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Oklahoma () is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
in the
South CentralSouth Central may refer to: Entertainment * South Central (film), ''South Central'' (film), a 1992 film starring Glenn Plummer * South Central (soundtrack), ''South Central'' (soundtrack), a soundtrack album from the film * South Central (TV series ...
region of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, bordered by the state of
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, ...

Texas
on the south and west,
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...

Kansas
on the north,
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
on the northeast,
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan la ...

Arkansas
on the east,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
on the west, and
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the weste ...

Colorado
on the northwest. Partially in the western extreme of the
Upland South The Upland South or Upper South is a cultural and geographic subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...
, it is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially "
Okie "Okie", in the most general sense, refers to a resident, native, or cultural descendant of Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published ...

Okie
s"), and its capital and largest city is
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City (), officially the City of Oklahoma City, and often shortened to OKC, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger ...

Oklahoma City
. The state's name is derived from the
Choctaw The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language The Choctaw language (Choctaw: ), spoken by the Choctaw, an Indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, is part of the Muskogean languages, Muskogean language family. Chickasaw language, Chickasaw (C ...
words , "people" and , which translates as "red". Oklahoma is also known informally by its nickname, " The Sooner State", in reference to the settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the
Indian Appropriations Act The Indian Appropriations Act is the name of several acts passed by the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of th ...
of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern
Indian Territory The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally described an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
.
Oklahoma Territory The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow ...
and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. With ancient mountain ranges, prairie,
mesa A mesa is an isolated, flat-topped elevation, ridge or hill, which is bounded from all sides by steep escarpments and stands distinctly above a surrounding plain. Mesas characteristically consist of flat-lying soft sedimentary rocks capped by ...

mesa
s, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of in . It is located west of the and east of the , much of it covered in , and . It is the southern and main part of the , which also include the ...
,
Cross Timbers The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, ...
, and the U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is at a confluence of three major American
cultural regions Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...
. Historically it served as a government-sanctioned
territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names ...
for Native Americans removed from east of the Mississippi River, a route for
cattle drive A cattle drive is the process of moving a herd of cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational re ...
s from Texas and related regions, and a destination for Southern migrant settlers. Today twenty-five Native American languages are still spoken in Oklahoma. A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and
Tulsa Tulsa is the second-largest city in the U.S. state, state of Oklahoma and List of United States cities by population, 47th-most populous city in the United States. The population was 413,066 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. It ...

Tulsa
serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their
metropolitan statistical area #REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area#REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area In the United States, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throu ...
s.


Etymology

The name ''Oklahoma'' comes from the
Choctaw language The Choctaw language (Choctaw: ), spoken by the Choctaw The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language, Chahta) are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American people originally based in the Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodland ...
phrase ''okla'', or people, and ''humma'', translated as "red." Choctaw Nation Chief
Allen Wright Allen Wright ( cho, Kiliahote, italic=no) (born November 1826 – December 2, 1885) was Principal Chief of the Choctaw Republic from late 1866 to 1870. He also became a Presbyterian minister after graduating from Union Theological Seminary in N ...

Allen Wright
suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government on the use of
Indian Territory The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally described an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
. He envisioned an all–American Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. ''Oklahoma'' later became the de facto name for
Oklahoma Territory The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow ...
, and it was officially approved in 1890, two years after that area was opened to white settlers. In the
Chickasaw language The Chickasaw language (Chikashshanompa' , ) is a Native American language Over a thousand indigenous languages are spoken by the indigenous peoples of the Americas (and in a few cases by non-indigenous peoples). These languages cannot all be ...
, the state is known as Oklahomma', in
Arapaho The Arapaho (; french: Arapahos, ) are a people of Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native American ...
as ''bo'oobe (literally meaning ''red earth''), paw, Uukuhuúwa, and cay, Gahnawiyoˀgeh.


History


Settlements

Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
were present in what is now Oklahoma by the last ice age. Ancestors of the
Wichita and Affiliated Tribes The Wichita people or Kitikiti'sh are a confederation of Southern Plains Native American tribes. Historically they spoke the Wichita language Wichita is an extinct language, extinct Caddoan languages, Caddoan language once spoken in Oklahoma ...
(including
Teyas Teyas were a Native American people Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans and #Terminology differences, other terms, are the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous peoples of the United ...
and Escanjaques and
Tawakoni The Tawakoni (also Tahuacano and Tehuacana) are a Southern Plains Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe, closely related to the Wichita people, Wichitas. They historically spoke a Wichita language of the Caddoan language fam ...
),
Tonkawa The Tonkawa are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe indigenous to present-day Oklahoma. Their Tonkawa language, now extinct language, extinct, is a linguistic isolate. Today, Tonkawa people are enrolled in the Federal ...
, and
Caddo The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes. Their ancestors historically inhabited much of what is now East Texas East Texas is a distinct cultural, geographic, and ecological region in the U.S. state of ...
(including Kichai) lived in what is now Oklahoma.
Southern Plains villagers The Southern Plains villagers were semi-sedentary Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans who lived on the Great Plains in western Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and southeastern Colorado from about AD 800 until AD 1500. Also known as Pla ...

Southern Plains villagers
lived in the central and west of the state, with a subgroup, the
Panhandle culture Panhandle culture is a prehistoric culture of the southern High Plains during the Middle Ceramic Period from AD 1200 to 1400. Panhandle sites are primarily in the panhandle and west central Oklahoma and the northern half of the Texas Panhandle. ...
people living in the panhandle region.
Caddoan Mississippian culture The Caddoan Mississippian culture was a prehistoric Native American culture considered by archaeologists as a variant of the Mississippian culture. The Caddoan Mississippians covered a large territory, including what is now Eastern Oklahoma ...
peoples lived in the eastern part of the state.
Spiro Mounds Spiro Mounds ( 34 LF 40) is an archaeological site located in present-day eastern Oklahoma that remains from an indigenous Indian culture that was part of the major northern Caddoan Mississippian culture, Mississippian culture. The 80-acre site i ...
, in what is now
Spiro, Oklahoma Spiro is a town in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States. It is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Fort Smith metropolitan area, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,164 at the 2010 census, a 2.8 ...
, was a major Mississippian mound complex that flourished between AD 850 and 1450.
Plains Apache The Plains Apache are a small Southern Athabaskan group who live on the Southern Plains of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be d ...
people settled in the Southern Plains and in Oklahoma between 1300 and 1500. The Expedition of Spaniard
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado Francisco Vázquez de Coronado y Luján (; 1510 – 22 September 1554) was a Spanish conquistador is one of the most famous Portuguese conquerors, having expanded the Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), ...
traveled through the state in 1541, but French explorers claimed the area in the early 18th century. By the 18th century, Comanche and Kiowa entered the region from the west and Quapaw and Osage peoples moved into what is now eastern Oklahoma. French colonists claimed the region until 1803, when all the French territory west of the Mississippi River was acquired by the United States in the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from French First Republic, Napoleonic France in 1803. In retur ...

Louisiana Purchase
. The territory was a part of the
Arkansas Territory The Arkansas Territory was a territory of the United States A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-leve ...
from 1819 until 1828. During the 19th century, the US federal government forcibly removed tens of thousands of Native Americans from their 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 The term "Five Civilized Tribes" derives from the colonial and early federal period in the history of the United States. It refers to five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole The Sem ...
to be removed from the
Southeastern United States The southeastern United States, also referred to as the American Southeast or simply the Southeast, is broadly the eastern portion of the southern United States The Southern United States, also referred to as the Southern States, the Ame ...
. The phrase "
Trail of Tears #REDIRECT Trail of Tears The Trail of Tears was part of a series of forced displacements of approximately 100,000 Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans between 1830 and 1850 by the Federal government of the United States, Unit ...
" originated from a description of the removal of the
Choctaw The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language The Choctaw language (Choctaw: ), spoken by the Choctaw, an Indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, is part of the Muskogean languages, Muskogean language family. Chickasaw language, Chickasaw (C ...

Choctaw
Nation in 1831, although the term is usually used for the
Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands of the United States. Prior to the 18th century, they were concentr ...

Cherokee
removal. Seventeen thousand Cherokees and 2,000 of their black slaves were deported. The area, already occupied by Osage and
Quapaw The Quapaw (or Arkansas and Ugahxpa) people are a tribe of Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native ...
tribes, was called for the
Choctaw Nation The Choctaw Nation (Choctaw language, Choctaw: ''Chahta Yakni'') is a Native Americans in the United States, Native American territory covering about , occupying portions of southeastern Oklahoma in the United States. The Choctaw Nation is the t ...
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 The Indian Territory and the Indian Territories are terms that generally described an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
or "Indian Country". All Five Civilized Tribes supported and signed treaties with the Confederate military during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
. The
Cherokee Nation The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee language, Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, ''Tsalagihi Ayeli'' or ᏣᎳᎩᏰᎵ "Tsalagiyehli"), also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee List of federally recognized trib ...
had an internal civil war. Slavery in Indian Territory 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 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'' ...

cowboy
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 The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887) regulated land rights on tribal territories within the United States. Named after Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts, it authorized the Presi ...
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 A land run or land rush was an event in which previously restricted land of the United States was opened to homestead on a first-arrival basis. Lands were opened and sold first-come or by bid, or won by lottery, or by means other than a run. The ...
s, including the
Land Run of 1889 The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 was the first land run into the Unassigned Lands. The area that was opened to settlement included all or part of the Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. Th ...
, were held for settlers where certain territories were opened to settlement starting at a precise time. 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 the official opening time were said to have been crossing the border ''sooner'', leading to the term ''
sooners Sooners is the name given to settler A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migran ...
'', which eventually became the state's official nickname. Deliberations to make the territory into a state began near the end of the 19th century, when the
Curtis Act The Curtis Act of 1898 was an amendment to the United States Dawes Act The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887; named after Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), ...
continued the allotment of Indian tribal land.


20th and 21st centuries

Attempts to create an all-Indian state named ''Oklahoma'' and a later attempt to create an all-Indian state named ''
Sequoyah Sequoyah (ᏍᏏᏉᏯ ''Ssiquoya'', as he signed his name, or ᏎᏉᏯ ''Se-quo-ya'', as is often spelled in Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are on ...
'' failed but the Sequoyah Statehood Convention of 1905 eventually laid the groundwork for the Oklahoma Statehood Convention, which took place two years later. On June 16, 1906, Congress enacted a statute authorizing the people of the Oklahoma and Indian Territories (as well what would become the states of
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
and
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
) to form a constitution and state government in order to be admitted as a state. On November 16, 1907, President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
issued
Presidential Proclamation The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags because of the death of John Glenn, as published in the Federal Register.">Federal_Register.html" ;"title="John Glenn, as published in the Federal Regi ...
no.
780 __NOTOC__ Year 780 (Roman numerals, DCCLXXX) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. The denomination 780 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Dom ...
, establishing Oklahoma as the 46th state in the Union. The new state became a focal point for the emerging
oil industry The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of exploration Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Disc ...
, as discoveries of oil pools prompted towns to grow rapidly in population and wealth. Tulsa eventually became known as the "
Oil Capital of the WorldThe title of "Oil Capital of the World" is often used to refer to Tulsa, Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or ...
" for most of the 20th century and oil investments fueled much of the state's early economy. In 1927, Oklahoman businessman Cyrus Avery, known as the "Father of Route 66", began the campaign to create
U.S. Route 66 U.S. Route 66 or U.S. Highway 66 (US 66 or Route 66), also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. US 66 was establishe ...
. Using a stretch of highway from
Amarillo, Texas Amarillo ( ; Spanish language, Spanish for "yellow") is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the county seat, seat of Potter County, Texas, Potter County. It is the List of cities in Texas by population, 14th-most populous city in Texas an ...
to Tulsa, Oklahoma to form the original portion of Highway 66, Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to oversee the planning of Route 66, based in his hometown of Tulsa. Oklahoma also has a rich African-American history. Many Black towns, founded by the Freedmen of the Five Tribes during Reconstruction, thrived in the early 20th century with the arrival of Black Exodusters who migrated from neighboring states, especially Kansas. The politician Edward P. McCabe encouraged Black settlers to come to what was then Indian Territory. McCabe discussed with President Theodore Roosevelt the possibility of making Oklahoma a majority-Black state. By the early 20th century, the Greenwood district of
Tulsa Tulsa is the second-largest city in the U.S. state, state of Oklahoma and List of United States cities by population, 47th-most populous city in the United States. The population was 413,066 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. It ...

Tulsa
was one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the United States.
Jim Crow laws Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Racial segregation can amount to the intern ...
had established
racial segregation Racial segregation is the systematic separation of people into race (human classification), racial or other Ethnicity, ethnic groups in daily life. Racial segregation can amount to the international crime of apartheid and a crimes against hum ...
since before the start of the 20th century, but Tulsa's Black residents had created a thriving area. Social tensions were exacerbated by the revival of the
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan (), commonly shortened to the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist Right-wing terrorism, terrorist hate group whose primary targets are African Americans as well as Jews, Immigration to the United States, immigran ...
after 1915. The
Tulsa race massacre The Tulsa race massacre (known alternatively as the Tulsa race riot, the Greenwood Massacre, the Black Wall Street Massacre, the Tulsa pogrom, or the Tulsa Massacre) took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents, many of ...
broke out in 1921, with White mobs attacking Black people and carrying out a pogrom in Greenwood. In one of the costliest episodes of racist 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 at between 75 and 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. This period was known as the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
, throughout which areas of Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and
northwestern Oklahoma The Glass Mountains are a series of mesas south of the Cimarron River. Northwestern Oklahoma is the geographical region of the state of Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States The United St ...

northwestern Oklahoma
were hampered by long periods of little rainfall, strong winds, abnormally high temperatures, and most notably, severe
dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Deve ...

dust storm
s 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 is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...
and
water conservation Water conservation includes all the policies, strategies and activities to sustainably manage the natural resource , Malaysia is an example of undisturbed natural resource. Waterfalls provide spring water for humans, animals and plants for sur ...
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 one of the most destructive act of domestic terrorism in American history. The
Oklahoma City bombing#REDIRECT Oklahoma City bombing {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation {{R from alternative name ...
of April 19, 1995, in which
Timothy McVeigh Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was an American domestic terrorism, domestic terrorist who carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others, and destroyed one third of th ...
detonated a large, crude explosive device outside the
Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was a United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States The United States of America (USA), ...
, killed 168 people, including 19 children. For his crime, McVeigh was executed by the federal government on June 11, 2001. His accomplice,
Terry Nichols Terry Lynn Nichols (born April 1, 1955) is an American domestic terrorist Domestic terrorism or homegrown terrorism is a form of terrorism Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. I ...
, is serving life in prison without parole for helping plan the attack and prepare the explosive. On May 31, 2016, several cities experienced record setting flooding. On July 9, 2020, the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
determined in ''
McGirt v. Oklahoma ''McGirt v. Oklahoma'', 591 U.S. ___ (2020), was a landmark United States Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States ...
'' that the reservations of the Five Tribes, comprising much of Eastern Oklahoma, were never disestablished by Congress and thus are still "Indian Country" for the purposes of criminal law.


Geography

Oklahoma is the 20th-largest state in the United States, covering an area of , with of land and of water. It lies partly in the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of in . It is located west of the and east of the , much of it covered in , and . It is the southern and main part of the , which also include the ...
near the geographical center of the 48
contiguous states The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states (plus the Washington, D.C., District of Columbia) on the continent of North America. The terms exclude the Geographic contiguity, ...
. It is bordered on the east by
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan la ...

Arkansas
and
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
, on the north by
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...

Kansas
, on the northwest by
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the weste ...

Colorado
, on the far west by
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
, and on the south and near-west by
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, ...

Texas
.


Topography

Oklahoma is between the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of in . It is located west of the and east of the , much of it covered in , and . It is the southern and main part of the , which also include the ...
and the
Ozark Plateau The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the extreme southeastern corner of Kansas. The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arka ...

Ozark Plateau
in the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
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 above sea level, situated near its far northwest corner in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The state's lowest point is on the Little River near its far southeastern boundary near the town of Idabel, Oklahoma, Idabel, which dips to above sea level. Among the most geographically diverse states, Oklahoma is one of four to harbor more than 10 distinct ecoregion, ecological regions, 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. Although having fewer ecological regions Western Oklahoma contains many rare, relic species. Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: the Ouachita Mountains, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, and the Ozarks, Ozark Mountains. Contained within the U.S. Interior Highlands region, the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains are the only major mountainous region between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains, Appalachians. A portion of the Flint Hills stretches into north-central Oklahoma, and near the state's eastern border, The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department regards Cavanal Hill as the world's tallest hill; at , it fails their definition of a mountain by one foot. The Semi-arid climate, semi-arid High Plains (United States), high plains in the state's northwestern Oklahoma, northwestern corner harbor few natural forests; the region has a rolling to flat landscape with intermittent canyons and
mesa A mesa is an isolated, flat-topped elevation, ridge or hill, which is bounded from all sides by steep escarpments and stands distinctly above a surrounding plain. Mesas characteristically consist of flat-lying soft sedimentary rocks capped by ...

mesa
ranges like the Glass Mountains. Partial plains interrupted by small, sky island mountain ranges like the Antelope Hills, Oklahoma, Antelope Hills and the Wichita Mountains dot southwestern Oklahoma; transitional prairie and oak savannas cover the Central Oklahoma, central portion 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 nation's highest number of artificial reservoirs. Most of the state lies in two primary drainage basins belonging to the Red River of the South, Red and Arkansas River, Arkansas rivers, though the Lee and Little rivers also contain significant drainage basins. File:turner falls ok.jpg, Turner Falls File:Rose rocks.jpg, State rock (Desert rose (crystal), rose rock) specimens from Cleveland County File:Illinois River Oklahoma.jpg, alt=, Illinois River in northeastern Oklahoma File:Elk Mountain, OK.jpg, Elk Mountain, in the eastern Wichita Mountains, southwestern Oklahoma File:Wichita Mountains Narrows.jpg, Wichita Mountains Narrows File:Talimenavista1.jpg, The Ouachita Mountains cover much of Kiamichi Country, southeastern Oklahoma. File:McIntosh County (Oklahoma).jpg, Grave Creek in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, McIntosh County File:Gloss Mountains.jpg, Glass Mountains, Mesas rise above one of Oklahoma's state parks


Flora and fauna

Due to Oklahoma's location at the confluence of many geographic regions, the state's climatic regions have a high rate of biodiversity. Forests cover 24 percent of Oklahoma and prairie, prairie grasslands composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass prairie, harbor expansive ecosystems in the state's central and western portions, although Agricultural land, cropland has largely replaced native grasses. Where rainfall is sparse in the state's western regions, shortgrass prairie and shrublands are the most prominent ecosystems, though pinyon pines, red cedar (junipers), and Pinus ponderosa, ponderosa pines grow near rivers and creek beds in the panhandle's far western reaches. Southwestern Oklahoma contains many rare, Disjunct distribution, disjunct species including Acer saccharum, sugar maple, Acer grandidentatum, bigtooth maple, nolina and Quercus fusiformis, Texas live oak. Marshlands, cypress forests and mixtures of Pinus echinata, shortleaf pine, Pinus taeda, loblolly pine, sabal minor, blue palmetto, and deciduous forests dominate the state's Kiamichi Country, southeastern quarter, while mixtures of largely Quercus stellata, post oak, elm, red cedar (''Juniperus virginiana'') and pine forests cover Green Country, northeastern Oklahoma. The state holds populations of white-tailed deer, mule deer, Pronghorn, antelope, coyotes, Cougar, mountain lions, bobcats, elk, and birds such as quail, Columbidae, doves, Cardinal (bird), cardinals, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and pheasants. In prairie ecosystems, American bison, greater prairie chickens, badgers, and armadillo are common, and some of the nation's largest prairie dog towns inhabit shortgrass prairie in the state's panhandle. The
Cross Timbers The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, ...
, a region transitioning from prairie to woodlands in Central Oklahoma, harbors 351 Vertebrate, vertebrate species. The Ouachita Mountains are home to American black bear, black bear, red fox, gray fox, and North American river otter, river otter populations, which coexist with 328 vertebrate species in southeastern Oklahoma. Also, in southeastern Oklahoma lives the American alligator.


Protected lands

Oklahoma has fifty-one state parks, six national parks or protected regions, two United States National Forest, national protected forests 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, the largest and oldest national forest in the Southern United States. With , the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in north-central Oklahoma is the largest protected area of tallgrass prairie in the world and is part of an ecosystem that encompasses only ten percent of its former land area, once covering fourteen states. In addition, the Black Kettle National Grassland covers of prairie in southwestern Oklahoma. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the oldest and largest of nine National Wildlife Refuges in the state and was founded in 1901, encompassing . Of Oklahoma's federally protected parks or recreational sites, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is the largest, with . Other sites include the Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe and
Trail of Tears #REDIRECT Trail of Tears The Trail of Tears was part of a series of forced displacements of approximately 100,000 Native Americans in the United States, Native Americans between 1830 and 1850 by the Federal government of the United States, Unit ...
national historic trails, the Fort Smith National Historic Site, Fort Smith and Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, Washita Battlefield national historic sites, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial.


Climate

Oklahoma is in a humid subtropical region. Oklahoma lies in a transition zone between semi-arid further to the west, humid continental to the north, and humid subtropical to the east and southeast. Most of the state lies in an area known as Tornado Alley characterized by frequent interaction between cold, dry air from Canada, warm to hot, dry air from Mexico and the Southwestern U.S., and warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The interactions between these three contrasting air currents produces severe weather (severe thunderstorms, damaging thunderstorm winds, large hail and tornadoes) with a frequency virtually unseen anywhere else on planet Earth. An average 62 tornadoes strike the state per year—one of the highest rates in the world. Because of Oklahoma's position between zones of differing prevailing temperature and winds, weather patterns within the state can vary widely over relatively short distances, and they can change drastically in a short time. On November 11, 1911, the temperature at Oklahoma City reached (the record high for that date), then Great Blue Norther of November 11, 1911, a cold front of unprecedented intensity slammed across the state, causing the temperature to reach (the record low for that date) by midnight. This type of phenomenon is also responsible for many of the tornadoes in the area, such as the Tornado outbreak of April 27–29, 1912, 1912 Oklahoma tornado outbreak when a warm front traveled along a stalled cold front, resulting in an average of about one tornado per hour. The humid subtropical climate (Köppen ''Cfa'') of central, southern and eastern Oklahoma is influenced heavily by southerly winds bringing moisture from the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
. Traveling westward, the climate transitions progressively toward a semi-arid zone (Köppen ''BSk'') in the high plains of the Panhandle and other western areas from about Lawton, Oklahoma, Lawton westward, less frequently touched by southern moisture. Precipitation and temperatures decline from east to west accordingly, with areas in the southeast averaging an annual temperature of and an annual rainfall of generally over and up to , while areas of the (higher-elevation) panhandle average , with an annual rainfall under . Over almost all of Oklahoma, winter is the driest season. Average monthly precipitation increases dramatically in the spring to a peak in May, the wettest month over most of the state, with its frequent and not uncommonly severe thunderstorm activity. Early June can still be wet, but most years see a marked decrease in rainfall during June and early July. Mid-summer (July and August) represents a secondary dry season over much of Oklahoma, with long stretches of hot weather with only sporadic thunderstorm activity not uncommon many years. Severe drought is common in the hottest summers, such as those of 1934, 1954, 1980 and 2011, all of which featured weeks on end of virtual rainlessness and highs well over . Average precipitation rises again from September to mid-October, representing a secondary wetter season, then declines from late October through December. The entire state frequently experiences temperatures above or below , though below-zero temperatures are rare in south-central and southeastern Oklahoma. Snowfall ranges from an average of less than in the south to just over on the border of
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the weste ...

Colorado
in the panhandle. The state is home to the Storm Prediction Center, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and the Warning Decision Training Division, all part of the National Weather Service and in Norman, Oklahoma, Norman.


Demographics


Population

The United States Census Bureau estimates Oklahoma's population was 3,963,516 during the 2020 United States Census, a 5.66% increase since the 2010 United States Census. In 2010, the center of population of Oklahoma was in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, Lincoln County near the town of Sparks, Oklahoma, Sparks. The state's 2006 Per capita personal income in the United States, per capita personal income ranked 37th at $32,210, though it has the third-fastest-growing per capita income in the U.S. Oklahoma ranks consistently among the lowest states in cost of living index. In 2011, 7.0% of Oklahomans were under the age of 5, 24.7% under 18, and 13.7% were 65 or older. Females made up 50.5% of the population.


Race and ethnicity

As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 Census, 72.2% of the population was white people, white, 8.6% American Indian and Alaska Native, 7.4% African Americans, black or African American, 1.7% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 4.1% from some other race and 5.9% of two or more races. 8.9% of Oklahoma's population were of Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race). In 2005, Oklahoma's estimated ancestral makeup was 14.5% German, 13.1% Southern United States#European colonization, American, 11.8% Irish American, Irish, 9.6% English American, English, 8.1% African Americans, African American, and 11.4% Native American (including 7.9% Cherokee) 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 American, English and Scots-Irish Americans, Scots-Irish ancestry with significant amounts of Scottish American, Scottish, Welsh American, Welsh and Irish American, Irish inflection as well. In 2011, 47.3% of Oklahoma's population younger than age1 were minorities, meaning they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white. In 2011, U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data from 2005 to 2009 indicated about 5% of Oklahoma's residents were born outside the United States. This is lower than the national figure (about 12.5% of U.S. residents were foreign-born).


Cities and towns

The state is in the U.S. Census' Southern United States, Southern region. According to the 2020 United States Census, Oklahoma is the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 28th-most populous state with inhabitants but the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 19th-largest by land area spanning of land. In 2010, Oklahoma was divided into 77 County (United States), counties and contains 597 Municipal corporation, incorporated municipalities consisting of cities and towns. In Oklahoma, cities are all those incorporated communities which are 1,000 or more in population and are incorporated as cities. Towns are limited to town board type of municipal government. Cities may choose among aldermanic, mayoral, council-manager, and home-rule charter types of government. Cities may also petition to incorporate as towns. The Oklahoma City suburb Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, Nichols Hills is first on List of Oklahoma locations by per capita income, Oklahoma locations by per capita income at $73,661, though Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Tulsa County holds the highest average.


Language


English

The English language has been official in the state of Oklahoma since 2010. The variety of North American English spoken is called Oklahoma English, and this dialect is quite diverse with its uneven blending of features of North Midland, South Midland, and Southern American English, Southern dialects. In 2000, 2,977,187 Oklahomans—92.6% of the resident population, five years or older—spoke only English at home, a decrease from 95% in 1990. 238,732 Oklahoma residents reported speaking a language other than English at home in the 2000 census, about 7.4% of the state's population.


Native American languages

The two most commonly spoken native North American languages are Cherokee language, Cherokee and
Choctaw The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language The Choctaw language (Choctaw: ), spoken by the Choctaw, an Indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, is part of the Muskogean languages, Muskogean language family. Chickasaw language, Chickasaw (C ...
with 10,000 Cherokee speakers living within the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area of eastern Oklahoma, and another 10,000 Choctaw speakers living in the
Choctaw Nation The Choctaw Nation (Choctaw language, Choctaw: ''Chahta Yakni'') is a Native Americans in the United States, Native American territory covering about , occupying portions of southeastern Oklahoma in the United States. The Choctaw Nation is the t ...
directly south of the Cherokees. Cherokee is an official language in the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction area and in the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Twenty-five Indigenous languages of the Americas, Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, second only to California. However, only Cherokee, if any, exhibits some language vitality at present. ''Ethnologue'' sees Cherokee as Endangered language, moribund because the only remaining active users of the language are members of the grandparent generation and older.


Other languages

Spanish language in the United States, Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken language in the state, with 141,060 speakers counted in 2000. German has 13,444 speakers representing about 0.4% of the state's population, and Vietnamese is spoken by 11,330 people, or about 0.4% of the population, many of whom live in the Asia District, Oklahoma City, Asia District of
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City (), officially the City of Oklahoma City, and often shortened to OKC, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger ...

Oklahoma City
. Other languages include French with 8,258 speakers (0.3%), Chinese Americans, Chinese with 6,413 (0.2%), Korean with 3,948 (0.1%), Arabic with 3,265 (0.1%), other Asian languages with 3,134 (0.1%), Tagalog language, Tagalog with 2,888 (0.1%), Japanese with 2,546 (0.1%), and African languages with 2,546 (0.1%).


Religion

Oklahoma is part of a geographical region characterized by conservative and Evangelical Christianity known as the "Bible Belt". Spanning the southern and eastern parts of the United States, the area is known for Ideology, politically and socially conservative views, with the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party having the greater number of voters registered between the two parties. Tulsa, the state's second-largest city, home to Oral Roberts University, is sometimes called the "Bible Belt#Buckle, buckle of the Bible Belt". In 2000, there were about 5,000 List of synagogues in Oklahoma, Jews and 6,000 Muslims, with ten congregations to each group. According to the Pew Research Center in 2008, the majority of Oklahoma's religious adherents were Christian, accounting for about 80 percent of the population. The percentage of Catholics was half the national average, while the percentage of Evangelical Protestants was more than twice the national average (tied with Arkansas for the largest percentage of any state). In 2010, the state's largest church memberships were in the Southern Baptist Convention (886,394 members), the United Methodist Church (282,347), the Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church (178,430), and the Assemblies of God USA, Assemblies of God (85,926) and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (47,349). Other religions represented in the state include Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. According to the Pew Research Center in 2014, the majority of Oklahoma's religious adherents were Christian accounting for 79 percent of the population, 9 percent higher than the national average. The percentage of Evangelical Protestants declined since the last study, but they remain the largest religious group in the state at 47 percent, over 20 percent higher than the national average. The largest growth over the six years between Pew's 2008 and 2014 survey was in the number of people who identify as irreligious, Unaffiliated in the state with an increase of 6 percent.


Incarceration

Oklahoma has been described as "the world's prison capital", with 1,079 of every 100,000 residents imprisoned in 2018, the highest incarceration rate of any state, and by comparison, higher than the List of countries by incarceration rate, incarceration rates of any country in the world.


Economy

Oklahoma is host to a diverse range of sectors including aviation, energy, transportation equipment, food processing, electronics, and telecommunications. Oklahoma is an important producer of natural gas, aircraft, and agriculture, food. The state ranks third in the nation for production of natural gas, is the 27th-most agriculturally productive state, and also ranks 5th in production of wheat. Four Fortune 500 companies and six Fortune 1000 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. * Total employment (2018): 1,385,228 * Number of employer establishments: 93,561 In 2010, Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores ranked 18th on the Forbes list of largest private companies, Tulsa-based QuikTrip ranked 37th, and Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby ranked 198th in 2010 report. Oklahoma's gross domestic product grew from $131.9 billion in 2006 to $147.5 billion in 2010, 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 1980s oil glut, collapse in the energy industry 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. , the state's unemployment rate is 5.3%.


Industry

In mid-2011, Oklahoma had a civilian labor force of 1.7 million and 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, 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. 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 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, and its fifth-largest producer of crude oil. The state also has the second-greatest number of active drilling rigs, and it is even ranked fifth in crude oil reserves. While the state was ranked eighth for installed Wind power, wind energy capacity in 2011, it still was at the bottom of states in usage of renewable energy in 2009, with 94% of its electricity being generated by Non-renewable energy, non-renewable sources in 2009, including 25% from coal and 46% from natural gas. Ten years later in 2019, 53.5% of electricity was produced from natural gas and 34.6% from wind power. Oklahoma has no nuclear power plants. Ranking 13th for total energy consumption per capita in 2009, the state's energy costs were eighth-lowest in the nation. As a whole, the oil energy industry contributes $35 billion to Oklahoma's gross domestic product (GDP), and employees of the state's 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 of crude oil. 8.5% of the nation's natural gas supply is held in Oklahoma, with being produced in 2009. The Oklahoma Stack Play is a geographic referenced area in the Anadarko Basin. The oil field "Sooner Trend", Anadarko basin and the counties of Kingfisher and Canadian make up the basis for the "Oklahoma STACK". Other Plays such as the Eagle Ford are geological rather than geographical. According to ''Forbes'' magazine, Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy, Devon Energy Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and SandRidge Energy, SandRidge Energy Corporation are the largest private oil-related companies in the nation, and all Oklahoma's Fortune 500 companies are energy-related. Tulsa's ONEOK and Williams Companies 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), ''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 ranks as the 25th-largest gas and electric utility company. Oklahoma Gas & Electric, commonly referred to as OG&E (NYSE: OGE) operates four base electric power plants in Oklahoma. Two of them are coal-fired power plants: one in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Muskogee, and the other in Red Rock, Oklahoma, Red Rock. Two are gas-fired power plants: one in Harrah, Oklahoma, Harrah and the other in Konawa, Oklahoma, Konawa. OG&E was the first electric company in Oklahoma to generate electricity from wind farms in 2003.


Wind generation


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 85,500 farms in 2012, 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.


Education

With an educational system made up of State school, public school districts and independent private school, private institutions, Oklahoma had 638,817 students enrolled in 1,845 public primary, secondary, and vocational education, vocational schools in 533 school districts . Oklahoma has the highest enrollment of Native American students in the nation with 126,078 students in the 2009–10 school year. Oklahoma spent $7,755 for each student in 2008, and was 47th in the nation in expenditures per student, though its growth of total education expenditures between 1992 and 2002 ranked 22nd. The state is among the best in pre-kindergarten 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 education, early childhood schooling". High school dropout rate decreased from 3.1 to 2.5 percent between 2007 and 2008 with Oklahoma ranked among 18 other states with 3 percent or less dropout rate. In 2004, the state ranked 36th in the nation for the relative number of adults with high school diplomas, though at 85.2 percent, it had the highest rate among Southern states. According to a study conducted by the Pell Institute, Oklahoma ranks 48th in college-participation for low-income students. The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Northeastern State University are the largest public institutions of higher education in Oklahoma, each operating through one primary campus and satellite campuses throughout the state. The two state universities, along with Oklahoma City University and the University of Tulsa, rank among the country's best in undergraduate business programs. Oklahoma City University School of Law, University of Oklahoma College of Law, and University of Tulsa College of Law are the state's only ABA-accredited institutions. Both University of Oklahoma and University of Tulsa are Tier1 institutions, with the University of Oklahoma ranked 68th and the University of Tulsa ranked 86th in the nation. Oklahoma holds eleven public regional universities, including Northeastern State University, the second-oldest institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River, also containing the only College of Optometry in Oklahoma and the largest enrollment of Indigenous peoples of the United States, Native American students in the nation by percentage and amount. Langston University 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 55 post-secondary technical institutions operated by Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, 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 master's 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, 2007June 30, 2008). National average is 68,322 total degrees awarded per completions component. Beginning on April 2, 2018, tens of thousands of K–12 public school teachers 2018 Oklahoma teachers' strike, went on strike due to lack of funding. According to the National Education Association, teachers in Oklahoma had ranked 49th out of the 50 states in terms of teacher pay in 2016. The Oklahoma Legislature had passed a measure a week earlier to raise teacher salaries by $6,100, but it fell short of the $10,000 raise for teachers, $5,000 raise for other school employees, and $200 million increase in extra education funding many had sought. A survey in 2019 found that the pay raise obtained by the strike lifted the State's teacher pay ranking to 34th in the nation.


Non-English education

The Cherokee Nation instigated a ten-year plan in 2005 that involved growing new speakers of the Cherokee language from childhood as well as speaking it exclusively at home. The plan was part of an ambitious goal that in fifty years would have at least 80% of their people fluent. The Cherokee Preservation Foundation has invested $3 million into opening schools, training teachers, and developing curricula for language education, as well as initiating community gatherings where the language can be actively used. A Cherokee language immersion school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma educates students from pre-school through eighth grade.


Culture

Oklahoma is placed in the South by the United States Census Bureau, but other definitions place the state at least partly in the Southwestern United States, Southwest, Midwestern United States, Midwest,
Upland South The Upland South or Upper South is a cultural and geographic subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...
, and
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of in . It is located west of the and east of the , much of it covered in , and . It is the southern and main part of the , which also include the ...
. Oklahomans have a high rate of English Americans, English, Scotch-Irish Americans, Scotch-Irish, German Americans, German, and Native Americans in the United States, 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 much linguistic diversity. Mary Linn, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma and the associate curator of Native American languages at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Sam Noble Museum, notes Oklahoma also has high levels of language endangerment. Sixty-seven Native American tribes are represented in Oklahoma, including 39 federally recognized tribes, who are headquartered and have Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area, tribal jurisdictional areas in the state. 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. Residents of Oklahoma are associated with traits of Southern hospitality—the 2006 Catalogue for Philanthropy (with data from 2004) ranks Oklahomans 7th in the nation for overall generosity. The state has also been associated with a negative cultural stereotype first popularized by John Steinbeck's 1939 novel ''The Grapes of Wrath'', which described the plight of uneducated, poverty-stricken Dust Bowl-era farmers deemed "
Okie "Okie", in the most general sense, refers to a resident, native, or cultural descendant of Oklahoma Oklahoma () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published ...

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


Arts

In the state's largest urban areas, pockets of jazz culture flourish, and Native American, Mexican Americans, Mexican American, and Asian American communities produce music and art of their respective cultures. The Oklahoma Mozart Festival in Bartlesville is one of the largest classical music festivals on the southern plains, 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, sisters Marjorie Tallchief, Marjorie and Maria Tallchief, Rosella Hightower and Moscelyne Larkin, known collectively as the Five Moons. ''The New York Times'' rates the Tulsa Ballet 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, Oklahoma, Sand Springs, an outdoor amphitheater called "Discoveryland!" (NOW CLOSED) is the official performance headquarters for the musical ''Oklahoma!'' Ridge Bond, native of McAlester, Oklahoma, starred in the Broadway theatre, Broadway and International touring productions of ''Oklahoma!'', playing the role of "Curly McClain" in more than 2,600 performances. In 1953 he was featured along with the ''Oklahoma!'' cast on a CBS Omnibus (U.S. TV series), Omnibus television broadcast. Bond was instrumental in the Oklahoma (Rodgers and Hammerstein song), Oklahoma! title song becoming the Oklahoma state song and is also featured on the U.S. postage stamp commemorating the musical's 50th anniversary. Historically, the state has produced musical styles such as The Tulsa Sound and western swing, which was popularized at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. The building, known as the "Carnegie Hall of Western Swing", served as the performance headquarters of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys during the 1930s. Stillwater is known as the epicenter of Red Dirt (music), Red Dirt music, the best-known proponent of which is the late Bob Childers. Prominent theatre companies in Oklahoma include, in the capital city, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Carpenter Square Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, 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 is the oldest community theatre company west of the Mississippi. Other companies in Tulsa include Heller Theatre 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 museums in the United States, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 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 are housed in the Gilcrease Museum 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 in Shawnee is considered to be the finest Egyptian collection between Chicago and Los Angeles. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art contains the most comprehensive collection of glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly in the world, and Oklahoma City's National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum documents the heritage of the American Western frontier. With remnants of the The Holocaust, Holocaust 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 U.S. state, statehood 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 (as examples) in Scottish Americans, Scottish, Irish Americans, Irish, German Americans, German, Italian Americans, Italian, Vietnamese Americans, Vietnamese, Chinese Americans, Chinese, Czech Americans, Czech, American Jews, Jewish, Arab Americans, Arab, Mexican Americans, Mexican and African-American communities depicting cultural heritage or traditions. Oklahoma City is home to a few reoccurring events and festivals. During a ten-day run in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma State Fair, State Fair of Oklahoma attracts roughly one million people along with the annual Festival of the Arts. Large national pow wows, various Latin and Culture of Asia, Asian heritage festivals, and cultural festivals such as the Juneteenth celebrations are held in Oklahoma City each year. The Oklahoma City Pride Parade has been held annually in late June since 1987 in the gay district of Oklahoma City on NW 39th Street Enclave, 39th and Penn. The First Friday Art Walk in the Paseo Arts District is an art appreciation festival held the first Friday of every month. Additionally, an annual art festival is held in the Paseo on Memorial Day Weekend. The Tulsa State Fair attracts more than a million people each year during its ten-day run, and the city's Mayfest festival entertained more than 375,000 in four days during 2007. In 2006, Tulsa's Oktoberfest was named one of the top 10 in the world by ''USA Today''. Norman plays host to the Norman Music Festival, a festival that highlights native Oklahoma bands and musicians. 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".


Sports

Oklahoma has teams in basketball, American football, football, arena football, baseball, association football, soccer, ice hockey, hockey, and wrestling in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Enid, Norman, and Lawton. The Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the state's only Major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, major league sports franchise. The state had a team in the Women's National Basketball Association, the Tulsa Shock, from 2010 through 2015, but the team relocated to Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Dallas–Fort Worth after that season and became the Dallas Wings. Oklahoma has teams in several minor leagues, including Minor League Baseball at the Triple-A (baseball), Triple-A and Double-A (baseball), Double-A levels (the Oklahoma City Dodgers and Tulsa Drillers, respectively), hockey's ECHL with the Tulsa Oilers, and a number of indoor football leagues. In the last-named sport, the state's most notable team was the Tulsa Talons, which played in the Arena Football League until 2012, when the team was moved to San Antonio,
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, ...

Texas
. The Oklahoma Defenders replaced the Talons as Tulsa's only professional arena football team, playing the CPIFL. The Oklahoma City Blue, of the NBA G League, relocated to Oklahoma City from Tulsa in 2014, where they were formerly known as the Tulsa 66ers. Tulsa is the base for the Tulsa Revolution, which plays in the American Indoor Soccer League. Enid and Lawton host professional basketball teams in the USBL and the Continental Basketball Association, CBA. The NBA's New Orleans Hornets became the first major league sports franchise based in Oklahoma when the team was forced to Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the New Orleans Hornets, relocate to Oklahoma City's Ford Center, now known as Chesapeake Energy Arena, for two seasons following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In July 2008, the Seattle SuperSonics Seattle SuperSonics relocation to Oklahoma City, relocated to Oklahoma City and began to play at the Ford Center as the Oklahoma City Thunder for the , becoming the state's first permanent major league franchise. College athletics in the United States, Collegiate athletics are a popular draw in the state. The state has four schools that compete at the highest level of college sports, NCAA Division I. The most prominent are the state's two members of the Big 12 Conference, one of the so-called Power Five conferences of the top tier of college football, NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Division I FBS. The Oklahoma Sooners, University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls, Oklahoma State University average well over 50,000 fans attending their football games, and Oklahoma's football 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, which are some of the greatest sporting draws to the state. ''Sports Illustrated'' magazine rates Oklahoma and Oklahoma State among the top colleges for athletics in the nation. Two private institutions in Tulsa, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, Oral Roberts University; are also Division I members. Tulsa competes in FBS football and other sports in the American Athletic Conference, while Oral Roberts, which does not sponsor football, is a member of the Summit League. In addition, 12 of the state's smaller colleges and universities compete in NCAA Division II as members of three different conferences, and eight other Oklahoma institutions participate in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA, mostly within the Sooner Athletic Conference. Regular LPGA tournaments are held at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, and Men's major golf championships, major championships for the Professional Golfers' Association of America, PGA or LPGA have been played at Southern Hills Country Club 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 Championships, including one in 2007, and three U.S. Open (golf), U.S. Opens, the most recent in 2001. Rodeos are popular throughout the state, and Guymon, Oklahoma, Guymon, in the state's panhandle, hosts one of the largest in the nation. ESPN called Oklahoma City "the center of the softball universe", specifically referring to the fast-pitch version, in a 2020 story. The governing body of the sport in the US, USA Softball, has its headquarters in a complex that also includes USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, which annually hosts the Women's College World Series, the eight-team final round of the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament.


Current teams


Health

Oklahoma 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 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, Diabetes mellitus, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. In 2000, Oklahoma ranked 45th in physicians per capita and slightly below the national average in nurses per capita, but was slightly above the national average in hospital beds per 100,000 people and above the national average in net growth of health services over a twelve-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 prevalence, and the state is the 5th most obese in the nation, with 30.3 percent of its population at or near obesity. Oklahoma ranked last among the 50 states in a 2007 study by the Commonwealth Fund on health care performance. The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, OU Medical Center, Oklahoma's largest collection of hospitals, is the only hospital in the state designated a LevelI trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. OU Medical Center is on the grounds of the Oklahoma Health Center in Oklahoma City, the state's largest concentration of medical research facilities. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southwestern Regional Medical Center 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 medicine in the United States, osteopathic teaching facility in the nation, Oklahoma State University Medical Center at Tulsa, also rates as one of the largest facilities in the field of neuroscience. On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma made Medical cannabis, marijuana legal for medical purposes, making it one of the most conservative states to approve medical marijuana.


Life expectancy

The residents of Oklahoma have a lower life expectancy than the U.S. national average. In 2014, males in Oklahoma lived an average of 73.7 years compared to a male national average of 76.7 years and females lived an average of 78.5 years compared to a female national average of 81.5 years. Moreover, increases in life expectancy have been below the national average. Male life expectancy in Oklahoma between 1980 and 2014, increased by an average of 4.0 years, compared to a male national average of a 6.7 year increase. Life expectancy for females in Oklahoma between 1980 and 2014, increased by 1.0 years, compared to a female national average of a 4.0 year increase. Using 2016–2018 data, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calculated that life expectancy for Oklahoma counties ranged from 71.2 years for Okfuskee County to 79.7 years for Cimarron County, Cimarron and Logan County, Oklahoma, Logan counties. Life expectancy for the state as a whole was 76.0 years.


Media

Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the 45th- and 61st-largest media markets in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research. The state's third-largest media market, Lawton-Wichita Falls, Texas, is ranked 149th nationally by the agency. Terrestrial television, Broadcast television in Oklahoma began in 1949 when KFOR-TV (then WKY-TV) in Oklahoma City and KOTV-TV in Tulsa began broadcasting a few months apart. Currently, all major American Television network, broadcast networks have affiliated television stations in the state. The state has two primary newspapers. ''The Oklahoman'', 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'', 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 language, Cherokee and English. In 2006, there were more than 220 newspapers in the state, including 177 with weekly publications and 48 with daily publications. The state's first radio station, WKY in Oklahoma City, began broadcasting in 1920. In 2006, there were more than 500 radio stations in Oklahoma broadcasting with various local or nationally owned networks. Five universities in Oklahoma operate non-commercial, public radio stations/networks. Oklahoma has a few ethnic-oriented TV stations broadcasting in Spanish and Asian Americans, Asian languages, and there is some Native American programming. Trinity Broadcasting Network, TBN, a Christian religious television network, has a studio in Tulsa, and built its first entirely TBN-owned affiliate in Oklahoma City in 1980.


Transportation

Transportation in Oklahoma is generated by an anchor system of Interstate Highway System, Interstate Highways, inter-city rail lines, airports, inland ports, and Public transport, mass transit networks. Situated along an integral point in the United States Interstate network, Oklahoma contains three List of Interstate Highways, primary Interstate highways and four List of auxiliary Interstate Highways, auxiliary Interstate Highways. In Oklahoma City, Interstate 35 intersects with Interstate 44 and Interstate 40, forming one of the most important intersections along the United States highway system. More than of roads make up the state's major highway skeleton, including state-operated highways, ten Turnpikes of Oklahoma, turnpikes or major toll roads, and the longest drivable stretch of U.S. Route 66 in Oklahoma, 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. Oklahoma's largest commercial airport is Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, averaging a yearly passenger count of more than 3.5 million (1.7 million boardings) in 2010. Tulsa International Airport, the state's second-largest commercial airport, served more than 1.3 million boardings in 2010. Between the two, six airlines operate in Oklahoma. In terms of traffic, Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport, R. L. Jones Jr. (Riverside) Airport in Tulsa is the state's busiest airport, with 335,826 takeoffs and landings in 2008. Oklahoma has more than 150 public-use airports. Oklahoma is connected to the nation's rail network via Amtrak's ''Heartland Flyer'', its only regional passenger rail line. It currently stretches from
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City (), officially the City of Oklahoma City, and often shortened to OKC, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger ...

Oklahoma City
to Fort Worth, Texas, 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 and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the one of the United States' most inland international ports, at head of navigation of the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which connects barge traffic from Tulsa and Muskogee to the Mississippi River. The port ships over two million tons of goods annually and is a designated Free-trade zone, foreign trade zone.


Law and government

Oklahoma is a constitutional republic with a government modeled after the Federal government of the United States, with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The state has List of counties in Oklahoma, 77 counties with jurisdiction over most local government functions within each respective domain, Oklahoma's congressional districts, five congressional districts, and a voting base with a plurality in the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party. State officials are elected by plurality voting in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has capital punishment in the United States, capital punishment as a legal sentence, and the state has had (between 1976 through mid-2011) the highest per capita execution rate in the nation.


State government

The Oklahoma Legislature, Legislature of Oklahoma consists of the Oklahoma Senate, Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives, House of Representatives. 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 twelve cumulative years service between both legislative branches. Oklahoma's judicial branch consists of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, and 77 District Courts that each serve one county. The Oklahoma judiciary also contains two independent courts: a Court of Impeachment and the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary. 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 of Oklahoma, Governor, 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 List of Latin phrases (E), ex officio Commander-in-chief of the Oklahoma National Guard when not called into Federal government of the United States, Federal use and reserving the power to veto bills passed through the Legislature. The responsibilities of the Executive branch include submitting the budget, ensuring state laws are enforced, and ensuring peace within the state is preserved.


Local government

The state is divided into 77 County (United States), counties that govern locally, each headed by a three-member council of elected commissioners, a tax assessor, clerk, court clerk, treasurer, and Sheriffs in the United States, sheriff. 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, and 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 are typical in most of the United States, they 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 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. Oklahoma has 11 substate districts including the two large Councils of Governments, INCOG in Tulsa (Indian Nations Council of Governments) and ACOG (Association of Central Oklahoma Governments).


National politics

During the first half-century of statehood, Oklahoma was considered a Democratic Party (United States), Democratic stronghold, being carried by the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party in only two presidential elections (1920 United States presidential election, 1920 and 1928 United States presidential election, 1928). After the 1948 United States presidential election, 1948 election, the state turned firmly Republican. Although registered Republicans were a minority in the state until 2015, Oklahoma has been carried by Republican presidential candidates in all but one election since 1952: Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 United States presidential election, 1964 landslide victory. Every single county in the state has been won by the Republican candidate in each election since United States presidential election, 2004, 2004. Generally, Republicans are strongest in the suburbs of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as the Panhandle. Democrats are strongest in the eastern part of the state and Little Dixie (Oklahoma), Little Dixie, as well as the most heavily African American and inner parts of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. With a population of 8.6% Native American in the state, it is also worth noting that most Native American precincts vote Democratic in margins exceeded only by African Americans. Following the United States Census Bureau, 2000 census, the Oklahoma delegation to the United States House of Representatives, U.S. House of Representatives was reduced from six to five representatives, each serving one congressional district. In the current Congress, Republicans comprise Oklahoma's entire delegation.


Military


Cities and towns


Major cities

Oklahoma had 598 incorporated places in 2010, including four cities over 100,000 in population and 43 over 10,000. Two of the List of United States cities by population, fifty largest cities in the United States are in Oklahoma,
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City (), officially the City of Oklahoma City, and often shortened to OKC, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger ...

Oklahoma City
and
Tulsa Tulsa is the second-largest city in the U.S. state, state of Oklahoma and List of United States cities by population, 47th-most populous city in the United States. The population was 413,066 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. It ...

Tulsa
, and sixty-five percent of Oklahomans live within their metropolitan areas, or spheres of economic and social influence defined by the United States Census Bureau as a
metropolitan statistical area #REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area#REDIRECT Metropolitan statistical area In the United States, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throu ...
. Oklahoma City, the state's capital and largest city, had the Oklahoma City Metroplex, largest metropolitan area in the state in 2020, with 1,425,695 people, and the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, metropolitan area of Tulsa had 1,015,331 residents. Between 2000 and 2010, the leading cities in population growth were Blanchard, Oklahoma, Blanchard (172.4%), Elgin, Oklahoma, Elgin (78.2%), Jenks, Oklahoma, Jenks (77.0%), Piedmont, Oklahoma, Piedmont (56.7%), Bixby, Oklahoma, Bixby (56.6%), and Owasso, Oklahoma, Owasso (56.3%). In descending order of population, Oklahoma's largest cities in 2010 were: Oklahoma City (579,999, +14.6%), Tulsa (391,906, −0.3%), Norman (110,925, +15.9%), Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Broken Arrow (98,850, +32.0%), Lawton (96,867, +4.4%), Edmond, Oklahoma, Edmond (81,405, +19.2%), Moore, Oklahoma, Moore (55,081, +33.9%), Midwest City, Oklahoma, Midwest City (54,371, +0.5%), Enid, Oklahoma, Enid (49,379, +5.0%), and Stillwater, Oklahoma, Stillwater (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 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 Legislature, legislative, Judiciary, judicial, and public power within their boundaries, but cities can choose between a Mayor–council government, mayor–council, Council–manager government, council–manager, or Mayor–council government, strong mayor form of government, while towns operate through an elected officer system.


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. In 2012 the House passed HCR 1024, which would change the state motto from "Labor Omnia Vincit" to "Oklahoma—In God We Trust!" The author of the resolution stated a constituent researched the Oklahoma Constitution and found no "official" vote regarding "Labor Omnia Vincit", therefore opening the door for an entirely new motto.


See also

* Index of Oklahoma-related articles * Outline of Oklahoma


Notes

The Oklahoma Sooners were the top seeded school and Oklahoma State was the #5 seed entering the 2021 Women’s College World Series. These two Oklahoma teams were heavily favored, playing in their home state I. The Oklahoma City venue. However, in two consecutive stunning upsets, both Oklahoma teams lost to James Madison University out of Harrisonburg, VA. This was the first time ever an unseeded team went 2-0 to start the WCWS.


References


Further reading

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complete text online
900 pages of scholarly articles


External links


Government

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Oklahoma Legislative Branch

Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Oklahoma Department of Transportation


Tourism and recreation


Official Oklahoma Tourism Info

Oklahoma State Parks

Red Earth

Woody Guthrie Folk Festival


Culture and history


Oklahoma State Guide from the Library of Congress

Oklahoma Arts Council

Oklahoma Theatre Association

Oklahoma Oral History Research Program

Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Voices of Oklahoma Oral History Project


Maps and demographics






Oklahoma Genealogical Society

Realtime USGS geographic, weather, and geologic information
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Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory
{{DEFAULTSORT:Oklahoma 1907 establishments in the United States Cherokee-speaking countries and territories Oklahoma, Southern United States States and territories established in 1907 States of the United States Contiguous United States