Originally Posted by Road Trip
What is your overall preference between these two states based on the following:
- Overall friendliness
- Low cost of living
- Degree of freedom(Libertarian): has very few zoning laws, very few gun laws.
- Economy/ job market
- outdoor recreation (fishing, camping, hunting)
Comparing entire states is difficult. You can't really compare OKC or Tulsa to western Kansas, just like you can't really compare suburban Kansas City (Kansas side) to Most of Oklahoma.
First off, The suburban Kansas side of metropolitan Kansas City which basically stretches all the way from state line to Lawrence has a very different feel and culture than most of the rest of the state. You can also live in this area of Kansas which technically does not have a lot to offer as far as culture, big league sports, amusement parks, arts, concerts, museums etc, but is only minutes from such amenities in Missouri. Same with outdoor recreation. Most of the population of Kansas lives near the Missouri border and the Lake of the Ozarks etc is closer than driving half away across Kansas. What's I'm saying is that while Kansas itself probably doesn't even offer what Oklahoma does, those in eastern Kansas have easy access to metro KC and Missouri which is a totally different league than any city in Oklahoma or the state of Oklahoma.
Now if you live west of Topeka, I think Oklahoma pulls away as far as having things to do (urban or nature) till you get way west where mid Colorado is a closer drive.
Because much of Kansas lives in the KC area (The suburban KS side of KC + Lawrence alone is twice the size of metro Wichita) and its largest county is actually an affluent suburb of KCMO, the state of Kansas is culturally less conservative than OK in my opinion. The larger KS counties around KC are blue to moderately or fiscally conservative. It's not the bible belt, gun rights area that OK is even though outstate Kansas may be that way.
Hope that makes sense. Basically there is a pretty big difference between KS and OK. Even compared to Kansas, Oklahoma seems overly conservative and religious to me.
Other differences are it seems like Kansas does not have as extreme weather that OK does. Now again, I'm talking about the northeast part of the state. I think the southern and western parts of the state might rival OK's extreme weather.
Kansas (again the northeastern parts) is way more lush and green with more forested areas and trees and it's also hillier. I know OK has some interesting topography out west and even around Tulsa, but central OK is just not very appealing to me.
I think people are more friendly in OK, but honestly I think they are too friendly and kind of "fake". They are friendly to you , but then talk about you behind your back if you don't fit their religious, political views etc. Kansas is the same way, but I think OK is worse.
OK is cheaper than KS. The KS side of KC is not only more expensive than OK, it's overpriced and the rest of the state of KS is probably similar to OK overall.
OK is in far better shape than KS is economically. KS has some pretty deep economic issues. Their primary economic engine is suburban KC and they have to prop that area up with massive amounts of corporate welfare and other tax incentives and even then they can generally only attract economic development that is already in the KC area across state line (poaching etc). Taxes are high in Kansas, especially for what you get, which is not much.
OK actually has much nicer urban cities. Tulsa and OKC may not be the best cities in the country, but OK does pretty well with what they have been given to work with. Kansas on the other hand generally completely fails at building high quality urban cities and all they basically care about is suburban sprawl. Wichita, KCK, Topeka etc are just not great urban places. KCK and Topeka are two of the worst urban cities in the country if you ask me.
Kansas has very nice college towns. Lawrence and Manhattan are great college towns. Lawrence is the best place in the state of Kansas IMO.
Speaking of colleges, both states are totally obsessed with college sports, I mean obsessed. If you are in OK or KS, college sports is in your face 24/7 and people’s lives revolve around whatever college sports teams they worship. It’s easy to spot tourists here in DC from OK or KS. They are wearing college sports apparel.
Personally, KS and OK are two of the states that I probably care for the least. Other than very rural states like WY, SD, ND, IA, NE, AR etc that I love to visit (more than KS or OK), they just don't have large enough cities for my tastes.
Therefore OK and KS would be the last states I would choose to live in. They both lack both urban amenities (big city culture and entertainment), outdoor recreation (mountains, oceans, extensive biking/hiking etc) desirable weather and are both more conservative than I prefer. But if I had to choose, I would choose the KS side of KC over any place in OK, but would choose Tulsa or OKC if I couldn't live within 10 minutes of KCMO in Kansas.