Located in the southern part of the U.S. and bordered by six other states, Oklahoma is a small state with plenty to see and do.
The state is home to about 3.987 million people, and because of its welcoming communities and low cost of living, many people consider Oklahoma an excellent place to live.
The pros and cons of living in Oklahoma vary depending on where you choose to reside, but there are some overall things to consider before deciding to make Oklahoma your home.
- Oklahoma has a low cost of living and low taxes, but lower taxes mean less money is spent on infrastructure.
- Oklahoma is known for its friendly people and welcoming feel.
- Because much of Oklahoma is Native American land, there are several casinos that provide a range of entertainment options.
- Oklahoma lacks large cities, and medium-sized cities have a small-town feel.
- There is little public transportation in the state.
- Oklahoma’s largest cities have high crime rates.
- Oklahoma’s education system is rated poorly.
- Many people find Oklahoma’s relatively flat landscape boring, but there are many options for outdoor recreation.
- People living in Oklahoma can enjoy four beautiful seasons, but summers can be hot, and there is a chance for severe storms.
- Oklahoma is known for its delicious southern-style foods.
Cost of Living
Oklahoma has one of the lowest costs of living in the United States. The average price for a home in Oklahoma is only $159,000. The national average is $293,000.
How much you’ll pay for a home does depend on where you decide to live in the state. Cities such as Tulsa and Oklahoma City are more expensive, but you’ll still usually find low-cost housing.
Utilities, groceries, and gas also tend to be less expensive in Oklahoma than across most of the rest of the country. Oklahoma’s cost of living is about 12% lower than the national average.
Taxes in Oklahoma are moderate. However, this means that less money is spent on infrastructure. Oklahoma’s roads, for example, are notoriously bad, and schools frequently see budget cuts.
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Oklahoma is known for its friendly people and excellent southern hospitality. People tend to be helpful and welcoming, so it won’t take long before you know your neighbors and feel like you’re part of the community.
Even larger cities tend to be divided into smaller neighborhood communities, so you can feel at home right away.
Oklahoma is also relatively diverse. There is a large Native American population, and people from all walks of life often feel comfortable in Oklahoma’s cities and even the smaller towns.
Much of Oklahoma is made up of land belonging to Native Americans. Native Americans can use this land however they like, and many tribes choose to build casinos.
These casinos offer a range of entertainment options for anyone living in the state. You can head to the casino for a fun evening or to enjoy a classy dinner.
Oklahoma’s casinos also draw a wide range of entertainers. Musicians and comedians often include Oklahoma’s casinos on their tour stops, so there are often different options for nighttime entertainment.
Oklahoma is home to several large cities, but it’s mostly made up of small towns. Even the state’s biggest cities aren’t as populous, busy, or congested as big cities in other states, and these cities still have a small-town feel.
While this can make the state feel welcoming, some people might miss the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Public transportation is extremely limited in Oklahoma, even in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. If you need to get anywhere in the state, including driving around in one of the cities, you’ll need a car.
Although Oklahoma has many small, welcoming towns and is filled with mostly friendly people, it also has one of the highest crime rates of any state in the U.S.
As of 2022, the state was ranked 45th, making it the fifth least safe state in the country. Oklahoma also has the 16th-highest murder rate in the U.S.
Most crimes in Oklahoma occur in the state’s largest cities. If you live in the more rural parts of the state, the crime rate is much lower.
Oklahoma’s kindergarten through 12th-grade school ratings are consistently low, and the state generally ranks in the bottom 12 of all states in terms of education.
The state also spends a very small amount of money per student. Lower funding often contributes to lower grades and testing scores. If you have kids, Oklahoma may not be a good option for their schooling unless you choose a private school.
Although Oklahoma has some beautiful areas, much of the state is quite flat. For some people, a view of what seems like an endless prairie can become very boring.
Despite its relatively monotonous landscape, Oklahoma offers a range of outdoor activity choices. There are many areas to hike, horseback ride, or mountain bike, and camping is popular.
There are also 38 state parks in Oklahoma, many of which surround rivers or streams, so there are plenty of options for boating, fishing, and swimming.
Oklahoma’s weather varies across the state. The eastern part of the state is considered subtropical, while the western part is semi-arid. Most people living in Oklahoma will experience all four seasons.
Summers can be hot, and in the eastern part of the state, the humidity can be high. During the winter, temperatures are chilly but rarely drop below freezing. The eastern part of the state, however, does see some snow.
Oklahoma is located in Tornado Alley, and the state sees frequent severe storms. Tornadoes aren’t uncommon, and thunderstorms and rainstorms, which can sometimes cause flooding, are also relatively frequent.
Most storms happen in late spring, and the state can see up to 20 tornadoes every year.
Oklahoma is known for its amazing southern cuisine. Traditional southern comfort food dishes are the staple, and there are many excellent places to eat, particularly in Oklahoma’s cities.
Southern foods, however, can be quite fattening and unhealthy. Some people find it a challenge to maintain a healthy diet while living in the state.