Oklahoma Coverage Area
|OKC||080||Oklahoma City||(405) 677-0571|
Shipping freight to, from or within Oklahoma? ArcBest® has conveniently located service centers across the state and the capacity to handle your transportation and logistics needs. Contact us at 800-610-5544 to learn more about our transportation and logistics services, and let us create a solution to meet your needs.
Oklahoma Population and Demographics
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 3.9 million people live in Oklahoma. That’s an increase of nearly 5 percent from the 2010 U.S. Census. Ten percent of residents identify as Native American, meaning Oklahoma has one of the highest Native American populations. It also means that, although English is the official language, several varieties of North American languages are spoken. The most common Native American language is Cherokee, with about 10,000 speakers living in the Cherokee Nation tribal jurisdiction located in the eastern part of the state.
Nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans live in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, which serve as the state’s main economic hubs. Oklahoma City, the state’s capital and largest city, has a metropolitan area of 1.2 million people. The Tulsa metro, for comparison, has about 940,000 residents. Other large cities include Norman, Broken Arrow, Lawton, Edmond, Moore, Midwest City, Enid and Stillwater.
Oklahoma’s Economic Drivers
Oklahoma has a strong, steady economy with several industries contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP). The state’s GDP, as of 2016, is $181.3 billion, and ranks 30th among all U.S. states. Five industries — energy, manufacturing, agriculture and biosciences, forestry, and aerospace — are the biggest components to the state’s growth.
Roughly one-quarter of working Oklahomans are employed in the energy industry, with oil and natural gas leading in terms of employment opportunities. As of 2017, the industry provided employment to more than 160,000 Oklahomans. The state ranks third in the country in natural gas production and fifth overall in crude oil production. The energy industry is also the largest source of tax revenue in the state, and in turn, it provides about $331 million to public education each year.
Wind energy is also making an economic impact. About two dozen wind farms operate in the state. The wind energy industry has invested about $6 billion to build wind farms across Oklahoma. These farms have contributed about $1 billion to the production of goods and services in the state and more than $340 million to the state’s workforce income.
Manufacturing is another key driver to the state economy. Production from manufactured goods accounts for nearly 10 percent of the state’s overall total GDP output. The industry also employs more than 7 percent of the state’s workforce. In 2016, manufacturing contributed a total of $17.6 billion to the economy and offered employment to 127,000 people. Top manufacturing commodities include oil and petroleum products, machinery, aerospace and automotive parts, food and tobacco goods and chemicals and fabricated metals.
Agriculture and Biosciences
Agriculture has long been one of the most important industries in Oklahoma. In addition to food manufacturing, the state offers agriculture and bioscience careers in research, development, commodity production, distribution and fertilizer manufacturing. Analysts estimate the total economic impact in biosciences is $6.7 billion, with more than 500 bioscience-related businesses and organizations.
Oklahoma has a vast forestry area at 12 million acres, and the forestry and timber industry contributes about $3 billion annually to the state economy. In addition to harvested timber, the forestry industry’s top commodities include wood products, pulp and paper, and engineered wood and paneling.
The world’s largest aircraft maintenance complex and military aviation logistics center, Tinker Air Force Base, is in Oklahoma City. Twenty-six thousand military and civilian personnel are employed there. In addition, Tulsa is home to American Airlines’ maintenance and repair facility. It’s also a major contributor to weather-related research.
Commercial shipping of minerals and steel is accomplished through the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which runs through the northeast portion of Oklahoma into Arkansas. Three major interstate highways and two railroads also run through the state. Five airports also help the state address their regional, national and global transportation and distribution needs. The largest commercial airport is Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. The airport is home to 70 companies that, in total, employ about 12,000 people.