.46 square miles (1.19 km²) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 11,021 people, 3,933 households, and 2,447 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,407.5 inhabitants per square mile (543.4/km²). There were 4,442 housing units at an average density of 567.3 per square mile (219.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.9% White, 7.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 3,933 households of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.08.
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