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Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 393,049. It is the county seat of Tulsa County6.


Tulsa began as "Tulsy," a Creek Indian word meaning "old town" and in the 1890s, a trading post in the village became a post office under the name "Tulsey Town." In 1882, the railroad brought white settlers and Tulsa, became a cattle-shipping center. Then, in 1901, the nearby town of Red Fork became the site of a giant oil deposit find. Four years later, Glenpool, another nearby town, began producing oil as well. A boomtown flush with oil money, Tulsa became the "Oil Capital of the World" in the 1920s.

In 1921, the Tulsa Race Riot occurred, one of the nation's worst acts of racial violence. The Greenwood District of north Tulsa was burned, and as many as 300 persons were left dead, a large majority black. The Oklahoma Legislature passed laws in 2001 aimed at revitalizing Greenwood, setting up a scholarship fund for college-bound descendants of riot victims and appropriating $2 million for a riot memorial.

Important towns around Tulsa include Berryhill, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Claremore, Collinsville, Coweta, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, and Skiatook.

Famous people from Tulsa include several musicians: Joe Diffie, Ronnie Dunn;, Jeff Carson the GAP Band, David Gates, Hanson, Gus Hardin, Leon Russell, and Bob Wills. The radio commentator Paul Harvey and the late Senator Patrick Moynihan were born in Tulsa. Actors from Tulsa include Tony Randall, Alfre Woodard, Mary Kay Place, Gary Busey, Gailard Sartain and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Important families and people in the history of Tulsa include the Phillips family (founders of Phillips Petroleum), Thomas Gilcrease, and Charles Page. Tulsa is served by Tulsa International Airport.


Tulsa is located at 36°7'53" North, 95°56'14" West (36.131294, -95.937332)1 in the northeastern corner of the state. Split by the Arkansas River, Tulsa has abundant parks and water areas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 483.9 km² (186.8 mi²). 473.1 km² (182.6 mi²) of it is land and 10.9 km² (4.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 2.24% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 393,049 people, 165,743 households, and 99,114 families residing in the city. The population density is 830.9/km² (2,152.0/mi²). There are 179,405 housing units at an average density of 379.2/km² (982.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 70.09% White, 15.47% African American, 4.72% Native American, 1.82% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.45% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. 7.15% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The area with the larger African-American population is north Tulsa.

There are 165,743 households out of which 28.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% are married couples living together, 12.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% are non-families. 33.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.31 and the average family size is 2.98.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $35,316, and the median income for a family is $44,518. Males have a median income of $32,779 versus $25,587 for females. The per capita income for the city is $21,534. 14.1% of the population and 10.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 20.5% are under the age of 18 and 8.3% are 65 or older.

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