We have been very fortunate over the last few years to have an economy that has been very strong despite the national economy struggling the way it has. I’ve heard stories that one of the reasons that we have not been hit as hard as a lot of places in the United States is because in the 1980′s we were hit bad when the oil prices dropped. There were a lot of people that were hurt at that point and moved away. I read that since we were hit so bad in the 1980′s that our local businesses, banks, etc were a lot more conservative in their investing. They did not take as many risks this time around putting us at as much risk as we were last time. I have also read that our housing industry has had similar results due to the same conservative business practices. Whatever it has been, it has worked because our local economy is still doing very well. Our population has been growing at a steady rate for nearly two decades. It has not been too excessive too fast but steady. In 2000 we reached a new threshold of 500,000 people reaching 506,129. The metro area also hit a major milestone that year surpassing 1,000,000 people topping out at 1,083,346 people. In 2010 the city population reached 579,999 people according to the US Census numbers. The metro area reached 1,252,987.
Each year the Census does a population estimate and I am not sure what the criteria is used but every July they tell what the estimate was for the previous year in non official census years. In 2011 Oklahoma City reached a population of 591,967, an increase of 11,968 people over last year. The metro area population increased to 1,278,053, an increase of 25,066 over last year. If we were to continue at that growth level, the population should have reached a new milestone of 600,000 in 2012 with an actual population of 603,935 and a new metro area population of 1,303,119. If we were to continue at that growth through 2020 you could see the population reaching 700,000 with a metro area population of 1.5 million. These numbers can be shown as below…
2011…591,967 metro area 1,278,053 (Actually known)
2012…603,935 metro area 1,303,119 (Will be shown in July)
2013…615,903 metro area 1,328,185
2014…627,871 metro area 1,353,251
2015…639,839 metro area 1,378,317
2016…651,807 metro area 1,403,383
2017…663,775 metro area 1,428,449
2018…675,743 metro area 1,453,515
2019…687,711 metro area 1,478,581
2020…699,679 metro area 1, 503,647
2021…711,647 metro area 1,528,653
Of course these numbers could decrease over time but they could also increase. I am seeing all sorts of stories in the New York Times, Forbes, etc about how our economy is doing so well and the cost of living is so much lower than the rest of the country. As a citizen here, I am biased but I really like living here. I am hopeful that the economy will continue to flourish and improve even more. Unless the population has slowed over last year our population should have topped 600,000 this year and the metro should have topped 1.3 million. All signs that I’ve been reading about indicate that population growth has been increasing. It is a great time to live in OKC and the future also looks to be even better.