Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Migration Patterns: Where Oklahoma’s Workers Are Coming From

Oklahoma’s income tax debate is all about state-to-state competition for jobs and economic growth.

Texas has no personal income tax, and some Republican lawmakers say Oklahoma is losing business to its southern neighbor. Others insist things aren’t so great in the Lone Star State.

In our hunt for those corporate Okie expats in Texas — the ones that chose our southern neighbor because of its lack of an income tax — we started wondering: Which states are Oklahoma importing its people from? And which states are getting the most Okies?

The Internal Revenue Service has found a way to track this data through address changes on tax returns.

Source: Internal Revenue Service | Download Data

This state-by-state map explores migration into Oklahoma from other states and the District of Columbia. Darker states represent more to-Oklahoma migration.

Oklahoma siphons the most people from neighboring states — and California, a reverse Grapes of Wrath trend that has been recently observed.

Most Migration to Oklahoma

1. Texas
2. California
3. Arkansas
4. Kansas
5. Missouri

Click around. You’ll see household, individual and total migration from 2009-2010, which is the most recent data available.

Later this week we’ll explore migration out of Oklahoma and see if we can spot any patterns there.

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