Manhattan is a city and county seat of Riley County, Kansas, United States, although the city extends into Pottawatomie County. It is located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 54,100. The city was founded by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Company as a Free-State town in the 1850s, during the Bleeding Kansas era. Nicknamed "The Little Apple" as a play on New York City's "Big Apple", Manhattan is best known as the home of Kansas State University and has a distinct college town atmosphere. Fort Riley, a United States Army post, is located 8 miles (13 km) west of Manhattan.