Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma with an estimated 387,807 (2006) residents. It is the seat of Tulsa County and the most densely populated city in Oklahoma. Tulsa was originally part of Indian territory and was first settled by the Lochapoka and Creek tribes between 1828 and 1836. They established a new settlement named "Tulasi," meaning "old town" in the Lachapoka language, which led to the present day usage of the name of Tulsa. Tulsa is the 46th largest city in the United States and the 93rd largest city in North America. In 2005, Tulsa was chosen as one of "America's Most Livable Large Cities."
Located in Northeast Oklahoma, it is in a part of the state often referred to as "Green Country." Tulsa is also considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, boasting two world-renowned art museums, full-time professional opera and ballet companies, and a large concentration of art deco architecture. For most of the 20th century, oil refinery and oil corporations dominated Tulsa's economy. However, an oil bust in the 1980s severely compromised that economic foundation. Recently, city and county officials have been leading massive undertakings to diversify the local economy. Today, Tulsa is still an important energy and oil center, but other sectors have driven economic growth in recent years such as aerospace, finance, technology, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
Downtown contains much of Tulsa's convention space including the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and the Tulsa Convention Center. Beginning in 2008, these will be joined by the BOK Center. Prominent downtown sub-districts include the Blue Dome District, the Brady Arts district, and the Greenwood Historical District.
Tulsa has 14 institutions of higher education, including two NCAA Division 1 universities: the University of Tulsa, a private school founded in 1894; and Oral Roberts University, a private school founded by evangelist Oral Roberts in 1963. In addition, Oklahoma State University operates Oklahoma State University at Tulsa in the downtown area, which accommodates upper-level courses. The OSU Center for Health Sciences and the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine are also located near downtown. The University of Oklahoma has a graduate campus in Tulsa, known as the Schusterman Center and located in the Midtown region of Tulsa. Rogers State University, located in the suburb of Claremore, is the Tulsa area's only public four-year university, although Tulsa Community College and OSU-Tulsa have a partnership allowing students to complete four-year Bachelor's degrees between the two campuses.
Tulsa's history has produced a diverse population of southern settlers, northern oilmen, western ranchers, and Native American tribes. The city is host to museums, cultural centers, performing arts venues, and a large array of ethnic festivals. Tulsa's extensive park systems contain a zoo, wildlife preserves, and outdoor concert venues. These include The Philbrook Museum of Art, the Tulsa Union Depot (housing the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame), the Gilcrease Museum, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, the Tulsa Geosciences Center, and the Greenwood Cultural Center. Other notable sites worth visiting are Woodward Park housing horticulture presentations, a Victorian conservatory and botanical garden, the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum, and the Big Splash Water Park.