Oklahoma and Texas Compared
This video is sponsored in part by Squarespace Oklahoma and Texas The Sooner State and the Lone Star State Stick around and I’ll tell you why the two have those nicknames. Anyway, two bordering Southern states in THESE United States, separated by the Red River and…uh…two perpendicular lines. Yeah I’ll tell you why those two panhandles exist later in the video, too.
Residents of both states tend to talk trash about each other, and sure, there’s the trash-talking of the Red River Showdown, which is the Oklahoma–Texas college football rivalry, but it even goes beyond that. And yeah, both states are indeed quite different. First of all, Texas is nearly four times bigger than Oklahoma. In fact, in terms of land area, Texas is the second biggest state in the country. Because of how big it is, it feels like many different states wrapped all up into one. East Texas has more in common with Louisiana than El Paso, and El Paso arguably has more in common with New Mexico than East Texas.
This portion of the state is called the Texas Panhandle, and in many ways it feels like Oklahoma or even Kansas. Even the four biggest metro areas in the state- the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, seem radically different from one another. Texas also has more than seven times as many people. (OK- 4 million, TX- 29 million) And
guess what? Texas has more people living there than any other state in the country other than California. Yeah, I compared Texas to California in another video. It was a trip let me tell ya. Anyway, while both Oklahoma and Texas are currently growing in population, Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Half of the ten fastest growing cities in the United States last year were in Texas, yo.
Oklahoma has two metropolitan areas over 1 million people. Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. Around 63% of the state’s population live in these two metros. Texas has four metros with over a million, but check it. Its largest metro area, the aforementioned Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, has almost DOUBLE THE POPULATION OF THE ENTIRE STATE OF OKLAHOMA. (7.8 million) Perhaps because so many people want to move to Texas these days, the state does have a higher cost of living, overall anyway. In fact, Oklahoma is one of the cheapest states to live in
in the entire country. It’s a bit shocking, actually. Tulsa will even pay you to move there. Texas is more ethnically diverse. Nearly 40% of Texans identify as either Hispanic or Latino. Around 30% of Texans speak Spanish fluently. Around 16% of Okies identify as Native American. Only Alaska has a higher share of its population to identify as such. So why is that? Well yeah, let’s uh, let’s get into some history now and stuff.
So humans have lived in the area for thousands of years. At the time of European arrival, the dominant tribes in modern-day Oklahoma included the Osage, Tonkawa, Caddo, Wichita, Kiowa, and Comanche. The dominant tribes in modern-day Texas also included the Tonkawa, Caddo, Wichita and Comanche, but additionally the Apache, Jumano, Coahuiltecan, Carrizo, Bidai, Karankawa, and Tawakoni. The Spanish were the first Europeans to come across modern-day Oklahoma and Texas beginning in the 1500s. They promptly ignored the American Indians all living there and claimed the land for Spain. However, Spain mostly ignored the area for more than 160 years. In 1682, the French explorer
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (sorry I always butcher his name) claimed all of the Mississippi River and its tributaries for France, calling the area Louisiana. This included some of modern-day Oklahoma and Texas. However, the French also struggled to settle the area, and the Spanish did come back. Most of the first Spanish settlers started missions in Texas meant
to convert the local American Indian tribes, although that often did not go well. The Spanish were the ones who first called the area Texas, and it acted mainly as a buffer to the French. Flash forward to 1803 and now the United States had acquired all of Louisiana. All of modern-day Oklahoma and the north part of modern-day Texas was part of this territory. Soon after this there were some border disputes between the United States and Spain, but they finally settled these disputes with the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819. The treaty said future Oklahoma was part of Louisiana out to 100° west longitude and north to the Arkansas River.
Just two years after the Adams–Onís Treaty, residents of New Spain declared independence, naming their new country after Mexico City, but dropping the city part. Texans loyal to Mexico were simply known as Tejanos, but soon Americans began crossing the border to live there as well. By 1830, the population of Texas had swelled to 30,000, with Americans, many of them who came there illegally, outnumbering the native Tejanos 6 to 1. That same year, the United States government passed the Indian Removal Act, which ended up removing MANY American Indian tribes from their homes back east out to future Oklahoma. By then, the federal
government had already negotiated treaties with the Choctaw to relocate them out there. Well, most Native Americans absolutely did NOT want to leave their homes that their ancestors had first settled many generations before. But they didn’t have a choice. When they didn’t leave voluntarily, the federal government forced them to. This infamously led to what became known as the Trail of Tears, a series of forced displacements of around 60,000 people from the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. Most ended up in future Oklahoma, which by now was simply called “Indian Territory.” The relocated suffered from disease and starvation on the way out west traveling through often harsh conditions. More than 3,000 died on the way.
Meanwhile, the Americans living in Texas had become restless, and this ultimately led to The Texas Revolution, which I have a video about. Long story short- Texas declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836 and Mexico couldn’t keep them, so it was an independent country for almost ten years before the United States annexed it on December 29, 1845. By the way, that Lone Star State nickname comes from the fact that Texas was once an independent republic.
Since Texas joined the United States as a slave state, it had to comply with the Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery north of 36°30’. This is why Texas’s northern border is where it is. After the (sing) Compromise of 1850, Texas got its current borders we see today. That compromise also gave us a 34-mile wide and 170-mile long strip of land
officially called the “Public Land Strip” but most called it “No Man’s Land.” Believe it or not, slavery was also legal in Indian Territory. By 1860, it had a population of 55,000 Native Americans, and some of them and as well as Americans who lived there owned a total of 8,400 slaves.
During the American Civil War, Texas seceded and joined the Confederate States of America. Indian Territory had a bit of a mini civil war during it, as some American Indians chose the Confederate side while the rest chose the Union side. The Confederacy controlled the territory for much of the war. After the Union won the war, the federal government forced the tribes that helped the Confederacy to sign new treaties in which they gave up a lot of land. Most of the land in central and western Indian territory was now back in the hands of the federal government, although some of it was given to other American Indian tribes. After the Homestead Acts,
many non-Native Americans began to move to these so-called “Unassigned Lands” in Indian Territory, even though for a while it wasn’t certain that it was actually legal to do so. The Americans who moved here during this time were called Boomers. Ok Boomer? Ok then. After what’s known as the Reconstruction period ended, for the rest of the 1800s and into the 1900s the Texas government heavily discriminated against African Americans through Jim Crow laws and other ways. Meanwhile, more and more Americans were sneaking into Indian Territory. Cowboys from Texas, no not the football team…no not…um…those folks….ACTUAL cowboys had also been regularly leading thousands
of cattle at a time THROUGH Indian Territory to Kansas where the railroads were. Some cattle ranchers decided to just settle the aforementioned area known as “No Man’s Land,” which is simply known as the Oklahoma Panhandle today. They tried to start their own territory called Cimarron Territory but long story short, it didn’t work out. In 1887, the United States government passed
the Dawes Act, which broke up land collectively held by American Indian tribes into individual holdings. Well, this law ended up opening up a bunch of land to be open to non-Native American settlement in Indian Territory. Other treaties opened up even more land, and finally, on March 23, 1889, the United States government officially opened up all the Unassigned Lands to settlement to non-Native Americans. This led to a huge land rush of Boomers to Indian Territory. They
weren’t supposed to settle the Unassigned Lands until April 22, and people literally lined up at its borders until then to rush to claim land. However, some people illegally snuck across the borders early, and these settlers were given the nickname Sooners. Yep, that’s why Oklahoma has the Sooner State nickname. Today the University of Oklahoma’s fight song is “Boomer Sooner.”
Anyway, soon after this Indian Territory became Oklahoma Territory. By the way, “Oklahoma” is a Choctaw word that translates to “red people.” Yeah, that’s pretty cringe, bro. Soon after Oklahoma Territory became a thing, it had a border dispute with Texas. Oh yeah, Texas. I haven’t brought you up in awhile. Sorry about that. Well, thanks to the Supreme Court, Oklahoma won that border dispute, giving it its modern borders. By 1907, enough settlers had moved to Oklahoma
for it to officially enter the Union as the 46th state, 62 years after Texas became a state. In the early 1900s, both states began to quickly grow as many moved to both to farm. However, beginning in the 1920s, farming was not nearly as profitable, and during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Dust Bowl wreaked havoc on both states, particularly in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles.
Because of the Dust Bowl, around 15% of Okies moved away, many of them to California. World War Two dramatically helped jumpstart the economy of Texas, and after the war both states prospered due to the discovery of oil fields, especially in Texas. By the end of the century, Texas had the second biggest economy in the country. And yes, today, the median household income is higher in Texas. (OK- $52,919, T- $61,874) Oklahoma also has a higher poverty rate. (OK- 15.7%, T- 14.7%) That said, taxes are much lower in Oklahoma, overall. Still, according to both CNBC and Forbes Magazine, Texas is a much better state for business. Major industries in Texas include tourism, agriculture, energy, healthcare, and aeronautics. Major industries in Oklahoma also include
energy and healthcare, but additionally retail, manufacturing, and education. More Texas residents have college degrees. Texans are younger, on average. (OK- 37 median age, T- 35.1 median age) The climate differences between the two states are mostly due to Oklahoma being further north and Texas being next to the Gulf of Mexico. Being further north, Oklahoma gets colder in the winter and you don’t find palm trees there like you find down in Texas. Still, most of both states have what’s known as a humid subtropical climate. Also, the further
west you go in both states, the drier it gets. The Oklahoma Panhandle has mostly a semi-arid climate, and so does much of western Texas, with parts of west Texas being a full-on desert for real. Much of both states is made up of prairie and hills. Texas has four big physical regions:
The Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, and Basin and Range Province. Texas does have mountains in that Basin and Range Province. Many people don’t realize this, but Oklahoma also has small mountains. In fact, it technically has four mountain ranges, the Arbuckle Mountains, the Wichita Mountains, the Ozark Mountains, and the Ouachita Mountains. Also, at the western edge of Oklahoma’s panhandle is Black Mesa State Park, where the prairie gets a sneak peak at the beginning of mountains to the west.
Oklahoma is landlocked. Texas has 367 miles (592 km) of coastline. At least in recent years, Oklahoma has seemed to get bigger earthquakes. That said, both can get them, and they’ve never been higher than 6 on the Richter scale. Texas has to worry about hurricanes. Oklahoma does not. In fact, some of the most devastating hurricanes of the past century or so have landed in Texas. Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma. Not in Texas. Marijuana is completely illegal there so that’s why no one in Texas consumes marijuana. Just kidding, obviously.
Speaking of high, the speed limits are higher in Texas. The highest interstate speed limit in the country, 85 miles per hour, can be found on some stretches of the state. Texas has two national parks. Oklahoma doesn’t have any. Texas has Buc-ee’s, the biggest and most epic convenience store in the world. There’s one Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, Texas, that, for now at least, holds the record for largest gas station in the world, and another Buc-ee’s in Katy, Texas, that holds the record for longest car wash in the world. Unfortunately, Oklahoma doesn’t have one Buc-ee’s location.
Texas also is the home of the amazing grocery store H-E-B. Again, Oklahoma doesn’t have one H-E-B location. Dangit. Texas also is where the legendary fast food restaurant Whataburger started. Ok, Oklahoma has plenty of Whataburgers, and thank goodness for that.
Oklahoma also is the home of QuikTrip and Love’s, which both kind of rival Buc-ee’s so ya know. Oklahoma is lacking in major league sports teams, so many Okies are just fans of Texas major league sports teams. But for the rest of this video, let’s just look at the similarities between the two states. There aren’t many, actually.
Much of the similarities revolve around the residents, who definitely share a similar culture. For example, when it comes to food, most folks in both states seem to love barbecue, chicken fried steak, and tacos of course. Another example is that in both states, strangers are more likely to talk to you. Disclaimer. I have literally no studies to back this up…this is all based on my mediocre original research. Residents of both tend to have a variation of a Southern accent, although this starts to disappear in the bigger cities in both. Both have lenient gun laws.
Christianity is the biggest religion in both states. In particular, most Christians in both states identify as Protestant, although Texas has a sizable group of Christians who are Roman Catholic. Residents of both tend to lean to the right, politically, although Oklahoma more so.
In fact, Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the country. The last time the majority of folks there elected a Democratic candidate for President was in 1964. Both spend much less money than the national average on education. (OK- $8,778 per student, T- $9,606 per student).
Both have a violent crime rate and property crime rate that’s higher than the national average. Both states have lots of farmland. Much of the world’s helium supply comes from both states. Both get lots of thunderstorms and tornadoes. Much of both states sit in what’s known as Tornado Alley, a region of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. While Texas gets more tornadoes each year than any other state, Oklahoma is the state with the highest number of strong tornadoes per unit area. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was from a tornado
that hit Moore, Oklahoma, on May 3, 1999. Both states can even get occasional dust storms. Football is HUGE in both states. That said, it’s more popular in Texas than it is pretty much anywhere else on the planet. In conclusion, it’s easy to understand why so many people are flocking to both states since there’s a lot to love about them. And, while many Texans may just think of Oklahoma as that really big county in the northern part of Texas, many Okies really do get annoyed with the perceived superiority of Texas. In reality, Oklahoma does have some advantages over Texas, and due to that, perhaps
that crazy population growth might work its way up north of the Red River in the coming decades. This video is sponsored in part by Squarespace. Squarespace is the all-in-one platform for building your brand and growing your business online. Stand out with a beautiful website, easily engage with your audience, and sell anything - your products, content you create, and even your time. I tried it out recently by building a
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Head to squarespace.com for a free trial, and when you’re ready to launch, go to this link here to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. Hey, are you from Oklahoma or Texas? So I want to hear from you. What did i get wrong? What did I get wrong? Are you not from Texas or Oklahoma? If so I also want to hear from you. Which state is better in your opinion... Oklahoma or Texas? Thank you for watching you all are straight up amazing you know that