Demographics

In Tulsa, we are working to build a city where every kid has an equal shot at a great life.  We're using data as a tool to bring conversations out of partisan philosophy and into practical problem solving.

—Mayor G.T. Bynum, 2019

Demographics, which is information about the population of a particular geographic area such as Tulsa County, Oklahoma, or the United States, is important because many decisions are made based on this information. This data influences where and how social services are targeted, how federal aid is distributed, and how many representatives your geographic area has in state and federal legislatures. 

Demographic data is also important because it can identify populations that are at a higher risk of specific illnesses or health outcomes. Tracking demographic trends over time can help illustrate where populations are moving and changing, and where there may be increased need for services, infrastructure, or other investments in a community (1).

The demographic data in this section is from the US Census or American Community Survey. The US Census is conducted every ten years and seeks to count every person in the United States, while the American Community Survey is done annually and serves as a representative sample of geographic regions. 


Total Population

Definition

The total population is presented simply as the number of individuals living in each zip code, according to the 2018 5-year population estimates by the American Community Survey.

Why is this indicator important?

The numeric size of the population is used as the basis for deriving many of the rates for the community health indicators presented later in this report, such as zip code specific rates and gender, age, and racial/ethnic specific rates.

How are we doing?

Tulsa County had an estimated population of 642,781 individuals in 2018. Overall, the female population (51.2 percent) slightly exceeded the male population (48.8 percent).  Tulsa County was very similar to both Oklahoma and the US on gender in 2018. 

Overall, the age breakdown for Tulsa County was also very similar to the age breakdowns for Oklahoma and the US, although Tulsa County has a slightly lower percentage of residents age 65+. 

At lower age ranges, males outnumbered females; however, the opposite was true in older age groups. In fact, females comprised almost 60 percent of the population age 65 and older. Tulsa County’s median age (35.5 years) was slightly younger than the state’s median age (36.4 years) and the median age of the nation (37.9 years). 

Whites comprised 70.1 percent of the population and blacks made up the largest minority race at 10.1 percent. In general, Tulsa County was less diverse than the United States overall, but more diverse than Oklahoma. The exception to this is American Indians/ Alaskan Natives, and people who identify as Multiple Races in which the inverse is true.  The population of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander were less than 1 percent for all locations.

Hispanics comprised 12.4 percent of the population in 2018, although that is likely an underestimation because of potential under counting of undocumented Hispanic immigrants. In 2018, Tulsa County had a higher percentage of Hispanic residents than Oklahoma (10.4 percent), but less but less than the United States.

It should be noted that race and ethnicity are separate concepts. Individuals of Hispanic origin are those who indicate that their country of origin is Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central or South America, or some other Hispanic origin, and can be of any race. Non-Hispanic refers to all people whose ethnicity is not Hispanic.

The top three zip codes with the largest populations were in Broken Arrow, south Tulsa, and Owasso:

1. 74012 (62,429 residents)

2. 74133 (46,067 residents)

3. 74055 (45,378 residents)

Zip codes 74012 and 74133 are both fully in Tulsa County; 74055 is in Tulsa and Rogers County. The population referenced above is for the entire zip code.

Regional Analysis

Sometimes it is helpful to look at Tulsa County in terms of regions.  Throughout this report, some indicators will be presented by region.  For our purposes, we have divided Tulsa County into 8 regions defined as:

Sand Springs/West Tulsa Region - includes zip codes 74050, 74063, 74066, 74107, 74127, 74131 and 74132.

North Tulsa Region - includes zip codes 74106, 74110, 74115, 74116, 74117, 74126 and 74130.

Owasso/Sperry Region - includes zip codes 74021, 74055, 74070 and 74073,

Midtown Region - includes zip codes 74104, 74105, 74112, 74114 and 74135.

Downtown Region - includes zip codes 74103, 74119 and 74120.

East Tulsa Region - includes zip codes 74015, 74108, 74128, 74129, 74134, 74145 and 74146.

South Tulsa Region - includes zip codes 74011, 74012, 74014, 74133, 74136 and 74137.

Jenks/Bixby Region - includes zip codes 74008, 74033, 74037 and 74047.

The South Tulsa Region has the largest population of the regions within Tulsa County at 236,641. Zip code 74012 in the South Tulsa region had the largest population.  Overall, the Downtown region had the smallest population within Tulsa County at 10,279.  However, the zip code with the smallest population in Tulsa County was 74117, which is in the North Tulsa region (population 24).

Note that some zip codes may extend outside the boundaries of Tulsa County.  In these cases, the total population for the zip code is included in the regional calculation.










Minority Populations

Definition

The distribution of the non-white population is expressed as the percentage of the total population  who did not report being white, non-Hispanic, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.


Why is this indicator important?

There are many health inequalities that affect minorities in the United States. For example, some minorities have a disproportionate burden of preventable disease, death, and disability compared to non-minorities (2).


How are we doing?

An estimated 241,211 Tulsa County residents were non-white in 2018. This was a total of 37.5 percent of Tulsa County residents (up slightly from 36.4 percent in 2016 and 37.0 in 2017), which was higher than Oklahoma (34.0 percent), and lower than the US (38.9 percent). The percentage of non-white residents has been steadily increasing in each of these locations since 2011.

The non-white population in Tulsa County had a higher percentage of individuals in age groups 0-4 and 5-14 compared to the US and Oklahoma, but less individuals age 65+ than those locations.

Within the non-white population in Tulsa County, males outnumbered females through age 24, in the older age groups, females outnumbered males.  In the non-white population aged 65 and older, females make up almost 60 percent (57 percent).

The highest percentages of the non-white population was shown to be concentrated in the North Tulsa Region (72.4 percent) and East Tulsa Region (53.5 percent).  

Data for specific races/ethnicities is presented in following sections:

1. Black population

2. Asian population

3. Hispanic population



Black Population

Definition

The distribution of the black population is expressed as the percentage of the total population who reported being black, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

In the US, the death rate for blacks is generally higher than whites for heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, HIV/AIDS and homicide - many of which are preventable diseases. Additionally, black Americans tend to have lower rates of educational attainment, lower incomes, and lower rates of private insurance coverage, all of which can have impacts on health outcomes (3).

How are we doing?

Blacks comprised the largest minority race in Tulsa County with an estimated population of 64,783 in 2018. Data from 2018 indicate that blacks comprised 10.1 percent of Tulsa County’s population, compared with 7.3 percent of Oklahoma and 12.7 percent of the nation.

Overall, 47.3 percent of blacks were male and 52.7 percent were female. Tulsa County was somewhat different than both Oklahoma and the US in that both of those locations had higher percentages of males to females; Oklahoma with males at 50.1 percent, female 49.9 percent; US with 47.8 percent male and 52.2 percent female.  

The black population in Tulsa County had higher percentages of individuals in the age groups 0-4 and 5-14 than both Oklahoma and the nation as a whole.  Tulsa County also had a smaller percentage of the black population in the 65+ group.  

Within Tulsa County, there were more black males under 4 years old than females, and more black females 65 and older than males.  

The black population was shown to reside primarily in the North Tulsa Region, with the highest percentages in zip codes 74106 and 74126.  The region with the smallest percentage of population was the Jenks/Bixby Region.  


Asian Population

Definition

The distribution of the Asian population is expressed as the percentage of the total population within each zip code who reported being Asian, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.


Why is this indicator important?

Asians have a high prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, smoking, tuberculosis, and liver disease. In 2018, the rate of tuberculosis for the Asian population was 31 times higher than in the non-Hispanic white population (12).  

Socioeconomic status varies widely among Asian subgroups in the US. For example, the gap between those in the lowest 10 percent of income and those in the highest 10 percent of income was the widest for Asians and the smallest for Hispanics and Blacks or African Americans (13).  


How are we doing?

There were an estimated 20,542 Asian residents in Tulsa County in 2018, which was 3.2 percent of the total population.  This is higher than the percentage of the Asian population in Oklahoma (2.1 percent), but lower than the US (5.4 percent).  Although this percentage was low in Tulsa County, it has been steadily increasing since 2013. 

The Tulsa County Asian population had a higher percentage of 0-4 and 5-14 year olds compared to the US and Oklahoma, but less individuals age 65+.

In the age group of 0-4, there were slightly more females than males in the Asian population in Tulsa County.  This trend continued as the Asian population aged, the percentages of females were higher than for males.   

The highest percentage of the Asian population in Tulsa County resides in the South Tulsa Region (5 percent).  The percentage of the Asian population residing for this region was almost as high for the nation overall at 5.4 percent.  The region in Tulsa County with the lowest percentage of Asian population was the North Tulsa Region, with less than 1 percent of the population being Asian (0.6 percent).  


Hispanic Population

Definition

The distribution of the Hispanic population in Tulsa County is expressed as a percentage of the total population, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.


Why is this indicator important?

Based on US Census data, the Hispanic population in Tulsa County has been increasing since 2000. However, there are many barriers which can lead to inequalities in health care and preventive services among this group, such as education and income. Health disparities among Hispanics include high rates of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, suicide, liver disease and obesity. 

The Hispanic population also has a disproportionately higher uninsured rate compared to the non-Hispanic population, as well as lower rates of educational attainment (5).


How are we doing?

According to the 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, the Hispanic population numbered 80,012 (up from 74,451 in 2016 and 77,359 in 2017) in Tulsa County. Since 2011, the Hispanic population in Tulsa County has increased by ~20,000 people, from 63,252.  It should be noted, however, that due to the potential under counting of undocumented Hispanic immigrants, the actual numbers were likely much higher than those reported. 

In 2018, Hispanics comprised 12.4 percent of the Tulsa County population, which was higher than the state value of 10.4 percent, but lower than the U.S. percentage of 17.8 percent. Again, these were likely all underestimates of the true size of the population.  

The Tulsa County Hispanic population had a higher percentage of 0-4 and 5-14 year olds compared to the US and Oklahoma, but less individuals age 65+.

In the age groups 15-24 and 25-64, males slightly outnumber females in the Hispanic population.  By age group 65 and over, 56 percent of the Hispanic population were females.  

The highest percentage of the Hispanic population in Tulsa County resided in the East Tulsa Region, followed by the North Tulsa Region.  

Immigrant Populations


Foreign-born Population

Definition

The distribution of the foreign-born population in Tulsa County is expressed as a percentage of the total population that reported they were not born in the US, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

Undocumented residents and immigrants face a variety of challenges: insurance eligibility, safety net eligibility, limited English proficiency, isolation from social networks, and stigma and marginalization. All of these can lead to poor health outcomes and/or decreased quality of life (6).

How are we doing?

Overall, for 2018, a total of 56,750 Tulsa County residents reported that they were born outside of the United States. This was a percentage of 8.8 percent, which was higher than Oklahoma (6.0 percent), but lower than the US (13.5 percent).  This population has remained relatively stable for all locations since 2011.

It is important to note that this indicator is likely an under counting, based on real or perceived concerns associated with indicating lack of US citizenship.

Zip code level data for 2018 for foreign-born populations was not available at the time of this report update.  Therefore, the graph at the right shows the percentages of the foreign-born population across the Tulsa Metro regions using 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates to calculate regions.  The highest percentages of foreign-born populations reside in the North Tulsa (10.8 percent) and East Tulsa (17.1 percent) regions.  


Households with Limited English Proficiency

Definition

A 'limited English speaking household' is one in which no member 14 years old and over speaks only English or speaks a non-English language and speaks English 'very well.'  This was previously (before 2015) referred to as a 'linguistically isolated household.'  Households with limited English proficiency in Tulsa County are expressed as a percentage of the total households, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. 

Why is this indicator important?

Residents who have limited English proficiency may struggle to access services (6), education, or higher paying employment opportunities (7). Although not all limited English proficient households are necessarily immigrants, this indicator can serve as a proxy for populations that may need additional outreach or services in order to achieve optimal outcomes. 

How are we doing?

Overall, a total of 7,606 Tulsa County households reported that they were limited English proficiency in 2018. This was a percentage of 3.0 percent, which was higher than Oklahoma (2.1 percent), but lower than the US (4.4 percent). These percentages were virtually unchanged from 2015. 

The Tulsa County region with the highest percentage of limited English proficiency households was the East Tulsa region at 8.0 percent.  The Tulsa County Metro region with the lowest percentage of limited English proficiency households was the Owasso/Sperry region at 0.6 percent.  

Age Groups

Definition

The age distribution of Tulsa County residents is expressed as a percentage of the total population within the age groups 0 to  4, 5 to 14, 15 to 24, 25 to 64, and 65 and over, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. These age groups are also expressed as percentages of specific races/ethnicities.

Why is this indicator important?

It is important to track age distribution of the total population, as well as within races/ethnicities, as older or younger populations may create challenges and/or burdens on social services in the community (8,9).  Additionally, different age groups can have increased likelihood of specific health behaviors or outcomes (10).  Lastly, a healthy working age population contributes significantly to the overall economic strength and vitality of a community (11).

How are we doing?

Overall, Tulsa County had a very similar age breakdown to Oklahoma and the US, although Tulsa County has a slightly lower percentage of residents age 65+ and a slightly higher percentage of residents age 0-4 (see chart in 'Total Population' section). 

In regards to race/ethnicity, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics had the highest percentage of children under 5 (9.1 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively). Hispanics had the highest percentage of youth 5 - 14 (23.3 percent).  American Indians/Alaskan Natives and blacks had the highest percentage of young adults 15-24 (16.6 and 16.4 percent, respectively). Native Hawaiians had the highest percentage of adults 25-64 (69.8 percent). Hispanics had the lowest percentage of adults 25-64 and 65+ (44.8 and 3.1 percent, respectively). In fact, the percentage of Hispanics age 65+ was more than four times less than the overall percentage of adults 65+ in Tulsa County. Whites had the highest percentage of adults 65+ (16.5 percent). 


Young Children Age 0–4

Definition

This indicator is presented as the percentage of the total population age 0 to 4 years, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

Young children are especially vulnerable to unintentional injuries, lead poisoning, infectious diseases, and abuse and neglect, which are conditions that are largely preventable and open to public health interventions (8).

How are we doing?

In 2018, there were approximately 46,641 children ages 0 to 4 years living in Tulsa County.  This was 7.3 percent of the population of Tulsa County.  Tulsa County had a higher percentage of children in this age group than Oklahoma (6.7 percent) and the US (6.1 percent).

The North Tulsa, Jenks/Bixby and East Tulsa regions had the highest percentages of children in this age group, while the Downtown region had the smallest percentage.  

The proportion of very young children was highest among Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islanders (9.1 percent), followed by the black population at 8.1 percent . In the Hispanic population, children in this age group made up almost 12 percent (11.7 percent) of the population, which was almost double that of non-Hispanics (5.6 percent).




Young Adults Age 15–24

Definition

This indicator is presented as the percentage of the total population age 15 – 24 years, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

Adolescents and young adults are particularly sensitive to environmental influences, which makes them susceptible to risky behaviors and social problems that can determine their current health status and their risk for developing chronic diseases in adulthood.  Examples of behaviors and social problems that often start or peak during these years include homicide, suicide, motor vehicle accidents, substance abuse, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, teen and unplanned pregnancies, and homelessness.  Addressing the positive development of young people facilitates their adoption of healthy behaviors and helps to ensure a healthy and productive future adult population (9).

How are we doing?

In 2018, this age group included 84,393 individuals, or 13.1 percent of the total population of Tulsa County. This is very similar to the percentages for this age group in Oklahoma (13.9 percent) and the US (13.5 percent). 

The North Tulsa, Downtown, East Tulsa and South Tulsa regions all had the highest percentages of the population in this age group, and these percentages were very similar to the US as a whole.  The Midtown region had the smallest percentage of people in this age group.  Overall, however, all of the regions were very similar to the state and the nation in terms of the proportion of their populations in this age group.

In 2018, American Indians/ Alaskan Native had the highest proportion of individuals in this age group (16.8 percent), followed by blacks (16.4 percent). Individuals in this age group made up over 17 percent (17.2 percent) of the Hispanic population.


Adults Age 25–64

Definition

This indicator represents the percentage of the total population age 25 – 64 years, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

This age group represents working-age adults that significantly contribute to the work force and the economy. The health of this age group is especially important for a healthy and productive economy. Research indicates that employees are more productive in the workplace if they are both physically and mentally healthy (10).

How are we doing?

In 2018, this age group numbered 333,351 individuals, or 51.9 percent. This was slightly higher than for Oklahoma at 50.7 percent and slightly lower than for the US at 52.4 percent.

The Downtown region had the highest percentage of population in this age group, while the North Tulsa region had the lowest percentage of population in this age group.

Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islanders and Asians had a higher percentage of the population in this age group (69.8 percent and 56.2 percent, respectively) than the other races. Individuals in this age group accounted for 44.8 percent of the Hispanic population.

The zip code with the highest percentage of individuals in this age group was 74103 in downtown Tulsa.


Adults Age 65 and Older

Definition

This indicator represents the percentage of the total population age 65 years and older, based on 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

Why is this indicator important?

Due to increased life expectancies, the proportion of adults age 65 and older is growing faster than ever before. However, many older adults struggle with chronic disease, falls, and mental health and substance abuse issues which can negatively impact their quality of life (11).

How are we doing?

In 2018, Tulsa County had 87,684 residents age 65 and older, which was 13.6 percent of the total population.  This percentage was less than for Oklahoma (15.0 percent) and the US as a whole (15.2 percent).  

The Sand Springs/West Tulsa region had the highest percentage of residents 65 and older at 16.5 percent, followed by the Midtown region at 16.2 percent.  The North Tulsa and Downtown regions had the smallest percentages of populations 65 and over in the Tulsa metro regional area.

The proportion of the white population age 65 and older was almost double the next highest percentage (16.5 percent compared to 8.6 percent among the black population). Individuals in this age group made up only 3.1 percent of the Hispanic population.

Population Change

Definition

This demographic indicator is presented as the percentage change in the population from the 2011 American Community Survey to the 2018 American Community Survey (5-year estimates). There was minimal change in zip code boundaries in this intervening period.

Why is this indicator important?

Trends in general population growth and decline help target specific locations and/or demographic groups where public health efforts should be focused in order to ensure adequate access to community-based programs.

How are we doing?

Overall, Tulsa County had a 7.7 percent population increase. This was higher than both Oklahoma and the US (5.5 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively). 

With the exception of the Midtown and the Downtown regions, all regions in the Tulsa County metro area experienced growth from 2011 to 2018. The Jenks/Bixby region was the fastest growing region, with a 24.8 percent increase in population from 2011 to 2018.  The Midtown and the Downtown regions, however, showed negative growth from 2011 to 2018, the Midtown region losing almost 4 percent (-3.9 percent), and the Downtown region losing a little over 2 percent (2.4 percent) of its population.

All of the racial and ethnic populations increased from 2011 to 2018 in Tulsa County overall. The most striking growth occurred in the Asian population, which was estimated to have a 50.5 percent increase from 2011 – 2018. 

It is important to note that small changes in small populations would lead to a larger percent population increase than a population that is larger. For example, an equal amount of population increase in both the white and Asian populations would lead to a much higher percent population increase in the Asian population.


Black Population Change

Overall, the black population in Tulsa County increased by 2.8 percent from 2011 - 2018.  This growth percentage was less than the growth of the black population in the Oklahoma and the US which were the same at 6.6 percent.

When examined regionally, the black population showed negative growth (the population got smaller), in the North Tulsa region (-8.7 percent) and the Downtown region (-25.6 percent).  Those two regions are not represented on the graph to the right.  All other regions saw positive population growth in the black population from 2011-2018.  The region with the highest black population growth was the Owasso/Sperry region, which more than doubled the black population (117.9 percent growth) from 2011 to 2018.

The zip code with the highest percentage of growth for the black population from 2011 to 2018 was 74033 in the Jenks/Bixby region.  The zip codes with the highest percentages of negative growth were in the North Tulsa and Downtown regions.  

It is important to note that if a region had a small black population initially, small increases would lead to larger percent population changes, compared to regions that had higher black populations originally.


Asian Population Change

Overall, the Asian population in Tulsa County increased by 50.5 percent from 2011 - 2018.  This population growth was much higher for this population in Tulsa County than for Oklahoma (31.4 percent) and the US (21.2 percent).  

All of the regions in Tulsa County showed positive growth for the Asian population, except for the East Tulsa region (-12.5 percent, not represented on graph). The Jenks/Bixby region and the Sand Springs/West Tulsa region both showed especially high growth percentages of the Asian population from 2011 to 2018.  

There were only 9 zip codes of 43 included in Tulsa County that experienced negative growth in the Asian population.  They were (in order of smallest percentage of negative growth to largest percentage of negative growth) 74021, 74120, 74129, 74127, 74110, 74145, 74116, 74134 and 74070.  The rest of the zip codes experienced positive growth in the Asian population from 2011 to 2018.  The zip code with the highest Asian percent population change in Tulsa County was 74114, which is in midtown Tulsa.  

Again, it is important to remember that if a region had a small Asian population initially, small increases would lead to larger percent population changes, compared to regions that had higher Asian populations originally.


Hispanic Population Change

Overall, the Hispanic population in Tulsa County increased by 26.5 percent from 2011 - 2018.  This increase shows a growing upward trend from 17.7 percent from 2011 to 2016, to 22.3 percent for 2011 to 2017.  The growth in Tulsa County was greater than the growth of the Hispanic population in the US (16.9 percent) but less than the growth of this population in Oklahoma (28.1 percent).

All regions in the Tulsa County metro area showed positive growth in the Hispanic population from 2011 to 2018 except for the Midtown region, which showed a slight decrease at -2.7 percent (not represented on graph).  The region with the fastest growing Hispanic population from 2011 to 2018 was the Jenks/Bixby region at 75.3 percent.

The zip codes with the highest Hispanic percent population change in Tulsa County from 2011 to 2018 were 74119 and 74132.

It is important to note that if a zip code had a small Hispanic population initially, small increases would lead to larger percent population changes, compared to zip codes that had higher Hispanic populations originally.

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