Oklahoma aerial view

Top 12 Reasons Not to Move to Oklahoma

Reasons Not to Move to Oklahoma

Oklahoma, in the Great Plains, is known for its diverse terrain and rich culture. However, like any location, it comes with certain disadvantages that may dissuade potential inhabitants. This article takes a look at the 12 reasons not to move to Oklahoma. We will examine the many factors that influence this decision, from weather patterns to economic stability.

12. Limited Public Transportation Options

Oklahoma’s public transit is basic compared to other states. This lack of public transit can be frustrating, especially for those used to robust public transportation networks in other urban areas. 

Oklahoma City’s public transit system is mostly buses with limited routes and schedules. This can make daily commutes, access to essential services, and city mobility difficult for those without cars. 

Since most people rely on cars for transportation, the reliance on personal vehicles also increases traffic congestion and raises environmental concerns.

11. Extreme Weather Conditions

The weather in Oklahoma can be extremely severe and erratic, which presents difficulties for locals. With exceptionally hot summers and bitterly cold winters, the state experiences a wide range of weather conditions. 

Oklahoma is located in “Tornado Alley“, where strong thunderstorms and tornadoes frequently occur. These weather patterns cause immediate dangers, long-term property damage, and insurance costs. 

For instance, numerous devastating tornadoes have recently hit the city of Moore, causing significant loss of life and property. These extreme weather conditions require residents to always be prepared for emergencies, which can be stressful and costly.

10. Educational System Challenges

Oklahoma education faces several challenges that may discourage potential residents, especially families. Compared to the national average, the state has lower educational funding, teacher salaries, and student performance. 

Teacher shortages and overcrowded classrooms have plagued Oklahoma’s education system. These issues primarily stem from inadequate funding and resources for public schools. Consequently, parents might be compelled to look towards private education or relocate to areas with more financially supported schools, options that are both expensive and challenging.

The impact of these educational challenges on children’s academic and personal development is important when considering moving to Oklahoma.

9. Limited Job Opportunities in Certain Sectors

Oklahoma’s job market is strong in oil and gas but limited in other sectors. This narrow focus can hurt professionals seeking opportunities in technology, renewable energy, or advanced manufacturing. 

For instance, Oklahoma may have fewer opportunities for tech experts than California or Texas, where such industries are more established and growing. This tight job market can affect career growth, salary, and stability. 

Unsustainable jobs may limit career advancement or force professionals to move. This is especially important for those who value career diversity and growth when moving.

8. Health Care Accessibility and Quality Concerns

Healthcare quality is a major issue in Oklahoma. The state often ranks lower in national health rankings due to high uninsured rates and limited healthcare access, especially in rural areas. 

Oklahoma has one of the highest uninsured rates, making healthcare access difficult. Rural areas lack healthcare facilities and professionals, forcing residents to travel far for care. 

This situation is inconvenient and can delay medical care, affecting health outcomes. This factor is important for families and individuals moving to Oklahoma, especially those with health needs or who are in rural areas.

7. High Crime Rates in Certain Areas

Oklahoma has high crime rates, like many other states, which may put off prospective residents. 

The crime rate in some Tulsa and Oklahoma City neighborhoods is significantly higher than in the overall country. With poverty and under-investment, these areas struggle with violent and property crimes. 

Crime rates have increased in some Tulsa neighborhoods, raising safety concerns. This issue directly affects one’s security and well-being, so it must be considered when moving to Oklahoma.

Living in or near high-crime areas may deter families and individuals, so it is crucial to investigate the safety of neighborhoods before relocating.

6. Social and Cultural Conservatism

Oklahoma’s conservative social and cultural environment may not suit everyone, especially those used to more liberal or diverse environments. Conservative politics and society shape education and legislation in the state. 

The state’s laws on LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive healthcare are more conservative than in liberal states. Individuals whose values and lifestyles differ from Oklahoma’s social norms may find this important. 

Individuals who value a more progressive or diverse social environment should consider how the state’s cultural conservatism may affect their community engagement, social interactions, and workplace experiences.

5. Environmental Concerns and Pollution

Pollution and water quality issues in Oklahoma affect residents’ quality of life. Oil and gas industry ties have caused water and air pollution in the state. 

For instance, air pollution near oil fields and refineries affects nearby residents. In addition, an increase in earthquakes in the state has been linked to oil and gas extraction practices, particularly hydraulic fracturing. 

These environmental issues harm health, damage property, and lower property values. Environmental sustainability and health are important factors for families considering a move to Oklahoma.

4. Limited Cultural and Recreational Opportunities

Oklahoma has few cultural and recreational options compared to larger, more cosmopolitan states. While the state has its own cultural heritage and attractions, it may need to match the variety of urban areas.

While Tulsa and Oklahoma City have some museums and cultural centers, they lack the art galleries, theaters, and diverse culinary scenes of larger cities. This can be especially restrictive for those who enjoy concerts, art exhibitions, and international cuisine. 

Outdoor recreation may be less varied and extensive than in states with more diverse landscapes. Oklahoma’s cultural and recreational offerings may seem limited to families and individuals who value them, influencing their decision to move there.

3. Economic Fluctuations Tied to the Oil Industry

Oklahoma relies on oil and gas, which fluctuates according to global prices. Due to this dependency, the state’s economy often depends on these industries. 

For instance, high oil prices boost the state’s economy, but low oil prices can cause job losses and budget shortfalls. People seeking job security and financial stability may worry about economic volatility. 

Reliance on one industry limits economic diversification, which can hurt long-term growth and stability. For those considering moving to Oklahoma, understanding how these economic fluctuations may affect employment, state services, and quality of life is crucial.

2. Limited Access to Diverse Education Options

Despite some good schools, Oklahoma has few options for higher education and specialized training. Oklahoma has fewer specialized educational programs and top-tier universities than other states. 

This can be a major drawback for families and students seeking a diverse education. The limited number of universities and specialized schools may limit students’ career and study options.  

As previously mentioned, the state’s public education system has had issues that may affect primary and secondary education. This feature of Oklahoma may sway people’s decisions against moving if they value access to a variety of excellent educational opportunities.

1. Limited Progressive Political Representation

The lack of progressive political representation is the main reason to reconsider moving to Oklahoma. Progressive and liberal views may differ from Oklahoma’s conservative political landscape. 

This political leaning is evident in state legislation, social policies, and community norms. Politically active or progressive people may struggle in a state where their views are underrepresented. 

This political climate affects healthcare, environmental policies, and social justice. Being politically marginalized or not having one’s views represented in local and state government can strongly impact one’s experience in Oklahoma, making it the top reason some people reconsider moving there.


In conclusion, while Oklahoma boasts a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage, its various drawbacks cannot be overlooked. Each of the factors stated, ranging from practical concerns to personal values, should be carefully considered by anyone contemplating a move to Oklahoma. 

However, the decision ultimately hinges on balancing these challenges against the state’s positives and one’s personal circumstances and priorities. It’s essential to weigh these factors thoroughly to make a well-informed decision that best suits one’s lifestyle and aspirations.

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