Everything is not ‘okie dokie’ in Oklahoma and RoadSnacks has a list of the most dangerous places in the Sooner State to prove it.
We’re not talking about the kind of problems that give Ada’s hometown hero, Black Shelton, sad lyrics for his country songs. We’re talking about the kind of danger that has landed the state as the tenth most dangerous state in the country. And, folks, the breakdown begins in the state’s most dangerous cities. Yes, this flyover state definitely has its fair share of dangerous places, and those places are where you’ll find the most crime. So, if you’re looking to move to tornado alley, we suggest you take a look at RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in Oklahoma for 2021.
Why’d we do it? To show the public how to navigate the places that most people don’t want to visit, but still want to know the gossip. You know, the stuff that Oklahomans see on Norman’s News 9 at six or Lawton’s crime stoppers at ten.
How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 75 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Arkansas’ violent and property crime numbers are even scarier than the most dangerous place in the state; and unfortunately, the effects of these numbers are continuing to claim many of Arkansas’ biggest cities. Cities like Tulsa and Muskogee can’t catch a break.
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Oklahoma For 2021
Oklahoma’s second biggest city and the cultural center of the state’s northeast, Tulsa ranks as the most dangerous place to live in Oklahoma for 2021. Tulsa had the second highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma, recording 55 murders in 2019.
Overall, residents had a 1 in 101 chance of being the victim of a robbery, rape, assault, or murder. That’s a good enough reason to stay buddied up when you’re in Tulsa’s worst neighborhoods.
Property crime is also a big deal in Tulsa, especially burglaries. There were 4,846 burglaries in 2019 overall, giving the city the third highest burglary rate statewide. We just hope there’s enough security at the Philbrook Museum of Art to stop any would-be heisters.
While most American cities see crime drop year over year, Idabel’s trajectory is going in the other direction. The city experienced a jump in violent crime and a rise in property crime in recent years.
Idabel had the highest property crime rate in Oklahoma, with residents facing a whopping 1 in 15 chance of having their stuff stolen or damaged over 2019. Idabel’s property crime rate is so high that its overall crime rate actually ranks as the highest statewide.
And just because Idabel only ranks as the tenth most violent place in Oklahoma, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Idabel had the highest rape and highest murder rate statewide. So get home before dark if you’re heading to Little River National Wildlife Refuge.
You won’t find Del City anywhere on our list of Oklahoma City’s best suburbs, and crime is a big reason why.
Del City had the fourth highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma. Residents had a staggering 1 in 115 shot of being the victim of a violent attack in 2019.
Add to that 942 property crimes over the year, and you’ve got a recipe for a full plate for the Del City Police Department.
Located about 15 miles east of Tulsa, Catoosa comes in as the fourth most dangerous place to call home in Oklahoma. Catoosa has a whale of a problem, and we’re talking about crime, not the Blue Whale of Catoosa.
The city had the second highest property crime rate in Oklahoma, with residents facing a 1 in 16 chance of having their belongings stolen or vandalized over 2019.
While the majority of those crimes were just larcenies, Catoosa did average over one burglary and car theft a week. At least Catoosa didn’t have a single murder in 2019, so that’s something.
McAlester has seen a modest drop in crime over the past few years, but it hasn’t been quite enough to get the city off this list. McAlester still had the third highest property crime rate in Oklahoma, and its total crime rate is more than double the national average.
On average, there are two larcenies each day, four burglaries a week, and one car theft a week in McAlester. Fingers crossed that nobody robs the local army ammunition plant, or a spike in violent crime could come soon after.
Speaking of violent crime, while McAlester isn’t super violent overall, it does have the unfortunate distinction of having the fifth highest rate of rape cases in Oklahoma.
Located about 40 miles south of Tulsa, Okmulgee comes in as Oklahoma’s sixth most dangerous city for 2021. Okmulgee is not the sort of place you can leave your doors unlocked, considering it had the fourth highest burglary rate statewide.
You also have to keep a close eye on your catch after a day fishing on Okmulgee Lake, seeing as Okmulgee recorded a theft each and every day on average.
Okmulgee also had the fifth highest murder rate in Oklahoma, so it’s more than just picked pockets and broken windows going down here.
Ardmore’s crime rate became much higher since last year, landing it in the #7 spot for 2021. Violent crime went up, and property crime rose too, in recent years — not a great combo.
Ardmore ended up with the fifth highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma thanks to these gains. That works out to about four violent crimes per week, with the majority being aggravated assaults.
So if you don’t want to end up the protagonist of a horror movie, bring a friend with you when you go out for a hike at Lake Murray State Park.
Muskogee ranked as the most violent place in Oklahoma, with residents facing a 1 in 95 chance of being the victim of a robbery, rape, assault, or murder in 2019. A lot of that comes from Muskogee having the seventh highest rate of rape cases statewide.
If that doesn’t sound bad enough, consider that Muskogee also averaged one burglary a day over 2019 — truly, nowhere is safe in Muskogee.
Oklahoma City’s crime numbers actually fell a bit over the last year, despite it holding onto a spot on this list. That’s just because other cities in Oklahoma are improving faster than the capital city.
Still, residents have to contend with the seventh highest violent crime rate in Oklahoma. That includes more than one murder each week and more than one rape each day. Not exactly part of the Wild West image Oklahoma City was going for with the National Cowboy and Western Museum.
As for property crime, Oklahoma City recorded more than ten car thefts each day on average, and 26,918 property crimes overall. However, as OKC is the state’s biggest city, there are obviously some rougher areas, but if you stick to Oklahoma City’s best neighborhoods, you should be safe.
Located about an hour south of Oklahoma City, Pauls Valley ranks as Oklahoma’s tenth least safe place to live. Pauls Valley had the highest burglary count in the state and recorded a property crime each day, on average. That’s quite a lot in a city of just 6,157.
Here’s hoping that no super criminal nerd collective gets together to pull a heist of the local Toy and Action Figure Museum.
While Pauls Valley had the fourth most property crime in Oklahoma, it’s the least violent place on this list.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Oklahoma
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma for 2021?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered Oklahoma cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 75 cities in Oklahoma.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 75 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Oklahoma — Tulsa. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Oklahoma.
Locking It All Up In Oklahoma
So what is the most dangerous city in Oklahoma? After analyzing 75 cities in Oklahoma, Tulsa takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Oklahoma based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.
The latest FBI crime data shows that Tulsa ranks as the most dangerous city in Oklahoma for 2021.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Tulsa and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
Do we think there’s a direct correlation between places in Oklahoma with high unemployment rates, low wages, and high crime to the state’s most dangerous places? Absolutely. And this is most evident in the most dangerous place to live in Oklahoma for 2021, Tulsa.
Want to know the other places in Oklahoma that could us a hug? Take a look below; and if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in Oklahoma.
Here are the safest cities in Oklahoma:
- Broken Arrow (Pop. 110,480)
- Harrah (Pop. 6,602)
- Collinsville (Pop. 7,271)
- Choctaw (Pop. 12,812)
- Bixby (Pop. 28,383)
- Jenks (Pop. 24,264)
- Alva (Pop. 5,022)
- Piedmont (Pop. 8,553)
- Blanchard (Pop. 9,028)
- Lone Grove (Pop. 5,111)
For more Oklahoma reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Oklahoma
- Cheapest Places To Live In Oklahoma
- Most Dangerous Cities In Oklahoma
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Oklahoma
- Safest Places In Oklahoma
- Worst Places To Live In Oklahoma
The Most Dangerous Cities In Oklahoma