Urbanization was rapid in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1940 the urban share of the population stood at just 38 percent. In 1950 the urban population had grown slightly larger than the rural population. By 1960 the urban share of the population had jumped to 63 percent. During the last half of the 20th century, the share of urban dwellers remained fairly stable, and in 2000 some 65 percent of Oklahoma’s people lived in cities or towns. The increased use of machinery on farms and in mining, and the replacement of croplands by pastureland, influenced the migration of people from rural to urban areas. Manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, and service industries helped to absorb workers.
In 1990 approximately 98 percent of the people living in Oklahoma were born in the United States. Of the total population in 2000, whites constitute 76.2 percent, Native Americans 7.9 percent, blacks 7.6 percent, Asians 1.4 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 6.9 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 5.2 percent of the population. According to the 2000 census, there were 273,200 Native Americans in Oklahoma. This is a relatively large Native American community, trailing only Alaska, New Mexico, and South Dakota as a percentage of total population. Most Native Americans live in the Ouachita and Ozark regions of eastern Oklahoma in what was originally Indian Territory. The Plains peoples live in small groups in the western part of the state. Most Native Americans live in rural areas. There were 261,000 blacks in Oklahoma in 2000. The largest number live in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and in southern and eastern Oklahoma, especially in the Coastal Plain and the Sandstone Hills part of the Central Lowland. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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