Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2020

We used science and data to determine which places in Oklahoma are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma brings to mind images of Oklahoma City, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Oklahoma has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Oklahoma that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 74 places in Oklahoma with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Oklahoma for 2020:

  1. Hugo (Photos)
  2. Okmulgee (Photos)
  3. Anadarko (Photos)
  4. Sallisaw (Photos)
  5. Henryetta (Photos)
  6. Holdenville (Photos)
  7. Idabel (Photos)
  8. Wagoner (Photos)
  9. Tahlequah (Photos)
  10. Seminole (Photos)

Again, this isn't a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it's just a look at the facts.

What's the poorst city in Oklahoma? According to the facts, Hugo is the poorest place in Oklahoma for 2020.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Oklahoma or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2020

Hugo, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,184
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,548 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.5% (1st highest)
More on Hugo:  Data | Photos

Hugo, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Oklahoma thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 5,184 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Oklahoma and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Okmulgee, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,024
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $31,607 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.4% (6th highest)
More on Okmulgee:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Oklahoma is Okmulgee.

The city ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Sooner State.

Anadarko, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,664
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $34,779 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.7% (4th highest)
More on Anadarko:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Anadarko's median income ranks as the 8th lowest.

And that's a sign that there's a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 29.687259282082888% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Sooner State.

Sallisaw, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,547
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Income: $29,656 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.1% (3rd highest)
More on Sallisaw:  Data | Photos

Sallisaw ranks as the fourth poorest place in Oklahoma.

The town ranks as having the 2nd lowest median household income and the 3rd highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there's still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Henryetta, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,671
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $31,129 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.6% (13th highest)
More on Henryetta:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Oklahoma is Henryetta.

The city ranks as having the 4th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 13th highest in Oklahoma.

Still not the best news for Henryetta.

Holdenville, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,611
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $31,776 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.4% (7th highest)
More on Holdenville:  Data | Photos

Holdenville ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Sooner State.

It ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and the 7th highest unemployment rate.

Idabel, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,925
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Income: $29,671 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.2% (5th highest)
More on Idabel:  Data | Photos

Idabel places as the seventh poorest city in Oklahoma.

The city of over 6,925 ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Wagoner, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,808
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $35,121 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.6% (16th highest)
More on Wagoner:  Data | Photos

Wagoner ranks as the eighth poorest city in Oklahoma.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 6th highest in the state.

Tahlequah, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,592
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $35,046 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.2% (8th highest)
More on Tahlequah:  Data | Photos

Tahlequah couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Oklahoma; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Tahlequah ranks as having the 8th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Oklahoma.

Seminole, OK

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,328
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $37,828 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.5% (18th highest)
More on Seminole:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Oklahoma is Seminole.

The city of 7,328 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Sooner State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Oklahoma for 2020

The first thing that comes to most people's minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don't think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the "poorest places". So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2014-2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The "median household income adjusted for the cost of living" attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they'd still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 74 places with more than 5,000 people in Oklahoma, we ranked each place from 1 to 74 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a "Poor Score" with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Hugo, crowned the "Poorest Place In Oklahoma For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Oklahoma For 2020

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Oklahoma, we weren't sure what we'd encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Oklahoma.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you're curious enough, here are the richest cities in Oklahoma, according to data:

    Richest: Piedmont
    2nd Richest: Tuttle
    3rd Richest: Newcastle

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Oklahoma

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Hugo 5,184 41.5%
2 Okmulgee 12,024 28.4%
3 Anadarko 6,664 29.7%
4 Sallisaw 8,547 30.1%
5 Henryetta 5,671 23.6%
6 Holdenville 5,611 26.4%
7 Idabel 6,925 29.2%
8 Wagoner 8,808 22.6%
9 Tahlequah 16,592 25.2%
10 Seminole 7,328 21.5%
11 Vinita 5,478 23.7%
12 Stillwater 49,527 35.0%
13 Muskogee 37,900 23.9%
14 Miami 13,335 23.8%
15 Shawnee 31,141 20.6%
16 Poteau 8,793 24.0%
17 Blackwell 6,786 19.9%
18 Cushing 7,788 19.7%
19 Durant 17,517 23.1%
20 Pryor Creek 9,402 19.6%
21 Guthrie 11,165 18.4%
22 Ada 17,276 20.9%
23 Mcalester 18,095 20.9%
24 Lone Grove 5,052 19.7%
25 Ponca City 24,424 18.0%
26 Lawton 94,697 17.8%
27 El Reno 18,714 17.4%
28 Tulsa 402,223 19.7%
29 Ardmore 24,892 19.7%
30 Duncan 22,823 16.6%
31 Altus 19,034 17.7%
32 Pauls Valley 6,143 21.8%
33 Purcell 6,380 17.8%
34 Weatherford 11,973 23.0%
35 Claremore 18,780 14.8%
36 Chickasha 16,297 19.9%
37 Del City 21,874 17.2%
38 Warr Acres 10,360 17.7%
39 Tecumseh 6,625 16.1%
40 Collinsville 6,720 14.1%
41 Grove 6,862 13.4%
42 Midwest City 57,292 15.0%
43 Enid 50,612 15.9%
44 Bethany 19,472 13.2%
45 Norman 121,090 18.5%
46 Bartlesville 36,448 14.5%
47 Alva 5,154 17.1%
48 Sulphur 5,024 17.0%
49 Coweta 9,637 10.2%
50 Guymon 11,679 19.3%
51 The Village 9,385 13.0%
52 Oklahoma City 637,284 16.8%
53 Woodward 12,601 12.7%
54 Elk City 12,046 14.5%
55 Catoosa 7,640 15.5%
56 Clinton 9,297 13.4%
57 Noble 6,718 9.4%
58 Sapulpa 20,659 16.9%
59 Harrah 6,083 6.4%
60 Sand Springs 19,864 10.5%
61 Yukon 26,317 8.1%
62 Moore 60,807 9.1%
63 Broken Arrow 107,500 7.7%
64 Glenpool 13,313 9.3%
65 Mustang 20,735 6.4%
66 Owasso 35,646 6.9%
67 Edmond 91,053 10.7%
68 Blanchard 8,573 7.9%
69 Choctaw 12,367 6.0%
70 Jenks 21,793 6.4%
71 Bixby 25,818 6.0%
72 Newcastle 9,657 3.8%
73 Tuttle 6,982 2.8%
74 Piedmont 7,424 2.3%

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