- Montgomery County (north)
- Labette County (northeast)
- Craig County (east)
- Rogers County (south)
- Washington County (west)
As of the census2 of 2000, there were 10,569 people, 4,147 households, and 2,989 families residing in the county. The population density was 7/km² (19/mi²). There were 4,705 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (8/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.43% White, 2.46% Black or African American, 16.56% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 8.17% from two or more races. 1.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,147 households out of which 31.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.80% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.90% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the county, the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 25.30% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,470, and the median income for a family was $36,354. Males had a median income of $27,047 versus $19,371 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,244. About 9.00% of families and 14.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.00% of those under age 18 and 11.30% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
The followings sites in Nowata County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
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