|Motto: The Parakeet Capital of the World|
|• Total||11.8 sq mi (30.7 km2)|
|• Land||11.8 sq mi (30.6 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||896 ft (273 m)|
|• Density||174.9/sq mi (67.5/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1099439|
A newspaper article claimed that Waurika promoted itself as "The Parakeet Capital of the World." It gave no explanation for using this slogan.
The name is the anglicized version of the Comanche compound woarɨhka 'worm eater' from woa 'worm' + tɨhka 'eat' and presumably refers to a group of Comanche living in the area or to some early European settlers whose plowing may have humorously resembled digging for worms. Such humorous names were common in Comanche culture, such as the word for 'rice', woarɨhkapɨh, literally 'worm food'.
Waurika was settled after the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Reservation was opened to non-Indians on August 6, 1901. The first white settler was James McGraw, who homesteaded on the present town site after moving from Burlington, Iowa. The first sale of town lots was held on June 18, 1902. Nearly three thousand people attended the sale.
Waurika was incorporated in May 1903. On May 8 of that year, C. A. McBrian was sworn in as the town's first mayor.
The Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway railroad came to Waurika on January 1902 after the railroad superintendent "designated the town as a flag station." Waurika was formerly the northern terminus for the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, one of the 20th century properties of Frank Kell and Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls, Texas.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.8 square miles (31 km2), of which, 11.8 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.08% is water.
Waurika's economy has largely been based on cattle raising, agriculture and petroleum production since the founding of the city.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,988 people, 741 households, and 500 families residing in the city. The population density was 168.0 people per square mile (64.9/km²). There were 929 housing units at an average density of 78.5 per square mile (30.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.41% White, 1.81% African American, 4.28% Native American, 3.37% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 2.36% from other races, and 2.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.00% of the population.
There were 741 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 107.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,800, and the median income for a family was $31,594. Males had a median income of $24,844 versus $16,286 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,496. About 6.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.4% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.
Waurika has a home rule charter form of government.
- Irene Champlin, actress, was born in Waurika.
- Gary Chapman, singer and songwriter was born in Waurika.
The 1996 murder of Heather Rich brought brief notoriety to Waurika. Rich, a 16-year-old sophomore at the local high school, was murdered by two classmates and an acquaintance in a case that attracted national media coverage.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Census Viewer: Waurika, Oklahoma Population". Moonshadow Mobile, Inc. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- MY GRANDMOTHER RAISED 500 PARAKEETS AT A TIME IN A LITTLE HOUSE. SHE WAS ONE OF MANY BREEDERS IN THAT TOWN IN THE 1970S. IT WAS INDEED CALLED THIS. Etter, Jim. "Catchy Slogans Strive to Put Towns on Map." The Oklahoman. October 20, 1985. Accessed November 3, 2016.
- William Bright. 2013. Native American Placenames of the Southwest (Univ. of Oklahoma Press)
- Sheridan B. Drowatzky, "Waurika," Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, 2009. Accessed March 27, 2015.
- "H. Allen Anderson, "Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad"". tshaonline.org. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.