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Central Oklahoma facts for kids

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Oklahoma city downtown
Downtown Oklahoma City (2014), the hub of Central Oklahoma.

Central Oklahoma is the geographical name for the central region of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It is also known by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism designation, Frontier Country, defined as the twelve-county region including Canadian, Grady, Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Payne, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Okfuskee, and Hughes counties.

Central Oklahoma is dominated by the largest urban area in the state, the Greater Oklahoma City area. Oklahoma City is the political, economic, tourism, commercial, industrial, financial, and geographical hub of the state, as well as being its primary cultural center. The only Central Oklahoma city which is not officially considered a suburb of Oklahoma City is Stillwater, Oklahoma.


Central Oklahoma is a humid-subtropical region dominated by the Cross Timbers, an area of prairie and patches of forest at the eastern extent of the Great Plains. The region is essentially a transition buffer between the wetter and more forested Eastern Oklahoma and the semi-arid high plains of Western Oklahoma, and experiences extreme swings between dry and wet weather patterns. Climate is dominated by large differences in annual rainfall totals, with Central Oklahoma's western boundary receiving far less rain than compared to its eastern boundary.

Because of these convergences of dry and wet weather patters, Central Oklahoma is at the heart of what is known as Tornado Alley, and is one of the most tornado-prone areas in the United States.


Will Rogers World Airport - Oklahoma
Will Rogers World Airport, 2006

Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City is the primary airport of the region and the busiest in the state. The airport has one terminal with 17 gates, but is in the process of expansion. Wiley Post Airport in Bethany and Max Westheimer Airport in Norman serve as reliever airports for Will Rogers Airport. The region is also home to Tinker Air Force Base, the largest military air depot in the nation; Clarence E. Page Municipal Airport, a city-owned public use airport in Canadian County, Oklahoma; and Sundance Airpark, a privately owned public use airport in Canadian County.

There are no sea ports in Central Oklahoma, as water exports must go through Northeastern Oklahoma via Tulsa, which has one of two large-scale seaport in the state.

There are four primary highways in Central Oklahoma. Interstate 35 connects the region with Texas and Kansas to the south and north, Interstate 40 connects with West Texas and Arkansas, and Interstate 44 is a turnpike its entire duration through the region (except within Oklahoma City), and traverses from Southwest Oklahoma to Missouri.

The region is served by the BNSF Railway, the Union Pacific Railroad, and several short-line railroads. Daily passenger service from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas, is provided by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation through a fee-for-service contract with Amtrak.

Union Bus Station in Oklahoma City is the principal bus terminal in the region and the state.

Higher education

Central Oklahoma is an important hub of higher education. The region contains both the University of Oklahoma, in Norman, and Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, the state's largest universities. A notable regional university is the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma which is routinely ranked as the top public regional university by the U.S. News Rankings. Other colleges include Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City University, Langston University, and the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, in Chickasha.

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