Figures show Tulsa is Oklahoma's answer to suburbia

Friday, October 20th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma City is falling in size compared to other large cities while Tulsa is holding its own, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Among the top 100 largest cities in the nation, Oklahoma City fell from 42nd to 48th and Tulsa held its spot at 58th.

While Tulsa is not among the top 50 largest cities, it is acting like one.

For the first time, census figures show more people live in the area surrounding the city than live in Tulsa itself.

That suburban distinction brings Tulsa into a group that includes the country's three largest cities: New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Each has more people living around them than live inside them.

In 1990, 51.8 percent of people in the Tulsa metropolitan area lived within the city limits, but in 1999 those proportions flipped, with 51.5 percent of the population living in the suburbs.

Planners had projected increased growth outside of the city as land area within Tulsa filled, said Rich Brierre, deputy director of the Indian Nations Council of Governments.

The latest estimates also show the population in the Tulsa metropolitan area grew 10.9 percent in nine years, from 708,954 to 786,117.

During the '90s, city population increased 3.9 percent, from 367,167 to 381,579. The suburbs grew 18.4 percent from 341,787 to 404,538, according to the census bureau.

Overall, the top 10 metropolitan areas in 1990 were still at the top in 1999. After the top three, came the Washington, D.C., area, the San Francisco Bay area, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, Dallas and Houston.

Las Vegas made the biggest leap among the top 110 cities, moving up 18 spaces to 33rd.

Saginaw, Mich., made the biggest move in the opposite direction, dropping from 89th to 100th.