Oklahoma City Continues Phenomenal Growth

Oklahoma City has truly become a world-class city. An exciting place to live and work. During my life time, OKC has transformed itself from a run-of-the-mill state capital to a major metropolis that has captured the attention of the nation.

Of course, OKC’s amazing transformation has been much heralded. We have been called a Renaissance City and the Cinderella City. But a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors reveals some interesting statistics about our city.

These statistics are for the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area. With a population of 1.3 million, the OKC metro is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the U.S. It includes five of the 10 largest cities in our state: OKC, Norman, Edmond, Moore and Midwest City. Actually, the OKC metro takes in everything from Guthrie to Purcell, from Okarche to Chickasha, and from El Reno to Chandler and Shawnee.

Here are some interesting numbers from the Mayors’ Report:

• The OKC metro has a $68 billion annual economy, the 48th largest in the nation. Our economy is growing and is expected to pass the $70 billion mark in 2015.

• OKC represents about 40% of the Oklahoma economy. Oklahoma City and Tulsa metros combined represent about 70% of the state’s economy.

• If U.S. metro areas were countries, Oklahoma City would be 119th largest country in the world by GDP.

• OKC reached its “employment peak” (total number of jobs) in the third quarter of 2008. During the recession, we lost 24,000 jobs, but we have recovered well, returning to our pre-recession peak in the first quarter of 2012.

• At 4.5%, OKC has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. By contrast, several metro areas in California, Arizona, New Jersey and Illinois have unemployment rates above 10%.

Of course, at the heart of the OKC metropolitan area is “The City,” Oklahoma City. The City of OKC is the 27th largest city in the U.S., with more than 600,000 residents. Many people are surprised to learn that Oklahoma City is larger than Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Sacramento, Kansas City, Atlanta, Omaha, Miami, Oakland, Minneapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or many other important cities.

OKC also one of the 30 fastest-growing large municipalities in the nation.

And just this month the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis identified Oklahoma as having one of the five fastest growing economies of the U.S. states.

Check out this list of more praises for our city and state: “Oklahoma City Accolades.”