Some county lines seem arbitrary: just a government formality running through an otherwise homogenous community. The Wyandotte-Johnson county line does not fall into this category. In fact, it's hard to imagine two more different counties — they stand on opposite ends of every measure, from health to education levels to household income.
KCUR is looking Beyond Our Borders, examining the lines that divide the greater Kansas City area. So far, we've looked at Troost Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., and the Missouri-Kansas state line. Now, we're moving our sights to the Wyandotte-Johnson County border.
The racial data map below represents each person as one dot, showing white, black, Asian and Hispanic populations. Perhaps not surprisingly, Johnson County is overwhelmingly white. Wyandotte is far more diverse, with concentrations of different races scattered around the county.
Education levels also fall along county lines. According to this U.S. Census map, Johnson County residents are far more likely to have a bachelor's degree than Wyandotte County residents.
When it comes to race and education attainment, Wyandotte County and Johnson County are very different. But a map of median household income, from public radio station WNYC, shows some similarities. As expected, JoCo has high-income areas, while WyCo skews lower. But there are a lot of people in both counties who fall within the $25,000-$50,000 range. And there are areas in Johnson County, like Mission, Merriam and Overland Park, that have the same median income as their neighbors to the north.
This look at the Wyandotte-Johnson county line is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.
We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them. Become a source for KCUR as we investigate Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.