Population Change in Oklahoma's Counties & Municipalities

This week, the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled the 2022 municipal population estimates, which approximate the total population in all U.S. “cities and towns” as of July 1, 2022. Below is a map that illustrates how Oklahoma municipalities' population changed between 2020 and 2022 (it’s a bit small, but hovering over any dot will show the town’s name, 2022 population, and percent change since 2020).

A quick scan of the map shows that municipalities in metropolitan areas have continued growing faster than those in rural counties. In terms of percent change (rather than raw population change), some of the fastest growers in Oklahoma from 2020 to 2022 were:

  • Newcastle (+16.9%), Piedmont (+12.8%), and Mustang (+10.5%) in the OKC metro
  • Collinsville (+10.9%) and Coweta (+7.5%) in the Tulsa metro
  • Medicine Park (+9.2%) and Cache (+5.5%) in the Lawton metro

However, growth was not just limited to Oklahoma’s metropolitan towns and suburbs, as communities along the state’s southern border also saw significant growth. Particularly in the Texoma area, county seats like Durant (+4.8%) and Madill (+2.9%) have benefitted from outward expansion of cities in Texas.

The map also illustrates a pattern of decline in the Panhandle and other parts of the Northwest. In recent years, Texas County had garnered a reputation for its economic growth in the face of the wider regional decline. However, communities in the county—such as Guymon and Hooker—have again begun to shrink.

County population estimates for 2022 have been available for a few months. Canadian and McClain Counties continue to lead the state in growth, while numerous counties in the Northwest Oklahoma region face continued decline.

Andrew J. Van Leuven
Andrew J. Van Leuven
Assistant Professor