OKLAHOMA CITY -- A lifelong Californian, Gricelda Fragoso never considered moving from the Golden State, not to mention to Oklahoma, even though her husband has roots here.
Fragoso, a clinical psychologist, didn't fancy the idea of taking more tests to be licensed by another state. Three years ago, she started her own private practice in San Diego, and the couple had just landed a $338,000 deal on a 1,500-square-foot condominium.
Then, she got pregnant.
Her son, now 18 months, was a driving factor, she said, in her family relocating a year ago to Oklahoma City, where her accountant husband joined the family business, Rail Unlimited.
"It became very important to me that our baby grow up around grandparents," said Fragoso, 35, who came for a test visit in fall 2009 and "fell in love" with the foliage of Oklahoma.
"It's fantastic," Fragoso said. "We're excited about having a backyard for our son, and being able to meet our financial goals, including paying off my graduate-school loan."
According to the Internal Revenue Service, Californians relocating to Oklahoma is a growing phenomenon in a sort of reverse "Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's Depression-era account of Okies moving from the Dust Bowl to work in the California orchards.
Based roughly on tax-return exemptions, the number of Californians moving here outnumbered Sooners moving there by 21,376 from 1999 to 2008, the latest data available.