Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Overview
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region
South Central United States
The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South...

 of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles (177,847 km²), Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 words okla and humma, meaning "red people", and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner
Sooners
Sooners is the name given to settlers in the midwest of the United States who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed them open to settlement on March 2, 1889 with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889...

 State.
Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.-Organization:Oklahoma Territory's...

 and Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union.
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Encyclopedia
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region
South Central United States
The South Central United States or South Central states is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South...

 of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles (177,847 km²), Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 words okla and humma, meaning "red people", and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner
Sooners
Sooners is the name given to settlers in the midwest of the United States who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed them open to settlement on March 2, 1889 with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889...

 State.
Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.-Organization:Oklahoma Territory's...

 and Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans or, informally, "Okies" or "Sooners", and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

.

A major producer of natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

, oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and agriculture, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

. It has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation, ranking among the top states in per capita income growth and gross domestic product growth. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly 60 percent of Oklahomans living in their metropolitan statistical areas.

With small mountain ranges, prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 and the U.S. Interior Highlands
U.S. Interior Highlands
The U.S. Interior Highlands is a mountainous region spanning eastern Oklahoma, western and northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, and the extreme southeast corner of Kansas. The name is designated by the United States Geological Survey to refer to the combined mountainous region of the Ozarks and...

—a region especially prone to severe weather
Severe weather
Severe weather phenomena are weather conditions that are hazardous to human life and property.- Examples Include :Severe weather can occur under a variety of situations, but three characteristics are generally needed: a temperature or moisture boundary, moisture, and , instability in the...

. In addition to having a prevalence of German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

, Irish, English, Scottish and Native American ancestry, more than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, the most of any state. It is located on a confluence of three major American cultural region
Cultural region
Cultural region is a term used mainly in the fields of anthropology and geography. Specific cultures often do not limit their geographic coverage to the borders of a nation state, or to smaller subdivisions of a state...

s and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Part of the Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

, widespread belief in evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 Christianity makes it one of the most politically conservative states, though Oklahoma has more voters registered with the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 than with any other party.

Etymology


The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 phrase okla humma, literally meaning red people. Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government regarding the use of Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

, in which he envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language used to describe the Native American race as a whole. Oklahoma later became the de facto name for Oklahoma Territory
Oklahoma Territory
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.-Organization:Oklahoma Territory's...

, and it was officially approved in 1890, two years after the area was opened to white settlers.

Geography




Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of 69,898 square miles (181,035 km²), with 68,667 square miles (177847 km²) of land and 1,231 square miles (3,188 km²) of water. It is one of six states on the Frontier Strip
Frontier Strip
The Frontier Strip are the six states in the United States forming a north-south line from North Dakota to Texas. In the American Old West, westward from this strip was the frontier of the United States toward the latter part of the 19th century...

, and lies partly in the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 near the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

. Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 bound it on the east, on the north by Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, on the northwest by Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, on the far west by New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, and on the south and near-west by Texas.

Topography



Oklahoma is situated between the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 and the Ozark Plateau in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 watershed, generally sloping from the high plains of its western boundary to the low wetlands of its southeastern boundary. Its highest and lowest points follow this trend, with its highest peak, Black Mesa, at 4,973 feet (1,516 m) above sea level, situated near its far northwest corner in the Oklahoma Panhandle
Oklahoma Panhandle
The Oklahoma Panhandle is the extreme western region of the state of Oklahoma, comprising Cimarron County, Texas County, and Beaver County. Its name comes from the similarity of shape to the handle of a cooking pan....

. The state's lowest point is on the Little River near its far southeastern boundary near the town of Idabel, OK, which dips to 289 feet (88 m) above sea level.

Among the most geographically diverse states, Oklahoma is one of four to harbor more than 10 distinct ecological regions
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

, with 11 in its borders – more per square mile than in any other state. Its western and eastern halves, however, are marked by extreme differences in geographical diversity: Eastern Oklahoma touches eight ecological regions and its western half contains three.
Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: the Ouachita Mountains
Ouachita Mountains
The Ouachita Mountains are a mountain range in west central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. The range's subterranean roots may extend as far as central Texas, or beyond it to the current location of the Marathon Uplift. Along with the Ozark Mountains, the Ouachita Mountains form the U.S...

, the Arbuckle Mountains
Arbuckle Mountains
The Arbuckle Mountains are an ancient mountain range in south-central Oklahoma in the United States. The granite rocks of the Arbuckles date back to the Proterozoic Era some 1.4 billion years ago which were overlain by sediments during the Paleozoic Era. The range reaches a height of 1,412 feet...

, the Wichita Mountains
Wichita Mountains
The Wichita Mountains are located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The mountains are a northwest-southeast trending series of rocky promontories, many capped by 540 million-year old granite. These were exposed and rounded by weathering during the Permian Period...

, and the Ozark Mountains. Contained within the U.S. Interior Highlands
U.S. Interior Highlands
The U.S. Interior Highlands is a mountainous region spanning eastern Oklahoma, western and northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, and the extreme southeast corner of Kansas. The name is designated by the United States Geological Survey to refer to the combined mountainous region of the Ozarks and...

 region, the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains mark the only major mountainous region between the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 and the Appalachians. A portion of the Flint Hills
Flint Hills
The Flint Hills, historically known as Bluestem Pastures or Blue Stem Hills, are a band of hills in eastern Kansas stretching into north-central Oklahoma, extending from Marshall County, Kansas and Washington County, Kansas in the north to Cowley County, Kansas and Osage County, Oklahoma in the south...

 stretches into north-central Oklahoma, and in the state's southeastern corner, Cavanal Hill
Cavanal Hill
Cavanal Hill , located near Poteau, Oklahoma, is billed by a local chamber of commerce as the tallest hill in the world at...

 is regarded by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department as the world's tallest hill; at 1,999 feet (609 m), it fails their definition of a mountain by one foot.

The semi-arid
Semi-arid
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely...

 high plains
High Plains (United States)
The High Plains are a subregion of the Great Plains mostly in the Western United States, but also partly in the Midwest states of Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota, generally encompassing the western part of the Great Plains before the region reaches the Rocky Mountains...

 in the state’s northwestern corner
Northwestern Oklahoma
Northwestern Oklahoma is the geographical region of the state of Oklahoma which includes the Oklahoma Panhandle and a majority of the Cherokee Outlet, stretching to an eastern extent along Interstate 35, and its southern extent along the Canadian River to Noble County...

 harbor few natural
forests. Oklahoma there is a rolling to flat landscape with intermittent canyons and mesa
Mesa
A mesa or table mountain is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It takes its name from its characteristic table-top shape....

 ranges like the Glass Mountains
Glass Mountains
The Glass Mountains or Gloss Mountains are a series of mesas and buttes that extend from the Permian red beds of the Blaine Escarpment of northwestern Oklahoma in Major County. The Glass Mountains stretch west along US Highway 412 from Orienta south of the Cimarron River...

. Partial plains interrupted by small mountain ranges like the Antelope Hills
Antelope Hills (Oklahoma)
The Antelope Hills in Roger Mills County, Oklahoma are a series of low hills in the bend of the Canadian River. They were a major landmark for the Plains Indians and travelers on what is now the western plains of Oklahoma. The hills are on the National Register of Historic Places.-External links:*...

 and the Wichita Mountains
Wichita Mountains
The Wichita Mountains are located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The mountains are a northwest-southeast trending series of rocky promontories, many capped by 540 million-year old granite. These were exposed and rounded by weathering during the Permian Period...

 dot southwestern Oklahoma
Southwestern Oklahoma
Southwest Oklahoma is a geographical name for the southwest portion of the state of Oklahoma, typically considered to be south of the Canadian River, extending eastward from the Texas border to a line roughly from Weatherford, to Anadarko, to Duncan...

, and transitional prairie and woodlands cover the central portion
Central Oklahoma
Central Oklahoma is the geographical name for the central region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is also known by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Frontier Country....

 of the state. The Ozark and Ouachita Mountains rise from west to east over the state's eastern third, gradually increasing in elevation in an eastward direction. More than 500 named creeks and rivers make up Oklahoma's waterways, and with 200 lakes created by dams, it holds the highest number of artificial reservoirs in the nation. Most of the state lies in two primary drainage basin
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

s belonging to the Red
Red River (Mississippi watershed)
The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers in the southern United States of America. The river gains its name from the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name...

 and Arkansas
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

 rivers, though the Lee and Little rivers also contain significant drainage basins.

Flora and fauna



Forests cover 24 percent of Oklahoma and prairie grasslands
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

 composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass prairie
Tallgrass prairie
The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. In the past, tallgrass prairies covered a large portion of the American Midwest, just east of the Great Plains, and portions of the Canadian Prairies. They flourished in areas with...

, harbor expansive ecosystems in the state's central and western portions, although cropland has largely replaced native grasses. Where rainfall is sparse in the western regions of the state, shortgrass prairie and shrubland
Shrubland
Shrubland, scrubland, scrub or brush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity...

s are the most prominent ecosystems, though pinyon pine
Pinyon pine
The pinyon pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten...

s, red cedar (juniper
Juniper
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

s), and ponderosa pine
Ponderosa Pine
Pinus ponderosa, commonly known as the Ponderosa Pine, Bull Pine, Blackjack Pine, or Western Yellow Pine, is a widespread and variable pine native to western North America. It was first described by David Douglas in 1826, from eastern Washington near present-day Spokane...

s grow near rivers and creek beds in the far western reaches of the panhandle. Marshlands, cypress
Cypress
Cypress is the name applied to many plants in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is a conifer of northern temperate regions. Most cypress species are trees, while a few are shrubs...

 forests and mixtures of shortleaf pine
Shortleaf Pine
Pinus echinata is a species of pine native to the eastern United States from southern New York south to northern Florida, west to the extreme southeast of Kansas, and southwest to eastern Texas. The tree is variable in form, sometimes straight, sometimes crooked, with an irregular crown...

, loblolly pine
Loblolly Pine
Pinus taeda is one of several pines native to the Southeastern United States, from central Texas east to Florida, and north to Delaware. It is particularly dominant in the eastern half of North Carolina, where there are huge expanses consisting solely of Loblolly Pine trees...

 and deciduous forests dominate the state's southeastern quarter
Kiamichi country
Southeastern Oklahoma, also known by its official tourism designation, Kiamichi Country, encompasses the southeastern quarter of the state of Oklahoma. The term "Kiamichi Country" was coined by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation as one of six travel destination regions within the...

, while mixtures of largely post oak
Post oak
Quercus stellata is an oak in the white oak group. It is a small tree, typically 10–15 m tall and 30–60 cm trunk diameter, though occasional specimens reach 30 m tall and 140 cm diameter. It is native to the eastern United States, from Connecticut in the northeast, west to southern Iowa, southwest...

, elm
Elm
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

, white cedar (Thuja
Thuja
Thuja is a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae . There are five species in the genus, two native to North America and three native to eastern Asia...

) and pine forests cover northeastern Oklahoma.

The state holds populations of white-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer , also known as the Virginia deer or simply as the whitetail, is a medium-sized deer native to the United States , Canada, Mexico, Central America, and South America as far south as Peru...

, coyotes, bobcats, elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

, and birds such as quail
Quail
Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes. Old World quail are found in the family Phasianidae, while New World quail are found in the family Odontophoridae...

, dove
Dove
Pigeons and doves constitute the bird family Columbidae within the order Columbiformes, which include some 300 species of near passerines. In general terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably...

s, cardinals
Cardinal (bird)
The Cardinals or Cardinalidae are a family of passerine birds found in North and South America. The South American cardinals in the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae ....

, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and pheasants. In prairie ecosystems, American bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

, greater prairie chicken
Greater Prairie Chicken
The Greater Prairie Chicken or Pinnated Grouse, Tympanuchus cupido, is a large bird in the grouse family. This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare or extinct over much of its range due to habitat loss. There are current efforts to help this species gain the...

s, badgers, and armadillo
Armadillo
Armadillos are New World placental mammals, known for having a leathery armor shell. Dasypodidae is the only surviving family in the order Cingulata, part of the superorder Xenarthra along with the anteaters and sloths. The word armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one"...

 are common, and some of the nation's largest prairie dog
Prairie dog
Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. There are five different species of prairie dogs: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison's, Utah and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico...

 towns inhabit shortgrass prairie in the state's panhandle. The Cross Timbers
Cross Timbers
The term Cross Timbers is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas...

, a region transitioning from prairie to woodlands in Central Oklahoma, harbors 351 vertebrate species
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

. The Ouachita Mountains are home to black bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

, red fox
Red Fox
The red fox is the largest of the true foxes, as well as being the most geographically spread member of the Carnivora, being distributed across the entire northern hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America, and the steppes of Asia...

, grey fox, and river otter populations, which coexist with a total of 328 vertebrate species in southeastern Oklahoma. Also, in southeastern Oklahoma lives the American Alligator
American Alligator
The American alligator , sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator, is a reptile endemic only to the Southeastern United States. It is one of the two living species of alligator, in the genus Alligator, within the family Alligatoridae...

. Oklahoma also contains the largest Mountain Lion population in America, with sightings being reported in every county since 2002, with an increasing number of confirmed sightings occurring on the outskirts of major metropolitan areas including Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Stillwater and Lawton.

Protected lands



Oklahoma has 50 state parks, six national parks or protected regions, two national protected forests
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of federal lands in the United States.National Forests are largely forest and woodland areas owned by the federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Land management of these areas...

 or grasslands, and a network of wildlife preserves and conservation areas. Six percent of the state's 10 million acres (40,000 km²) of forest is public land, including the western portions of the Ouachita National Forest
Ouachita National Forest
The Ouachita National Forest is a National Forest that lies in the western portion of Arkansas and portions of eastern Oklahoma.-History:The Ouachita National Forest is the oldest National Forest in the southern United States. The Forest encompasses , including most of the scenic Ouachita Mountains...

, the largest and oldest national forest in the Southern United States. With 39,000 acres (158 km²), the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, located in Osage County, Oklahoma near Foraker, Oklahoma, is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. It is protected as the largest tract of remaining tallgrass prairie in the world...

 in north-central Oklahoma is the largest protected area of tallgrass prairie
Tallgrass prairie
The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. In the past, tallgrass prairies covered a large portion of the American Midwest, just east of the Great Plains, and portions of the Canadian Prairies. They flourished in areas with...

 in the world and is part of an ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 that encompasses only 10 percent of its former land area, once covering 14 states. In addition, the Black Kettle National Grassland covers 31,300 acres (127 km²) of prairie in southwestern Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the oldest and largest of nine national wildlife refuges
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants...

 in the state and was founded in 1901, encompassing 59,020 acres (238.8 km²). Of Oklahoma's federally protected park or recreational sites; the Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Chickasaw National Recreation Areais a National Recreation Area situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur.-History:...

 is the largest, with 9,898.63 acres (18 km²). Other sites include the Santa Fe and Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

 national historic trails, the Fort Smith
Fort Smith National Historic Site
Fort Smith National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located primarily in Fort Smith, Arkansas along the Arkansas River, and also along the opposite bank of the river near Moffett, Oklahoma....

 and Washita Battlefield
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site protects and interprets the site of the Southern Cheyenne village of Chief Black Kettle where the Battle of Washita occurred. The site, a National Historic Landmark, is located about 150 miles west of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, near Cheyenne, Oklahoma.Just...

 national historic sites, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial
Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial in the United States that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The memorial is located in downtown Oklahoma City on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal...

.

Climate


Oklahoma is located in a temperate region and experiences occasional extremes of temperature and precipitation typical in a continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

. Most of the state lies in an area known as Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley
Tornado Alley is a colloquial and popular media term that most often refers to the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. Although an official location is not defined, the area between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains is usually associated with it.The areas...

 characterized by frequent interaction between cold and warm air masses producing severe weather
Severe weather
Severe weather phenomena are weather conditions that are hazardous to human life and property.- Examples Include :Severe weather can occur under a variety of situations, but three characteristics are generally needed: a temperature or moisture boundary, moisture, and , instability in the...

. An average 54 tornadoes strike the state per year—one of the highest rates in the world. Because of its position between zones of differing prevailing temperature and winds, weather patterns within the state can vary widely between relatively short distances and can change drastically in a short time. As an example, on November 11, 1911, the temperature at Oklahoma City reached 83 °F (28.3 °C) in the afternoon (the record high for that date), then an incoming squall line resulted in a drop to 17 °F (-8.3 °C) at midnight (the record low for that date); thus, both the record high and record low for November 11 were set on the same day.


The humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 (Koppen Cfa) of the eastern part of Oklahoma influenced heavily by southerly winds bringing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, but transitions progressively to a semi-arid
Semi-arid
A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely...

 zone (Koppen BSk) in the high plains of the Panhandle and other western areas from about Lawton
Lawton, Oklahoma
The city of Lawton is the county seat of Comanche County, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the southwestern region of Oklahoma approximately southwest of Oklahoma City, it is the principal city of the Lawton Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 westward less frequently touched by southern moisture. Precipitation and temperatures fall from east to west accordingly, with areas in the southeast averaging an annual temperature of 62 °F (17 °C) and an annual rainfall of 56 inches (1,422.4 mm), while areas of the panhandle average 58 °F (14 °C), with an annual rainfall under 17 inches (431.8 mm). All of the state frequently experiences temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) or below 0 °F (−18 °C), and snowfall ranges from an average of less than 4 inches (10 cm) in the south to just over 20 inches (51 cm) on the border of Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 in the panhandle. The state is home to the Storm Prediction Center
Storm Prediction Center
The Storm Prediction Center , located in Norman, Oklahoma, is tasked with forecasting the risk of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in the contiguous United States. The agency issues convective outlooks, mesoscale discussions, and watches as a part of this process...

, the National Severe Storms Laboratory
National Severe Storms Laboratory
The National Severe Storms Laboratory is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather research laboratory located at the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma....

, and the Warning Decision Training Branch
Warning Decision Training Branch
The Warning Decision Training Branch is one of three training organizations in the NWS Training Division which also includes the Forecast Decision Training Branch and the NWS Training Center...

, all part of the National Weather Service
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service , once known as the Weather Bureau, is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States government...

 and located in Norman
Norman, Oklahoma
Norman is a city in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States, and is located south of downtown Oklahoma City. It is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, Norman was to have 110,925 full-time residents, making it the third-largest city in Oklahoma and the...

. Oklahoma's highest recorded temperature of 120 °F (48.9 °C) was recorded at Tipton
Tipton, Oklahoma
Tipton is a town in Tillman County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 847 at the 2010 census.Tipton also is home to a home for children, founded in 1928, when Sol Tipton donated a plot of land to the founders...

 on June 27, 1994 and the lowest recorded temperature of -31 F was recorded at Nowata
Nowata, Oklahoma
Nowata is a city in Nowata County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 3,731 at the United States Census, 2010, a 6.0 percent decline from 3,971 at the 2000 census...

 on February 10, 2011.
Monthly temperatures for Oklahoma's largest cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Oklahoma City 47/26 54/31 62/39 71/48 79/58 87/66 93/71 92/70 84/62 73/51 60/38 50/29
Tulsa 46/26 53/31 62/40 72/50 80/59 88/68 94/73 93/71 84/63 74/51 60/39 50/30
Lawton 50/26 56/31 65/40 73/49 82/59 90/68 96/73 95/71 86/63 76/51 62/39 52/30
Average high/low temperatures in °F'

History



Evidence exists that native peoples traveled through Oklahoma as early as the last ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

, but the state's first permanent inhabitants settled in communities accentuated with mound-like structures
Spiro Mounds
Spiro Mounds is an important pre-Columbian Caddoan Mississippian culture archaeological site located in present-day eastern Oklahoma in the United States. The site is located seven miles north of Spiro, and is the only prehistoric Native American archaeological site in Oklahoma open to the public...

 near the Arkansas border between 850 and 1450 AD. Spaniard Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador, who visited New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542...

 traveled through the state in 1541, but French explorers claimed the area in the 1700s and it remained under French rule until 1803, when all the French territory west of the Mississippi River was purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

.

During the 19th century, thousands of Native Americans were expelled from their ancestral homelands from across North America and transported to the area including and surrounding present-day Oklahoma. The Choctaw was the first of the "Five Civilized Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

" to be removed from the southeastern United States. The phrase "Trail of Tears" originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 Nation in 1831, although the term is usually used for the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 removal. About 17,000 Cherokees – along with approximately 2,000 black slaves owned by Cherokees – were removed from their homes. The area, already occupied by Osage
Osage Nation
The Osage Nation is a Native American Siouan-language tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky. After years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri,...

 and Quapaw
Quapaw
The Quapaw people are a tribe of Native Americans who historically resided on the west side of the Mississippi River in what is now the state of Arkansas.They are federally recognized as the Quapaw Tribe of Indians.-Government:...

 tribes, was called for the Choctaw Nation
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a semi-autonomous Native American homeland comprising twelve tribal districts. The Choctaw Nation maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments...

 until revised Native American and then later American policy redefined the boundaries to include other Native Americans. By 1890, more than 30 Native American nations and tribes had been concentrated on land within Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 or "Indian Country." Many Native Americans served in the Union
Indian Home Guard (American Civil War)
The Indian Home Guard were volunteer infantry regiments recruited from the Five Civilized Tribes of Indian Territory to support the Union during the American Civil War....

 and Confederate military during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation (19th century)
The Cherokee Nation of the 19th century —an historic entity —was a legal, autonomous, tribal government in North America existing from 1794–1906. Often referred to simply as The Nation by its inhabitants, it should not be confused with what is known today as the "modern" Cherokee Nation...

 had an internal civil war. Slavery in Oklahoma was not abolished until 1866.

In the period between 1866 and 1899, cattle ranches in Texas strove to meet the demands for food in eastern cities and railroads in Kansas promised to deliver in a timely manner. Cattle trails and cattle ranches developed as cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

s either drove their product north or settled illegally in Indian Territory. In 1881, four of five major cattle trails on the western frontier traveled through Indian Territory. Increased presence of white settlers in Indian Territory prompted the United States Government to establish the Dawes Act
Dawes Act
The Dawes Act, adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide the land into allotments for individual Indians. The Act was named for its sponsor, Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts. The Dawes Act was amended in 1891 and again...

 in 1887, which divided the lands of individual tribes into allotments for individual families, encouraging farming and private land ownership among native Americans but expropriating land to the federal government. In the process, railroad companies took nearly half of Indian-held land within the territory for outside settlers and for purchase.

Major land run
Land run
Land run usually refers to an historical event in which previously restricted land of the United States was opened for homesteading on a first arrival basis. Some newly opened lands were sold first-come, sold by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run...

s, including the Land Run of 1889
Land Run of 1889
The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land run into the Unassigned Lands and included all or part of the 2005 modern day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the U.S. state of Oklahoma...

, were held for settlers on the hour that certain territories were opened to settlement. Usually, land was open to settlers on a first come first served basis. Those who broke the rules by crossing the border into the territory before it was allowed were said to have been crossing the border sooner, leading to the term sooners
Sooners
Sooners is the name given to settlers in the midwest of the United States who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed them open to settlement on March 2, 1889 with the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889...

, which eventually became the state's official nickname.

Delegations to make the territory into a state began near the end of the 19th century, when the Curtis Act furthered the allotment of Indian tribal land. Attempts to create an all-Indian state named Oklahoma and a later attempt to create an all-Indian state named Sequoyah failed but the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905 eventually laid the groundwork for the Oklahoma Statehood Convention, which took place two years later. On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was established as the 46th state in the Union.

The new state became a focal point for the emerging oil industry, as discoveries of oil pools prompted towns to grow rapidly in population and wealth. Tulsa eventually became known as the "Oil Capital of the World
Oil Capital of the World
The title of "Oil Capital of the World" is often used to refer to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and more recently to Houston, Texas.In mid-19th century, when Pennsylvania was the first center of petroleum production, Pittsburgh and Titusville were considered oil capitals...

" for most of the 20th century and oil investments fueled much of the state's early economy. In 1927, an Oklahoman businessman Cyrus Avery
Cyrus Avery
Cyrus Stevens Avery was known as the "Father of Route 66". He created the route while a member of the federal board appointed to create the Federal Highway System, then pushed for the establishment of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to pave and promote the highway.-Early life and move to...

, known as the "Father of Route 66", began the campaign to create U.S. Route 66
U.S. Route 66
U.S. Route 66 was a highway within the U.S. Highway System. One of the original U.S. highways, Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 -- with road signs erected the following year...

. Using a stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo is the 14th-largest city, by population, in the state of Texas, the largest in the Texas Panhandle, and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The population was 190,695 at the 2010 census...

 to Tulsa, Oklahoma to form the original portion of Highway 66, Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association
U.S. Highway 66 Association
The U.S. Highway 66 Association was organized in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1927. Its purpose was to get U.S. Highway 66 paved from end to end and to promote tourism on the highway....

 to oversee the planning of Route 66, based in his hometown of Tulsa.

Oklahoma also has a rich African American history. There were many black towns that thrived in the early 20th century because of black settlers moving from neighboring states, especially Kansas. The politician Edward P. McCabe encouraged black settlers to come to what was then Indian Territory. He discussed with President Theodore Roosevelt the possibility of making Oklahoma a majority-black state.

By the early 20th century, the Greenwood
Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Greenwood was a district in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As one of the most successful and wealthiest African American communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America's "Black Wall Street" until the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921...

 neighborhood of Tulsa was one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the United States. Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 had established racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 since before the turn of the century, but the blacks had created a thriving area.

Social tensions were exacerbated by the revival of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 after 1915. The Tulsa Race Riot
Tulsa Race Riot
The Tulsa race riot was a large-scale racially motivated conflict, May 31 - June 1st 1921, between the white and black communities of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in which the wealthiest African-American community in the United States, the Greenwood District also known as 'The Negro Wall St' was burned to the...

 broke out in 1921, with whites attacking blacks. In one of the costliest episodes of racial violence in American history, sixteen hours of rioting resulted in 35 city blocks destroyed, $1.8 million in property damage, and a death toll estimated to be as high as 300 people. By the late 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan had declined to negligible influence within the state.

During the 1930s, parts of the state began suffering the consequences of poor farming practices, extended drought and high winds. Known as the Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

, areas of Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and northwestern Oklahoma
Northwestern Oklahoma
Northwestern Oklahoma is the geographical region of the state of Oklahoma which includes the Oklahoma Panhandle and a majority of the Cherokee Outlet, stretching to an eastern extent along Interstate 35, and its southern extent along the Canadian River to Noble County...

 were hampered by long periods of little rainfall and abnormally high temperatures, sending thousands of farmers into poverty and forcing them to relocate to more fertile areas of the western United States. Over a twenty-year period ending in 1950, the state saw its only historical decline in population, dropping 6.9 percent as impoverished families migrated out of the state after the Dust Bowl.

Soil
Soil conservation
Soil conservation is a set of management strategies for prevention of soil being eroded from the Earth’s surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse, acidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination...

 and water conservation
Water conservation
Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation.- Water conservation :Water conservation can be defined as:...

 projects markedly changed practices in the state and led to the construction of massive flood control systems and dams; they built hundreds of reservoirs and man-made lakes to supply water for domestic needs and agricultural irrigation. By the 1960s, Oklahoma had created more than 200 lakes, the most in the nation.

In 1995, Oklahoma City was the site of the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. The Oklahoma City bombing
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19...

 of April 19, 1995, in which Timothy McVeigh
Timothy McVeigh
Timothy James McVeigh was a United States Army veteran and security guard who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995...

 and Terry Nichols
Terry Nichols
Terry Lynn Nichols is a convicted bomber's accomplice. Prior to his incarceration, he held a variety of short-term jobs, working as a farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman, ranch hand, and house husband. He met his future co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, during a brief stint in the...

 detonated an explosive outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States Federal Government complex located at 200 N.W. 5th Street in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. The building was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, including 19 children...

, killed 168 people, including 19 children. The two men were convicted of the bombing: McVeigh was sentenced to death and executed by the federal government on June 11, 2001; his partner Nichols is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Economy



Based in the sectors of aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

, energy, transportation equipment, food processing
Food processing
Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food or to transform food into other forms for consumption by humans or animals either in the home or by the food processing industry...

, electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

, and telecommunications, Oklahoma is an important producer of natural gas, aircraft, and food
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

. The state ranks second in the nation for production of natural gas, and is the 27th-most agriculturally productive state, ranking 5th in production of wheat. Four Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies and six Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000
Fortune 1000 is a reference to a list maintained by the American business magazine Fortune. The list is of the 1000 largest American companies, ranked on revenues alone...

 companies are headquartered in Oklahoma, and it has been rated one of the most business-friendly states in the nation, with the 7th-lowest tax burden in 2007. In 2010, Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is a chain of more than 200 truck stop and convenience stores located in more than 30 states.- History :...

 ranked 18th on the Forbe's list of largest private companies, Tulsa-based QuikTrip
QuikTrip
QuikTrip is a Tulsa-based chain of convenience stores primarily found in the Midwestern and Southern United States....

 ranked 37th, and Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is a privately held retail chain of arts and crafts stores based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is formally called Hobby Lobby Creative Centers.Founded by David Green on August 3, 1972, the chain has more than 456 stores in 39 states...

 ranked 198th in 2010 report. From 2006 to 2010, Oklahoma's gross domestic product grew from $131.9 billion to $147.5 billion, a jump of 10.6 percent. Oklahoma's gross domestic product per capita was $35,480 in 2010, which was ranked 40th among the states. Though oil has historically dominated the state's economy, a collapse in the energy industry
1980s oil glut
The 1980s oil glut was a serious surplus of crude oil caused by falling demand following the 1970s Energy Crisis. The world price of oil, which had peaked in 1980 at over US$35 per barrel , fell in 1986 from $27 to below $10...

 during the 1980s led to the loss of nearly 90,000 energy-related jobs between 1980 and 2000, severely damaging the local economy. Oil accounted for 35 billion dollars in Oklahoma's economy in 2007, and employment in the state's oil industry was outpaced by five other industries in 2007. As of August 2011, the state's unemployment rate is 5.6%.

Industry


In mid 2011, Oklahoma had a civilian labor force of 1.7 million and total non-farm employment fluctuated around 1.5 million. The government sector provides the most jobs, with 339,300 in 2011, followed by the transportation and utilities sector, providing 279,500 jobs, and the sectors of education, business, and manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

, providing 207,800, 177,400, and 132,700 jobs, respectively. Among the state's largest industries, the aerospace sector generates $11 billion annually. Tulsa is home to the largest airline maintenance base in the world, which serves as the global maintenance and engineering headquarters for American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

. In total, aerospace accounts for more than 10 percent of Oklahoma's industrial output, and it is one of the top 10 states in aerospace engine manufacturing. Because of its position in the center of the United States, Oklahoma is also among the top states for logistic centers, and a major contributor to weather-related research. The state is the top manufacturer of tires in North America and contains one of the fastest-growing biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 industries in the nation. In 2005, international exports from Oklahoma's manufacturing industry totaled $4.3 billion, accounting for 3.6 percent of its economic impact. Tire manufacturing, meat processing, oil and gas equipment manufacturing, and air conditioner manufacturing are the state's largest manufacturing industries.

Energy



Oklahoma is the nation's third-largest producer of natural gas, fifth-largest producer of crude oil, and has the second-greatest number of active drilling rig
Drilling rig
A drilling rig is a machine which creates holes or shafts in the ground. Drilling rigs can be massive structures housing equipment used to drill water wells, oil wells, or natural gas extraction wells, or they can be small enough to be moved manually by one person...

s,and ranks fifth in crude oil reserves. While the state ranked eighth for installed wind energy
Wind energy
Wind energy is the kinetic energy of air in motion; see also wind power.Total wind energy flowing through an imaginary area A during the time t is:E = ½ m v2 = ½ v 2...

 capacity in 2011, it is at the bottom of states in usage of renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

, with 94 percent of its electricity being generated by non-renewable sources in 2009, including 25 percent from coal and 46 percent from natural gas. Ranking 13th for total energy consumption per capita in 2009, Oklahoma's energy costs were 8th lowest in the nation. As a whole, the oil energy industry contributes $35 billion to Oklahoma's gross domestic product, and employees of Oklahoma oil-related companies earn an average of twice the state's typical yearly income. In 2009, the state had 83,700 commercial oil wells churning 65.374 Moilbbl of crude oil. Eight and a half percent of the nation's natural gas supply is held in Oklahoma, with 1.673 Tcuft being produced in 2009.

According to Forbes Magazine, Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corporation
Devon Energy
Devon Energy Corporation , is among the largest U.S.-based independent natural gas and oil producers. Based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the company's operations are focused on North American onshore exploration and production...

, Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake Energy is the second largest producer of natural gas in the United States, a top 15 producer of U.S. liquids and the most active driller of new wells, according to an November 2011 investor presentation. It recorded 3Q 2011 natural gas production of an average of approximately of...

, and SandRidge Energy Corporation
SandRidge Energy
SandRidge Energy is an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.SandRidge was founded in 1984 as Riata Energy, Inc. In 2006, the company changed its name to SandRidge Energy. The company concentrates its exploration efforts in the West Texas Permian Basin...

 are the largest private oil-related companies in the nation, and all of Oklahoma's Fortune 500 companies are energy-related. Tulsa's ONEOK
ONEOK
ONEOK, Inc. is a diversified Fortune 200 corporation based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1906 as Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, it is one of the largest natural gas distributors in the United States. It changed its corporate name to ONEOK in December 1980...

 and Williams Companies
Williams Companies
The Williams Companies, Inc. is an energy company based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Its core business is natural gas exploration, production, processing, and transportation, with additional petroleum and electricity generation assets...

 are the state's largest and second-largest companies respectively, also ranking as the nation's second and third-largest companies in the field of energy, according to Fortune Magazine. The magazine also placed Devon Energy as the second-largest company in the mining and crude oil-producing industry in the nation, while Chesapeake Energy ranks seventh respectively in that sector and Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Oklahoma Gas & Electric is a regulated electric utility company that serves over 750,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. On December 9, 2007 OG&E experienced the worst power outage in Oklahoma history with over 250 thousand customers without power and over 630 thousand state wide...

 ranks as the 25th-largest gas and electric utility company.

Agriculture


The 27th-most agriculturally productive state, Oklahoma is fifth in cattle production and fifth in production of wheat. Approximately 5.5 percent of American beef comes from Oklahoma, while the state produces 6.1 percent of American wheat, 4.2 percent of American pig products, and 2.2 percent of dairy products. The state had 83,500 farms in 2005, collectively producing $4.3 billion in animal products and fewer than one billion dollars in crop output with more than $6.1 billion added to the state's gross domestic product. Poultry and swine are its second and third-largest agricultural industries.

Culture



Oklahoma is placed in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, but lies fully or partially in the Southwest, and southern cultural region
Cultural region
Cultural region is a term used mainly in the fields of anthropology and geography. Specific cultures often do not limit their geographic coverage to the borders of a nation state, or to smaller subdivisions of a state...

s by varying definitions, and partially in the Upland South
Upland South
The terms Upper South and Upland South refer to the northern part of the Southern United States, in contrast to the Lower South or Deep South.-Geography:There is a slight difference in usage between the two terms...

 and Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 by definitions of abstract geographical-cultural regions. Oklahomans have a high rate of German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

, English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

, Scotch-Irish, and Native American ancestry, with 25 different native languages spoken. Because many Native Americans were forced to move to Oklahoma when White settlement in North America increased, Oklahoma has a lot of linguistic diversity.
Mary Linn, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is a coeducational public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. the university had 29,931 students enrolled, most located at its...

 and the associate curator of Native American languages at the Noble Museum, said that Oklahoma also has high levels of language endangerment.

Six governments have claimed the area now known as Oklahoma at different times, and 67 Native American tribes are represented in Oklahoma, including the greatest number of tribal headquarters and 39 federally recognized nations. Western ranchers, Native American tribes, southern settlers, and eastern oil barons have shaped the state's cultural predisposition, and its largest cities have been named among the most underrated cultural destinations in the United States. While residents of Oklahoma are associated with stereotypical traits of southern hospitality
Southern hospitality
Southern hospitality is a phrase used in American English to describe the stereotype of residents of the Southern United States as particularly warm and welcoming to visitors to their homes, or to the South in general.__FORCETOC__...

 – the Catalogue for Philanthropy ranks Oklahomans 4th in the nation for overall generosity – the state has also been associated with a negative cultural stereotype
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

 first popularized by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men...

's novel "The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath is a novel published in 1939 and written by John Steinbeck, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962....

"
, which described the plight of uneducated, poverty-stricken Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

-era farmers deemed "Okie
Okie
Okie is a term dating from as early as 1907, originally denoting a resident or native of Oklahoma. It is derived from the name of the state, similar to Texan or Tex for someone from Texas, or Arkie or Arkansawyer for a native of Arkansas....

s". However, the term is often used in a positive manner by Oklahomans.

Arts and theater




In the state's largest urban areas, pockets of jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 culture flourish, and Native American, Mexican American
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

, and Asian American communties produce music and art of their respective cultures. The Oklahoma Mozart Festival in Bartlesville is one of the largest classical music festivals in the southern United States, and Oklahoma City's Festival of the Arts has been named one of the top fine arts festivals in the nation.

The state has a rich history in ballet with five Native American ballerinas attaining worldwide fame. These were Yvonne Chouteau
Yvonne Chouteau
Myra Yvonne Chouteau is one of the "Five Moons" or Native prima ballerinas of Oklahoma. In 1962 she and her husband founded the first fully accredited university dance program in the United States, at the University of Oklahoma. A member of the Shawnee Tribe, she is also of ethnic French...

, sisters Marjorie
Marjorie Tallchief
Marjorie Louise Tallchief was a ballerina of the Osage Nation.-Career:Tallchief was the first American Indian to be "première danseuse étoile" of the Paris Opera Ballet and performed with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. During her career she also performed for politicians such as John F....

 and Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief was the first native-American prima ballerina. From 1942 to 1947 she danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, but she is best known for her time with the New York City Ballet from 1947 to 1965.-Early life:...

, Rosella Hightower
Rosella Hightower
Rosella Hightower was an American ballerina who achieved fame in both the United States and Europe.-Biography:...

 and Moscelyne Larkin
Moscelyne Larkin
Moscelyne Larkin is one of the "Five Moons", Native American ballerinas from Oklahoma to gain international fame in the 20th century. After dancing with the Original Ballet Russe and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, she and her husband settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where in 1956 they founded the...

, known collectively as the Five Moons
Five Moons
The Five Moons are five Native American ballerinas from the U.S. state of Oklahoma who achieved international prominence during the 20th century. They are Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin, and sisters Maria Tallchief and Marjorie Tallchief...

. The New York Times rates the Tulsa Ballet
Tulsa Ballet
Tulsa Ballet is a professional American Ballet company located in Tulsa, OK. The artistic mission of Tulsa Ballet is "To preserve the tradition of classical ballet, promote the appreciation of contemporary dance, create works of superior and enduring quality, and educate through exemplary...

, as one of the top ballet companies in the United States. The Oklahoma City Ballet and University of Oklahoma's dance program were formed by ballerina Yvonne Chouteau and husband Miguel Terekhov. The University program was founded in 1962 and was the first fully accredited program of its kind in the United States. In Sand Springs
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Sand Springs is a city in Osage and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. A suburb of Tulsa, it is located predominantly in Tulsa County. The population was 18,906 in the 2010 U. S. Census, compared to 17,451 at the 2000 census. The city was founded in 1911, by Oklahoma philanthropist...

, an outdoor amphitheater called "Discoveryland!" is the official performance headquarters for the musical Oklahoma!
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance...

Historically, the state has produced musical styles such as The Tulsa Sound
The Tulsa Sound
The Tulsa Sound is a musical style that originated in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was a mix of Rockabilly, Country, Rock 'n' Roll, and Blues sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Tulsa Sound artists include JJ Cale, Rocky Frisco, Leon Russell, Elvin Bishop, Roger Tillison, Gene Crose, David Gates,...

 and Western Swing
Western swing
Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands...

, which was popularized at Cain's Ballroom
Cain's Ballroom
Cain's Ballroom is a historic music venue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, built in 1924 to serve as a garage for one of Tulsa's founders, Tate Brady. Madison W. "Daddy" Cain purchased the building in 1930 and named it , where he charged 10¢ for dance lessons. The academy was the site of the Texas Playboys'...

 in Tulsa. The building, known as the "Carnegie Hall of Western Swing", served as the performance headquarters of Bob Wills
Bob Wills
James Robert Wills , better known as Bob Wills, was an American Western Swing musician, songwriter, and bandleader, considered by music authorities as the co-founder of Western Swing and universally known as the pioneering King of Western Swing.Bob Wills' name will forever be associated with...

 and the Texas Playboys during the 1930s. Stillwater is known as the epicenter of Red Dirt
Red Dirt (music)
Red Dirt Music is a music genre that gets its name from the color of soil found in Oklahoma. Although Stillwater, Oklahoma is considered to be the epicenter of Red Dirt music, there's a Texas Red Dirt sound as well. Outlaws Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson are associated with that distinctive...

 music, the best-known proponent of which is the late Bob Childers
Bob Childers
Robert Wayne “Bob” Childers was an American country/folk singer-songwriter who has achieved widespread critical acclaim since the late 1970s. Childers was known alternately as the "father" "grandfather" or "godfather" of the regional scene known as Red Dirt music...

.

Prominent theatre companies in Oklahoma include, in the capital city, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Carpenter Square Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park was founded in 1985 in Edmond, Oklahoma, USA by current Executive Director and Artistic Director Kathryn McGill and Jack J. O'Meara. It produces live classical theater. Sue Ellen Reiman serves as Managing Director and Norman H. Hammon serves as Development...

, and CityRep. CityRep is a professional company affording equity points to those performers and technical theatre professionals. In Tulsa, Oklahoma's oldest resident professional company is American Theatre Company, and Theatre Tulsa
Theatre Tulsa
Theatre Tulsa, Inc. is a community theatre company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It is the oldest continuously operating company of its sort west of the Mississippi River and the seventh oldest in the nation....

 is the oldest community theatre
Community theatre
Community theatre refers to theatrical performance made in relation to particular communities—its usage includes theatre made by, with, and for a community...

 company west of the Mississippi. Other companies in Tulsa include Heller Theatre
Heller Theatre
The Heller Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma is the largest community theatre in Oklahoma. It was founded in October 1981 by Ken Spence with the partnership of Theatre Tulsa and has since produced more than one hundred shows including two dozen world premiers...

 and Tulsa Spotlight Theater. The cities of Norman, Lawton, and Stillwater, among others, also host well-reviewed community theatre companies.

Oklahoma is in the nation's middle percentile in per capita spending on the arts, ranking 17th, and contains more than 300 museums. The Philbrook Museum of Tulsa is considered one of the top 50 fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

 museums in the United States, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum in Norman, Oklahoma, operated by the University of Oklahoma. It is currently housed in a building on Chautauqua Avenue that opened on May 1, 2000. The museum's exhibits include a Native American gallery and collections of...

 in Norman, one of the largest university-based art and history museums in the country, documents the natural history of the region. The collections of Thomas Gilcrease
Thomas Gilcrease
William Thomas Gilcrease was an American oilman, art collector and philanthropist. During his lifetime, Gilcrease collected more than 10,000 artworks, 250,000 Native American artifacts and 100,000 rare books and documents, including the only surviving certified copy of the Declaration of...

 are housed in the Gilcrease Museum
Gilcrease Museum
Gilcrease Museum is a museum located northwest of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. The museum now houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America...

 of Tulsa, which also holds the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. The Egyptian art collection at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is an independent, non-profit art museum located in Shawnee, OK. It is affiliated with St. Gregory's Abbey. It is on the campus of St. Gregory's University. The museum works under the belief that art enriches individual lives and enhances the entire community....

 in Shawnee is considered to be the finest Egyptian collection between Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a museum located in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The museum features visiting exhibits; original selections from its own collection; a theater showing a variety of foreign, independent, and classic films each week;...

 contains the most comprehensive collection of glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur.-Biography:Chihuly graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington. He enrolled at the College of the Puget Sound in 1959...

 in the world, and Oklahoma City's National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum documents the heritage of the American Western frontier. With remnants of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 and artifacts relevant to Judaism, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art of Tulsa preserves the largest collection of Jewish art in the Southwest United States.

Festivals and events



Oklahoma's centennial celebration was named the top event in the United States for 2007 by the American Bus Association, and consisted of multiple celebrations saving with the 100th anniversary of statehood
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 on November 16, 2007. Annual ethnic festivals and events take place throughout the state such as Native American powwows and ceremonial events, and include festivals in Scottish, Irish, Italian, Vietnamese
Vietnamese American
A Vietnamese American is an American of Vietnamese descent. They make up about half of all overseas Vietnamese and are the fourth-largest Asian American group....

, Chinese
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

, Czech
Czech American
Czech Americans are citizens of the United States who were born in, or who descended from, the territory of the historic Czech lands, , or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic...

, Jewish, Arab
Arab American
An Arab American is a United States citizen or resident of Arab ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity, who identifies themselves as Arab. Arab Americans trace ancestry to any of the various waves of immigrants of the countries comprising the Arab World...

, Mexican
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

 and African-American communities depicting cultural heritage or traditions. During a 10-day run in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma State Fair
Oklahoma State Fair
The Oklahoma State Fair is a large fair and exposition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It takes place in mid-September each year, and is one of two state fairs in Oklahoma. During an 11-day run, the Oklahoma State Fair attracts close to one million people. By a small margin, it is larger in attendance...

 attracts close to one million people, and large pow-wow
Pow-wow
A pow-wow is a gathering of North America's Native people. The word derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning "spiritual leader". A modern pow-wow is a specific type of event where both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American...

s, Asian
Culture of Asia
The culture of Asia is human civilization in Asia. It features different kinds of cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, and ethnic groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric perspective, of Asia...

 festivals, and Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States honoring African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865...

 celebrations are held in the city each year. The Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa State Fair
The Tulsa State Fair is a fair and exposition in Tulsa, Oklahoma that operates during an 11-day span starting at the end of September and ending early in October. Of Oklahoma's two state fairs, it had the smaller annual attendance by a small margin in 2010...

 attracts over one million people during its 10-day run, and the city's Mayfest festival entertained more than 375,000 people in four days during 2007. In 2006, Tulsa's Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest, or Wiesn, is a 16–18 day beer festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The...

 was named one of the top 10 in the world by USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

and one of the top German food festivals in the nation by Bon Appetit
Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit describes itself as "a food and entertaining magazine" and is published monthly. Named after the French phrase for "Enjoy your meal", it was started by M. Frank Jones in Kansas City in 1956...

magazine. Tulsa also hosts the annual music festival Dfest, a festival that highlights native Oklahoma bands and musicians. Norman plays host to the Norman Music Festival
Norman Music Festival
Norman Music Festival is an annual three-day American music festival that takes place in downtown Norman, Oklahoma. Each year the festival highlights performances from many different genres of music. The festival includes both indoor and outdoor venues with musicians performing throughout the...

. Norman is also host to the Medieval Fair of Norman, which has been held annually since 1976 and was Oklahoma’s first medieval fair. The Fair was held first on the south oval of the University of Oklahoma campus and in the third year moved to the Duck Pond in Norman until the Fair became too big and moved to Reaves Park in 2003. The Medieval Fair of Norman is Oklahoma’s “largest weekend event and the third largest event in Oklahoma, and was selected by Events Media Network as one of the top 100 events in the nation.”

Education



With an educational system made up of public school districts and independent private institutions
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

, Oklahoma had 631,337 students enrolled in 1,849 public primary, secondary, and vocational
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

 schools in 540 school districts as of 2006. Oklahoma has the highest enrollment of Native American students in the nation with 120,122 students in the 2005–06 school year. Ranked near the bottom of states in expenditures per student, Oklahoma spent $6,614 for each student in 2005, 47th in the nation, though its growth of total education expenditures between 1992 and 2002 ranked 22nd. The state is among the best in pre-kindergarten
Pre-Kindergarten
Pre-kindergarten refers to the first formal academic classroom-based learning environment that a child customarily attends in the United States. It begins between the ages of 3-5 depending on the length of the program...

 education, and the National Institute for Early Education Research rated it first in the United States with regard to standards, quality, and access to pre-kindergarten education in 2004, calling it a model for early childhood schooling
Early childhood education
Early childhood education is the formal teaching and care of young children by people other than their family or in settings outside of the home. 'Early childhood' is usually defined as before the age of normal schooling - five years in most nations, though the U.S...

. While high school dropout rates decreased 29 percent between 2005 and 2006, Oklahoma ranked in the bottom three states in the nation for retaining high school seniors, with a 3.2 percent dropout rate. In 2004, the state ranked 36th in the nation for the relative number of adults with high school diploma
High school diploma
A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED.-Past diploma styles:...

s, though at 85.2 percent, it had the highest rate among southern states.

Oklahoma State University, The University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma is a coeducational public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. the university had 29,931 students enrolled, most located at its...

, and The University of Central Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma
The University of Central Oklahoma, often referred to as UCO, is a coeducational public university located in Edmond, Oklahoma. The university is the third largest in Oklahoma, with almost 18,000 students and approximately 434 full-time and 400 adjunct faculty...

 are the largest public institutions of higher education in Oklahoma, operating through one primary campus and satellite campuses throughout the state. The two state universities, along with Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City University, often referred to as OCU, is a coeducational, urban, private university historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church...

 and the University of Tulsa
University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa is a private university awarding bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. It is currently ranked 75th among doctoral degree granting universities in the nation by US News and World Report and is listed as one of the "Best 366 Colleges" by...

, rank among the country's best in undergraduate business programs, The University of Tulsa College of Law, Oklahoma City University's School of Law, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law are the state's only ABA accredited institutions. The University of Oklahoma and University of Tulsa are in the top percentage of universities nationally for academic ratings, with the University of Tulsa the only university ranked in the top 100. Oklahoma holds eleven public regional universities, including Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University
Northeastern State University is a public university with its main campus located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, United States, at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. Northeastern's home, Tahlequah, is also the capital of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma...

, the second-oldest institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, also containing the only College of Optometry
Optometry
Optometry is a health care profession concerned with eyes and related structures, as well as vision, visual systems, and vision information processing in humans. Optometrists, or Doctors of Optometry, are state licensed medical professionals trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision,...

 in Oklahoma and the largest enrollment of Native American students in the nation by percentage and amount. Langston University
Langston University
Langston University is an institution of higher learning located in Langston, Oklahoma, USA. It is the only historically black college in the state, and the westernmost historically black college in the United States...

 is Oklahoma's only historically black college. Six of the state's universities were placed in the Princeton Review's list of best 122 regional colleges in 2007, and three made the list of top colleges for best value. The state has 54 post-secondary technical institutions operated by Oklahoma's CareerTech program for training in specific fields of industry or trade.

In the 2007–2008 school year, there were 181,973 undergraduate students, 20,014 graduate students, and 4,395 first-professional degree students enrolled in Oklahoma colleges. Of these students, 18,892 received a bachelor's degree, 5,386 received a masters degree, and 462 received a first professional degree. This means the state of Oklahoma produces an average of 38,278 degree-holders per completions component (i.e. July 1, 2007 – June 30, 2008). The national average is 68,322 total degrees awarded per completions component.

Sports


Oklahoma supports popular sports, with teams in basketball, football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, arena football
Arena football
Arena football is a variety of gridiron football played by the Arena Football League . It is a proprietary game, the rights to which are owned by Gridiron Enterprises, and is played indoors on a smaller field than American or Canadian outdoor football, resulting in a faster and higher-scoring game....

, baseball, soccer, hockey
Hockey
Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.-Etymology:...

, and wrestling
Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

 located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Enid, Norman, and Lawton. The Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a professional basketball franchise based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ; their home court is at Chesapeake Energy Arena....

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 and the Tulsa Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

 are the state's only major league sports franchises, but minor league sports, including minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 at the Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 AAA and AA levels Oklahoma City RedHawks and Tulsa Drillers
Tulsa Drillers
The Tulsa Drillers are a minor league baseball team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The team, which plays in the Texas League, is the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies major-league club.-Stadium:...

, respectively, hockey with the Oklahoma City Barons
Oklahoma City Barons
The Oklahoma City Barons are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League, and serve as the top affiliate for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. The team's first season was 2010–11. They play their home games at the newly renovated Cox Convention Center, in Oklahoma...

 in the AHL
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

 and Tulsa Oilers in the CHL
Central Hockey League
The Central Hockey League is a mid-level professional hockey league, owned by Global Entertainment Corporation. Its current champions are the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, which defeated the Colorado Eagles four games to three in the 2011 playoffs....

, and arena football in the Arena Football League
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is the highest level of professional indoor American football in the United States. It is currently the second longest running professional football league in the United States, after the National Football League. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster...

 is hosted by the Tulsa Talons
Tulsa Talons
The San Antonio Talons are a professional arena football franchise in San Antonio, Texas that plays in the Arena Football League.The Talons began in 2000 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the Tulsa Talons, a charter member of the defunct minor league Arena Football 2, also known as af2...

. Oklahoma City also hosts the Oklahoma City Lightning
Oklahoma City Lightning
The Oklahoma City Lightning is Oklahoma City full-contact women's American football team in the Women's Football Alliance. Home games are played at Taft Stadium....

 playing in the National Women's Football Association
National Women's Football Association
The National Women's Football Association was a full-contact American football league for women headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The league was founded by Catherine Masters in 2000, as the two benchmark teams, the Alabama Renegades and the Nashville Dream played each other six times in...

, and Tulsa is the base for the Tulsa 66ers
Tulsa 66ers
The Tulsa 66ers are an NBA Development League team based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the minor league affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their logo design is a basketball behind mountains with a road leading up to them, all on a U.S...

 of the NBA Development League and the Tulsa Revolution
Tulsa Revolution
The Tulsa Revolution is a professional soccer team from Tulsa, Oklahoma that played in the Central Division of the American Indoor Soccer League.- History :...

, which plays in the American Indoor Soccer League
American Indoor Soccer League
The American Indoor Soccer League was a semi-professional indoor soccer league founded in 2003 and for now folded in 2008.- History :Founded in 2002, the AISL's headquarters are based in West Springfield, Massachusetts, but the media relations office is based out of Cleveland, Ohio. The league...

. Enid and Lawton host professional basketball teams in the USBL and the CBA
Continental Basketball Association
The Continental Basketball Association was a professional men's basketball league in the United States, which has been on hiatus since the 2009 season.- History :...

.

The NBA's New Orleans Hornets became the first major league sports franchise based in Oklahoma when the team was forced to relocate to Oklahoma City's Ford Center for two seasons following Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005. In July 2008, the Seattle SuperSonics
Seattle SuperSonics
The Seattle SuperSonics were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington that played in the Pacific and Northwest Divisions of the National Basketball Association from 1967 until 2008. Following the 2007–08 season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, and now plays as...

, owned by a group of Oklahoma City businessmen led by Clayton Bennett
Clayton Bennett
Clayton "Clay" Ike' Bennett is an American businessman and chairman of the Professional Basketball Club LLC, the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA franchise that was formerly the Seattle SuperSonics...

, relocated to Oklahoma City
Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City
The Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City was a successful effort by the ownership group of the Seattle SuperSonics to move the team to Oklahoma City...

 and announced that play would begin at Ford Center as the Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are a professional basketball franchise based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association ; their home court is at Chesapeake Energy Arena....

 in 2008, becoming the state's first permanent major league franchise.

Collegiate athletics are a popular draw in the state. The University of Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma Sooners
The University of Oklahoma features 19 varsity sports teams. Both men's and women's teams are called the Sooners, a nickname given to the early participants in the land rushes which initially opened the Oklahoma Indian Territory to non-native settlement. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A,...

 and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys average well over 50,000 fans attending their football games, and the University of Oklahoma's American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 program ranked 12th in attendance among American colleges in 2010, with an average of 84,738 people attending its home games. The two universities meet several times each year in rivalry matches known as the Bedlam Series
Bedlam Series
The Bedlam Series refers to the athletics rivalry between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys, of the Big 12 Conference...

, which are some of the greatest sporting draws to the state. Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated is an American sports media company owned by media conglomerate Time Warner. Its self titled magazine has over 3.5 million subscribers and is read by 23 million adults each week, including over 18 million men. It was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the...

magazine rates the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University among the top colleges for athletics in the nation. In addition, 12 of the state's smaller colleges or universities participate in the NAIA
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics is an athletic association that organizes college and university-level athletic programs. Membership in the NAIA consists of smaller colleges and universities across the United States. The NAIA allows colleges and universities outside the USA...

, mostly within the Sooner Athletic Conference
Sooner Athletic Conference
The Sooner Athletic Conference is an affiliate of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics . Its 12 member institutions are located in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas....

.

Regular LPGA
LPGA
The LPGA, in full the Ladies Professional Golf Association, is an American organization for female professional golfers. The organization, whose headquarters is in Daytona Beach, Florida, is best known for running the LPGA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite female golfers from...

 tournaments are held at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, and major championships
Men's major golf championships
The men's major golf championships, commonly known as the Major Championships, and often referred to simply as the majors, are the four most prestigious annual tournaments in professional golf...

 for the PGA
Professional Golfers' Association of America
Founded in 1916, the Professional Golfers' Association of America is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and is made up of more than 28,000 men and women golf professional members...

 or LPGA
LPGA
The LPGA, in full the Ladies Professional Golf Association, is an American organization for female professional golfers. The organization, whose headquarters is in Daytona Beach, Florida, is best known for running the LPGA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite female golfers from...

 have been played at Southern Hills Country Club
Southern Hills Country Club
Southern Hills Country Club is a private golf and country club in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the United States. It was established in 1936 from land donated by multimillionaire oilman Waite Phillips. The construction costs were raised by the founding members....

 in Tulsa, Oak Tree Country Club in Oklahoma City, and Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa. Rated one of the top golf courses in the nation, Southern Hills has hosted four PGA Championship
PGA Championship
The PGA Championship is an annual golf tournament conducted by the PGA of America as part of the PGA Tour. It is one of the four major championships in men's professional golf, and is the golf season's final major, usually played in mid-August, customarily four weeks after The Open Championship...

s, including one in 2007, and three U.S. Opens
U.S. Open (golf)
The United States Open Championship, commonly known as the U.S. Open, is the annual open golf tournament of the United States. It is the second of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour...

, the most recent in 2001. Rodeo
Rodeo
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

s are popular throughout the state, and Guymon
Guymon, Oklahoma
Guymon is a city in and the county seat of Texas County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 11,442, making it the largest city on the Oklahoma Panhandle. Corporate hog farms and cattle feedlots dominate its economy....

, in the state's panhandle, hosts one of the largest in the nation.

Health




The state was the 21st-largest recipient of medical funding from the federal government in 2005, with health-related federal expenditures in the state totaling $75,801,364; immunizations, bioterrorism
Bioterrorism
Bioterrorism is terrorism involving the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents. These agents are bacteria, viruses, or toxins, and may be in a naturally occurring or a human-modified form. For the use of this method in warfare, see biological warfare.-Definition:According to the...

 preparedness, and health education were the top three most funded medical items. Instances of major diseases are near the national average in Oklahoma, and the state ranks at or slightly above the rest of the country in percentage of people with asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension
Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a cardiac chronic medical condition in which the systemic arterial blood pressure is elevated. What that means is that the heart is having to work harder than it should to pump the blood around the body. Blood pressure involves two measurements, systolic and...

.

In 2000, Oklahoma ranked 45th in physicians per capita and slightly below the national average in nurses per capita, but was slightly over the national average in hospital beds per 100,000 people and above the national average in net growth of health services over a 12-year period. One of the worst states for percentage of insured people, nearly 25 percent of Oklahomans between the age of 18 and 64 did not have health insurance in 2005, the fifth-highest rate in the nation. Oklahomans are in the upper half of Americans in terms of obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

 prevalence, and the state is the 5th most obese in the nation, with 30.3 percent of its population at or near obesity.

INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma
Icio
INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, ICIO, is one of the seven comprehensive cancer treatment centers in the United States, currently providing both conventional radiation therapy and proton therapy. ICIO Proton Campus, including the ProCure Proton Therapy Center, at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma....

, along with Proton Therapy Center, is the 6th comprehensive cancer treatment centers in the country currently providing both conventional radiation therapy and proton therapy.
The OU Medical Center
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is the health sciences branch of the University of Oklahoma. Located in Oklahoma City, it serves as the primary place of instruction for many of Oklahoma's health professions...

, Oklahoma's largest collection of hospitals is the only hospital in the state designated a Level I trauma center by the American College of Surgeons
American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is an educational association of surgeons created in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.-Membership:...

. OU Medical Center is located on the grounds of the Oklahoma Health Center in Oklahoma City, the state's largest concentration of medical research facilities. The Regional Medical Center of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a private, for-profit operator of cancer treatment hospitals and outpatient clinics which provide both conventional and alternative medical treatments.CTCA's headquarters are located in Schaumburg, Illinois....

 in Tulsa is one of four such regional facilities nationwide, offering cancer treatment to the entire southwestern United States, and is one of the largest cancer treatment hospitals in the country. The largest osteopathic teaching facility in the nation, Oklahoma State University Medical Center
Oklahoma State University Medical Center
Oklahoma State University Medical Center is a health institution located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. OSU Medical Center was known as Tulsa Regional Medical Center prior to the hospital's rebranding on November 2, 2006...

 at Tulsa, also rates as one of the largest facilities in the field of neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

.

Media




Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the 45th and 61st-largest media market
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

s in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films and newspapers...

. The state's third-largest media market, Lawton-Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States, United States. Wichita Falls is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay and Wichita counties. According to the U.S. Census estimate of 2010,...

, is ranked 149th nationally by the agency. Broadcast television
Terrestrial television
Terrestrial television is a mode of television broadcasting which does not involve satellite transmission or cables — typically using radio waves through transmitting and receiving antennas or television antenna aerials...

 in Oklahoma began in 1949 when KFOR-TV
KFOR-TV
KFOR-TV, virtual channel 4 , is the NBC-affiliated television station in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. KFOR-TV is owned by Local TV, a subsidiary of the private equity group Oak Hill Capital Partners, in a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate KAUT-TV ; its studios are located at 444 East Britton Road in...

 (then WKY-TV) in Oklahoma City and KOTV-TV in Tulsa began broadcasting a few months apart. Currently, all major American broadcast networks
Television network
A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay TV providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small...

 have affiliated television stations in the state.

The state has two primary newspapers. The Oklahoman
The Oklahoman
The Oklahoman is the largest daily newspaper in Oklahoma and is the only daily newspaper that covers the entire Oklahoma City area.-Ownership:...

, based in Oklahoma City, is the largest newspaper in the state and 54th-largest in the nation by circulation, with a weekday readership of 138,493 and a Sunday readership of 202,690. The Tulsa World
Tulsa World
Tulsa World is the daily newspaper for the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the primary newspaper for the northeastern and eastern portions of Oklahoma, and is the second-most widely circulated newspaper in the state, after The Oklahoman. It was founded in 1905 and remains an independent newspaper,...

, the second most widely circulated newspaper in Oklahoma and 79th in the nation, holds a Sunday circulation of 132,969 and a weekday readership of 93,558. Oklahoma's first newspaper was established in 1844, called the Cherokee Advocate, and was written in both Cherokee
Cherokee language
Cherokee is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people which uses a unique syllabary writing system. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language.-North American etymology:...

 and English. In 2006, there were more than 220 newspapers located in the state, including 177 with weekly publications and 48 with daily publications.

Two large public radio networks are broadcast in Oklahoma: Oklahoma Public Radio and Public Radio International
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

. First launched in 1955, Oklahoma Public Radio was the first public radio network in Oklahoma, and has won 271 awards for outstanding programming. Public Radio International broadcasts on 10 stations throughout the state, and provides more than 400 hours of programming. The state's first radio station, WKY in Oklahoma City, signed on in 1920, followed by KRFU in Bristow
Bristow, Oklahoma
Bristow is a city in Creek County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 4,325 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Bristow is located at ....

, which later on moved to Tulsa and became KVOO
KFAQ
KFAQ is a news/talk radio station in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area. The station is owned by Journal Broadcast Group and airs a mix of local and national talk shows. The station is an ABC News Radio affiliate...

 in 1927. In 2006, there were more than 500 radio stations in Oklahoma broadcasting with various local or nationally owned networks.

Oklahoma has a few ethnic-oriented TV stations broadcasting in Spanish, Asian languages and sometimes have Native American programming. TBN
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

, a Christian religious television network has a studio in Tulsa, and built their first entirely TBN-owned affiliate in Oklahoma City in 1980.

Transportation



Transportation in Oklahoma is generated by an anchor system of Interstate Highways, intercity rail lines, airports, inland port
Inland port
The term inland port is used in two different but related ways to mean either a port on an inland waterway or an inland site carrying out some functions of a seaport.- As a port on an inland waterway :...

s, and mass transit networks. Situated along an integral point in the United States Interstate network, Oklahoma contains three interstate highways and four auxiliary Interstate Highways. In Oklahoma City, Interstate 35
Interstate 35
Interstate 35 is a north–south Interstate Highway in the central United States. I-35 stretches from Laredo, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border to Duluth, Minnesota, at Minnesota Highway 61 and 26th Avenue East. Many interstates used to have splits or spurs indicated with suffixed letters , but I-35...

 intersects with Interstate 44
Interstate 44
Interstate 44 is a major highway in the central United States. Its western terminus is in Wichita Falls, Texas at a concurrency with US 277, US 281 and US 287; its eastern terminus is at the Illinois state line on the Poplar Street Bridge over the Mississippi River in St...

 and Interstate 40
Interstate 40
Interstate 40 is the third-longest major east–west Interstate Highway in the United States, after I-90 and I-80. Its western end is at Interstate 15 in Barstow, California; its eastern end is at a concurrency of U.S. Route 117 and North Carolina Highway 132 in Wilmington, North Carolina...

, forming one of the most important intersections along the United States highway system. More than 12000 miles (19,312.1 km) of roads make up the state's major highway skeleton, including state-operated highways, ten turnpikes or major toll roads, and the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation. In 2008, Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City was Oklahoma's busiest highway, with a daily traffic volume of 123,300 cars. In 2010, the state had the nation's third highest number of bridges classified as structurally deficient, with nearly 5,212 bridges in disrepair, including 235 National Highway System Bridges.
In March 2011, Oklahoma ranked as a bottom-seven "Worst" state (tied with Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

) in the American State Litter Scorecard. The Sooner State suffers from overall poor effectiveness and quality of its statewide public space cleanliness (primarily from roadway and adjacent litter/debris abatement)--due to state and related eradication standards and performance indicators.

Oklahoma's largest commercial airport is Will Rogers World Airport
Will Rogers World Airport
Will Rogers World Airport , also known as Will Rogers Airport or simply Will Rogers, is located in southwestern Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 6 miles from downtown and is the principal commercial airport of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area...

 in Oklahoma City, averaging a yearly passenger count of more than 3.5 million (1.7 million boardings) in 2010. Tulsa International Airport
Tulsa International Airport
Tulsa International Airport is a city-owned public-use airport located five miles northeast of downtown Tulsa, a city in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, United States. It was originally named Tulsa Municipal Airport, when the city acquired it in 1929...

, the state's second largest commercial airport, served more than 1.3 million boardings in 2010. Between the two, thirteen major airlines operate in Oklahoma. In terms of traffic, R.L. Jones Jr. (Riverside) Airport
Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport
Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport is a public airport located five miles south of Tulsa, in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, USA. It serves as the reliever airport for Tulsa International Airport.- History :...

 in Tulsa is the state's busiest airport, with 335,826 takeoffs and landings in 2008. In total, Oklahoma has over 150 public-use airports.

Oklahoma is connected to the nation's rail network via Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

's Heartland Flyer
Heartland Flyer
The Heartland Flyer is a daily passenger train that follows a 206-mile route between Fort Worth, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Amtrak serves as contractor, initially only for the State of Oklahoma, but now also to the State of Texas....

, its only regional passenger rail line. It currently stretches from Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 to Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth is the 16th-largest city in the United States of America and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Located in North Central Texas, just southeast of the Texas Panhandle, the city is a cultural gateway into the American West and covers nearly in Tarrant, Parker, Denton, and...

, though lawmakers began seeking funding in early 2007 to connect the Heartland Flyer to Tulsa. Two inland ports on rivers serve Oklahoma: the Port of Muskogee
Port of Muskogee
The Port of Muskogee is a regional port, located in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. It is a local hub for the transport of goods via trucks, railroad, and barges on the Arkansas River. It is one of the farthest inland, ice-free year-round, United States ports that can access the Gulf of Mexico.-External...

 and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa
Tulsa Port of Catoosa
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is located near the city of Catoosa in Rogers County, just inside the municipal fenceline of Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States....

. The only port handling international cargo in the state, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the most inland ocean-going port in the nation and ships over two million tons of cargo each year. Both ports are located on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which connects barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

 traffic from Tulsa and Muskogee to the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 via the Verdigris
Verdigris River
The Verdigris River is a tributary of the Arkansas River in southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma in the United States. It is about long...

 and Arkansas
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

 rivers, contributing to one of the busiest waterways in the world.

Law and government




Oklahoma is a constitutional republic with a government modeled after the Federal Government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The state has 77 counties with jurisdiction over most local government functions within each respective domain, five congressional districts
Oklahoma Congressional Districts
As of the 2000 census, there are five Oklahoma United States congressional districts. Previous to the 2000 Census, Oklahoma had six congressional districts. Oklahoma was one of eight states to lose one seat in the House of Representatives that year....

, and a voting base with a majority in the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. State officials are elected by plurality voting
Plurality voting system
The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

 in the state of Oklahoma.

State government


The Legislature of Oklahoma
Oklahoma Legislature
The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma is the biennial meeting of the legislative branch of the government of Oklahoma. It is bicameral, comprising the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma Senate, with all members elected directly by the people. The House of Representatives has 101...

 consists of the Senate
Oklahoma Senate
The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of Senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution....

 and the House of Representatives
Oklahoma House of Representatives
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oklahoma Legislature, the legislative body of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members are responsible for introducing and voting on bills and resolutions, providing legislative oversight for state agencies, and helping to craft the...

. As the lawmaking branch of the state government, it is responsible for raising and distributing the money necessary to run the government. The Senate has 48 members serving four-year terms, while the House has 101 members with two-year terms. The state has a term limit for its legislature that restricts any one person to a total of twelve cumulative years service between both legislative branches.

Oklahoma's judicial branch consists of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Oklahoma Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Oklahoma is one of the two highest judicial bodies in the U.S. state of Oklahoma and leads the Oklahoma Court System, the judicial branch of the government of Oklahoma....

, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is one of the two highest judicial bodies in the U.S. state of Oklahoma and is part of the Oklahoma Court System, the judicial branch of the Oklahoma state government....

, and 77 District Courts that each serves one county. The Oklahoma judiciary also contains two independent courts: a Court of Impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 and the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary
Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary
The Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary is one of the two independent courts in the Oklahoma judiciary and has exclusive jurisdiction over hearing cases involving the removal of any judge of any court, excluding the Oklahoma Supreme Court, exercising judicial power under the Oklahoma...

. Oklahoma has two courts of last resort: the state Supreme Court hears civil cases, and the state Court of Criminal Appeals hears criminal cases (this split system exists only in Oklahoma and neighboring Texas). Judges of those two courts, as well as the Court of Civil Appeals are appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of the state Judicial Nominating Commission, and are subject to a non-partisan retention vote on a six-year rotating schedule.

The executive branch consists of the Governor
Governor of Oklahoma
The governor of the state of Oklahoma is the head of state for the state of Oklahoma, United States. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Oklahoma executive branch, of the government of Oklahoma...

, their staff, and other elected officials. The principal head of government, the Governor is the chief executive of the Oklahoma executive branch, serving as the ex officio Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the Oklahoma National Guard
Oklahoma National Guard
The Oklahoma National Guard, a division of the Oklahoma Department of the Military, is the component of the United States National Guard in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It comprises both Army and Air National Guard components. The Governor of Oklahoma is Commander-in-Chief of the Oklahoma National...

 when not called into Federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 use and reserving the power to veto bills passed through the Legislature. The responsibilities of the Executive branch include submitting the budget, ensuring that state laws are enforced, and ensuring peace within the state is preserved.

Local government


The state is divided into 77 counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

 that govern locally, each headed by a three-member council of elected commissioners, a tax assessor, clerk, court clerk
Court clerk
A court clerk is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining the records of a court. Another duty is to administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors...

, treasurer, and sheriff
Sheriffs in the United States
In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of...

. While each municipality operates as a separate and independent local government with executive, legislative and judicial power, county governments maintain jurisdiction over both incorporated cities and non-incorporated areas within their boundaries, but have executive power but no legislative or judicial power. Both county and municipal governments collect taxes, employ a separate police force, hold elections, and operate emergency response services within their jurisdiction. Other local government units include school districts, technology center districts, community college districts, rural fire departments, rural water districts, and other special use districts.

Thirty-nine Native American tribal governments are based in Oklahoma, each holding limited powers within designated areas. While Indian reservations typical in most of the United States are not present in Oklahoma, tribal governments hold land granted during the Indian Territory era, but with limited jurisdiction and no control over state governing bodies such as municipalities and counties. Tribal governments are recognized by the United States as quasi-sovereign entities with executive, judicial, and legislative powers over tribal members and functions, but are subject to the authority of the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 to revoke or withhold certain powers. The tribal governments are required to submit a constitution and any subsequent amendments to the United States Congress for approval.

National politics

Presidential election results
Year Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

Democrats
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

65.65% 960,165 34.35% 502,496
2004
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

65.57% 959,792 34.43% 503,966
2000
United States presidential election, 2000
The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

60.31% 744,337 38.43% 474,276
1996
United States presidential election, 1996
The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

48.26% 582,315 40.45% 488,105
1992
United States presidential election, 1992
The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

42.65% 592,929 34.02% 473,066
1988
United States presidential election, 1988
The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

57.93% 678,367 41.28% 483,423
1984
United States presidential election, 1984
The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

68.61% 861,530 30.67% 385,080
1980
United States presidential election, 1980
The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

60.50% 695,570 34.97% 402,026
1976
United States presidential election, 1976
The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

49.96% 545,708 48.75% 532,442
1972
United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

73.70% 759,025 24.00% 247,147
1968
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

47.68% 449,697 31.99% 301,658
1964
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

44.25% 412,665 55.75% 519,834
1960
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

59.02% 533,039 40.98% 533,039


For most of the first half of the 20th century, Oklahoma was a Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 stronghold. From 1908 to 1948, the state only supported a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 twice, in 1920 and 1928. However, Oklahoma Democrats have always been considerably more conservative than their counterparts in the rest of the nation, and the state has become increasingly friendly to Republicans at the national level.

Though registered Republicans are a minority in the state, Oklahoma has voted for a Republican for President in all but one election since 1952. In 2004 and 2008, George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 swept every county in the state, both receiving over 65 percent of the statewide vote. In 2008, Oklahoma was the only state whose counties voted unanimously for McCain.

Generally, Republicans are strongest in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and their close-in suburbs, as well as the Panhandle. Democrats are strongest in the eastern part of the state and Little Dixie
Little Dixie (Oklahoma)
Little Dixie is the name given to the southeast region of Oklahoma, which is heavily influenced by southern "Dixie" culture, as it was settled chiefly by Southerners seeking a start in new lands following the American Civil War...

.

Following the 2000 census
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the Oklahoma delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 was reduced from six to five representatives, each serving one congressional district
Congressional district
A congressional district is “a geographical division of a state from which one member of the House of Representatives is elected.”Congressional Districts are made up of three main components, a representative, constituents, and the specific land area that both the representative and the...

. For the 112th Congress
112th United States Congress
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and will end on January...

 (2011–2013), there are no changes in party strength, and the delegation has four Republicans and one Democrat. Oklahoma's U.S. senators are Republicans Jim Inhofe
Jim Inhofe
James Mountain "Jim" Inhofe is the senior Senator from Oklahoma and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the Senate in 1994, he is the ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and was its chairman from 2003 to 2007. Inhofe served eight...

 and Tom Coburn
Tom Coburn
Thomas Allen "Tom" Coburn, M.D. , is an American politician, medical doctor, and Southern Baptist deacon. A member of the Republican Party, he currently serves as the junior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. In the Senate, he is known as "Dr. No" for his tendency to place holds on and vote against bills...

, and its U.S. Representatives are John Sullivan (R-OK-1), Dan Boren
Dan Boren
Daniel David "Dan" Boren is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2005. The district includes most of the eastern part of the state outside of Tulsa...

 (D-OK-2), Frank D. Lucas (R-OK-3), Tom Cole
Tom Cole
Thomas Jeffery Cole is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Minority Whip. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from 2006 to 2008, he was, during his tenure, the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the...

 (R-OK-4), and James Lankford
James Lankford
James Lankford is the U.S. Representative for . He is a member of the Republican Party.From 1996-2009 he was the student ministries and evangelism specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and was director of the Falls Creek youth programing at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference...

 (R-OK-5).

Cities and towns



Oklahoma had 598 incorporated places in 2010, including three cities over 100,000 in population and 40 over 10,000. Two of the fifty largest cities in the United States are located in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 and Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 46th-largest city in the United States. With a population of 391,906 as of the 2010 census, it is the principal municipality of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, a region with 937,478 residents in the MSA and 988,454 in the CSA. Tulsa's...

, and 58 percent of Oklahomans live within their metropolitan areas, or spheres of economic and social influence defined by the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

 as a metropolitan statistical area. Oklahoma City, the state's capital and largest city, had the largest metropolitan area in the state in 2010, with 1,252,987 people, and the metropolitan area of Tulsa had 937,478 residents. Between 2000 and 2010, the cities that led the state in population growth were Blanchard
Blanchard, Oklahoma
Blanchard is a city in Grady and McClain counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 7,670 at the 2010 census. Blanchard is part of a rapidly growing area of northern McClain and Grady Counties known as the "Tri-City Area" with Newcastle and Tuttle.-Early history:Blanchard is...

 172.4%, Elgin
Elgin, Oklahoma
Elgin is a city in Comanche County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 2,156 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Lawton, Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Elgin is located at ....

 78.2%, Piedmont
Piedmont, Oklahoma
Piedmont is a city in Canadian and Kingfisher counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and it is a part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. The population was 3,650 at the 2000 census...

 56.7%, Bixby
Bixby, Oklahoma
Bixby is a city in Tulsa and Wagoner counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 13,336 at the 2000 census and 20,884 in the 2010 census. It is nicknamed "The Garden Spot of Oklahoma" for its rich agrarian heritage...

 56.6%, and Owasso
Owasso, Oklahoma
Owasso is a city in Rogers and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma, and a northern suburb of Tulsa. The population was 28,915 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Owasso is located at...

 56.3%.


In descending order of population, Oklahoma's largest cities in 2010 were: Oklahoma City
Oklahoma city
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma.Oklahoma City may also refer to:*Oklahoma City metropolitan area*Downtown Oklahoma City*Uptown Oklahoma City*Oklahoma City bombing*Oklahoma City National Memorial...

 (579,999, +14.6%), Tulsa (391,906, −0.3%), Norman
Norman, Oklahoma
Norman is a city in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States, and is located south of downtown Oklahoma City. It is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, Norman was to have 110,925 full-time residents, making it the third-largest city in Oklahoma and the...

 (110,925, +15.9%), Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County but also with a small section of the city in western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa. According to the 2010 US Census, Broken Arrow has a population of 98,850 residents...

 (98,850, +32.0%), Lawton
Lawton, Oklahoma
The city of Lawton is the county seat of Comanche County, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the southwestern region of Oklahoma approximately southwest of Oklahoma City, it is the principal city of the Lawton Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 (96,867, +4.4%), Edmond
Edmond, Oklahoma
Edmond is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area in the central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the population was 81,405, making it the sixth largest city in the state of Oklahoma....

 (81,405, +19.2%), Moore
Moore, Oklahoma
Moore is a city in Cleveland County, Oklahoma and is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. The population was 55,081 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh largest city in the state of Oklahoma....

 (55,081, +33.9%), Midwest City
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Midwest City is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 54,371, making it the eighth largest city in the state....

 (54,371, +0.5%), Enid
Enid, Oklahoma
Enid is a city in Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States. In 2010, the population was 49,379, making it the ninth largest city in Oklahoma. It is the county seat of Garfield County. Enid was founded during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in the Land Run of 1893, and is named after Enid, a...

 (49,379, +5.0%), and Stillwater
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Stillwater is a city in north-central Oklahoma at the intersection of U.S. 177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 45,688. Stillwater is the principal city of the Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical...

 (45,688, +17.0%). Of the state's ten largest cities, three are outside the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and only Lawton has a metropolitan statistical area of its own as designated by the United States Census Bureau, though the metropolitan statistical area of Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County. With a population of 86,209 in 2010, it is the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 298,592 residents which encompasses the Arkansas...

 extends into the state.

Under Oklahoma law, municipalities are divided into two categories: cities, defined as having more than 1,000 residents, and towns, with under 1,000 residents. Both have legislative, judicial, and public power within their boundaries, but cities can choose between a mayor-council, council-manager, or strong mayor form of government, while towns operate through an elected officer system.

Demographics


At the 2010 Census, there were 3,751,351 people residing in Oklahoma, an increase of 8.7% since 2000.

At the 2010 Census, 68.7% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 7.3% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 8.2% non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.7% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 5.1% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 8.9% of Oklahoma's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race)

Oklahoma had a population of 3,642,361 with an estimated 2005 ancestral makeup of 14.5% German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

, 13.1% American, 11.8% Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

, 9.6% English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

, 8.1% African American, and 11.4% Native American (including 7.9% Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

) though the percentage of people claiming American Indian as their only race was 8.1%. Most people from Oklahoma who self-identify as having American ancestry are of overwhelmingly English
English American
English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

 ancestry with significant amounts of Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 and Welsh
Welsh American
Welsh Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Wales. In the 2008 U.S. Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry, 0.6% of the total U.S. population. This compares with a population of 3 million in Wales. However,...

 inflection as well. The state had the second highest number of Native Americans in 2002, estimated at 395,219, as well as the second highest percentage among all states. As of 2006, 4.7% of Oklahoma's residents were foreign born, compared to 12.4% for the nation. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Oklahoma is located in Lincoln County
Lincoln County, Oklahoma
Lincoln County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population as of 2010 was 34,273. It is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area.Its county seat is Chandler....

 near the town of Sparks
Sparks, Oklahoma
Sparks is a town in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 137 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Oklahoma is located in Sparks .-Geography:Sparks is located at ....

.

The state's 2006 per capita personal income ranked 37th at $32,210, though it has the third-fastest growing per capita income in the nation and ranks consistently among the lowest states in cost of living index. The Oklahoma City suburb Nichols Hills
Nichols Hills, Oklahoma
Nichols Hills is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The population was 4,056 at the 2000 census. Nichols Hills is a bedroom community and is completely cut off from further growth. It is surrounded by Oklahoma City and The...

 is first on Oklahoma locations by per capita income
Oklahoma locations by per capita income
Oklahoma is the 37th-richest state in the United States of America, with a per capita income of $32,210 in 2006 and the third fastest-growing per capita income in the nation...

 at $73,661, though Tulsa County holds the highest average. In 2006, 6.8% of Oklahomans were under the age of 5, 25.9% under 18, and 13.2% were 65 or older. Females made up 50.9% of the population.

Religion


Oklahoma is part of a geographical region characterized by widespread conservative Christianity and Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 Protestantism known as the "Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

". Spanning the southeastern United States, the area is known for politically and socially
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 conservative views. Tulsa, the state's second largest city, home to Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University , based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the United States, is an interdenominational, Charismatic Christian, comprehensive university with an enrollment of about 3,790 students from 49 U.S. states along with a significant number of international students from 70 countries...

, is considered an apex of the region and is known as one of the "buckles of the Bible Belt". According to the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

, the majority of Oklahoma's religious adherents – 85 percent – are Christian, accounting for about 80 percent of the population. The percentage of Oklahomans affiliated with Catholicism is half of the national average, while the percentage affiliated with Evangelical Protestantism is more than twice the national average – tied with Arkansas for the largest percentage of any state.

Adherents participate in 73 major affiliations spread between 5,854 congregations, ranging from the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is a United States-based Christian denomination. It is the world's largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States, with over 16 million members...

, with 1578 churches and 967,223 members, to the Holy Orthodox Church in North America
Holy Orthodox Church in North America
The Holy Orthodox Church in North America or HOCNA is a canonical Orthodox Christian church located primarily in the United States and Canada, with additional communities in Europe, Africa and South America...

, with 1 church and 6 members. The state's largest church memberships are in the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

, with 322,794 members, the Roman Catholic Church, with 168,625, the Assemblies of God, with 88,301, and Churches of Christ, with 83,047. In 2000, there were about 5,000 Jews and 6,000 Muslims, with 10 congregations to each group.

Oklahoma religious makeup:
  • Evangelical
    Evangelicalism
    Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

     Protestant – 53%
  • Mainline Protestant – 16%
  • Catholic – 13%
  • Other – 6%
  • Unaffiliated – 12%

State symbols




State law codifies Oklahoma’s state emblems and honorary positions; the Oklahoma Senate or House of Representatives may adopt resolutions designating others for special events and to benefit organizations.

State symbols:
  • State bird: Scissor-tailed flycatcher
    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
    The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is a long-tailed insectivorous bird of the genus, whose members are collectively referred to as kingbirds. The kingbirds are a group of large insectivorous birds in the tyrant flycatcher family...

  • State tree: Eastern Redbud
    Eastern Redbud
    Cercis canadensis L. is a large shrub or small tree native to eastern North America from Southern Ontario, Canada south to northern Florida, United States....

  • State mammal: American Bison
    American Bison
    The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

  • State Vegetable: Watermelon
    Watermelon
    Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

  • State beverage: Milk
  • State fruit: Strawberry
    Garden Strawberry
    The garden strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa, is a hybrid species that is cultivated worldwide for its fruit, the strawberry. The fruit is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness...

  • State game bird: Wild Turkey
    Wild Turkey
    The Wild Turkey is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the Galliformes. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which derives from the South Mexican subspecies of wild turkey .Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green...

  • State fish: Sand bass
    White bass
    The white bass or sand bass The white bass or sand bass The white bass or sand bass (MoroneIt is the state fish of Oklahoma.- Range :White bass are distributed widely across the United States, particularly in the midwest. They are very abundant in Pennsylvania and the area around Lake Erie...

  • State floral emblem: Mistletoe
    Mistletoe
    Mistletoe is the common name for obligate hemi-parasitic plants in several families in the order Santalales. The plants in question grow attached to and within the branches of a tree or shrub.-Mistletoe in the genus Viscum:...

  • State flower: Oklahoma Rose
  • State wildflower: Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchellum)
  • State grass: Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)
  • State fossil: Saurophaganax maximus
  • State rock: Rose rock
    Rose Rock
    Rose rocks are aggregates of barite crystals and sand whose iron content gives them a reddish hue. The barite crystals form a circular array of flat plates, giving the rock a shape similar to a rose blossom. Rose rocks appear either as a single rose-like bloom or as clusters of blooms, with...

  • State insect: Honeybee
  • State soil: Port Silt Loam
    Port Silt Loam
    Port Silt Loam is the state soil of Oklahoma. This type of soil is reddish in color due to the weathering of reddish sandstones, siltstones, and shales of the Permian period....

  • State reptile: Collared Lizard
    Common Collared Lizard
    The Common collared lizard, Oklahoma collared lizard or collared lizard, Crotaphytus collaris, is a North American lizard that can reach a foot long in length , with a large head and powerful jaws. They are well known for the ability to run on their hind legs, looking like small dinosaurs...

  • State amphibian: Bullfrog
    Bullfrog
    The American bullfrog , often simply known as the bullfrog in Canada and the United States, is an aquatic frog, a member of the family Ranidae, or “true frogs”, native to much of North America. This is a frog of larger, permanent water bodies, swamps, ponds, and lakes, where it is usually found...

  • State meal: fried okra
    Okra
    Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

    , squash, cornbread
    Cornbread
    Cornbread is a generic name for any number of quick breads containing cornmeal and leavened by baking powder.-History:Native Americans were using ground corn for food thousands of years before European explorers arrived in the New World...

    , barbecue
    Barbecue
    Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

     pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy
    Sausage and gravy
    Sausage gravy is a traditional Southern breakfast dish. After loose pork sausage is cooked in a pan and removed, a roux is formed by browning flour in the residual fat. Milk and seasonings, such as salt and pepper, are added to create a moderately thick gravy, to which the cooked sausage is added...

    , grits
    Grits
    Grits are a food of American Indian origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. They consist of coarsely ground corn, or sometimes alkali-treated corn . They are also sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Muskogee language word...

    , corn
    Maize
    Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

    , strawberries, chicken fried steak
    Chicken fried steak
    Chicken fried steak is a dish consisting of a piece of steak coated with seasoned flour and pan-fried. It is associated with Texas cuisine...

    , pecan pie
    Pecan pie
    Pecan pie is a sweet pie made primarily of corn syrup and pecan nuts. It is popularly served at holiday meals and is also considered a specialty of Southern U.S. cuisine. Most pecan pie recipes include salt and vanilla as flavorings. Chocolate and bourbon whiskey are other popular additions to the...

    , and black-eyed peas.
  • State folk dance: Square Dance
    Square dance
    Square dance is a folk dance with four couples arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, beginning with Couple 1 facing away from the music and going counter-clockwise until getting to Couple 4. Couples 1 and 3 are known as the head couples, while Couples 2 and 4 are the side couples...

  • State percussive instrument: drum
  • State waltz: Oklahoma Wind
  • State butterfly: Black Swallowtail
    Black Swallowtail
    The Black Swallowtail also called the American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma...

  • State song: "Oklahoma!
    Oklahoma! (song)
    ♥"Oklahoma" is the title song from, and the finale to, the Broadway musical Oklahoma!, named for the setting of the musical play.The music and lyrics were written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II...

    "
  • State language: English
  • State Gospel Song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
    "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" is a historic African-American spiritual. The first recording was in 1909, by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University....

    "
  • State rock song: "Do You Realize??
    Do You Realize??
    "Do You Realize??" is a song by The Flaming Lips, released as the first single from their 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. It is widely considered to be one of the group's most accessible and popular songs...

    " by The Flaming Lips
    The Flaming Lips
    The Flaming Lips are an American alternative rock band, formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1983.Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as "What...



See also


  • Great Plains
    Great Plains
    The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

  • Indian territory
    Indian Territory
    The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Oklahoma
  • List of people from Oklahoma

  • US state


Further reading

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