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  1. #1

    Default OKC vs Dallas growth

    A few months back I was talking to a guy who grew up in Dallas. I'm bad with ages but I'm guessing this guy was in his 60s. Anyway, we got to talking about OKC and Dallas and he said something along the lines of had OKC agreed to have what became DFW airport built here then OKC would be where Dallas is now.

    Like I said, this was a few months back so I may be getting some of the details wrong. But the basic gist is that OKC and Dallas would have switched roles or places.

    I hadn't heard such a thing. Is there any truth to this? Or is this guy completely wrong or did he get his facts confused?

  2. #2

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    I was in high school in late 60's, but my Dad's view was that Texas was far far more business friendly in the 50's and 60's than Oklahoma. They went right-to-work around 1960, that was a big one in Dad's eyes. Worker's comp insurance rates were a third of what was charged in Oklahoma because personal injury lawyers dominated our state politics at that time.

    And of course they've always had a tax code that was far more appealing to business than Oklahoma.

    Their state govt was also not as corrupt as Oklahoma.

    First I've heard of the airport thing.

    One more thing, which happened after DFW's growth out paced us, but when we screwed GM by promising a property tax exemption and then Mid Del Schools went to court and the court found it invalid, then word went around the country to not move your business into Oklahoma. I recall that happened in late 70's. Did not help Oklahoma's reputation in the business world, which was not very good to start with .

  3. #3

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    To boil it down to one factor like just an airport is absurd.

    There’s been 100s over factors over the course of decades.

  4. #4

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Just looked it up, Texas became a right to work state in 1947.

    Also, I've heard over the years, that at one time OKC and Dallas were about the same size, but the pro business policies in Texas allowed them to grow at a much faster rate.

  5. #5

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Just looked it up, Texas became a right to work state in 1947.

    Also, I've heard over the years, that at one time OKC and Dallas were about the same size, but the pro business policies in Texas allowed them to grow at a much faster rate.
    It’s not just that though.

    -It’s texas doesn’t have a restrictive, massive, state constitution.
    -Penn square bank busting
    -the Dallas Cowboys, which helped brand Dallas
    -their homegrown companies becoming massive
    -it’s the airport
    And a million other factors

  6. #6

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    It’s not just that though.

    -It’s texas doesn’t have a restrictive, massive, state constitution.
    -Penn square bank busting
    -the Dallas Cowboys, which helped brand Dallas
    -their homegrown companies becoming massive
    -it’s the airport
    And a million other factors
    I won't disagree it was many factors, which can be summed up as saying Texas was more business friendly, but Penn Square bank was long long after Dallas left OKC in its wake. Penn Square was 1982.

    Texas got hit hard by that early 80's oil bust and the following Savings and Loan collapse, but their economy was already more diversified. Dallas was a financial center and then they've got ports, which gave them more international business appeal. Ports are why Phillips and Conoco moved to Houston.

    The Cowboys arrived after Dallas had gone on a growth spree , also.

  7. #7

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Good info RedDollar. Thanks for the input.

  8. #8

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Just looked it up, Texas became a right to work state in 1947.

    Also, I've heard over the years, that at one time OKC and Dallas were about the same size, but the pro business policies in Texas allowed them to grow at a much faster rate.
    Populations since 1890 (did every 30 years plus 2018)

    1890: 38K / 4K
    1920: 159K / 91K
    1950: 434K / 243K
    1980: 904K / 404K
    2010: 1,199K / 579K
    2018: 1,345K / 649K

  9. Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Looks like to me it was 8 times over in 1890. Now it's only 2 times greater. We've been catching up.

    lol

  10. #10

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    ^^^ I think OKC could easily and likely surpass Dallas proper population. It’s metro area is where OKC, less some extraordinary series of events happen, likely won’t surpass. OKC would need to grow to engulf Ada, Weatherford, and Chickasha as having those cities on its outskirts with a massive freeway system winding through. It’d be like leaving Tulsa and entering the OKC metro in 15-30 mins. Granted I personally would love to see that happen and hope it does, but I won’t be holding my breath. Especially with the anti-growth sentiment and lack of forward thinking entities in Oklahoma.

  11. #11

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by RedDollar View Post
    Just looked it up, Texas became a right to work state in 1947.

    Also, I've heard over the years, that at one time OKC and Dallas were about the same size, but the pro business policies in Texas allowed them to grow at a much faster rate.
    First time I went to Dallas early 70s pretty sure it was smaller than what OKC is today. Austin was quite a bit smaller than OKC and San Antonio was a little smaller than OKC.

  12. #12

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    According to worldpopulationview.com which for the US uses stats from the US Census Bureau, the closest OKC ever got to Dallas proper in population was the 1910 census when Dallas had 92,104 and OKC had 64,205. After that it has never been close. The 1970 census had Dallas with 844,401 and OKC with 368,164. Dallas really pulled away by the 1950 census and doubled OKC's population.

  13. #13

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by MagzOK View Post
    According to worldpopulationview.com which for the US uses stats from the US Census Bureau, the closest OKC ever got to Dallas proper in population was the 1910 census when Dallas had 92,104 and OKC had 64,205. After that it has never been close. The 1970 census had Dallas with 844,401 and OKC with 368,164. Dallas really pulled away by the 1950 census and doubled OKC's population.
    Its always been my impression, and I can't tell ya where it came from, but I thought DFW growth was during the post WW II boom years.

    And during that post WW II period, Oklahoma's oil fields were depleting but new oil discoveries in Texas kept their oil industry growing. It continued to grow up to circa 1970 , when US production in total peaked.

    I grew up in an Oklahoma oil town that boomed in the 20's and 30's and was depleting in the 50's and 60's. It was common in my grade school years, for parents of friends who worked in oil to be transferred to Texas. Outside of the Sooner Trend field in the Enid / Hennessey area, that was pretty much common across the state.

  14. #14

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    ^^^ I think OKC could easily and likely surpass Dallas proper population. It’s metro area is where OKC, less some extraordinary series of events happen, likely won’t surpass. OKC would need to grow to engulf Ada, Weatherford, and Chickasha as having those cities on its outskirts with a massive freeway system winding through. It’d be like leaving Tulsa and entering the OKC metro in 15-30 mins. Granted I personally would love to see that happen and hope it does, but I won’t be holding my breath. Especially with the anti-growth sentiment and lack of forward thinking entities in Oklahoma.
    I'm not going to say there's absolutely no anti-growth sentiment in Oklahoma but to say that that's a large or influential contingent in Oklahoma is disingenuous. It's just more negativity about Oklahoma and talk about how Oklahoma and Oklahomans are backward. Which seems to be a frequent sentiment on here by many when something doesn't go the way people think it should.

    I don't see OKC ever catching up with the Dallas metro because of what you said; For it to have the same type of footprint, it would have to take up much of the state. That's just not realistic in a state the size of Oklahoma.

    When traveling south from Oklahoma into Dallas, by the time you hit Denton, you're in the greater Dallas metro. It used to not be that way. Denton used to be quite a ways from Dallas. Now all of these small towns that used to be their own entity have been engulfed by the greater Dallas metro. In a state the size of Texas, the greater Dallas metro is just one part of the state. They also have large cities in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. They also have lots of small towns in addition to those big cities because of the sheer size of the state. For OKC to compare with that, more than 50% of our state would have to be one large metro area. It's not really feasible.

  15. #15

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    ^^^ sorry if I worded that in an unconstructive manner. I just meant I would the state to be more forward thinking than it is. Texas always has a go big or go home mentality.

    Private financed billion stadium.

    Fort Worth stockyards arena knocks our proposed fair grounds one out of the park.

    TxDOT able to widen I-35 through Austin to 14 lanes with a series of tunnels and OkDOT claiming I-35 canít be expanded more than six lanes and refusing to build mass transit of quality.

    Texas pushing to HSR between Dallas and Houston while we canít even get conventional train service between the two largest cities in the state. Itís second largest city is virtually void of any connected mass transit other than planes and a couple bus routes.

    The education system in Oklahoma is a joke.

    It appears developments in general just go above and beyond what is status quo in Oklahoma. I donít know what is to be done about these things. Oklahoma is changing for the better I believe. The pace is the only issue. While Oklahoma is catching up Texas is improving as well.

    It would be nice to see OKC get a more can do mentality. Instead of the streetcar and semi quasi BRT line, we need a 15 billion dollar 7 year mass transit package that adds many BRT lines and a county wide light rail system. Instead we waiting for a commuter train that wonít even operate for another decade.

  16. #16

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Many factors at work IMO. A few include:

    Dallas is about 50 years older than OKC, IIRC. And in that context it doesn't seem we are doing a bad job of keeping up with someone who got a half century head start.

    Texas joined the US as a sovereign nation. And I think that affects land ownership and taxing structure in some unique to America ways.

    Oklahoma joined with a differently unique structure related to the Native American tribes and their ownership of land, resources, etc.

    Oklahoma City sits in the area called "Unassigned Lands", and I think that means no tribes can claim ownership of the area.

    I think north Texas and Oklahoma from the OKC metro going south are closely aligned socially, politically and geographically. Both areas are respected and seen as vital to each other.

    I'm about 60, so I am starting to think the "airport" story OP heard was commonly told to people during my youth, because I have heard a version of it. What I recall being told by my sainted father was along the lines that Braniff Airways was based in OKC in it's early history, and Mr. Braniff wanted OKC to build him a new headquarters (possibly shortly after WWII). The City refused and he went to DFW, where they agreed. And that was supposed to be what set in motion the explosive growth of passenger aviation in DFW.

  17. Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    ^^^ sorry if I worded that in an unconstructive manner. I just meant I would the state to be more forward thinking than it is. Texas always has a go big or go home mentality.

    Private financed billion stadium.

    Fort Worth stockyards arena knocks our proposed fair grounds one out of the park.

    TxDOT able to widen I-35 through Austin to 14 lanes with a series of tunnels and OkDOT claiming I-35 canít be expanded more than six lanes and refusing to build mass transit of quality.

    Texas pushing to HSR between Dallas and Houston while we canít even get conventional train service between the two largest cities in the state. Itís second largest city is virtually void of any connected mass transit other than planes and a couple bus routes.

    The education system in Oklahoma is a joke.

    It appears developments in general just go above and beyond what is status quo in Oklahoma. I donít know what is to be done about these things. Oklahoma is changing for the better I believe. The pace is the only issue. While Oklahoma is catching up Texas is improving as well.

    It would be nice to see OKC get a more can do mentality. Instead of the streetcar and semi quasi BRT line, we need a 15 billion dollar 7 year mass transit package that adds many BRT lines and a county wide light rail system. Instead we waiting for a commuter train that wonít even operate for another decade.
    Agree with pretty much all of that, and lack of money and lack of will seem to be what keeps OK just OK. OKC doesn't even have the money (or will?) to restripe all the missing lane markers on the highways and surface streets, keep the streetlights on, and keep all the burned-out traffic lights replaced (saw about 5 out yesterday in just a half hour drive around from about 23rd/May to Britton/May), and I can probably extrapolate that to the entire state. So how do we get all the money that we need in order to just keep day-to-day sh*t running properly, much less improve on it? We can have all the forward thinking we need to have, but if the money isn't there to back it up, then ..............................................

  18. #18

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    ^^^ correct but I would also argue forward thinking would mean making the maximum use of current situation and in this case Oklahoma could stand to raise its taxes a bit. Not quite so much like California lol but more than current levels. But as you said lack of will seems to be something preventing that and I can understand why some would hesitant to raise taxes.

  19. #19

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by Dob Hooligan View Post
    I'm about 60, so I am starting to think the "airport" story OP heard was commonly told to people during my youth, because I have heard a version of it. What I recall being told by my sainted father was along the lines that Braniff Airways was based in OKC in it's early history, and Mr. Braniff wanted OKC to build him a new headquarters (possibly shortly after WWII). The City refused and he went to DFW, where they agreed. And that was supposed to be what set in motion the explosive growth of passenger aviation in DFW.
    I believe the story about Braniff Airways is true.

  20. Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    OKC has a larger population than Atlanta.

  21. #21

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    Agree with pretty much all of that, and lack of money and lack of will seem to be what keeps OK just OK. OKC doesn't even have the money (or will?) to restripe all the missing lane markers on the highways and surface streets, keep the streetlights on, and keep all the burned-out traffic lights replaced (saw about 5 out yesterday in just a half hour drive around from about 23rd/May to Britton/May), and I can probably extrapolate that to the entire state. So how do we get all the money that we need in order to just keep day-to-day sh*t running properly, much less improve on it? We can have all the forward thinking we need to have, but if the money isn't there to back it up, then ..............................................
    Well then, MAPS 4 is not going to fix those lights either and its a full 1 cent tax on social programs without long term funding. Meaning once MAPS 4 money runs out (if passed, I am voting no) the city will need to increase taxes to pay for these new programs. Meaning less money for other needed operations.

    If one looks at every city equal to or larger than OKC they each have their own problems only amplified. Higher taxes does mot make a city better either in fact most large coastal cities are taxing their populations into moving. Every city has problems we are not alone. Its how you spend what you have without overtaxing that matters. MAPS 1/2/3 were great and transformative but 4 is a bad 10 year tax that will hamper our ability to do other projects as we change.

    Lets look at SC, we built it yet for 10 years minimum we cannot expand it. So lets add other non long term funded items in MAPS 4 so they too will be unfunded in 10 years. What then happens to SC in 10 years when our downtown core expands west and north and even south? It loses more riders (already small ridership) and eventually the costs of just upkeep are no longer supported since we have new districts other than Bricktown fighting for money and projects. And if one wants an Aquarium it will be at least 10 years before you can even decide to vote to build one.

    This MAPS locks us out of bigger potential and like I said the road stripes and lights are not part of this MAPS tax.

    We need to regroup and reprioritize what we need. This MAPS will limit new growth ability.

  22. #22

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    OKC has a larger population than Atlanta.
    Fort Worth has a larger population than OKC

  23. #23

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    This conversation is asinine, comparing city populations rather than MSA. OKC is a relatively small city that would never have caught or outpaced DFW in population regardless of an airport. Others have documented other factors in previous posts. OKC is in Oklahoma a State whose politics and business acumen don't lead to an economic explosion and by extension hyper population growth.

  24. #24

    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Another thing to keep in mind is that OKC just has nothing unique to market ourselves on. When looking at other formerly mid-sized cities that have boomed in the last few decades, they all seem to have one or more well-defined brands. I'm thinking specifically of Denver (outdoors), Nashville (music), Portland (counterculture), and Austin (music, tech). OKC doesn't really seem to have anything similar to speak of. The tech scene here is just about nonexistent. It's way too hot and humid here for about 2-3 months per year for this city to ever become any sort of an outdoors-oriented hub (not to mention all of the good recreation areas are at least an hour outside of the Metro). While there are honestly some truly wacky pockets of counterculture in this city due to the low cost of living, it seems very doubtful that things will ever reach a critical mass in that regard, a la Portland. The local music scene is certainly on an upward trajectory, but that also seems like a long-shot to every truly define the city, given the current lack of any OKC-based record labels that have established themselves on any sort of national scale.

    When people think of OKC right now, the first thing they probably think of is our crazy weather, which, while unique, isn't really anything that you can market a city on. Things could always change, and maybe 5-10 years down the line we'll have established a strong foothold in something I haven't even thought of, but barring that, I think OKC's best hope is probably to rise to the level of other relatively nondescript cities such as Cincinnati, Charlotte, and Kansas City. And honestly, there's nothing inherently wrong with that. The four cities I mentioned in the first paragraph all have an extremely high cost of living. IMO, there's absolutely a niche for OKC even if this city never truly has a period of rapid growth.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: OKC vs Dallas growth

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCRT View Post
    First time I went to Dallas early 70s pretty sure it was smaller than what OKC is today. Austin was quite a bit smaller than OKC and San Antonio was a little smaller than OKC.
    It was never Dallas. Oklahoma City and Ft. Worth had been roughly about the same size for decades with OKC sometimes bigger, until around 2000 when Ft. Worth started growing twice as fast than Oklahoma City. The populations are no longer close.

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