Jenks is fastest growing city in state, other suburbs continuing to grow

May 26, 2017

Jenks is fastest growing city in state, other suburbs continuing to grow

By Curtis Killman Tulsa World

Jenks is once again the fastest-growing city in the state, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

Population estimates released Thursday show the suburb south of Tulsa grew by 5.2 percent during the one-year period ending July 1, 2016.

The city located just west of the Arkansas River added 1,084 residents during the one-year period. As of July 1, the city of Jenks population was 21,812, making it the 21st most-populous city in Oklahoma.

This marks the second time this decade that Jenks was the fastest-growing city in the state.

Jenks’ 6.8 percent population growth during the year ending July 1, 2014, made it tops in the state that year. Jenks’ neighbor to it south, Glenpool, was the fastest-growing city in the state in 2015.

Since 2010, Jenks has added 4,600 residents, according to Census Bureau estimates, making it the fastest-growing city in this region and fourth fastest-growing city in the state at 26.7 percent, or an average of 766 new residents per year.

Jenks Mayor Josh Wedman attributed the population growth to an excellent school system, high quality of life and easy access to nearby Tulsa.

“Even as our population grow rapidly, we remain one of the safest communities in the state, our downtown retains its historic charm and our community continues to embody the small-town friendliness that originally drew people here,” Wedman said.

Like most cities, Jenks’ challenge will be to provide public services to meet population growth.

Wedman said the city is focusing on bringing more commercial development to the city.

Because “growing the sales tax base in the city is going to be crucial to provide adequate funding levels as our infrastructure, public safety and operational needs grow in proportion to the population growth,” Wedman said.

Meanwhile, as most Tulsa-area suburbs continue to grow in population, the city of Tulsa actually shrank a tiny fraction during the same one-year period.

Tulsa’s 15-person decline in population last year ended 10 successive years when the annual population had increased in Tulsa.

To put the population loss in perspective, during the one-year period ending July 1, 2015, the city of Tulsa added 3,100 new residents.

Tulsa’s population on July 1, was 403,090.

Down the turnpike, Oklahoma City grew by 1.2 percent or 7,749 people for a total of 638,367 residents.

Norman, the state’s No. 3 most populous city, gained nearly 2,000 residents in the past one-year period, bringing its total population to 122,180.

Other fast-growing cities in the Tulsa area include Owasso, 3.7 percent; Bixby, 2.9 percent; Glenpool, 2.6 percent and Collinsville, 2.6 percent.

Conversely, most of the fastest-shrinking cities were in the western half of the state, led by Elk City at a 5.1 percent decline.

Area towns that saw the fastest decline in population were Vinita, -1.5 percent; Krebs, -1.2 percent and Wilburton at -1 percent.

Nationwide, 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities with populations of at least 50,000 were in the South, with four of the top five in Texas.

Conroe, Texas, located near Houston, grew by 7.8 percent in 2016.

Top 10 populated cities on July 1, 2016

CityPopulationChange 2015 to 2016
1. Oklahoma City638,367+1.2%
2. Tulsa403,090-0.004%
3. Norman122,180+1.7%
4. Broken Arrow107,403+0.8%
5. Lawton94,653-1.7%
6. Edmond91,191+1.3%
7. Moore61,415+1.7%
8. Midwest City57,305+0.2%
9. Enid51,004-1.2%
10. Stillwater49,504+1.4%