Oklahoma is located in the center of the country, some would consider it to be a flyover state as there is really not a lot going on in this state. Oklahoma’s population is around 3.94 million people and the population is increasing every year. Oklahoma has 4 cities with over 100k population and the biggest one is Oklahoma City with a population of 635k people, the vast majority of people who move to this state tend to favor this city or Tulsa.
Living off the grid in Oklahoma is legal, although there are a couple of things that do not make this state being part of the best off grid living states, mainly the high crime rate, poor education, and healthcare system. On the other hand, Oklahoma has one of the lowest property taxes in the country at 0.90%, the cost of living is 17% lower than the national average and the price of land and housing is around 45% cheaper.
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Tulsa has a population of over 430k people, followed by Norman with 120k, and Broken Arrow with 110k population. It is almost like there are two different states in Oklahoma, the one near the bigger cities and the rural areas. Generally speaking, Oklahoma has two main problems which both affect how you will live off the grid. Oklahoma is the second in the entire nation when it comes to obesity, the problem is that eating healthy in this state is extremely expensive and most of the food is jam-packed with preservatives and sugar.
Oklahoma has a big problem with wild hogs, in fact, most of the southern states have this problem. So if you are planning to raise pigs then make sure that there is no way that they can get out of the enclosure, if they start wandering around on the street then you will get fined. Most people think of Oklahoma as being an agriculture state, the truth is that the agriculture industry in this state is fairly small when you compare it to the neighboring states.
Oklahoma used to have very fertile lands a long time ago, but due to excessive farming, the soil became so infertile that not even grass was growing, this lead to the 1930’s Dust Bowl where most of the state was covered in dust. During this period a lot of people have left the state, most of them started farming again in Kansas where the problem was not that severe. If you are looking for a state which is near the east coast then check out my recent article Off grid living in Pennsylvania ( Quaker state ).
Oklahoma has two types of climate, in the eastern part of the state the climate is humid subtropical and in the western part, the climate is semi-arid. The average temperatures during the summertime are around 90°F in most of the state although in the western part the temperatures can get a lot higher. During the wintertime the average temperature the temperatures can drop below freezing fairly often.
The closer you get to the western semi-arid areas the higher the temperature difference will be between night and day, it is not uncommon in some years for the summertime temperatures during the night to fall almost below freezing. If you want to know how you can live off the grid in an apartment then check out my recent article How to live off the grid in an apartment? ( In 5 Steps ).
Best crops to grow in Oklahoma
Most people think that Oklahoma is mainly focused on agriculture, although this was true a couple of decades ago but today the agriculture sector is fairly small, especially if you compare it to its neighboring states. The most common crops grown in Oklahoma are soybeans, wheat, hay, cotton, corn for grain, sorghum for grain, and even peanuts. Most of the fertile land is in the eastern part of the state, the further you go to the west the fewer options you will have when it comes to growing crops due to the difference in the climate. If you want to have more options for growing crops then check out my recent article Off grid living in Kansas ( The Sunflower State ).
Freshwater availability in Oklahoma
Generally speaking, most of the state doesn’t have a problem with freshwater, although there is a massive difference in annual rainfall between the west and the eastern parts of the state. During some years the western part of the state can get as low as 18″ of rainfall, the eastern part of the state is a lot more humid as its annual rainfall is around 56″. The good news is that even if you move to the western parts of the state is that you can still harvest rainwater legally although due to the limited amount of rainfall it will be a real struggle.
As Oklahoma does have two different climates some would think that the wildlife should be fairly diverse, the truth is that most of the animals are fairly small and you will not find any big game in this state. The most common animals in Oklahoma are raccoons, coyotes, beavers, armadillos, foxes, and prairie dogs. In the local rivers and lakes, you will find striped bass, blue catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and hybrid striped bass fish. Don’t forget that you need permits both for fishing and hunting https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/licensing.
Generating power off the grid in Oklahoma
- Solar power: One of your options for generating power in Oklahoma is with solar panels, you will have no problem generating power all year round even during the wintertime. Setting up a solar power system can be fairly expensive and most states do offer rebates, although with a couple of exceptions like Oklahoma. Oklahoma doesn’t offer any statewide rebates for solar power, on the other hand, you will still be able to apply for the federal tax credit of 30%.
- Wind power: Between the fields of corn and grain you will see a lot of wind turbines, although if you are setting up a small homestead then you will manage just fine with solar panels. A couple of years ago Oklahoma had an investment tax credit for wind turbines, and there is a slight possibility they will bring it back in the near future. The good news is that you can still apply for the federal tax credit.
Oklahoma off grid laws
There are no laws prohibiting you from living off the grid in Oklahoma, you can also harvest rainwater legally even in the semi-arid regions. The education system in Oklahoma is one of the worst in the entire country, the good news is that you can easily homeschool your children as the homeschooling laws are not that strict and as long as you notify the local authorities. If you want to know where are the best places for off grid living in this state then check out my recent article Best Places To Live Off The Grid In Oklahoma ( Top 7 Counties ).
Oklahoma road access
The roads in Oklahoma are in a fairly good shape, the winters are also fairly mild and the snow tends to melt in a couple of days. In the eastern part of the state where the humidity is a lot higher, you might notice a couple of days of the year when some of the roads tend to have a thin layer of ice formed on them.
Oklahoma price of land
The price of land in Oklahoma is extremely cheap, in fact, it is one of the cheapest states when it comes to land and housing in the entire country. Generally speaking, the price of housing and land is around 45% lower than the national average. By far the cheapest lands can be found in the western parts of this state, although this is mostly due to the semi-arid climate.
Property tax in Oklahoma
The property tax in Oklahoma is at 0.90% which is somewhat lower than the national 1.08% average. The county with the lowest property tax is Caddo with 0.58%.
Oklahoma cost of living
Living in Oklahoma is around 17% cheaper than the national average, you will pay 45% less for housing, 11% less for transportation, and around 8% less for groceries. The only thing which is more expensive in Oklahoma is healthcare as you will pay around 15% more than the national average, although the healthcare system is fairly poor in Oklahoma.
The unemployment rate in Oklahoma is at 3.3% which is well below the 3.6% national average and the minimum wage is at $7.25 which is as low as it can get. The biggest industries where a significant portion of the population works are biotechnology, health care, government, energy, aviation, manufacturing, and the hospitality industry. A small percentage of the population also works in agriculture although this percentage is getting lower every year.
Oklahoma crime rate
Oklahoma’s crime rate is slightly above the national average, there are around 4.66 crimes reported per 1000 people and the national average is 4 crimes per 1000 people. The safest cities in Oklahoma are Gans, Lawrence Creek, Keyes, Vici, Oologah, and Velma. The cities with the highest crime rates are Tulsa, Ada, Broken Bow, Ardmore, Savanna, and McAlester. The western part of the state has a low population density and this is the main reason why the western part has the lowest crime rates in the entire state.
Oklahoma natural disasters
Oklahoma is prone to having tornadoes, ice storms, winter storms, blizzards, and floods. By far the natural disaster which can cause a lot of damage are the tornadoes, as Oklahoma is in the tornado alley these can form almost every year. The good news is that most of the tornadoes die off before getting to a point where they can do property damage.
Overall Oklahoma isn’t a bad state for off grid living, but there are better options like in the southern states when it comes to living as frugally as possible.