Background: The Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
Photo by Caleb Long

Living in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is OK

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Oklahoma

Still containing the second-highest amount of oil wells within the United States., The fast growing economy of Oklahoma's also has the advantage of having the leadership in production of natural gas, agriculture and meat processing, aircraft parts manufacturing, while recently has evolved into a major center of biotechnology companies.

With its attractive living costs, low property taxes, along with a climate friendly to business, Oklahoma is continuing to grow in population numbers, of which 65 percent living in metro Tulsa and Oklahoma City, the state's two economic nerve centers.

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado first explored the region for Spain in 1541. The U.S. acquired most of Oklahoma in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase from France; the Western Panhandle region became U.S. territory with the annexation of Texas in 1845.Set aside as Indian Territory in 1834, the region was divided into Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory on May 2, 1890. The two were combined to make a new state, Oklahoma, on Nov. 16, 1907.

On April 22, 1889, the first day homesteading was permitted, 50,000 people swarmed into the area. Those who tried to beat the noon starting gun were called “Sooners,” hence the state's nickname.

Climate

The mean annual temperature over the state ranges from 62 deg F along the Red River to about 58 deg F along the northern border. It then decreases westward to 56 deg F in Cimarron County. Temperatures of 90 deg F or greater occur, on average, about 60-65 days per year in the western panhandle and the northeast corner of the state. The average is about 115 days in southwest Oklahoma and about 85 days in the southeast. Temperatures of 100 deg F or higher occur, frequently during some years, from May through September, and very rarely in April and October. With 30-40 days at or above 100 deg F, western Oklahoma experiences more extreme summer temperatures than elsewhere in the state. Both the Panhandle and eastern Oklahoma average about 15 days above the century mark.

Demography

  • Oklahoma Geography, Facts and History
  • Oklahoma Facts & Trivia
  • Oklahoma Flags
  • Famous People from Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma Timeline
  • Oklahoma Official Song
  • Economy

    The state has a diverse range of sectors including aviation, energy, food processing, transportation equipment, electronics, and telecommunications. Oklahoma is an important producer of natural gas, aircraft, and 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 have their headquarters in Oklahoma, and the state has been rated one of the most business-friendly states in the U.S,

    Education

    Oklahoma Colleges. Oklahoma has eleven public regional universities, including Northeastern State University, the second oldest institution of higher education west of the Mississippi, which also holds the only College of Optometry in Oklahoma and the largest enrollment of Native Americans in the nation by percentage and amount. Langston University is Oklahoma's only historically black college. Six of the state universities were included in the Princeton Review list of the top 122 regional colleges in 2007, and three made the list of the best colleges for the best value. The country has 55 post-secondary technical facilities operated by Oklahoma's CareerTech program for training in specific industrial or commercial areas

    Flora and Fauna

    Grasses grow in abundance in Oklahoma. Bluestem, buffalo, sand lovegrass, and grama grasses are native, with the bluestem found mostly in the eastern and central regions, and buffalo grass most common in the western counties, known as the "short grass country." Deciduous hardwoods stand in eastern Oklahoma, and red and yellow cactus blossoms brighten the Black Mesa area in the northwest. The western prairie fringed orchid was listed as threatened in 2003; there were no plant species listed as endangered that year in Oklahoma.

    The white-tailed deer is found in all counties, and Rio Grande wild turkeys are hunted across much of the state. Pronghorn antelope inhabit the panhandle area, and elk survive in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, where a few herds of American buffalo (bison) are also preserved. The bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasant, and prairie chicken are common game birds. Native sport fish include largemouth, smallmouth, white, and spotted bass; catfish; crappie; and sunfish.

    Among the state's 19 endangered or threatened species of wildlife in 2003 were three species of bat (Ozark big-eared, Indiana, and gray), bald eagle, whooping crane, black-capped vireo, red-cockaded woodpecker, Eskimo curlew, and Neosho madtom.

  • Oklahome State Bird (Scissor-tailed Flycatcher)
  • Oklahoma Official State Flower (Oklahoma rose)
  • Oklahoma Official State Tree (Eastern Redbud)
  • Government

    The Oklahoma State Capitol is the house of government of  Oklahoma. It is the building that houses the Oklahoma Legislature and executive branch offices. It is located along Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City and contains 452,508 square feet of floor space. The structure includes a dome completed in 2002. Oklahoma's first capital was Guthrie, Oklahoma, but it moved to Oklahoma City in 1910. Construction began on the Oklahoma State Capitol in 1914 and was completed in 1917.

    State elected officials are the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, commissioner of labor, and commissioner of insurance, all of whom serve four-year terms, and three corporation commissioners, who serve staggered six-year terms. The governor is limited to serving two consecutive terms. A candidate for governor must be a US citizen at least 31 years old and must have been a qualified voter in Oklahoma for at least 10 years preceding election.

    To vote in Oklahoma, one must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, and a state resident. Restrictions apply to convicted felons and those declared mentally incapacitated by the court.

  • Oklahoma Official Website
  • Attractions

    Oklahoma is an authentic gateway to the west - a land of red dirt, where buffalo still roam the plains and oil rigs pump riches. But the largest cities, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, also have a distinctly refined air, having been built on the proceeds of an early-1900s oil boom. Modern museums, galleries of international art, and lavish gardens all give the state a more cosmopolitan edge, but many tourists choose to experience Oklahoma with the simple pleasures of a road trip, and no highway is more iconic than the state's stretch of Route 66
  • Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department
  • Amusement Parks

    Bell's Kiddieland, Tulsa - Closed
    Eagle Park, Cache - Closed
    Frontier City, Oklahoma City
      Frontier City is a western-themed amusement park in Oklahoma City. It is owned by EPR Properties and operated by Six Flags Entertainment Corporation. n 2008 a new suspended roller coaster, Steel Lasso, was added to celebrate the park's 50th anniversary In 2012 a new multi-million dollar water play structure was erected in a former parking lot. The area is called Wild West Water Works and features seven slides, a 1,000 gallon tipping water bucket, and hundreds of water gadgets.
    Kiddy Park, Bartlesville
    Tulsa's Incredible Pizza Company, Tulsa

    National Parks

    Trail of Tears
    The American Legacy of the Cherokee Trail of Tears Image by Paul Andrews
    Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Sulphur, OK
      Springs, streams, lakes- whatever its form, water is the attraction at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Little Niagara and Rock Creek beckon waders and swimmers. Relax in the coolness of shaded streams or take a dip in a swimming hole. Veterans Lake calls anglers to test their skills. Lake of the Arbuckles provides excellent motorboating, skiing, fishing and swimming.
    Santa Fe National Historic Trail, CO,KS,MO,NM,OK
      You can almost hear the whoops and cries of "All's set!" as trail hands hitched their oxen to freight wagons carrying cargo between western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through five states and you'll find adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable trip before you!
    Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail, AL,AR,GA,IL,KY,MO,NC,OK,TN
      Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.

    Sports

    Oklahoma has teams in basketball, football, arena football, baseball, soccer, 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 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 after that season and became the Dallas Wings.

    Oklahoma has teams in several minor leagues, including Minor League Baseball at the AAA and AA levels (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. 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 CBA.

  • Oklahoma Sports
  • Taxes

    Oklahoma Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 0.5% - 5.0%
    • Sales tax: 4.5% - 11%
    • Property tax: 0.89% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 17 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 14 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Will Rogers World Airport
    Will Rogers World Airport
    Oklahoma Airports. There are 149 airports in Oklahoma for the public to use. Airports in Oklahoma are well connected to the other cities of USA as also to global destinations. The airports in Oklahoma have state-of-the-art technology and provide helpful service to all the passengers.

    Of all the airports in Oklahoma, only the Tulsa International Airport at Tulsa is an international one. The other important regional airports in Oklahoma are the Enid Woodring International Airport at Enid, the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport at Lawton and Ponca City International Airport at Ponca City.

    The Tulsa International Airport sees more than 3 million passengers every year. The amenities and services offered by this airport include ATMs, many news and gifts shops, various restaurants, retail stores that sell books and local products, a chapel, a conference room, massage chairs, shoeshine shops and a hair salon.

    The Will Rogers World airport in Oklahoma City is the busiest of all the airports in Oklahoma in terms of commercial passengers who use the airport annually. Some of the services and amenities provided by this airport include WiFi service at cheap rates, shoeshine shops, ATMs, coffee shops, bars, restaurants and many retail stores.

    Ports

    Two inland ports on rivers serve Oklahoma: the Port of Muskogee and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The state's only port handling international cargo, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the most inland (445 river miles) ocean-going port in the nation and ships over two million tons of cargo each year. Both ports are on the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which connects barge traffic from Tulsa and Muskogee to the Mississippi River via the Verdigris and Arkansas rivers, contributing to one of the busiest waterways in the world.

    Rail

    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 to Fort Worth, Texas, though lawmakers began seeking funding in early 2007 to connect the Heartland Flyer to Tulsa.

    Roads

    Oklahoma has three interstate highways and four 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. Over 12,000 miles of roads make up the state's major highway skeleton, including state-operated highways, ten turnpikes or major toll roads, and the longest drivable stretch of 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 Housing

    The median home value in Oklahoma is $120,600. Oklahoma home values have gone up 4.9% over the past year and  predictions are they will rise 5.5% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Oklahoma is $101. The median price of homes currently listed in Oklahoma is $183,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $139,500. The median rent price in Oklahoma is $995.

     Oklahoma Association of Realtors
    Oklahoma Real Estate Commission
    Oklahoma Real Estate Listings

    Oklahoma Cities & Towns

    Oklahoma is divided into 77 counties and contains 597 incorporated municipalities made up of cities and towns. Cities are all communities with population over 1000. and are incorporated as cities. Towns are limited to town board type of municipal government. Towns, in Oklahoma, are all those incorporated communities which have less than 1000 population
  • Oklahoma Cities and Towns
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