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Canadian County, Oklahoma facts for kids

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Canadian County
Canadian County Jail and Stable in El Reno (2014)
Canadian County Jail and Stable in El Reno (2014)
Map of Oklahoma highlighting Canadian County
Location within the U.S. state of Oklahoma
Map of the United States highlighting Oklahoma
Oklahoma's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Oklahoma
Founded March, 1890
Named for Canadian River
Seat El Reno
Largest city Oklahoma City
 • Total 906 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Land 897 sq mi (2,320 km2)
 • Water 9.0 sq mi (23 km2)  1.0%%
 • Total 115,541
 • Estimate 
 • Density 129/sq mi (50/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 3rd, 4th

Canadian County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 115,541, making it the fifth most populous county in Oklahoma. Its county seat is El Reno.

The county is named for the Canadian River, which forms part of its southern border. The river may have been named for early European explorers who were fur traders and trappers from New France, or pre-1763 colonial Canada.

Canadian County is part of the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area.


In 1859, the U.S. Government moved the Caddo of Louisiana from its Brazos reservation in Texas to what would eventually become Canadian County, Oklahoma. Showetat, the last hereditary chief of the Caddos set up his camp near the present Union City, and is considered Canadian County's first permanent resident. The Wichita tribe were relocated to the same part of Indian Territory in 1861. The Treaty of Medicine Lodge gave the land west of the Caddos and Wichitas to the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, They moved from Colorado in 1869. The Cheyenne-Arapaho Agency (later renamed the Darlington Agency) was established in 1870.

Canadian County was formed in 1889 as County Four of Oklahoma Territory as part of the Oklahoma Organic Act, which created Oklahoma Territory from part of Indian Territory. It was named after the Canadian River, which runs through the county, and settled by white settlers after the April 22, 1889, land run that opened up Native American land. It was expanded by a second land run in 1892 and finally, the opening of the Cheyenne and Arapaho lands in 1902. El Reno was chosen as the county seat over competitors Reno City, Frisco, and Canadian City.

The county was where the last great battle between the Cheyenne, Arapaho and the United States Army took place.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 906 square miles (2,350 km2), of which 897 square miles (2,320 km2) is land and 9.0 square miles (23 km2) (1.0%) is water. The county lies mostly within the Red Bed Plains, a subregion of the Osage Plains physiographic region, although its northwestern corner is in the Gypsum Hills. The county is drained by the North Canadian River and the Canadian River, which both flow through the county from northwest to southeast. According to a study published by the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the North Canadian River drains about 40 percent of the county, the Canadian River drains about 32 percent and the Cimarron River drains about 27 percent (mostly in the northeastern part of the county. About 1 percent of the county is drained by Sugar Creek, which empties into the Washita River, itself a tributary of the Red River.

The North Canadian River enters Canadian County near the northwest corner, flows generally southeast towards the middle of the county, then turns southward to leave the county about 8 miles (13 km) north of the southeastern corner. The river length is about 76 miles (122 km). The elevation drops from 1,420 feet (430 m) at the entry to about 1,200 feet (370 m) at the exit. Its named tributaries are Sixmile Creek, Fourmile Creek, Purcell Creek, Shell Creek and Mustang Creek.

The Canadian River enters the western border of the county about 11 miles (18 km) north of the southwest corner at an elevation of 1,370 feet (420 m) and flows southeast about 16 miles (26 km), where it becomes the southern border of the county. Its course within the county is 45 miles (72 km) long, and the elevation where it leaves the county is 1,150 feet (350 m). Named tributaries include Dry Creek and Boggy Creek,

The Cimarron River does not flow through the county, but drains part of the northeastern area via its tributaries: Kingfisher, Dead Indian, Uncle John, Cottonwood, Soldier and Deer Creeks. The Washita River flows more than 20 miles (32 km) south of the county, but drains about 5 square miles (13 km2) in the southwest corner of Canadian County.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 7,158
1900 15,981 123.3%
1910 23,501 47.1%
1920 22,288 −5.2%
1930 28,115 26.1%
1940 27,329 −2.8%
1950 25,644 −6.2%
1960 24,727 −3.6%
1970 32,245 30.4%
1980 56,452 75.1%
1990 74,409 31.8%
2000 87,697 17.9%
2010 115,541 31.8%
2020 154,405 33.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019
USA Canadian County, Oklahoma age pyramid
Age pyramid for Canadian County, Oklahoma, based on census 2000 data

As of the census of 2000, there were 87,697 people, 31,484 households, and 24,431 families residing in the county. The population density was 98 people per square mile (38/km2). There were 33,969 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 87.01% White, 2.16% Black or African American, 4.27% Native American, 2.45% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.35% from other races, and 2.72% from two or more races. 3.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 31,484 households, out of which 39.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.30% were married couples living together, 9.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.40% were non-families. 19.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 28.00% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 9.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,439, and the median income for a family was $51,180. Males had a median income of $35,944 versus $24,631 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,691. About 5.80% of families and 7.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.70% of those under age 18 and 7.20% of those age 65 or over.


Major highways

  • I-40
  • I-40 Bus.
  • US-81
  • US-270
  • US-281
  • SH-3
  • SH-4
  • SH-8
  • SH-37
  • SH-66
  • SH-92
  • SH-152


  • Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport is a public use airport located in Canadian County, 15 nautical miles (28 km) west of the central business district of Oklahoma City, which also owns this airport.
  • Sundance Airpark is a public use airport located in Canadian County, 11 nautical miles (20 km) northwest of the central business district of Oklahoma City. This airport is privately owned.
  • El Reno Regional Airport, El Reno, OK


NRHP Sites

The following sites in Canadian County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Avant's Cities Service Station, El Reno
  • Bridgeport Hill Service Station, Geary
  • Bridgeport Hill-Hydro Route 66 Segment, Hydro
  • Canadian County Jail, El Reno
  • Carnegie Library, El Reno
  • Czech Hall, Yukon
  • Darlington Agency Site, El Reno
  • El Reno High School, El Reno
  • El Reno Hotel, El Reno
  • El Reno Municipal Swimming Pool Bath House, El Reno
  • Fort Reno, El Reno
  • William I. and Magdalen M. Goff House, El Reno
  • Jackson Conoco Service Station, El Reno
  • Henry Lassen House, El Reno
  • McGranahan Portion of the Chisholm Trail Roadbed, Yukon vicinity
  • Meloy House, Mustang
  • Mennoville Mennonite Church, El Reno
  • Mulvey Mercantile, Yukon
  • Red Cross Canteen, El Reno
  • Richardson Building, Union City
  • Rock Island Depot, El Reno
  • Southern Hotel, El Reno
  • West Point Christian Church, Yukon
  • Yukon Public Library, Yukon


Agriculture has been a mainstay of the economy since the beginning of non-Indigenous settlement in the late 1800s.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Canadian para niños

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