CITY OF LAWTON
Lawton dates back to a single day, August 6, 1901, when the Kiowa-Comanche reservation was opened for settlement. A lottery was used to distribute the land. A person wanting a claim, which was 160 acres in the new section, had to register for a drawing.
A century later, Lawton has matured into Oklahoma's fifth largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), serving as the prominent shopping, medical, recreational, educational and religious center for southwest Oklahoma. It is the retail and distribution center for the area's cattle, dairy and agricultural industries. Lawton is also the home of manufacturing and processing companies and is continually working toward the expansion of existing industries and the acquisition of new ones.
Lawton has become the regional employment and retail center for southwest Oklahoma. Lawton supports a retail community of almost 300,000 people, all within a 45 minute drive. The greater Lawton region includes smaller towns of Cache, Duncan, Altus, Geronimo, Walters, Elgin, Chickasha, Marlow, Rush Springs and Wichita Falls, TX.
The 2010 Census counted 96,867 people, 34,901 households, and 22,508 families residing in the city limits. The racial makeup of the city was 60.3 percent White, 21.4 percent African American, 4.7 percent Native American, 2.6 percent Asian, 0.3 percent Pacific Islander, 3.4 percent from other races, and 4.9 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.6 percent of the population.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,566, and the median income for a family was $50,507. Males had a median income of $36,440 versus $31,825 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,655. About 16.6 percent of families and 19.0 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.5 percent of those under age 18 and 4.9 percent of those age 65 or over.
Lawton is primarily centered on government, manufacturing and retail trade industries. Lawton MSA ranks fourth in Oklahoma with Gross Domestic Product of $4.2 billion produced in 2008 with a majority ($2.1 billion) in the government sector. Fort Sill is the largest employer of jobs in Lawton, employing over 5,000 full time employees. In the private sector, the largest employer is Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company with 2,400 full time employees. Major employers in the Lawton area also include: Lawton Public Schools, Comanche County, Halliburton, Memorial Hospital, City of Lawton, Cameron University, and Bar S Foods.