Over the last few years, the public perception of Oklahoma and the state of the state has varied greatly between individuals. Odds are, depending on your political affiliation, you're in one of two main camps... You either believe our state is good or bad, but it has little to do with your own experience.

For years you and I have talked about how the internet and social media is the place where people go to embellish their feelings in order to extract equally embellished feelings from strangers. It can be someone taking Governor Stitt's latest political move and making it all about themselves in a negative light, or a different person showing blind support for that same political move just to be part of the counter-culture.

It's literally just the digital, modern-day equivalent as when our grandparents would say "Well, back in my day....."

Angry senior man with arms crossed against white background

That being said, if you've spent enough time on the different social media platforms, most young and left-leaning people of this state overwhelmingly think people are leaving Oklahoma in droves due to some of the big issues our state is legitimately struggling with.

The view from the inside looking out is often clouded by one of Erasmus' oldest proverbs... the belief that the grass is greener on the other side. While Okies have moved to all corners of the country, Texas is the view out of most windows, but is it simply a case of people romancing a life that no longer exists?

Rural Texas bluebonnets and sunflowers at sunrise

According to the statistics, 23,535 Oklahomans moved to the Lone Star State in 2019. Whether it was jobs in the Permian Basin, education, earnings potential, or the longing for a bigger city, that's quite a few Okie's looking to transplant and adopt a Texan title.

You read that and your perception automatically assumes Oklahoma is shrinking... but perception is hardly ever the reality.

Believe it or not, that same year a little over 26,000 Texans moved and resettled here in the Sooner State... and while the data hasn't been finalized yet, it's a trend that seems to have continued in 2020 and 2021.

"What? Why would Texans want to move to Oklahoma?"

It is a little curious, especially since I think it's fair to say most people have at least once had an ideal life in any of the legendary Texas towns or regions, but perception is rarely reality, right?

What you may not know is this... Texas is currently having an identity crisis, and it's due to a massive influx of people from different political climates, most notably Californians.

If the lingering purple status of a traditionally federally conservative base in the last presidential election wasn't enough to turn tails, perhaps the skyrocketing price of real estate is. Texas prices are dirt-cheap to Californians, and that bubble is growing.

Finished Tract homes in Northern California
Jaskaran Kooner

Almost seven million people have flooded the Lone Star State over the last decade from politically different states like California, Illinois, Florida, Louisiana, and New Mexico. If anything in this world trumps politics, it's good-paying jobs and the idea that there's always something to do for entertainment... the bringing of new politics is just natural.

There was once a point in time that Colorado was a state of conservativism, most agriculture states are/were. In the 1990s, Californians discovered that Denver offered good-paying jobs and a cost of living on the cheap in comparison. After thirty years of California/Colorado growth, it's become one of the most reliably "blue" states in the nation.

Cows gathering around the feeding trough in winter

The same story can be told about Oregon, a once conservative agriculture-based economic state. It's currently the only state in the nation that all illicit drugs are technically legal including meth and heroin... at least that's how most describe "decriminalization" these days.

So what are Texans doing about the changing identity of their state? They're moving. Oklahoma is the third-highest relocation destination on that list followed by, oddly enough, Colorado and California respectively.

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