The city traces its roots back to 1905, with the arrival of its founder, William B. Strang Jr., who platted subdivisions along a military roadway on 600 acres (2.4 km²) he purchased that are now part of the old downtown area. One of those subdivisions was named Overland Park, and was the site for the first airplane flight west of the Mississippi with shows by the Wright brothers, sponsored by Strang, on December 24, 1909. Overland Park is home to Sprint Nextel Corporation, Embarq Communications, Inc. communication companies, Applebees, and many other large corporations. The city is known for its many parks.
The Johnson County Library serves residents of Overland Park. The library's Central Resource Library and Blue Valley Library are in Overland Park.
The city is home to Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 300 acre arboretum & botanical garden. Examples of ecosystems demonstrated there are dry-mesic prairie, dry oak savanna, riparian woodland, and wooded draws.
The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, named after a police officer killed in the line of duty, is a replica of an early 1900s farmhouse. It includes farm animals, gardens, a one-room country schoolhouse, a fishing pond, and horse-drawn wagon rides.
The New Theatre Restaurant, with seating for 600, is the only year-round professional Actors' Equity Association theater in the state.
The John Brown Memorial Statue is hand sculpted statue of one of the most iconic figures in Kansas history, John Brown.
The new Korean War Veterans memorial at 119th Street and Lowell is the latest of the city attractions.
The largest employer in Overland Park is Sprint Nextel Corporation. Its campus tackily occupies 240 acres in the city, and employs about 14,500 people. The city is also the headquarters for YRC Worldwide, the newly formed Embarq, the restaurant chain Applebee's, and the employee-owned Black & Veatch Corporation. The Shawnee Mission School District, Blue Valley School District and Olathe School District employ several thousand people in the city.
Colleges and universities
Ottawa University - Overland Park Campus
KU Edwards Campus
Johnson County Community College
Baker University - Overland Park Campus
Overland Park is centered at 38°56'24" North, 94°40'51" West (38.94, -94.68). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 147.2 km² (56.8 mi²). 147.0 km² (56.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.18% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 59,703 households and 39,702 families residing in the city. The population density in 2000 was 1,014.3/km² (2,627.0/mi²).
Approximately 52.1% of Overland Park's population 25 and over has attained a bachelor's degree or beyond, making Overland Park the third-most educated city between 100,000 - 200,000 in population according to Bizjournal.com's analysis of the most recent census data.
There are 62,586 housing units at an average density of 425.8/km² (1,102.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 90.65% White, 2.55% African American, 0.27% Native American, 3.83% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.24% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 3.77% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.3% were of German, 12.2% Irish, 11.7% English and 6.7% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There are 59,703 households out of which 33.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% are married couples living together, 7.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% are non-families. 27.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.47 and the average family size is 3.06.
In the city the population is spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $62,116, and the median income for a family is $77,176. Males have a median income of $52,072 versus $34,186 for females. The per capita income for the city is $32,069. 3.2% of the population and 2.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.9% of those under the age of 18 and 3.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.