O klahoma City is one of the fastest-growing cities in America and among the top ten places for median wage growth, job creation and to start a business. A top two small business ranking. One of the most popular places for millennials and one of the top 10 cities for young adults. The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area is the 27th largest city and 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Forbes magazine called it “the most recession-proof city in America.”
Oklahoma City is the most populous city in the state of Oklahoma. From 2010 to 2016, Oklahoma City’s metro population grew by nearly 10 percent and has experienced a 1.55 percent average annual growth rate. In 2016, the Oklahoma City MSA population was estimated to be 1,379,525 while the city of Oklahoma City’s population was 649,058. Since 2010, the Oklahoma City MSA is the 10th-fastest-growing large metro in the country and has grown twice as fast as the nation.
This vibrant, active city is even more livable because of its affordability. Unlike many metropolitan areas today, you can afford to live comfortably in a quality home, while still enjoying the area’s arts, entertainment and recreational opportunities.
Oklahoma City is as easy to reach as it is to navigate, with commute times averaging about 20 minutes or less with minimal congestion. The Greater Oklahoma City area has more than 2,400 miles of highways and interstates. The highest concentration being 384 miles of roadway in Oklahoma County where the crossroads of I-35, I-40, and I-44 meet in Oklahoma City. Freight carriers and truck transportation run efficiently on the 646 miles of interstates in the region and minimal congestion.
Will Rogers World Airport is the Greater Oklahoma City region’s major commercial airport. The airport has six airlines, 23 nonstop flights, and about 75 total daily departures. The airport is located a short drive from downtown Oklahoma City with easy access to three major interstates. Will Rogers World Airport sits on more than 8,000 acres of land and provides a wide array of development opportunities. The airport operates on three runways, two 9,800-ft parallel to one another and one 7,800-ft crosswind runway, allowing the airport to accommodate any size aircraft.
In addition to Will Rogers World Airport, Stillwater Regional Airport (SWO) offers daily jet service to Dallas Fort/Worth (DFW). With just one connection you can travel to more than 200 domestic and 40 international destinations. Oklahoma City also has two reliever airports, Wiley Post Airport and Max Westheimer Airport. Wiley Post Airport is located in Northwest Oklahoma City providing mostly business aviation. Max Westheimer Airport in Norman, owned by the University of Oklahoma, is mostly used for general aviation. Greater Oklahoma City also boasts several other general aviation airports including Oklahoma City’s Clarence E. Page Airport and the Shawnee Regional Airport.
Amtrak service is provided via the Heartland Flyer, with service to Fort Worth, Texas. The train departs from the historic Santa Fe Depot at the front door of Bricktown – Oklahoma City’s entertainment district. The Heartland Flyer now offers a bike service for those looking to explore Fort Worth car- free. Two Class I lines provide most of the rail transportation in the Greater Oklahoma City region: Union Pacific and BNSF Railway. These lines have more than 4,000 miles of track and connnect Oklahoma communities with other U.S. cities, markets, and ports.
In the Greater Oklahoma City area, there are 19 public and private colleges and universities, including two research universities, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. These institutions of higher learning provide thousands of undergraduate and graduate degree opportunities. Oklahoma also has a nationally acclaimed Career and Technology system, offering programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 56 campuses, 398 comprehensive school districts, 25 skill centers, and three juvenile facilities. Not only do these centers provide training to high school and post-secondary students, they also provide invaluable training services to a variety of businesses in a number of different skill areas.
Aviation and Aerospace
With the largest concentration of aviation and aerospace firms in the state, the Greater Oklahoma City region’s
236 firms employ 36,600 workers– and growing. Nearly 65 percent of the workforce at Tinker Air Force Base – the largest single site employer in the state – consists of civilian contractors and service providers.
Oklahoma City’s Bioscience presence is generating national and international attention. The sector employs more than 51,000 statewide. Companies within this industry are dedicated to providing Bioscience goods and services, as well as education and research testing.
Oklahoma City is the Energy capital of the state. Energy accounts for approximately 3 percent of metro employment but more than 9 percent of total compensation. The sector draws its strength from several Energy companies with headquarters in the city.
As one of the nation’s major centers of healthcare delivery, the Oklahoma City region employs more than 83,000 health care sector workers. Our 30 general medical and surgical hospitals and 16 specialized hospitals combine to offer outstanding healthcare.
This broad category includes metals and machinery; building materials; food products; and medical devices and equipment. With more than 41,000 employed, the manufacturing sector represents approximately 6 percent of the Greater Oklahoma City’s total nonagricultural labor force.
Professional, Business, and Financial Services
Similar to the healthcare sector, the Oklahoma City region provides business and financial services to a market that extends beyond state boundaries. This sector makes up 18 percent of the metro’s total workforce with more than 133,000 employees.
Wholesale and Retail Trade
Oklahoma City’s central location and accessibility have made it a vital crossroads for commerce. The convergence of I-35, a major north- south interstate, and I-40 and I-44, major east-west interstates, and numerous U.S. and State Highways position Oklahoma City as a major wholesale and retail trade center. For the year 2015, the Oklahoma City MSA had estimated total taxable retail sales of $21.8 billion.
The Greater OKC metro area boasts a substantial international presence, with 31 countries represented by foreign- based subsidiaries in the region. More than 40,000 are employed by these companies, which provide a broad range of products and services.
Oklahoma City’s cost of living consistently ranks below the national average, allowing one’s paycheck to stretch further. Oklahoma City also offers some of the most affordable housing, transportation, utilities, groceries and gas in the U.S., and residents still have more disposable income than in other cities.
In 2009, the state voted to reduce personal income tax to 5.25 percent followed by further reductions to 5 percent in 2016. If general revenue triggers are met, additional cuts may be made in the future. Oklahoma’s taxation and regulatory policies are competitive, both regionally and nationally.
The unemployment rate for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area averaged 4 percent for 2016. Increases in the area’s population and labor force have kept pace with economic growth, keeping the region’s unemployment rate low in comparison to the nation.
OKLAHOMA CITY ACCOLADES
Ranked as the No. 10 nationally for recession recovery (WalletHub January 2017)
Ranks No. 1 for Oil & Gas Investment Worldwide (Fraser Institute December 2016)
Top Cities Rebounding from the Great Recession (CNBC August 2016)
Ranks No. 1 for Quality of Life (Business Facilities August 2016)
Ranked No. 5 for the Housing Marketing that gives you more Bang for your Buck (Angie’s List May 2016)
Renters and Owners (Entrepreneur September 2015)
Ranked as the No. 10 state for construction value and No. 4 for industrial construction value (NAIOP September 2015)
Ranked as the No. 10 nationally for recession recovery (Glassdoor July 2015)
Ranked as the No. 13 city for most affordable housing market among nine countries (Demographia March 2014)
Ranks ninth among America’s most affordable cities
(Forbes March 2014)