Tulsa is a city located in Oklahoma. With a 2020 population of 396,543, it is the 2nd largest city in Oklahoma (after Oklahoma City) and the 49th largest city in the United States. Tulsa is currently declining at a rate of -0.52% annually but its population has increased by 1.18% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 391,906 in 2010. Tulsa reached it's highest population of 404,182 in 2016. Spanning over 202 miles, Tulsa has a population density of 2,008 people per square mile.
The average household income in Tulsa is $70,784 with a poverty rate of 19.68%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $810 per month, and the median house value is $133,900. The median age in Tulsa is 35 years, 33.7 years for males, and 36.3 years for females. For every 100 females there are 94.3 males.
Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma. For a bit of perspective on how large Tulsa is, the city stretches over Wagoner, Tulsa, Rogers, and Osage counties.
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 metro area accounts for 25% of Oklahoma's population.
Two rings of suburbs surround Tulsa, 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.
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 towns and outer-lying suburbs are experiencing more rapid growth as more people leave the downtown Tulsa area. The nearby city of Broken Arrow, for example, grew 32% in the last decade.
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 favorite rest stop.