OKC Is 1 of 14 Standout Fast Growing Cities as of 2020 Census
After hearing so many people talk so emphatically for so long about leaving Oklahoma, it's strange to see the 2020 Census data showing the opposite. People are moving to Oklahoma, in droves. The Sooner State didn't gain the nearly four million new residents Texas has in the last ten years, but on scale this state is holding its own, and OKC has proven responsible for half of all new Okies, a little over 100k people. So what could it be that is drawing people to Oklahoma?
I think we can agree the cost of living is relatively low in Oklahoma. If you didn't know, the cost of home ownership is extremely low compared to other states, like our Texan neighbors for instance... When my aunt moved to Dallas to be closer to her kids, they bought a home nearly 100 miles away just to get their property taxes down below $3000/year for a typical three bedroom newer type home. It's crazy.
Oklahoma's medical marijuana economy probably has a hand in our growth too. While at the current moment there isn't really any money to be made in owning and operating dispensaries. That's just a side effect of having too many identical businesses in competition with each other. On the other hand, the manufacturers and growers are raking in cash hand over fist.
One thing you can't deny is Oklahoma's low unemployment rates. Sure, 2020 saw these numbers rise the world over, but the long and short of it is, Oklahoma has jobs. That, along with the low cost of living is pretty appealing to both companies and job seekers alike. And it's not just oil patch and agriculture jobs. Oklahoma is home and headquarters of several tech and software companies, aerospace, corporate homes of a bunch of restaurant chains, finance and more. Still, it's hard to nail down just why people are moving here.
I read an article earlier in the summer that might hold the key. I can't remember where it was, or who wrote it, but the long and short of it was this... In Oklahoma, you can pretty much find a place to live for any lifestyle you want to enjoy. Whether you're looking for your own small little piece of Mayberry or a place that never sleeps, Oklahoma has it. From big city energy to having miles between your closest neighbors, it's found here. Our cities and towns are just as diverse as the lands ecology.
Sure, people complain a lot about the politics. If things were flip flopped, the other side would be just as vocal. It's the balance and nature of things. As the old saying goes, something about satisfying everyone or pleasing two masters yada yada... The grass is always greener on the other side something or other... but we still manage. People just tend to forget, politicians don't make this a great state, the people do.