Oklahoma Looking To Be the Next Texas


Oklahoma map | Image by Alexander Lukatskiy

Oklahoma has long been in Texas’ shadow.

With the influx of companies and people moving to Texas, its neighbor to the north offers many similarities but has yet to garner the national attention that Texas continues to draw.

A recently published piece by The New York Times (NYT) recaps a 2020 visit from Elon Musk to Oklahoma, where he considered building a factory before ultimately settling on Austin. 

Since 2018, Tulsa has offered remote workers $10,000 to move to the city for at least a year to entice people to move to Oklahoma. 

“I can’t believe I live in Oklahoma it’s like even weird to say,” Chris Bland, who took the money and moved in 2021, told the NYT. 

To the west, Oklahoma City has spent hundreds of millions in recent decades to update its parks and downtown area, the NYT reported. 

Oklahoma City is now one of the fastest-growing large cities in the country, but it still ranks far behind Texas’ rapid growth. 

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, more Americans moved to Texas than any other state in 2022. 

Oklahoma is hoping it can capitalize on this trend due to its close vicinity to the second-largest economy in the country, according to the NYT. 

The state’s officials are selling Oklahoma as a place that’s just as business-friendly as Texas, but with a more affordable cost of living, the outlet reported. 

“We hope it’s the next Texas,” Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell told the NYT.

While corporate relocations have dominated headlines in Texas, over 100 companies have set up shop in Oklahoma in the last five years, including 29 in the past year, according to the state Commerce Department. Six companies have moved their headquarters to the state, the NYT reported. 

As Texas continues to boom, it is driving up the cost of living in some major cities, and Oklahoma hopes to capitalize on being a close yet affordable alternative. 

“There are a lot of states around here that are a lot cheaper to live,” Vance Ginn, an economist in the Trump administration and former chief economist of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told the NYT. 

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt sells Oklahoma as an alternative to Texas, citing his state’s reliable energy grid.

Stitt said Texas has a business-friendly reputation, “But it’s getting overcrowded,” while noting his state’s shorter commute times, the NYT reported. 

While his state makes a push for new residents from other states, Stitt is not worried about it changing the political fabric of Oklahoma and was clear on his conservative principles, according to the NYT. 

“We’re finding people moving here from the quote unquote liberal states because of their policies,” Stitt said, per the NYT. 

“It’s not for everybody. If this is not who you are, great, you don’t have to live in our state.”

While Tesla may have passed on the state, Tulsa mayor G.T. Bynum said Elon Musk’s consideration of the state netted it tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising and is fielding interest from other electric vehicle and battery companies, the NYT reported.

“We have a lot of the things that you would expect to find in a large American city, but without the hassle,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt told the NYT.

“I think that’s a combination that maybe only has a finite window. It’s the combination Austin offered 20 years ago, and then everybody took them up on it, and now it’s too crowded.”

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
22 days ago

The cost of living in Oklahoma generally is lower. It is a nice state.