These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Oklahoma For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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 76 places in Oklahoma with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Sooner State for 2019:

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

And according to the facts, Hugo is the poorest place in Oklahoma for 2019.

Rich people not 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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Oklahoma for 2019

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 2013-2017 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 76 places with more than 5,000 people in Oklahoma, we ranked each place from 1 to 76 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 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 76 places.

Hugo, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,215
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $23,500 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 45.3% (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 5,215 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.

Anadarko, OK

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 6,710
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $30,820 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.4% (2nd highest)
More on Anadarko:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Oklahoma is Anadarko.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 6th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 3rd highest in the Sooner State.

Okmulgee, OK

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 12,123
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,593 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.8% (7th highest)
More on Okmulgee:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Okmulgee’s median income ranks as the 4th 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 26.8% 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.

Henryetta, OK

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,726
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,822 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.1% (13th highest)
More on Henryetta:  Data | Photos

Henryetta ranks as the fourth poorest place in Oklahoma.

The town ranks as having the 8th lowest median household income and the 13th 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.

Tahlequah, OK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,481
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,356 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.4% (6th highest)
More on Tahlequah:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Oklahoma is Tahlequah.

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 6th highest in Oklahoma.

Still not the best news for Tahlequah.

Wagoner, OK

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 8,688
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $33,839 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.3% (12th highest)
More on Wagoner:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 12th highest incidence of poverty and the 4th highest unemployment rate.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,384
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $36,114 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.8% (8th highest)
More on Seminole:  Data | Photos

Seminole places as the seventh poorest city in Oklahoma.

The city of over 7,384 ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Sallisaw, OK

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 8,574
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $30,000 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (22nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.7% (5th highest)
More on Sallisaw:  Data | Photos

Sallisaw ranks as the eighth poorest city in Oklahoma.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 22nd highest in the state.

Holdenville, OK

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,653
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,689 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.1% (18th highest)
More on Holdenville:  Data | Photos

Holdenville 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, Holdenville ranks as having the 18th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Oklahoma.

Muskogee, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 38,139
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Median Income: $36,276 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (20th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.8% (8th highest)
More on Muskogee:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 38,139 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Sooner State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Oklahoma For 2019

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 5,215 45.3%
2 Anadarko 6,710 34.4%
3 Okmulgee 12,123 26.8%
4 Henryetta 5,726 24.1%
5 Tahlequah 16,481 28.4%
6 Wagoner 8,688 24.3%
7 Seminole 7,384 24.8%
8 Sallisaw 8,574 28.7%
9 Holdenville 5,653 23.1%
10 Muskogee 38,139 24.8%
11 Vinita 5,512 23.7%
12 Blackwell 6,845 23.1%
13 Idabel 6,954 31.3%
14 Miami 13,428 24.7%
15 Shawnee 30,974 21.1%
16 Stillwater 48,685 34.3%
17 Pryor Creek 9,387 20.9%
18 Purcell 6,352 22.0%
19 Durant 17,198 23.7%
20 Poteau 8,729 23.8%
21 Cushing 7,793 20.8%
22 Lawton 95,168 19.2%
23 Ada 17,262 23.3%
24 Guthrie 10,984 21.1%
25 Duncan 22,998 17.1%
26 Ardmore 24,927 18.7%
27 Mcalester 18,198 20.0%
28 Tulsa 401,352 20.0%
29 Pauls Valley 6,116 24.5%
30 Altus 19,181 18.9%
31 Ponca City 24,579 17.1%
32 Del City 21,888 15.9%
33 Claremore 18,777 15.2%
34 Warr Acres 10,385 14.6%
35 Skiatook 8,026 18.9%
36 El Reno 18,378 16.0%
37 Lone Grove 5,013 14.9%
38 Chickasha 16,256 20.1%
39 Weatherford 11,894 20.1%
40 Tecumseh 6,571 16.2%
41 Midwest City 57,167 15.6%
42 Collinsville 6,536 13.4%
43 Sulphur 5,014 17.7%
44 Bethany 19,508 15.3%
45 Grove 6,791 13.6%
46 Noble 6,668 10.8%
47 Coweta 9,549 12.0%
48 Norman 119,820 18.2%
49 Enid 50,809 14.4%
50 Oklahoma City 629,191 17.1%
51 Catoosa 7,524 14.3%
52 Woodward 12,687 12.3%
53 Perry 5,006 12.0%
54 Alva 5,167 16.1%
55 Bartlesville 36,398 14.9%
56 Sapulpa 20,477 17.5%
57 Guymon 11,859 17.7%
58 Clinton 9,344 12.6%
59 Elk City 12,236 13.3%
60 Harrah 5,934 8.3%
61 The Village 9,329 11.3%
62 Sand Springs 19,727 10.9%
63 Moore 59,992 9.5%
64 Broken Arrow 106,264 7.6%
65 Glenpool 12,929 11.4%
66 Owasso 34,634 6.9%
67 Yukon 25,729 8.2%
68 Mustang 20,125 5.3%
69 Choctaw 12,228 6.2%
70 Edmond 89,769 10.2%
71 Blanchard 8,403 8.7%
72 Jenks 20,836 5.6%
73 Bixby 24,939 5.7%
74 Newcastle 9,327 3.8%
75 Tuttle 6,773 4.4%
76 Piedmont 7,079 1.8%

 Poorest 

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