Tulsa Population 2017
Tulsa's estimated population is 394,500, up very slightly from the 2010 population of 393,500. The city anchors the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, which has a population of about 953,000, while the greater Tulsa-Muskogee-Bartlesville Combined Statistical Area (CSA) has a population of 1.12 million. Tulsa has the 54th largest metropolitan region in the United States. This metropolitan area accounts for 25% of Oklahoma's population.
Tulsa is surrounded by two rings of suburbs, and the cityscape of the inner city with the ring of suburbs forms the immediate Tulsa Urban Area, separated from the second ring of suburbs. After Tulsa, the largest cities in the metro area are Broken Arrow (99,000, 4th largest in the state), Bartlesville (36,000), and Owasso (29,000). Owasso is currently the fastest growing city in Oklahoma.
According to the 2010 Census, the racial and ethnic breakdown of Tulsa was: White: 62.6% (non-Hispanic: 57.9%) African American: 15.6% Native American: 5.3% Asian American: 2.3% (0.5% Indian, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.3% Chinese, 0.2% Hmong, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Burmese) Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1% Other race: 8.0% Two or more races: 5.9% Hispanic or Latino of any race: 14.1% (11.5% Mexican, 0.4% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Guatemalan, 0.2% Spanish, 0.2% Honduran, 0.2% Salvadoran)
The Tulsa region was originally part of Indian Territory and settled by Creek and Lochapoka tribes in 1836. The tribes created a home under an oak tree at the present-day intersection of 18th Street and Cheyenne Avenue and named the settlement Tallasi -- or "old town" -- which became Tulsa. The city was officially incorporated in 1898.
Oil was discovered in 1901 and a flood of entrepreneurs made their way to the city, pushing the population to more than 140,000 by 1930, with an early peak of 180,000 in 1909. Tulsa was the "Oil Capital of the World" for much of the 20th century, and revenue from the oil industry helped Tulsa manage better than most areas during the Great Depression.
Tulsa also became home to one of the most prosperous African American communities in the country in the early 20th century in the Greenwood neighborhood, which was ultimately the site of the Tulsa Race Riot that left up to 300 people dead and an estimated 10,000 homeless.
In 1925, Tulsa businessman Cyrus Avery began a campaign to link Chicago to California with the establishment of the U.S. Highway 66 Association in the city. When Route 66 was completed, Tulsa grew even faster as the city became a popular rest stop.
Tulsa Population Growth
The 2010 Census found that Tulsa was one of just 3 of the largest 20 cities in Oklahoma to see a population decline over the last decade. Meanwhile, its outer-lying cities and suburbs are experiencing more rapid growth as more people leave the downtown Tulsa area. Nearby Broken Arrow, for example, grew 32% in the last decade.