Oklahoma City is the capital and the largest metropolitan area in the state. With a total area of 621 sq. miles, it is one of the largest cities geographically in the U.S. OKC contains a wide variety of inner-city and suburban neighborhoods, and is the cultural and recreational nexus of the state.
Tulsa gained prominence through its important position in the oil industry, and today is Oklahoma’s home for high-tech companies. Four of the state’s major institutions of higher education can be found in Tulsa.
Norman is best known as the home of the University of Oklahoma. Sometimes included in the overall Oklahoma City metro area, the city is a key center for research, education, and the arts.
One of the nation’s key food-producing states, agriculture plays a major role in Oklahoma’s economy. Vast fields of wheat stretch across much of the state, and millions of beef cattle graze the flat plains and low hills.
Fuel production is also an important industry in Oklahoma, as thousands of oil and natural gas wells can be found within our borders. Oklahoma City is the primary economic hub for the state, centered on the industries of finance, retail, entertainment, and tourism. Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city, features a strong foundation in industries such as energy, aerospace, and telecommunications.
Natural Geography & Culture
The natural terrain in Oklahoma is incredibly diverse from region to region. The eastern portion of the state is characterized by wooded hills of oak and hickory. Farther westward one finds more highland country including the Ouachita Mountains, a string of steep ridges, and deep river valleys. This stretch of interior highlands and plateaus eventually dissolve in the plains and prairie land that make up much of the state. Even the very soil beneath your feet changes depending on where you are, ranging from rich black grassland soil to dry blow sand to the red clay of Oklahoma’s semi-arid regions.
Much of Oklahoma’s arts and cultural scene draws heavily on both the large Native American population and on the long tradition of the Oklahoman cowboy. Many of the cultural institutions and arts organizations are located in the metropolitan areas of central and eastern Oklahoma.