Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2023

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

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 Oklahoma 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 poorest places in Oklahoma.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 73 places in Oklahoma with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Oklahoma for 2023:

  1. Hugo
  2. Seminole
  3. Idabel
  4. Anadarko
  5. Vinita
  6. Okmulgee
  7. Henryetta
  8. Muskogee
  9. Pryor Creek
  10. McAlester

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 2023.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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:

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 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in Oklahoma.

The 10 Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2023

1. Hugo

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

The city of 5,146 people averages the lowest median household income in Oklahoma and the 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,146
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,710 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.6% (highest)
More on Hugo:  Data | Photos

Hugo, OK

2. Seminole

The second poorest city in Oklahoma is Seminole.

The city ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and 3rd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 7th highest in the Sooner State.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,131
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $34,375 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.1% (7th highest)
More on Seminole:  Data | Photos

Seminole, OK

3. Idabel

Placing as the third poorest city, Idabel’s median income ranks as the 2nd 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 27.963571215288148% 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,945
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $32,813 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.0% (5th highest)
More on Idabel:  Data | Photos

Idabel, OK

4. Anadarko

Anadarko ranks as the fourth poorest place in Oklahoma.

The town ranks as having the 18th lowest median household income and the 4th 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,182
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Median Income: $44,203 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.3% (4th highest)
More on Anadarko:  Data | Photos

Anadarko, OK

5. Vinita

The fifth poorest city in Oklahoma is Vinita.

The city ranks as having the 7th 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 8th highest in Oklahoma.

Still not the best news for Vinita.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,250
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Median Income: $38,066 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.9% (8th highest)
More on Vinita:  Data | Photos

Vinita, OK

6. Okmulgee

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

It ranks as having the 15th highest incidence of poverty and the 9th highest unemployment rate.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,330
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Income: $36,258 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.0% (15th highest)
More on Okmulgee:  Data | Photos

Okmulgee, OK

7. Henryetta

Henryetta places as the seventh poorest city in Oklahoma.

The city of over 5,667 ranks as having the 17th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,667
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $38,942 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.6% (17th highest)
More on Henryetta:  Data | Photos

Henryetta, OK

8. Muskogee

Muskogee ranks as the eighth poorest city in Oklahoma.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 14th highest in the state.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,214
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,430 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.0% (11th highest)
More on Muskogee:  Data | Photos

Muskogee, OK

9. Pryor Creek

Pryor Creek couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Oklahoma; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 14th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Pryor Creek ranks as having the 23rd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Oklahoma.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,439
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Median Income: $43,278 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.7% (23rd highest)
More on Pryor Creek:  Data | Photos

Pryor Creek, OK

10. Mcalester

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

The city of 18,225 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Sooner State.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,225
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Income: $44,890 (23rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.7% (14th highest)
More on Mcalester:  Data | Photos

Mcalester, OK

Source: Public domain

Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In Oklahoma for 2023

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 2017-2021 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 73 places with more than 5,000 people in Oklahoma, we ranked each place from 1 to 73 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 2023”.

Summary: The Poorest Places In Oklahoma For 2023

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: Newcastle
    3rd Richest: Choctaw

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Oklahoma

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Hugo 5,146 37.6%
2 Seminole 7,131 27.1%
3 Idabel 6,945 28.0%
4 Anadarko 6,182 29.3%
5 Vinita 5,250 24.9%
6 Okmulgee 11,330 23.0%
7 Henryetta 5,667 21.6%
8 Muskogee 37,214 24.0%
9 Pryor Creek 9,439 19.7%
10 Mcalester 18,225 23.7%
11 Elk City 11,743 24.0%
12 Durant 18,358 21.1%
13 Pauls Valley 6,030 24.6%
14 Poteau 8,741 22.5%
15 Stillwater 48,055 31.2%
16 Tahlequah 16,213 20.1%
17 Blackwell 6,192 19.5%
18 Wagoner 7,694 17.2%
19 Sallisaw 8,503 30.6%
20 Del City 21,778 19.8%
21 Lawton 91,247 19.3%
22 Cushing 8,201 19.6%
23 El Reno 17,164 18.3%
24 Holdenville 5,753 18.9%
25 Ponca City 24,499 17.5%
26 Miami 12,997 24.1%
27 Shawnee 31,237 18.5%
28 Weatherford 12,034 23.8%
29 Ardmore 24,829 18.9%
30 Woodward 12,246 17.3%
31 Tulsa 410,652 18.0%
32 Tecumseh 6,356 20.8%
33 Ada 16,804 18.7%
34 Midwest City 58,146 15.2%
35 Guthrie 10,767 20.7%
36 Guymon 12,804 27.2%
37 Alva 5,056 17.3%
38 Chickasha 15,655 17.0%
39 Collinsville 7,765 12.9%
40 Bethany 20,542 16.7%
41 Claremore 19,173 11.3%
42 Altus 18,825 16.8%
43 Norman 125,745 16.7%
44 Catoosa 7,821 15.7%
45 Duncan 22,664 17.3%
46 Grove 6,900 18.2%
47 Bartlesville 37,074 15.0%
48 Purcell 6,506 13.1%
49 Coweta 9,696 10.0%
50 Warr Acres 10,443 16.5%
51 Oklahoma City 673,183 14.9%
52 Sand Springs 19,935 9.7%
53 Enid 51,129 15.0%
54 Harrah 6,155 13.7%
55 Owasso 37,559 6.2%
56 Sapulpa 21,853 13.0%
57 Blanchard 8,511 6.9%
58 Moore 62,633 10.3%
59 Broken Arrow 112,751 8.1%
60 Yukon 23,697 9.2%
61 The Village 9,510 11.9%
62 Clinton 8,612 9.0%
63 Verdigris 5,189 6.7%
64 Glenpool 13,446 8.6%
65 Edmond 93,522 10.5%
66 Noble 7,078 10.2%
67 Jenks 25,210 7.4%
68 Mustang 19,847 5.2%
69 Bixby 28,091 6.9%
70 Tuttle 7,412 3.7%
71 Choctaw 12,130 5.7%
72 Newcastle 10,970 3.4%
73 Piedmont 7,306 1.2%