Facts About Oklahoma: Key Insights on the Sooner State

Oklahoma features diverse terrain, significant cultural history, and is marked by its population growth and mix of economic activities.

Geography and Demographics

Topographical Features

Oklahoma, a state in the United States, is known for its diverse terrain.

It is bordered by Colorado and Kansas to the north, Missouri and Arkansas to the east, Texas to the south, and New Mexico to the west.

The state’s landscape can be divided into ten different geographic regions, including the Ozark Plateau to the northeast, which is part of the Ozark mountain range.

The Geography of Oklahoma varies from rolling, timbered hills in the east to treeless high plains in the west.

Some notable landmarks include the Wichita Mountains and the Arbuckle Mountains.

Black Mesa, with an elevation of 4,973 feet, stands as the highest point in the state.

State Symbols

Oklahoma has numerous state symbols that encompass various aspects of its rich culture and history.

Some popular state symbols include:

  • State bird: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • State flower: Oklahoma Rose
  • State tree: Eastern Redbud
  • State animal: American Bison
  • State fish: White Bass

Demographic Overview

The population of Oklahoma was estimated at 3,911,338 on July 1, 2015, a 4.26% increase since the 2010 United States Census.

Residents of Oklahoma, known as Oklahomans, are part of a diverse and growing community that ranks first in the Great Plains region in terms of population growth.

Oklahoma City, the state’s capital, is the largest city with a population of over 600,000, closely followed by Tulsa, which has a population of around 400,000.

Both cities are significant economic and cultural centers within the state of Oklahoma.

With a rich history and a diverse mix of people, Oklahoma continues to be a state full of contrasts and surprises.

History and Culture

A traditional Native American powwow with dancers, drummers, and colorful regalia, set against the backdrop of Oklahoma's rolling plains and vibrant sunsets

Historical Milestones

Oklahoma has a rich history intertwined with its Native American Tribes, such as the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Osage.

The name “Oklahoma” is derived from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma”, meaning “red people”.

Spanish explorers and traders arrived in the region in the 16th century.

Much later in the 19th century, the area was divided into Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory, with the Wichita and Caddo tribes being among the earlier inhabitants.

Oklahoma, known as the “Sooner State”, achieved statehood on November 16, 1907, becoming the 46th state in the United States.

The original state capital was Guthrie but was later moved to Oklahoma City in 1910.

The Oklahoma state motto is “Labor Omnia Vincit” – Labor conquers all things.

Cultural Significance

Oklahoma has a diverse cultural landscape, influenced by its Native American population, western heritage, and modern industries.

The 20th century saw a major event for the state, the Dust Bowl, which affected its agriculture and prompted many “Okies” to migrate to California in search of better opportunities.

The state has many artifacts reflecting its historical and cultural heritage.

Oklahoma’s state meal showcases its Southern roots; biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and strawberries are just a few key ingredients.

The state vegetable is okra, and the Oklahoma Rose is the state flower.

Another aspect of Oklahoma’s cultural significance is seen in famous people from the state, such as American actor Brad Pitt.

Economic Development

Oklahoma’s economy historically revolved around agriculture, cattle ranching, and oil production.

Throughout the 20th century, the state emerged as a significant player in the oil and natural gas industry, which has remained vital to its economy.

The Sooner State is also known for its man-made lakes that were created to control water supply.

In recent years, Oklahoma has diversified its economic base, with industries such as aviation, telecommunications, and biotechnology playing a crucial role.

The state’s central location has made it a transportation hub, providing easy access to the Gulf of Mexico and other key markets.

Overall, the state’s history and culture have been shaped by various forces, adding to its multifaceted identity.