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Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Statue of an early 20th-century family, in Centennial Park on Main Street
Statue of an early 20th-century family,
in Centennial Park on Main Street
Location within Tulsa County and the state of Oklahoma
Location within Tulsa County and the state of Oklahoma
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Country  United States
State  Oklahoma
Counties Tulsa, Wagoner
Founded 1902
Incorporated 1903
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City 62.46 sq mi (161.78 km2)
 • Land 61.85 sq mi (160.19 km2)
 • Water 0.61 sq mi (1.59 km2)
755 ft (230 m)
 • City 98,850
 • Estimate 
 • Rank US: 279th
 • Density 1,781.73/sq mi (687.93/km2)
 • Metro
961,561 (US: 55th)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 539/918
FIPS code 40-09050
GNIS feature ID 1090512
Website City of Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, primarily in Tulsa County, with a portion in western Wagoner County. It is the largest suburb of Tulsa. According to the 2010 census, Broken Arrow has a population of 98,850 residents and is the fourth-largest city in the state. However, a July 2019 estimate reported that the population of the city is just under 112,000, making it the 280th-largest city in the United States. The city is part of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 961,561 residents.

The Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad sold lots for the town site in 1902 and company secretary William S. Fears named it Broken Arrow. The city was named for a Creek community settled by Creek Indians who had been forced to relocate from Alabama to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears.

Although Broken Arrow was originally an agricultural community, its current economy is diverse. The city has the third-largest concentration of manufacturers in the state.


The city's name comes from an old Creek community in Alabama. Members of that community were expelled from Alabama by the United States government, along the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. The Creek founded a new community in the Indian Territory, and named it after their old settlement in Alabama. The town's Creek name was Rekackv (pronounced thlee-Kawtch-kuh), meaning broken arrow. The new Creek settlement was located several miles south of present-day downtown Broken Arrow.

In 1902 the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad planned a railroad through the area and was granted town site privileges along the route. They sold three of the as-yet-unnamed sites to the Arkansas Valley Town Site Company. William S. Fears, secretary of that company, was allowed to choose and name one of the locations. He selected a site about 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Tulsa and about five miles north of the thlee-Kawtch-kuh settlement and named the new town site Broken Arrow, after the Indian settlement. The MKT railroad, which was completed in 1903, ran through the middle of the city. It still exists today and is now owned by Union Pacific which currently uses it for freight.

For the first decades of Broken Arrow's history, the town's economy was based mainly on agriculture. The coal industry also played an important role, with several strip coal mines located near the city in the early 20th century. The city's newspaper, the Broken Arrow Ledger, started within a couple of years after the city's founding. Broken Arrow's first school was built in 1904. The city did not grow much during the first half of the 1900s. During this time Broken Arrow's main commercial center was along Main Street. Most of the city's churches were also located on or near Main Street as well. A 1907 government census listed Broken Arrow's population at 1383.

Cornerstone of Haskell State School of Agriculture, built 1911, demolished 1987
Only remnant of Haskell State School of Agriculture, built 1911, demolished 1987.

The Haskell State School of Agriculture opened in the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma Opera House on November 15, 1909. The school closed in 1917 for lack of funding, and the building was then used as Broken Arrow High School. The building was razed in 1987. Only a marker, shown here, remains at 808 East College Street in Broken Arrow. The front of cornerstone reads, "Haskell State School / Of Agriculture / J. H. Esslinger Supt. / W. A. Etherton Archt. / Bucy & Walker Contr." The side of cornerstone reads "Laid by the Masonic Fraternity / May 25, A. D. 1910, A. L. 5810. / George Huddell G. M. / Erected by The State Board of Agriculture / J. P. Conners Pres. / B. C. Pittuck Dean.". The school is commemorated on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the 1960s, Broken Arrow began to grow from a small town into a suburban city. The Broken Arrow Expressway (Oklahoma State Highway 51) was constructed in the mid-1960s and connected the city with downtown Tulsa, fueling growth in Broken Arrow. The population swelled from a little above 11,000 in 1970 to more than 50,000 in 1990, and then more than 74,000 by the year 2000. During this time, the city was more of a bedroom community. In recent years, city leaders have pushed for more economic development to help keep more Broken Arrowans working, shopping and relaxing in town rather than going to other cities.

Geography and climate

Broken Arrow is located in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. The city is part of the state's Green Country region known for its green vegetation, hills and lakes. Green Country is the most topographically diverse portion of the state with seven of Oklahoma's 11 eco-regions.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 45.6 square miles (118 km2), of which 45.0 sq mi (117 km2) is land and 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2) of it (1.34%) is water.


Broken Arrow has the typical eastern and central Oklahoma humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with uncomfortably hot summers and highly variable winters that can range from very warm to very cold depending on whether the air mass comes from warmed air over the Rocky Mountains or very cold polar anticyclones from Canada.

Climate data for Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 45.7
Average low °F (°C) 22.2
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.6


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,383
1910 1,576 14.0%
1920 2,086 32.4%
1930 1,964 −5.8%
1940 2,074 5.6%
1950 3,262 57.3%
1960 5,982 83.4%
1970 11,787 97.0%
1980 35,761 203.4%
1990 58,043 62.3%
2000 74,859 29.0%
2010 98,850 32.0%
2020 113,540 14.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

According to the 2010 census, there were 98,850 people, 36,141 households, and 27,614 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200 people per square mile (850/km2). There were 38,013 housing units at an average density of 602.0 per square mile (232.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.3% White, 4.3% African American, 5.2% Native American, 3.6% Asian (1.0% Vietnamese, 0.7% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.3% Korean, 0.3% Hmong, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.2% Filipino, 0.1% Japanese), 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.2% from other races, and 5.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino were 6.5% (4.4% Mexican, 0.4% Puerto Rican, 0.3% Spanish, 0.1% Venezuelan, 0.1% Colombian).

There were 36,141 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.4% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. Of all households, 19.2% were made up of individuals, and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city, the population dispersal was 30.8% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $65,385 and the median income for a family was $74,355. The per capita income for the city was $29,141. About 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line. Of the city's population over the age of 25, 30.3% hold a bachelor's degree or higher.


  • A 2007 crime survey by CQ Press found Broken Arrow to be the 22nd-safest city in the nation and the safest city in Oklahoma.
  • Broken Arrow was listed as #66 and #69, respectively, in Money Magazine's 2006 and 2012 list of the 100 best places to live.
  • Broken Arrow was listed as one of the "Top 25 Affordable Suburbs in the South" by Business Week Magazine in 2007.
  • The Pride of Broken Arrow marching band won 1st place in the Bands of America Grand Nationals championship at Indianapolis in 2006, 2011, and 2015.
  • Broken Arrow has been listed as a "Tree City USA" for over 6 years in a row.
  • Broken Arrow's new logo received an Award of Merit from the Public Relations Society of America - Tulsa Chapter in 2008.
  • Broken Arrow's branding campaign received the 2008 Innovations Award from the Oklahoma Municipal League.
  • Family Circle Magazine featured Broken Arrow as one of the 10 best towns for families in 2008.


Broken Arrow is served by Broken Arrow Public schools, Union Public Schools, Bixby public schools and Coweta public schools. Most of BA is served by BAPS while the northwestern part of town is Union Public Schools, far southwest part of town is Bixby Public Schools and the far southeastern part of town is Coweta Public Schools. The Coweta portion also includes large unincorporated tracts of land that may eventually be annexed into the city of Broken Arrow. Bixby, Union and Broken Arrow schools all operate at least one school in the city while the Coweta School District does not currently have any schools within the city limits.

Colleges and universities

NSU clock at night
The NSU clock tower at sunset

Higher education in Broken Arrow is provided by Northeastern State University (Broken Arrow campus). The campus opened in 2001 and has an upperclassmen and graduate student population of 3,000.

Broken Arrow is also served by Tulsa Technology Center Broken Arrow Campus. Established in 1983, it has an enrollment of about 3,500 full- and part-time secondary and adult students.

Broken Arrow is also home to Rhema Bible Training Center, established in 1974 by Kenneth E. Hagin; located on 110 acres (45 ha), it has graduated over 40,000 alumni and has seven ministry concentrations. RBTC is currently led by Hagin's son, Kenneth W. Hagin.


The city's two libraries, Broken Arrow Library and South Broken Arrow Library, are part of the Tulsa City-County Library System.


Major highways in Broken Arrow include State Highway 51 (Broken Arrow Expressway). It passes through the north side of the city and leads to downtown Tulsa to the northwest. Heading east on the Broken Arrow Expressway leads to the Muskogee Turnpike, which connects the city to Muskogee. Partial beltway Creek Turnpike circles around the south of the city and connects the Turner Turnpike to the west terminus of the Will Rogers Turnpike.

Public transportation for Broken Arrow is provided by Tulsa Transit. It has one route that connects the city to Tulsa. Bus services run Monday through Friday.

Notable people

  • David Alexander, former NFL player and former head coach of Broken Arrow High School football team
  • Alvin Bailey, offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks
  • Jim Baumer, former Major League infielder and general manager for Milwaukee Brewers
  • Archie Bradley, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, drafted 7th overall in 2011 MLB first-year player draft
  • Jim Brewer, former Major League pitcher with Los Angeles Dodgers
  • P.C. Cast, author and novelist best known for the House of Night series
  • Kristin Chenoweth, singer, actress and graduate of Broken Arrow High School. Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center's (PAC) theater and stage are named after Chenoweth.
  • Ernest Childers, Medal of Honor recipient in World War II
  • Marguerite Churchill, actress, died in Broken Arrow
  • DeDe Dorsey, Las Vegas Locomotives running back, former NFL player with Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts
  • Ester Drang, indie rock band
  • Phil Farrand, author known for Nitpicker's Guides
  • Kenneth E. Hagin, evangelist and founder of Rhema Bible Training College
  • Steve Logan, running backs coach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • JD McPherson, singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • George O'Brien, actor
  • Brad Penny, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Donald Roulet, Presbyterian minister and civil rights activist
  • Warren Spahn, Hall of Fame baseball pitcher and longtime Broken Arrow resident
  • Will Thomas, historical mystery writer, winner of 2005 and 2015 Oklahoma Book Award for fiction
  • Andy Wilkins, first baseman for Milwaukee Brewers
  • Kathryn Zaremba, stage actress

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