Carter County is a county in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,557. Its county seat is Ardmore. The county was named for Captain Ben W. Carter, a Cherokee who lived among the Chickasaw.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 834 square miles (2,160 km), of which 822 square miles (2,130 km) is land and 12 square miles (31 km) (1.4%) is water.
The county contains parts of several physiographic regions, including the Arbuckle Mountains, the Coastal Plains, the Red Bed plains and the Cross Timbers. The northern part of the county drains to the Washita River, while several creeks drain the southern part directly to the Red River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 45,621 people, 17,992 households, and 12,648 families residing in the county. The population density was 55 people per square mile (21/km²). There were 20,577 housing units at an average density of 25 per square mile (10/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 77.4% White, 7.60% Black or African American, 7.92% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.13% from other races, and 4.45% from two or more races. 2.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 17,992 households out of which 32.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.50% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 16.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,405, and the median income for a family was $36,729. Males had a median income of $30,018 versus $20,877 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,511. About 12.70% of families and 16.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.70% of those under age 18 and 12.40% of those age 65 or over.