Oklahoma Population 2018


The southern central state of Oklahoma is the 20th largest in the US by area and was the 46th to enter the Union. Over the years, its population has grown steadily to the point where it is edging toward a landmark of 4 million residents in the present day. Oklahoma has an estimated population in 2018 of 3.94 million, up from 3.75 million at the 2010 Census. Its growth rate is currently 0.84%, which ranks 24th in the country.

As with all states within the US, the nationwide Census of 2010 provides Oklahoma's last confirmed set of population figures. The census revealed that the population of Oklahoma was 3,751,351, which represented an increase of 8.7% on the figures released in 2000. The estimated 2018 population has now reached 3.94 million, which makes Oklahoma the 28th most populous state in the country.

Oklahoma has a fairly low population density that keeps with its ranking in terms of size and population numbers. The total surface area measures 69,898 square miles (181,195 square kilometers) and for every square mile of Oklahoma territory, there is an average of 54.7 people per square mile. This makes Oklahoma the 35th most densely populated state in the country and 20th in terms of size.

Oklahoma has a total of 598 incorporated places, but only four cities with a population over 100,000. 65% of Oklahomans live within the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas, with both being two of the sixty largest cities in the country. Oklahoma City is the largest city in the state with a population of 631,346, while Tulsa follows with 403,505. In these two areas, the population density exceeds 5,000 people per square mile, while the remainder of the state is mostly under 55 people per square mile.

Oklahoma Population History

Oklahoma was acquired by the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. It soon became an area of settlement for various Indian tribes displaced from States farther east, and was known as the Indian Territory although it had various tribal governments rather than a central administration. Many non-Indians also settled in the area. Oklahoma Territory was established from a part of the Indian Territory in 1890 and expanded in 1893; the tribal jurisdictions continued in the remainder. On November 16, 1907 the two parts were admitted as the State of Oklahoma, with substantially the current boundaries. A dispute about the western boundary was settled in Texas' favor by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1930.

Census coverage did not systematically include any of present-day Oklahoma until 1890; some Indian areas were first enumerated in 1900. In 1860 non-Indians were enumerated but not included in official population totals; non-Indians in the area in 1870 and 1880 were not enumerated. The 1890 total is for Oklahoma Territory (78,475) and Indian Territory (180,182); and the 1900 total is for Oklahoma Territory (398,331) and Indian Territory (392,060). Just prior to statehood, the U.S. Census Bureau took a special census on July 1, 1907, showing a total population of 1,414,177 (Oklahoma Territory, 733,062; Indian Territory, 681,115); results of this special census are included in the Oklahoma table.

Oklahoma Population Chart

Oklahoma Population History

In 1890, Oklahoma had a population that stood at an already healthy 258,657, but substantial increases on those numbers were to follow. Ten years later at the beginning of the 20th century, the figure had climbed by just over 200% to 790,391 and a further significant rise took the Oklahoma population to 1,657,155 in 1910.

That pattern continued, but in the mid 1900s, censuses recorded two falls in population for 1940 and 1950. The drops were modest in terms of percentages, but they took the numbers down from 2,396,040 in 1930 to 2,233,351 twenty years later.

Since then, however, the overall trend has been one of modest growth, and the Oklahoma population in 2016 has progressed to the point where it is poised to pass the 4 million mark at the 2020 Census

Oklahoma Population Growth

The US Census of 2020 is likely to indicate further growth within Oklahoma, and it will be interesting to see whether the state can reach its next milestone of 4 million people by that time. According to state projections, Oklahoma's population will reach the milestone of 4 million by 2020, and top 5.5 million by 2075, although projections past 2050 can, at this point, be very inaccurate.

Population Data via US Census

Oklahoma Growth Rate

Oklahoma Population Rank

Year Pop % Change

Oklahoma Facts

Oklahoma Population in 2018Source: Urbanative

  • Almost one-quarter of Oklahoma residents are under the age of 18.
  • A French trading post in Salina in Mayes County was the first permanent white settlement back in 1769.
  • Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population in the country.
  • Oklahoma was originally called "Indian Territory" and was reserved for Native Americans. However, the 1889 Oklahoma Land Rush resulted in 50,000 people swarming the area on its opening day.
  • Guthrie was the original capital of Oklahoma.
  • Oklahoma has more tornadoes per square mile than any other state.
  • The state is known for being the center of the Bible Belt.
  • The Port of Catoosa is the country's largest inland port.

Oklahoma Population Density by County

Oklahoma County

  • Population784,208
  • Density1106.35 per sq km
  • Growth Since 20108.81%
  • State Rank1
  • % of State20.00%

Oklahoma Population Growth Rate by County

Oklahoma is made up of many counties -- 77 to be exact. When data from the 2010 Census was compared to 2015 Census Bureau estimates, significant population growth and losses were recorded across the state. The highest population growth was recorded in the central region of the state. Canadian County posted a growth rate of 14.65%, by far the highest increase in the state. Its neighboring counties of Oklahoma, Logan, and McClain also posted high population growth rates of 7.73%, 9.34%, and 9.62% respectively. Other counties that also recorded growth include Woodward, Beckham, and Custer.

As far as declining populations, the highest loss came in the westernmost county of Cimarron, which had a loss of 9.81%. Other high declines were recorded in Latimer and Tillman Counties, while smaller losses being seen in counties including Beaver, Coal, and Pittsburg.

Oklahoma Population Pyramid 2018

0k5k10k15k20k25k30k35kOklahoma Male Population0k5k10k15k20k25k30k35kOklahoma Female Population80757065605550454035302520151050

To compare Oklahoma to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population
Two or More Races303,606
American Indian and Alaska Native297,948
Black or African American287,373
Some Other Race107,778
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander6,143

Historically, Oklahoma was home to many American tribes, and this remains a Government sanctioned territory for Native Americans. That fact is reflected in further demographics with a sizeable proportion of Oklahoma residents claiming Native American ethnicity. Oklahoma is home to the second-highest number and percentage of Native Americans among all states in the country.

As far as other races, Oklahoma tends to fall right around the middle when compared to other states. Its population of blacks and African Americans, both in terms of total number and percentage when compared to total population, is ranked 26th in the nation. The state is also ranked 28th for its total number of Asian inhabitants when compared to the other 49 states, and percentage-wise, the state ranks 30th with is a lower percentage than the nation as a whole.

Race Data via US Census (2016 ACS 1-Year Survey)

Languages Spoken in Oklahoma

Language Population Percentage
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba2,4700.07%

This chart shows the top 10 languages that are spoken at home in Oklahoma. The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Oklahoma Economy

High school graduate or higher 86.7%
Bachelor's degree or higher 23.8%
With a Disability 11.3%
Persons Without Health Insurance 17.8%
In Civilian Labor Force 61.3%
In Civilian Labor Force (Female) 55.9%
Food Services Sales $7,121,153
Health Care Revenue $22,795,438,000
Manufacturers Shipments $74,295,394,000
Merchant Wholesaler Sales $71,892,946,000
Total Retail Sales $50,256,231,000
Total Retail Sales per Capita $13,174
Mean Travel Time to Work 21.2 minutes
Median Household Income $46,235
Per Capita Income (past 12 months) $24,695
Persons in Poverty 16.6%

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in Oklahoma for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 3.9% and the labor force participation rate is 61.7%.

Oklahoma Business

Total Nonemployer Establishments 275,014
All firms 327,229
Men-owned Firms 174,395
Women-owned Firms 105,168
Minority-owned Firms 64,875
Nonminority-owned Firms 249,027
Veternan-owned Firms 36,273
Nonveteran-owned Firms 273,491

Oklahoma Housing

Housing Units 1,664,378
Owner Occupied Housing Rate 66.5%
Median Value Owner Occupied Housing Units $115,000
Median Monthly Owner Costs (w/Mortgage) $1,150
Median Monthly Owner Costs (no mortgage) $368
Median Gross Rent $717
Building Permits 11,545
Households 1,450,117
Persons per Household 2.56 persons
Living in Same House 1 Year Ago 82.5%
Language Other than English Spoken at Home 9.6%
Data Sources
  1. Oklahoma Department of Commerce
  2. US Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  3. US Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program
  4. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  5. Census QuickFacts
  6. Historical Populations of States and Counties (1790 - 1990)