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Canadian County leads state in population growth rate

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A ferris wheel towers over downtown Yukon during Czech Festival in Yukon on Saturday Oct. 7, 2015. [JACKIE DOBSON/for The Oklahoman]
A ferris wheel towers over downtown Yukon during Czech Festival in Yukon on Saturday Oct. 7, 2015. [JACKIE DOBSON/for The Oklahoman]

Canadian County led the state in growth last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures that show the county’s population rising by 3 percent, ranking it in the Top 50 growing counties in the nation.

The county, which includes El Reno, Mustang, Yukon, Piedmont and part of Oklahoma City, added an estimated 4,394 residents, according to the Census Bureau.

Mustang City Manager Timothy Rooney said Wednesday the number of new homes built in Mustang in 2018 doubled from the previous year.

"Mustang is experiencing unprecedented growth,” he said.

Canadian County’s growth rate last year ranked it 49th in the nation. Since 2010, the county’s growth rate ranks 28th in the nation.

“That puts Canadian County growth in the top 1 percent of county growth in the United States” since 2010, said Eric Long, research economist for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.

Of the 77 counties in Oklahoma, 48 lost population between 2017 and 2018.

Blaine County, which borders Canadian County on the north and west, was among those losing population last year. Since the 2010 Census, the county has lost 21 percent of its population, the highest percentage loss in the state.

Teresa A. France, director of the chamber of commerce in Watonga, the seat of Blaine County, said residents had begun to rally after many years of complacency.

A consultant was brought in to make recommendations. Residents are voting soon on whether to establish a city manager form of government. A foundation was created.

“We’re working on several things in our downtown area,” France said. “We have seen a slow, steady move upward. I do believe we’ll have a change in growth.”

The Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes seven counties, grew by 1 percent from 2017 to 2018. The Census Bureau estimated the population as 1,396,445 in July 2018.

Since the 2010, the metro area has grown 11.4 percent, adding 143,455 people.

Long said, “While the population growth for the Oklahoma City metro has slowed somewhat over the past two years, it is still slightly above the growth rate for the nation, just under 1 percent.

“And over the next 25 years, if that long-term growth persists, that slightly higher rate, we could add another half a million people and we would be at about 2 million population by 2045.”

The chamber is expecting job growth this year of 2.1 percent, an additional 13,600 jobs.

According to research at the chamber, about 60,000 people or 44 percent of residents in Canadian County live in the Oklahoma City portion of Canadian County.

“That tends to be one of the major drivers of population growth in Canadian County, but you do have a lot of additional residential growth in the surrounding cities in Canadian County,” Long said.

“Oklahoma County continues to be the driving engine for job growth in the metro. The beneficiaries of that are the surrounding suburban counties.”

The state of Oklahoma added 10,439 people between July 2017 and July 2018 and moved closer to the 4 million mark. According to the new estimates, the Oklahoma population was 3,943,079 last July.

The next full head count by the Census Bureau is in 2020. The population numbers released between the full head counts, conducted every 10 years, are estimates.

Staff Writer Robert Medley contributed

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<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5fe10321cdf605e073a4a6b27d8fa22e.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f55854167e2a59424cb5093ae5b6316f.jpg" alt="Photo - A ferris wheel towers over downtown Yukon during Czech Festival in Yukon on Saturday Oct. 7, 2015. [JACKIE DOBSON/for The Oklahoman] " title=" A ferris wheel towers over downtown Yukon during Czech Festival in Yukon on Saturday Oct. 7, 2015. [JACKIE DOBSON/for The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> A ferris wheel towers over downtown Yukon during Czech Festival in Yukon on Saturday Oct. 7, 2015. [JACKIE DOBSON/for The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

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