Moving to Oklahoma: State Relocation Guide
There’s a reason that films like Where the Red Ferns Grow, Twister, The Outsiders, and Rain Man were all filmed in Oklahoma: the beautiful rolling landscape.
Directors in Hollywood love Oklahoma’s diverse environment. With a slow-growing population and vast acres, you can experience natural beauty all around you.
As you prepare to move to Oklahoma or ship your car to Oklahoma, you must be aware of a few things outside of its beauty. From the cost of living to job outlook, healthcare to education, and even the best places to live, it’s wise to get a glimpse of what to expect before you arrive.
Finding all of this information on your own is time-consuming and stress-inducing. This guide features all the information required to make your move smooth and your transition easy.
Oklahoma is one of only four states with more than ten ecoregions. The twelve ecoregions are:
- Western High Plains
- Southwestern Tablelands
- Central Great Plains
- Tallgrass Prairie
- East Central Texas Plains
- Caves and Prairie
- Ozark Highlands
- Ozark Forest
- Hardwood Forest
- Ouachita Mountains
- Cypress Swamps and Forest
Oklahoma’s unique shape and location are in prime position for various climates and environmental differences. The average temperature ranges from 58-62℉, with lower temperatures along the northern border and higher temperatures located along the Red River.
Although the average temperature is quite comfortable, Oklahoma does have many days above 90℉ and 100℉. You should prepare for hot summers and cold winters when you move to Oklahoma. Depending on your location, you can expect 2-4 months of temperatures around 32℉ and below.
The many different regions of Oklahoma experience significant differences in precipitation.
The western part of the state experiences approximately 17 inches of rainfall, while the southeast corner has nearly 60 inches of rain per year.
One prominent feature in Oklahoma is tornadoes. No matter where you live, there is a likelihood you will experience these natural disasters. Oklahoma has had an average of 53 tornadoes per year since 1950. But, many structures are built with this in mind.
Taxes in Oklahoma
One of the best parts about living in Oklahoma is the low taxes. The state has progressive income tax, meaning that the more you make, the more you’re taxed. But, its rates are comparably lower than many other states.
Oklahoma income rates range between 0.5% and 5.0%. Potential income has six brackets with variable rates.
For single filers, if you make more than $7,200, you’re taxed at 5.00%. The great news is that this rate has decreased half a percent since 2010, making Oklahoma the 7th lowest state for tax burdens and increasing its affordability for residents.
Similarly, when you move to Oklahoma, you save a lot of money on property and general sales tax.
Overall, the taxes in Oklahoma are lower than in the rest of the country.
Job Opportunities and Cost in Oklahoma
One of the great things about Oklahoma is the job market. There are several opportunities available depending on where you live. If you live in more rural areas, your occupations will be agricultural in nature. Still, if you live in one of the larger cities, you can make a competitive city salary with affordable Oklahoma housing.
The state income average is lower than the national average, but more people work. Higher employment rates are always beneficial for a job market and allow you to grow professionally.
Most occupations in Oklahoma make less than the national average, but if you work in agriculture, transportation, or as a firefighter, you will likely make more in the Sooner State. Many other occupations in education, health care support, maintenance, and sales, are highly comparable to the national average.
While some of these salaries might discourage you, it’s essential to consider the affordable cost of living. Living costs in Oklahoma are drastically lower than in most of the country.
The national average for cost of living is 100, but it’s 83.7 in Oklahoma. So, your slightly lower paycheck goes much further in Oklahoma than a higher paycheck in other states.
One of the most significant differences from other states is housing costs. Averaging less than $150k for a median home, life in Oklahoma is much more affordable and cost-effective. Additionally, you can buy more land with your home which opens up many possibilities for agriculture, hunting, outdoor living, and expanding your home.
When comparing the cost of living in Oklahoma to surrounding states, the difference is mind-boggling. Although the cost of living in Arkansas is very close, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, and Colorado have significantly higher living costs.
Even though most of the population lives around Tulsa and Oklahoma City, a large portion of residents live just north of the Texas border, only an hour and a half from Dallas.
The major cities in Oklahoma are two hours from Wichita and Fayetteville, meaning that if residents live on the outskirts of these cities, they can reap the benefits of affordable living costs and commute to work in another state with higher salaries.
Oklahoma is an excellent place for people to live and work because it is highly affordable and within driving distance to other major cities with higher salaries.
The most expensive part about living in Oklahoma is the healthcare. Where the nation averages 100, Oklahoma boasts a rating of 113.6.
This high cost is due primarily to the lack of healthcare physicians available. Oklahoma has 168 physicians for every 100,000 residents, whereas the national average is 210 physicians for every 100,000 residents. The lack of general physicians means longer wait times and costlier service.
Additionally, many Oklahoma residents have to pay expensive fees and costs for coverage that doesn’t do much for them, which is why over 15% of the state does not have any medical coverage.
Therefore, to get the best coverage possible, you will want to go through your employer’s care provider, as this gives you the best chance for comprehensive and affordable coverage.
Oklahoma’s education system is average when compared to other states. While 87% of students graduate high school (consistent with the national average), comparatively, very few students get higher degrees.
Part of Oklahoma’s educational struggle is the lack of funding per student.
Oklahoma spends almost $1,000 less per student than any other state. This significant gap explains the disparity with other states with more students moving to colleges and universities. Many great schools in Oklahoma pull students from other states and parts of the country.
The best colleges and universities in the state are the University of Oklahoma (ranked #127 nationally), the University of Tulsa (ranked #136 nationally), and Oklahoma State University (ranked #187 nationally).
Outside of these larger schools, your child has the option to attend nationally ranked Oklahoma City University and regionally ranked Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma Christian University. Therefore, once your child graduates high school, they have excellent choices from recognized schools to regionally accomplished.
Oklahoma is more than vast, open plains and agriculture. There is a lot of history in this naturally beautiful state that each resident can be proud of during their time here.
- Oklahoma became the 46th state in 1907.
- During the oil boom in the early 20th century, Oklahoma was a key contributor and considered the oil capital since Tulsa was the first area people found oil.
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck details the trip of a single family from Oklahoma to the fields of California during the Great Depression. This nationally acclaimed book discusses the challenges many agriculturally-based families dealt with during this time and the sacrifices they made along the way.
- The word “Oklahoma” is a combination of two Choctaw words: “Okla” and “humma,” meaning “Red People.”
- There are 39 Native American tribes with home bases in Oklahoma.
- Gambling and casinos are popular in Oklahoma — in 2021, Native American-owned casinos paid the state $167 million.
- Many famous movies are set in Oklahoma, including Where the Red Fern Grows, Twister, The Grapes of Wrath, Rain Man, and The Outsiders.
- Several influential books take place in Oklahoma, too, like The Outsider (by Stephen King), True Grit, and Paradise.
- Some of the most well-known celebrities today are from Oklahoma. This list includes Carrie Underwood, Bill Hader, Ron Howard, Chuck Norris, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Phil McGraw.
- Several famous figures in sports hail from the Sooner State, like Skip Bayless, Blake Griffin, Mickey Mantle, Jim Thorpe, and Troy Aikman.
Best Places to Live in Oklahoma
As you prepare for your move to Oklahoma, it’s essential you know some of the best places to live. But before you can settle down in your new home, there are a few things you need to do first.
- Because Oklahoma experiences various weather conditions, make sure you pack clothing for all seasons.
- Keep essential documents on your person at all times until you settle into your new residence. These documents include your driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, medical records, and vehicle registration.
- Have plans for vehicle transportation. When making these plans, we recommend our state-to-state service.
The three best places in Oklahoma are Edmond, The Village, and Bixby. Each of these towns is on the outskirts of Tulsa or Oklahoma City.
The cities on this list score well in affordability, education, lifestyle, and access to transportation. Your specific needs in a new home may differ from this list, but this is here to give you a launching point.
Considered the best place to live in Oklahoma, Edmond has the most to offer families. With significantly lower crime rates and living costs than the US average, Edmond is a picturesque suburbia on Oklahoma City’s northside.
If you live in Edmond, you have immediate access to life in the big city but have enough distance to enjoy the beautiful parks and scenery that make Oklahoma famous.
Second on this list is The Village. This quaint town of 9,000 residents is perfect for a single person or family. Conveniently located between Edmond and Oklahoma City, The Village has access to larger towns and cities.
Still, you can escape to your rural life at home which is quieter and more peaceful. Whether you decide to spend time at home or visit local family farms, you can find plenty of great people to spend your time together.
With a population of 23,000, Bixby is in between Edmond and the Village in population size. It is also located on the south-southeast side of Tulsa, whereas the first two are near Oklahoma City. Bixby is a great area to raise a family because of its exceptional living costs and low crime rates.
But there are many great things to do in town as well. You can spend time with friends and family at one of the shopping centers, cheer on your children as they compete at a high level in athletics and clubs, and attend popular country music events throughout the area.
There is a lot to like about Oklahoma. To the unknowing eye, all you see is rolling hills and open fields, but to an Oklahoma resident, there is a rich history and strong bond among fellow residents that runs generations deep.
Oklahoma offers excellent living costs and low taxes. But, some questionable aspects of its education and healthcare systems should encourage you to find out more information to ensure it’s the right fit for you.
While there are great colleges and universities in Oklahoma, you must research to find the best local public school systems available in your area and find a home that works for you in the most affordable housing markets.
And lastly, to make your transition as smooth as possible, you need to prepare for the road ahead–your move. Don’t let the stresses of your move overwhelm you. This guide is here to help you, and Guardian Auto Transport is more than ready to assist you by moving your car to Oklahoma or shipping state to state.
At Guardian Auto Transport, we know that moving to a new place is stressful. Your vehicle doesn’t need to add to it, so let us help you get it to your new home. Our expert transportation drivers can safely deliver your car over any state line.
If you’re moving to Oklahoma, reach out to us today for a free quote to see how we can make a difference and ease the way for your life-changing decision.