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Notes on the Geography of Oklahoma: Oklahoma's Small Towns: Photo 1

world pictures Oklahoma: Oklahoma's Small Towns

All told, Oklahoma has about 3.8 million people (2012). It surpassed 3 million in 1980, so growth has been slow. Very slow, you might say, because as early as 1910 the state had 1.8 million. That's a century to double. In that same period, Texas has sextupled--er, grown by 600 percent. (Mustn't offend anybody.) About 1.3 million live in greater Oklahoma City, and Metro Tulsa adds almost another million, which leaves about 1.5 million Oklahomans scattered in smaller places over a state of 70,000 square miles. (That's bigger than Java or Luzon or, for that matter, Bangladesh.) Here's a main-street building in Tecumseh, population 6,500 (Pottawatomie County). An opera house? Says something about the aspirations of the state's founders--and of how property owners can scramble to find alternative uses for buildings that might otherwise be abandoned.

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