The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 12, 2014

Attracting residents

NORMAN — Besides tracking moving vans, U.S. Census numbers tell the story of migration throughout the country.

In Oklahoma, the number has risen in recent years to make us 14th nationally in relocation.

In 2013, more than 19,000 residents moved here from outside state borders.

We think the diversity of the people and landscape, transportation crossroads, leisure pursuits through lakes and parks, and the spirit of entrepreneurship are big draws.

Oklahoma Realtors say it’s the strong economy, low unemployment and good housing market.

The state’s 5.4 percent unemployment is among the nation’s lowest.

Oklahoma also was ranked as one of the top three states for most effective cost of business and No. 6 in the country for economy by CNBC in 2010.

A relatively low cost of living may be bringing more folks here.

Oklahoma cities also account for seven of the top 100 areas for the lowest cost of living, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Cost of Living index for 2012. Of these seven cities, Tulsa is listed as No. 1 and Muskogee is No. 2.

Realtors also cite Oklahoma’s emphasis on education. It starts as early as pre-school, with 74 percent of 4-year-olds being involved in pre-kindergarten programs. This means Oklahoma’s percentage is the second highest in the entire country, only behind Florida.

In addition, more than 100 Oklahoma schools are included in the 2013 U.S. News Best High School rankings.

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