Sterling is a city in Rice County, Kansas, United States. The population was 2,642 at the 2000 census. Sterling is home to Sterling College.
Peace was the original name of this Quaker community. In 1876, the name was changed by two brothers after their fathers name Sterling Rosan.
Sterling is located at 38°12′38″N 98°12′16″W / 38.21056°N 98.20444°W / 38.21056; -98.20444 (38.210658, -98.204549). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.8 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (2.76%) is water.