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August 09, 2020, 02:01:20 pm
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Author Topic: Population Density Study: Oklahoma City  (Read 5891 times)
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« on: March 22, 2006, 02:50:21 pm »

Disclaimer: I don't aim to flood the Tulsa forum with Oklahoma City posts, but I felt that this was an important thing to point out here and noticed this is where the OKC posts go.

Lots of people around TulsaNow have mentioned (okay, insulted) Oklahoma City's population density. Because it really IS a terrible figure, in fact an impossibly small number for a city at the center of a metro over a million persons, I did some work to find the true population density of OKC, taking out the vast areas that are completely undeveloped or free of any population to speak of, using the 2000 Census numbers that put the official city population at 506,132. Did this at UrbanOK forum during a discussion about mass deannexation in OKC to get rid of unproductive land. Anyway, here it is:

Population (2000): 506,132
Land Area: 607 sq mi
Average Density: 833.8 persons/sq mi

Here you can see most of the city limits of Oklahoma City. See those lighter yellow spots? Those are towns/incorporated cities completely surrounded by Oklahoma city Limits. Like the Village, Nichols Hills, Warr Acres. Now, take the Village. Population 10,157, land area 2.5 square miles, for an average density of 4062.8/sq mi. Do you really think that The Village is a haven of density in the middle of a sprawling city? Warr Acres is 3476.8/sq mi. Nichols Hills, a wealthier suburb with much larger lot sizes, has 4,056 in 2 sq mi, for 2,000/sq mi.
Now the real data. I used the Census's Zip Code Population feature to isolate 28 contiguous Oklahoma City zip codes. I did not separate "island" suburbs like the ones above, because they are basically interior parts of OKC and can be included in the city's density.
Here is the Excel Worksheet showing my work for this part:http://geocities.com/l_shane_l/population.xls
I chose the 28 Zip Codes and took away their surface water area to get a true land area value. The total area was 212.54 sq mi. 524,837 people lived in those 212 sq mi at the time of the 2000 Census, for an average density of 2,469.36/sq mi. Tulsa's average (2000) is 2152.5/sq mi, but the numbers aren't comparable because I'm sure there are similar undeveloped areas in Tulsa that could be eliminated in the same way as what I have done here.
Here I used Melissadata.com to calculate the population within various radii of downtown. You can do this for Tulsa too, if you want, it's kinda fun to play with because it also shows the # of businesses within the radius and you can put in huge mileages to see how many live within 300 miles... It's neat. Wink
Radius- Population/Business Population
2 mi - 23,504/4,734
12.56 sq mi
5 mi - 223,148/18,305
78.5 sq mi
10 mi - 565,739/34,306
314 sq mi
15 mi - 768,201/40,238
706.5 sq mi
20 mi - 916,474/46,662
1256 sq mi

This data is interesting because if OKC got together with surrounding communities and worked out a deal that made the city limits a circle with a 10 mile radius around downtown, the city would have a population 60,000 more than the 2000 population, with HALF the land area!
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