Bartlesville is notable as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company, now merged with Conoco as ConocoPhillips. Frank Phillips, who has a principal street named after him (the hospital is named after his wife Jane), founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still Indian Territory. Phillips has always been the largest employer. Chiefly white-collar workers are employed by ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville, as the industrial extraction and refining work is done elsewhere in the state and throughout the world.
The city has one daily newspaper and several radio stations. It is one of two places in Oklahoma where a Lenape tribe lives, the other being Anadarko.
As of the census of 2000, there were 34,748 people, 14,565 households, and 9,831 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,646.4 people per square mile (635.5/km²). There were 16,091 housing units at an average density of 762.4/sq mi (294.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.09% White, 3.20% African American, 7.18% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 5.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.02% of the population.
There were 14,565 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% 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 24.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,827, and the median income for a family was $44,617. Males had a median income of $35,699 versus $23,071 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,195. About 9.4% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.8% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.