Oklahoma’s Population During COVID-19: Early Deaths, New Residents and an End of the Brain Drain

August 25, 2022

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

by: Courtney Shupert and Chad Wilkerson

The major components of Oklahoma’s 2020-21 population growth reveal two standout trends. For the first time in its history, more people died in Oklahoma than were born, a pandemic reality seen in many other states. Second, more people moved into Oklahoma from other states than any time in recent decades, reversing a recent trend of outmigration—especially of college graduates—and more than offsetting the state’s decline in natural population growth. This edition of The Oklahoma Economist explores underlying data on Oklahoma deaths and migration to shed light on the people the state has lost and gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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