Thinking about moving to Oklahoma City, OK?
Jump to any of the following sections to learn more about what to expect living in OKC.
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- Oklahoma City At-a-glance
- What it’s like to live in Oklahoma City
- Economy and job outlook in Oklahoma City
- Real estate in Oklahoma City
- The top neighborhoods in Oklahoma City
- How to get around in Oklahoma City
- Oklahoma City school and education snapshot
- Weather and climate in Oklahoma City
- 10 Can’t miss things to do in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City At-A-Glance
Oklahoma City (also lovingly known as OKC, the 405 or the Big Friendly) attracts people from across the country due to its combination of friendly locals, affordable homes and warm small-town feel. Its robust economy and booming job market make it a fantastic place for startups and investors. Another plus? The state’s lower overall cost of living compared to the national average means you can stretch your dollar further.
In addition to being affordable, Oklahoma City also boasts a diverse culture and some of the most beautiful lakes in the state, making it the perfect spot for water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers. And let’s not forget one of the best things about OKC, the mouthwatering BBQ it’s famous for!
The Pros and Cons of Living in The Big Friendly
Oklahoma City has a lot to offer newcomers. But like all places, it has its share of disadvantages and disappointments. Let’s dive deeper into some of the city’s pros and cons.
Friendly Folks: Oklahoma City didn’t earn the nickname “The Big Friendly” for no reason. The majority of the people living here are genuinely happy, and their friendliness toward outsiders and newcomers is sincere. Because of this, you’ll often find the city on lists of America’s friendliest cities.
Affordable Housing: At 29 percent lower than the national average, affordable housing is by far one of the biggest draws to moving to Oklahoma City. For its size, OKC is one of the most affordable cities in the nation.
Quick Commutes: If you live downtown, you’ll love having the ability to walk pretty much anywhere. If you’re driving, regardless of where you live in town, you’ll likely be able to get to the heart of the city within 20 minutes.
Diversity Reigns: Like many people, you may be surprised to learn that 45 percent of people under 19 in Oklahoma City identify as a racial minority. The city also takes pride in its strong Native American heritage, with the largest Native American population in America aside from California.
The Weather: Oklahoma City experiences hot, muggy and windy summers, with temperatures hitting the mid-to-high 90s in July and August. But far worse than the humid summers and the odd winter ice storm is that the city is smack dab in the middle of the infamous “Tornado Alley.” The state is second only to Tennessee regarding the number of tornadoes hitting annually.
Bland Scenery For Miles and Miles: Living on the Plains, unfortunately, means living without jaw-dropping scenery. Some people love the flat, rolling prairie plains, but many can’t wait to take a vacation in more scenic states. If you can’t live without the beach or mountains, Oklahoma isn’t the state for you!
Tough to Attract & Keep Teachers: Oklahoma, known for its exceptional colleges and universities, unfortunately, falls short in its K12 educational system, ranking near the bottom on a national scale. The state’s underinvestment in education makes attracting and retaining talented teachers difficult. Teachers in Oklahoma City receive lower salaries than their counterparts in other states, and the state’s expenditure per student is below the national average.
Climbing Crime Rates: If you decide to move to OKC, lock your doors. It sits at a 4/100 on the Crime Index, meaning it is 96 percent less safe than any other city in the country. Like all cities, there are areas more prone to violence, so before you choose a neighborhood to call home, do your research.
An Economy As Diverse As The City Itself
Oklahoma City boasts a robust and expanding economy characterized by its diversity. Its unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and the city is considered one of the best cities in the state for young professionals. The city’s favorable tax climate makes it an ideal destination for startups and entrepreneurship.
Oklahoma City thrives in various leading industries, including aviation/aerospace, government, energy, biotechnology, and transportation/logistics. If you’re looking for work, noteworthy employers in the city include the State of Oklahoma, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma State University, and INTEGRIS Health.
Why You’ll Want To Live In The Heart Of America’s Sooner State
Oklahoma’s affordable housing makes it an appealing choice for families and young professionals looking for a new home. The average housing costs are between $659 and $1,387/month. A typical home costs around $183,000, nearly half the national median sale price. Appreciation rates are also higher than the nation’s 6.8 percent, with an 8.8 percent value rate increase over the past year.
If you’re one of the roughly 40 percent of people who rent a home in Oklahoma City, you can expect to pay a range of $700-1,200 for rent each month.