Oklahoma City boasts clean air, low crime, easy commutes, friendly people, new and renovated schools, an award-winning, family favorite zoo and a fantastic hands-on science museum. Fresh farmers markets and trendy local coffee shops, an exciting, dynamic arts and music scene and a cradle of entrepreneurship with more than 300 days of sunshine per year, creating a great sense of community, are just a few of many positives to what make this City great! Even an NBA team calls OKC home; our beloved OKC Thunder!
Affordable Housing in a Growing Market
Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life. In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners.
Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other cities in growth since 2011, becoming the 12th-fastest-growing city last year. It has also won over a coveted demographic, young adults age 25 to 34, going from a net loss of millennials to a net gain. Other affordable cities that have jumped in the growth rankings include several in Texas, including El Paso and San Antonio, as well as Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark.
Newcomers in Oklahoma City have traded traffic jams and preschool waiting lists for master suites the size of their old apartments. The sons of Lorin Olson, a stem cell biologist who moved here from New York’s Upper East Side, now ride bikes in their suburban neighborhood and go home to a four-bedroom house. Hector Lopez, a caricature artist, lives in a loft apartment here for less than he paid to stay in a garage near Los Angeles. Tony Trammell, one of a group of about a dozen friends to make the move from San Diego, paid $260,000 for his 3,300-square-foot home in a nearby suburb.
The mayor cited clean air, a lack of traffic gridlock and, of course, affordable housing as factors in the city’s growth. But like other midsize cities, this one has labored to give people additional reasons to move here, notably acquiring a professional basketball team, the Thunder. Along the river, a series of modern glass boathouses has risen like wind-filled sails, transforming the city into a national center for rowing sports. All 73 inner-city schools are being rebuilt or refurbished.
During the housing bubble, when even people with modest salaries could get loans to buy staggeringly expensive homes, the cost of housing was less of a concern. Now that getting a mortgage has become harder, the wage stagnation that has hobbled the middle class for years has deeper consequences. “People have no choice,” Mr. Kelman said. “They can’t move across the street; they have to move across the country.” Affordable housing and a low cost of living helped make Oklahoma City the 12th-fastest-growing city in America last year.
Oklahoma City is consistently recognized as being a haven for business. A strong economic climate, diverse industries and low tax rates mean that our businesses have the opportunity to thrive. This, in turn, means great job opportunities for you. The success of our region's economy and a stable unemployment rate did not happen overnight. For years, Oklahoma City has worked for wide-spread quality of life improvements and self-investment. The massive scale of our public improvement projects, along with first-class business and cost environments, have helped stoke our red-hot economic engine and propel Oklahoma City forward. In addition, we have been ranked in the top 3 for lowest unemployment rate by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more than three years.
But we don't want to take all the credit for our strong job climate. Greater Oklahoma City has three of the nation's top companies to work for (according to Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list) headquartered right here: American Fidelity Assurance Company, Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Devon Energy. These three join many other corporate entities such as Pratt & Whitney, Dell, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, Quad/Graphics, Continental Resources, Hertz, Farmer's, SandRidge Energy, AAA, The Hartford, Sonic America's Drive In and more that call Oklahoma City home. Our economic stability is becoming ever more well-known, as is Oklahoma City's highly competitive wage and benefit environment, especially in our energy sector.
One of the great things about living in Oklahoma City is the fact that living in the "suburbs" doesn't necessarily mean living out of the city. The city's large land area lends itself to all the best aspects of suburbia, while our low commute times and excellent traffic grid management make getting where you need to go easy. OKC makes it possible to get that suburban feel without being far from the action.
If you're used to driving longer than 20 minutes or so just to get to work in the morning, you're about to gain back some extra free time. According to numerous studies, Oklahoma City boasts some of the lowest average commute times in the nation. Our freeways are plentiful and relatively crowdless and our city's traffic grid is ultra-efficient. In fact, among the nation's 52 largest cities, the U.S. Census Bureau recently ranked Oklahoma City's commutes the third-lowest in the country at 21.35 minutes one-way on average, ranking only behind Rochester and Buffalo-Niagara Falls. Among cities of similar size,Oklahoma City handily beats the competition. So no need to rush - you've got plenty of extra time to relax in OKC.
Low Tax Burden
Oklahoma is known for being friendly, but not when it comes to high taxes. The state ranks squarely in the bottom third of the U.S. for taxes as a percentage of income. Sales Tax varies according to municipality, currently 8.375% (4.5% state + 0.0% county +3.875% city) in the city of Oklahoma City. Property Tax: Oklahoma ranks 47-lowest in property taxes. Rates vary by county and area of county, in Oklahoma County assessment ratios vary from 11% for real property to 13.75% for personal property. Homestead exemptions allow a $1,000 deduction from the assessed value for primary residences. Personal Income Tax: State income tax levels range from 0.5% to 5.5%. The highest bracket was recently reduced from 6.25% to 5.5% in 2007, and then from 5.5% to 5.25% in 2011.
In 2001, Oklahoma City voters approved MAPS for Kids, a comprehensive education reform plan that raised $700 million for Oklahoma City Public Schools and 23 surrounding school districts. In addition to building seven schools and renovating 65 others, the plan called for strategic academic reforms; improved student achievement; restored classroom discipline; and increased accountability. Oklahoma schools have received national recognition for alternative education, early childhood accessibility and the increasing number of teachers earning National Board Certification - the profession's top credential.
There are also several excellent suburban school districts within and adjacent to Oklahoma City, including Putnam City Schools, which was named by Money magazine as one of the nation's "top 100 schools in towns you can afford." In addition to Oklahoma City and Putnam City Schools, other school districts located in Oklahoma County include: Choctaw/Nicoma Park, Crooked Oak, Deer Creek, Edmond, Jones, Luther, McLoud, Mid-Del, Millwood and Moore.
Oklahoma students score above the national average on the SAT and have seen the largest performance increase on the ACT test over the last 13 years in the Southwest Region. In fact, the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), a tuition-free residential high school in Oklahoma City for juniors and seniors with exceptional ability in math and science, has achieved the highest composite ACT scores of any high school in the country twice since 1998, and has produced 225 National Merit Scholars in the 14 years it has been in operation. Oklahoma City's Classen High School of Advanced Studies also offers an International Baccalaureate diploma program for international or internationally-minded students.
When it comes to our health, we know that healthy lifestyles raise quality of living and help create a vibrant city. As we move forward, creating amenities that promote healthy living is a top priority. The following are just some of the many amenities available for those looking to support an active and healthy lifestyle in Oklahoma City.
Specialty Grocery Stores
Organic. Natural. Fresh. Local. It’s a harvest of epic proportions. Oklahoma City's diverse food store scene is in the midst of the same dramatic upswing as its retail market, with new arrivals and concepts, each adding something new to the mix. OKC offers a great selection of healthy food stores:
Ethnically OKC offers a wide variety of grocery options to crave your international food needs such as:
OKC FACTS FOR YOU
OKC has plenty to offer and plenty more for you to check out! Below are a few links for you to browse through.
INVEST IN OKC
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Oklahoma City gets the bronze medal by virtue of its high rankings in some key areas. It ranks second for having the lowest in-state tuition, third in unemployment rate, and in the top ten for lowest cost of living – all important factors for young people concerned with choosing an affordable higher education. That explains why such a large portion of its population is between the ages of 20 and 34.
“OKC is a place that has a bright future. There is demand for young workers in all areas ranging from engineers and tech workers to bio and health workers all the way down to highly skilled trade and industrial workers,” says Drew Dugan, vice president of Education and Workforce Development for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. She also mentions the city’s MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) capital improvement program, which is dedicated to new and upgraded sports, recreation, entertainment, cultural and convention facilities, as part of the attraction that OKC has for younger citizens. “With all the amenities from MAPS, central city growth and the OKC Thunder, OKC has a cool and hip vibe that we have not had before,” she says.
(DISCLAIMER: this information is pulled from the internet and we are not accountable for any information on these websites. This page is merely to inform all citizens about Oklahoma City and everything our beautiful city has to offer.)