Oklahoma is a state that is in the southern part of the Central United States. It had a population of about 3,751,351 people in 2010. The state has a land area of about 68,667 sq mi (177,847 km2). Oklahoma is the 28th largest state by population and the 20th largest state by area. The name of the state comes from the Choctaw words okla and humma. It means "Red People". It is also known by its nickname, The Sooner State. The state was formed from Indian Territory on November 16, 1907. It was the 46th state to become part of the United States. The people who live in the state are known as Oklahomans or Okies. The state's capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
In the past, Oklahoma was used as a path for cattle drives, a place for southern settlers, and a government-made territory for Native Americans. The state is a large producer of natural gas, oil and food. It has large industries in aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. The state has one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. Between 2005 and 2006, it had the third highest percentage of income growth and the highest percentage in gross domestic product growth. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are the main economic areas of Oklahoma. Almost 60 percent of Oklahomans live in these two metropolitan statistical areas.
Oklahoma has small mountain ranges, prairies, and eastern forests. Most of Oklahoma is in the Great Plains. It is regularly hit by severe weather.
The cultural heritage of Oklahoma is made from by a population descending from many cultures. These include German, Irish, British and Native American people. There are more than 25 Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma, more than in any other state. Many people in Oklahoma believe in evangelical Christianity. The state is part of the Bible Belt. Oklahoma is one of the most politically conservative states, but voter registration is largest for the Democratic Party.