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  1. #1

    Default OKC Population Density

    People often get hung up on OKC's low population density, which is merely a mathematical result of the large rural areas that have been annexed over the years. It tells us nothing about the density of the built environment or the actual "sprawl". The US Census Bureau has just come out with its revised "Urbanized Area" numbers, based on the 2010 Census. These numbers give us the relevant density. Below are OKC's urban population and density along with a number of other cities that are either somewhat similar in size to OKC or are often discussed on this board, arranged in order from highest to lowest density:

    Metro Area Urban Population Density
    Houston 4,944,332 2978.5
    DFW 5,121,892 2878.9
    Omaha 725,008 2673.3
    Austin 1,362,416 2604.8
    Kansas City 1,519,417 2241.6
    Memhis 1,060,061 2131.6
    Oklahoma City 861,505 2098
    Louisville 972,546 2040.1
    Tulsa 655,479 1951.3
    Nashville 969,587 1720.7
    Atlanta 4,515,419 1706.9
    Birmingham 749,495 1414.4

  2. #2

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    So we gained 61,506...nice

  3. #3

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Oklahoma City's urban area population in 2000 was 747,003 - so we actually gained 114,502 people. Wow!
    The actual urban area also increased from 322.4 square miles in 2000 to 410.6 square miles in 2010.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    These urbanized area numbers for OKC still dont account for Norman,or they used to be seperate!

  5. #5

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Oil Capitol,do you have a link?

  6. #6

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Quote Originally Posted by dmoor82 View Post
    These urbanized area numbers for OKC still dont account for Norman,or they used to be seperate!
    You are right. I had not noticed that. Norman is listed separately with an additional 103,898 urban population . . . 2315.2/square mile

    Quote Originally Posted by dmoor82 View Post
    Oil Capitol,do you have a link?
    Go to http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/201...ass.html#lists. Then under the heading "Lists of 2010 Census Urban Areas", click on whichever list you want to see.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Interesting data. Shows that the cities are indeed more dense than perceived to be, but also shows that the share of people in the OKC and Tulsa MSAs living in urbanized areas is low compared to the Texas cities--less than 70% for OKC and Tulsa but 80% and higher for Austin, Dallas, and Houston (the highest at 83%).

    Kind of shocking just how small Tulsa is--plus it doesn't have any neighboring UAs like OKC does with Norman. On the other hand, DFW and Houston have another 400k+ in UAs adjacent to their primary UA (e.g., the Denton-Lewisville area). Their total UA cluster will probably be 10x the size of Tulsa's by the end of the decade!

  8. #8

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    I knew I liked Houston more than Dallas.

    If only it weren't so hot.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Quote Originally Posted by Teo9969 View Post
    I knew I liked Houston more than Dallas.

    If only it weren't so hot.
    I also like Houston more than Dallas. Much better city for young people, more things to do and more concentrated inside the loop. Dallas is so sprawled out; if you live in the suburbs and want to go out, you may be driving 20-25 minutes. Restaurants are much better in Houston as well. You also don't have as much of an uppity feel when hanging out in Houston.

    However, I disagree that it's hotter in Houston. Much more humid, but temperature is right on par if not lower than Dallas.

  10. #10

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Quote Originally Posted by soonermike81 View Post
    I also like Houston more than Dallas. Much better city for young people, more things to do and more concentrated inside the loop. Dallas is so sprawled out; if you live in the suburbs and want to go out, you may be driving 20-25 minutes. Restaurants are much better in Houston as well. You also don't have as much of an uppity feel when hanging out in Houston.

    However, I disagree that it's hotter in Houston. Much more humid, but temperature is right on par if not lower than Dallas.
    This is very accurate. I LOVE Houston, and I know my other fellow urbanists will call me out for this, but I absolutely think it's a "model city"... IF you have over 5 mil in metro and 30-40% growth each decade. Houston is interesting because it's one of the few places where the "free market" has naturally reversed itself into a more urban pattern, due to the lack of restricting zoning and poor traffic planning that makes commuting from suburbs so undesirable. I wish that there was a way to get urban construction numbers for each city, but I have a feeling that no city has added more urban housing units than Houston.

    Too many people judge Houston by its suburbs (which may or may not be part of the city limits, granted) rather than by the actual city portion inside 610. If you regard everything (except the Galleria area) outside of 610 as farmland that you don't need to go see, Houston suddenly becomes like Austin on steroids. Overwhelmingly young population, people flocking for high-paying jobs, large amounts of disposable income, more human diversity than just about anywhere on Earth (even NYC), etc.

    That said, I do think Houston is probably one of the worst places to raise a family. And the humidity and smog make the city a pretty far cry from an "outdoors paradise" like Austin or Denver. It just depends on your values, I suppose.

  11. #11

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    I guess I'll be the dissenting voice. I actually lived in Houston for 2 summers (2005 and 2007) for internships and did not like it at all. In fact I thought it was quite dumpy. And for the record I stayed in the inner loop both times. It was for a myriad of reasons; the traffic, the flooding, the humidity. But the biggest thing that bothered me was the extremely nice inner loop, the extremely nice brand new suburbs on the outskirts, and miles upon miles of decaying suburbia in between (they call it "ring rot") I'll say this though, the place has a ton of potential, and now may have the leadership and political umph to start transforming into a special place. I was just there on a business trip 2 months ago and it looks a bit better than when I was there.

    IMO DFW is currently the bigger of the two on a national scale, thanks in large parts to cultural references (JR Ewing, Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones, now GCB). But given the importance of the oil and gas industry, Houston may be the bigger player on the international level. And that could change too given the growing awareness of energy independence in the US against the backdrop of several corporate pillars in DFW (American Airlines, RIM, etc.) biting the dust.

  12. #12

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    I wonder how many square miles OKC urban area covers (within the city's city limits), and how many people live within it? Wikipedia says 244 sq mi (from 2008), but gives no population number. Would that be the best way to calculate OKC's overall population density?

  13. #13

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    On other, national forums I've been on, there is a lot of OKC bashing based on the population density numbers. They never respond when you tell them how much rural land was annexed by OKC and that it should be treated as a city/county consolidation when discussing density.

  14. #14

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Quote Originally Posted by KayneMo View Post
    I wonder how many square miles OKC urban area covers (within the city's city limits), and how many people live within it? Wikipedia says 244 sq mi (from 2008), but gives no population number. Would that be the best way to calculate OKC's overall population density?
    621.2 Square miles / population 579,999 City of Oklahoma City

  15. Default Re: OKC Population Density

    I think the urban area population is something like 550K. So 550K/244 = 2254 people per square mile; I'd probably agree with that as OKC's true density.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  16. #16

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Our population estimates for 2012:

    599,199

    Link: Oklahoma City (city) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

  17. #17

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Population density maps made using Social Explorer. Keep in mind, these numbers are from the 2010 Census. I've also attached a few other cities for comparison. If you have a request for another city just let me know!

    OKC


    Tulsa


    Memphis


    Nashville


    Omaha


    New Orleans


    Charlotte


    Denver


    Kansas City


    Salt Lake City

  18. #18

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Omaha and Salt Lake are denser than you'd think...

    Also, we are NOT more dense than Louisville (regarding the earlier chart in this thread). Maybe our suburbs are denser than Louisville's suburbs (quite possible), but the city density is not even close.

  19. #19

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Here's Louisville for comparison:

  20. #20

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Omaha and Salt Lake are denser than you'd think...

    Also, we are NOT more dense than Louisville (regarding the earlier chart in this thread). Maybe our suburbs are denser than Louisville's suburbs (quite possible), but the city density is not even close.
    My time was limited, but when I was in downtown Salt Lake City I was pretty unimpressed with the urbanism and vitality of the area. However, I only had a little bit of time before/after the Thunder/Jazz game so maybe I just went to the wrong places around the arena.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Salt Lake isn't a dense urban environment. However, I think having the university in close proximity to downtown helps the density numbers, just as UT does for Austin and tOSU does for Columbus.

  22. #22

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    Louisville is what OKC could have been if urban renewal didn't happen. It is nearly the exact same size as OKC, but you feel like you are in a much bigger city when you are there because of the dense, historic building stock that has survived. Imagine how cool downtown OKC would be if the original Main St would have survived and it was revitalized as mixed-use. Louisville is definitely a hidden gem in my opinion.

    OKC is still recovering from the fact that its urban core nearly completely depopulated to an extent not seen in many other cities. By the time of the 2030 census, if current trends continue, OKC's downtown and surrounding neighborhoods should be dark orange.

  23. Default Re: OKC Population Density

    With density in those legends topping out at 6000/sq mile the whole metro displayed should just be 2 or 3 shades of green.

  24. #24

    Default Re: OKC Population Density

    OKC population density map by block

  25. #25

    Default Re: OKC Population Density


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