Oklahoma City, the big friendly, is getting bigger. As U.S. census data trickles out, it’s OKC’s population is growing as the state becomes more diverse.
“We’re not a sleepy medium-size town anymore,” Mayor David Holt said.
Oklahoma City jumped Milwaukee, Baltimore, Louisville, Memphis, Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland, Boston and El Paso, now the country's 22nd largest.
“There will be people who say ‘I don’t want any more people to move here. I like it the way it is’ and that’s all well and good but there’s no way to have a city that’s fun to live in and desirable and is up-and-coming without people moving to it. That’s what they do,” Holt said.
According to the data, OKC is one of 14 states across the country to add more than 100,000 people. Holt said that's like adding Clinton, Guthrie, Ada, Woodward and Stillwater -combined- inside the city limits.
“Obviously, there’s challenges to that; do we have adequate police and fire protection? Do we have adequate water and street infrastructure for that many more people?’ Holt said.
The state's population is also on the climb from 3.75 million to 3.95 10 years later.
The number of people who identify as white alone, not Hispanic or Latino, dropped from 68.7% to 60.8%. While the Hispanic and Latino population jumped three points to 11.9%.
“I think the population growth is clearly validation that what Oklahoma City spent doing over the past quarter century is working,” Holt said.
The mayor said he’s waiting to see metro population totals. In 2010, the OKC metro was the 41st largest in the country.