Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2021

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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Oklahoma.

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 2021:

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

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 2021.

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:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2021

1. Hugo

Hugo, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,142
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $25,212 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 42.8% (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 5,142 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.

2. Okmulgee

Okmulgee, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,846
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,884 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.7% (5th highest)
More on Okmulgee:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Oklahoma is Okmulgee.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 2nd highest in the Sooner State.

3. Idabel

Idabel, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,924
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Income: $32,083 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (4th highest)
More on Idabel:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Idabel's median income ranks as the 3rd 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 28.15214135968853% 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.

4. Sallisaw

Sallisaw, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,571
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,145 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.6% (3rd highest)
More on Sallisaw:  Data | Photos

Sallisaw ranks as the fourth poorest place in Oklahoma.

The town ranks as having the 6th 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.

5. Henryetta

Henryetta, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,633
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,589 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.0% (15th highest)
More on Henryetta:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Oklahoma is Henryetta.

The city ranks as having the 5th 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 15th highest in Oklahoma.

Still not the best news for Henryetta.

6. Seminole

Seminole, OK

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,219
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $37,120 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.3% (11th highest)
More on Seminole:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.

7. Holdenville

Holdenville, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,559
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $32,433 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.2% (14th highest)
More on Holdenville:  Data | Photos

Holdenville places as the seventh poorest city in Oklahoma.

The city of over 5,559 ranks as having the 14th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Tahlequah

Tahlequah, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,667
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $37,177 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.8% (7th highest)
More on Tahlequah:  Data | Photos

Tahlequah ranks as the eighth poorest city in Oklahoma.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 12th highest in the state.

9. Muskogee

Muskogee, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,624
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Income: $38,194 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.6% (8th highest)
More on Muskogee:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 13th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Muskogee ranks as having the 8th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Oklahoma.

10. Wagoner

Wagoner, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,920
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $35,250 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.5% (24th highest)
More on Wagoner:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 8,920 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 2021

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 2015-2019 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 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Oklahoma For 2021

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: Mustang

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Oklahoma

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Hugo 5,142 42.8%
2 Okmulgee 11,846 26.7%
3 Idabel 6,924 28.2%
4 Sallisaw 8,571 29.6%
5 Henryetta 5,633 23.0%
6 Seminole 7,219 24.3%
7 Holdenville 5,559 23.2%
8 Tahlequah 16,667 24.8%
9 Muskogee 37,624 24.6%
10 Wagoner 8,920 20.5%
11 Vinita 5,423 25.1%
12 Anadarko 6,626 24.2%
13 Stillwater 49,952 35.2%
14 Blackwell 6,696 19.6%
15 Miami 13,289 23.6%
16 Durant 17,856 22.7%
17 Shawnee 31,235 20.5%
18 Pryor Creek 9,394 20.7%
19 Mcalester 18,045 19.5%
20 Lawton 94,017 18.5%
21 Ponca City 24,134 18.3%
22 Poteau 8,843 21.7%
23 Tulsa 402,324 19.4%
24 Sulphur 5,023 20.9%
25 Ada 17,260 20.0%
26 El Reno 19,095 17.8%
27 Guthrie 11,376 21.5%
28 Pauls Valley 6,139 22.2%
29 Duncan 22,618 16.1%
30 Ardmore 24,821 18.2%
31 Cushing 7,746 18.9%
32 Altus 18,744 18.3%
33 Tecumseh 6,643 18.9%
34 Alva 5,109 15.5%
35 Weatherford 11,949 24.4%
36 Del City 21,822 14.4%
37 Chickasha 16,337 20.1%
38 Lone Grove 5,063 17.2%
39 Elk City 11,824 21.0%
40 Purcell 6,401 15.3%
41 Claremore 18,753 14.3%
42 Midwest City 57,288 14.8%
43 Catoosa 7,705 17.9%
44 Coweta 9,739 9.9%
45 Enid 50,394 14.9%
46 Guymon 11,488 24.6%
47 Grove 6,957 13.5%
48 Noble 6,837 7.5%
49 Collinsville 6,882 13.1%
50 Bartlesville 36,412 13.5%
51 Bethany 19,366 12.7%
52 Norman 122,837 17.6%
53 Oklahoma City 643,692 16.1%
54 Woodward 12,448 13.3%
55 Clinton 9,217 12.4%
56 Harrah 6,189 9.1%
57 Sapulpa 21,041 16.0%
58 Warr Acres 10,180 14.3%
59 Yukon 26,943 9.9%
60 The Village 9,452 10.0%
61 Moore 60,943 8.6%
62 Broken Arrow 108,496 8.0%
63 Sand Springs 19,794 9.3%
64 Glenpool 13,666 9.7%
65 Edmond 92,009 10.1%
66 Jenks 22,488 7.4%
67 Owasso 36,173 6.8%
68 Newcastle 9,967 3.0%
69 Choctaw 12,474 5.4%
70 Blanchard 8,386 6.7%
71 Bixby 26,541 5.7%
72 Mustang 21,459 4.9%
73 Tuttle 7,294 3.7%
74 Piedmont 7,747 1.9%

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