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Facts about Oklahoma

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  November 16, 1907, the 46th state

Capital:  Oklahoma City

Total Area:  20th among states, 181,195 sq km (69,960 sq mi)

Water Area:  3,170 sq km (1,224 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Black Mesa, 1,515 m (4,973 ft)

Total Population:  28th among states
2010 census -  3,751,351

Population Density in 2010:  54.7 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000:  65.2% Urban, 34.8% Rural    

Gross State Product - $160.5 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $35,268 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Oklahoma City:  579,999
Tulsa:  391,906
Norman:  110,925

  • Oklahoma was among the states hardest hit by the Great Depression and the drought that created the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

  • Attendance at school is compulsory for children ages 5 to 18 in Oklahoma, the longest education commitment of any state in the nation.

  • Oklahoma was mostly Indian Territory until the late 1800s.

  • The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw words: "okla" meaning people and "humma" meaning red, so the state's name literally means "red people."

  • Oklahoma has produced more astronauts than any other state. These include Major General Thomas P. Stafford (Weatherford); Gordon Cooper (Shawnee); Owen Garriott (Enid); Shannon Lucid (Oklahoma City) and William Reid Pogue (Okemah).

  • Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population of any state. Many of the 252,420 American Indians living in Oklahoma today are descendants from the original 67 tribes inhabiting Indian Territory.

  • Oklahoma's Cimarron county is bordered by more states than any other U.S. county: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas.

  • Oklahoma doesn't have Indian Reservations. The State does however, have 39 federally-recognized tribal nations headquarters in the state, and rank second to California as the state with the largest Native American population.

  • Oklahoma's state capitol building is the only capitol in the world with an oil well under it. Although its legal description is Capitol Site #1, it is referred to as Petunia #1 because it was originally drilled in the middle of a flower bed.

  • The aerosol can was invented in Bartlesville; the parking meter in Oklahoma; and the shopping cart in Ardmore.

  • Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the production of all wheat, fourth in cattle and calf production; fifth in the production of pecans; sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.

  • Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state, with over one million surface acres of water and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.

  • Oklahoma is the third largest gas-producing state in the nation.

  • On April 22, 1889, land opened for white settlement in Oklahoma.  Some people entered in “sooner” than they were supposed to.  They became known as Sooners.  Eventually that nickname spread to all Oklahomans.