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The city of Tulsa lost population for the second consecutive year, while several area suburbs saw continued residential growth, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World file

The city of Tulsa lost population for the second consecutive year, while several area suburbs saw continued residential growth, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau estimated the city of Tulsa population between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, declined by 1,450 to 400,669 people, a 0.4% drop.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum issued the same statement as he provided when commenting in April about slow metropolitan population growth.

“Our sluggish population growth is one of the reasons I ran for mayor,” Bynum said in a prepared statement.

He said the city has attracted “the two largest new employers in Tulsa history” and is implementing strategies that will help fuel growth.

“But most of those business facilities and Vision projects are still being constructed,” Bynum said. “We are focused on putting the right things in place for long-term growth, not getting overly worried about short-term year-by-year percentages.”

Tulsa maintained its ranking as the 47th most populous city in the nation, despite the decline in residents.

The Census Bureau estimate drew skepticism from another official.

“I was surprised it showed a decline,” said Rich Brierre, executive director for the regional planning organization Indian Nations Council of Governments.

Brierre said INCOG’s own in-house estimates show the city of Tulsa experienced a slight gain in population.

The INCOG estimate is based in part on a survey of area power companies, Brierre said. That estimate indicated a gain of nearly 1,000 electric customer accounts, he said.

Tulsa has now lost 3,513 residents since its population peaked in July 2016 at 404,182, according to the Census Bureau population estimates.

The Census Bureau population figures will be fine tuned when the agency conducts the decennial head count in 2020.

Meanwhile, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Coweta, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso and Skiatook all posted population gains during the past year.

Jenks ranked No. 1 among area suburbs in population growth. The suburb saw its population increase by 770, or 3.4%, to 23,354.

Statewide, Jenks ranked seventh in population growth with Piedmont, an Oklahoma City suburb, recording the top annual growth of 5.6%.

The population of Oklahoma City grew by 0.9% to 649,021.

Other area cities recording population growth included Bixby, which grew by 2.7%, and Coweta, which grew by 2.6%. The respective populations for Bixby and Coweta on July 1, 2018, were 27,454 and 9,944.

Broken Arrow, the state’s fourth largest city, grew 0.7%, or 721 residents, to 109,171.

Tulsa was among 11 top-50 populated cities in the nation that recorded a loss in population in the past year.

In addition to Tulsa, Oklahoma cities that lost population included Sand Springs, Sapulpa and Catoosa.

Sand Springs population declined from 19,923 to 19,897.

The population in Sapulpa declined from 20,865 to 20,802, while Catoosa saw a resident loss of 7,038 to 6,995.

In addition to Tulsa, other U.S. cities among the most populated that lost residents included New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Milwaukee and New Orleans.

The South and West continue to have the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau.

Mesa, Arizona, saw the largest increase in population among U.S. cities, gaining 8,563 residents over the year ending July 1, 2018.

Los Angeles and Houston posted the next highest gains in population, 8,454 and 8,057, respectively.

New York City, with nearly 8.4 million residents, continues to be the most populous city in the U.S., despite losing 39,523 residents in one year.

Los Angeles was estimated to have 3,990,456 residents, making it the No. 2 most populous city.

Top 10 populated cities in state, 2018

RankCity2018 population% change
1.Oklahoma City649,021+0.9
4.Broken Arrow109,171+0.7
8.Midwest City57,3250.1

Fastest growing cities, towns in state, 2018

RankCity2018 population% change
9.Union City2,1263.1

Fastest growing area cities, 2018

RankCity2018 population% change
7.Broken Arrow109,1710.7

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Curtis Killman


Twitter: @loucardfan61

Staff Writer

Curtis is a member of the Projects Team with an emphasis on database analysis. He also covers federal court news, maintains the Tulsa World database page and develops online interactive graphics. Phone: 918-581-8471

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