These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Oklahoma For 2019

We used science and data to determine which Sooner State cities are the real pits.

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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 fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Oklahoma.

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There is nothing like Oklahoma.

Songs, movies and pop culture in general have talked about Oklahoma forever now. It’s got a lot of history, beauty, culture and some of the friendliest sports fanatics in the country. If you grew up there, you’ll most likely never leave.

But is it all good in the Sooner State? Of course not. Just like every other state, Oklahoma has its least desirable spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities are the worst you could possibly live in if you make Oklahoma your home .

After analyzing 70 of the state’s most populous cities (over 2,5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Oklahoma:

  1. Poteau (Photos)
  2. Wagoner (Photos)
  3. Purcell (Photos)
  4. Anadarko (Photos)
  5. Sallisaw (Photos)
  6. Idabel (Photos)
  7. Henryetta (Photos)
  8. Seminole (Photos)
  9. Okmulgee (Photos)
  10. Shawnee (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Oklahoma? That would be Poteau.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

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

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

How we determined the worst places to live in Oklahoma for 2019

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 70 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 70 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Worst Place To Live Score”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Worst Place To Live Score” with the lowest score being the worst city in Oklahoma — Poteau. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Oklahoma.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Poteau, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,729
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $99,500 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (36th worst)
More on Poteau:  Data | Photos

Way out near the Arkansas state line is Poteau, where there simply isn’t much to do, entertainment wise. You have a long way to drive to get to any decent sized city.

But that’s not all. The unemployment rate is at 5.7%, which is the 36th highest in the state. And the income levels are far below the state average. So, even if residents here had a ‘big city’ to venture into every now and then, many couldn’t afford to make the trip.

Wagoner, OK

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Population: 8,688
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $93,000 (19th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (4th worst)
More on Wagoner:  Data | Photos

Wagoner needs some tough love.

Years ago, someone told me the sun never shines in Wagoner. That’s not true, of course, but you can understand why she might say that when you analyze certain facts about Wagoner. Of the 70 cities considered in this ranking, Wagoner had the least to be proud of across the board.

Not only does Wagoner have Oklahoma’s 19th lowest home value rank, but it also had the 4th and 20th highest rankings in unemployment and crime respectively. Statistics like that will certainly make the sun shine a bit dimmer, and it will win you are in contention for title of “Worst City in Oklahoma.”

If you know anyone in Wagoner, tag them on Facebook and tell them you love them. They can probably use it right about now.

Review Of Wagoner by _Blurrÿ _

I live in Wagoner and it usually s***s living here there’s not much at all to do in Wagoner tbh

Purcell, OK

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Population: 6,352
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $134,900 (54th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (10th worst)
More on Purcell:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Purcell is the 3rd worst place in the state of Oklahoma.

The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Purcell is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in Purcell are the 54th lowest in the entire state.

And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can’t get much worse in Oklahoma.

Anadarko, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,710
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $65,000 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (3rd worst)
More on Anadarko:  Data | Photos

Anadarko ranks as the 4th worst city in Oklahoma. Located in Caddo County, Anadarko has the 6th lowest income levels in the state of Oklahoma ($30,820), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 12.8%.

Sallisaw, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,574
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $97,000 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (22nd worst)
More on Sallisaw:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Sallisaw, which might be one of the poorest areas in Oklahoma. Residents average $30,000 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 28.7% of Sallisaw residents live below the poverty level.

Homes here go for an average of $97,000 and the unemployment rate hovers near 6.9%.

Review Of Sallisaw by HomeSnacks User

I have lived in Sallisaw sense 1997. This town’s crime rate is not the best and housing is too high if your trying too buy a home. I will be the first too tell you that everybody is up in everyone else’s business and everybody is sleeping with everybody else’s wife. The good thing,s about Sallisaw is the Farmers market and Cruse night, diamond days and the ppl are both friendly and jerk’s. The casino is good for fun and there are places you can work such as slpt, avagen and celphom plus fast food restaurant,s. The view is beautiful and lake Tenkiller is not too far away neither is ft Smith Ark and there are lots off places too work. Every place has its own attitude and too know it you must first become part off it so good luck and may G*d Bless you on your journey where ever you decide too go.

Idabel, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,954
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $73,900 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (42nd worst)
More on Idabel:  Data | Photos

Speaking of a long drive for some indoor entertainment, people in Idabel would have to drive all the way down to Texarkana to find a decent-sized town. If they could afford it. The average family in Idabel lives right at the poverty line, and 5.3% of them are unemployed, which is the 42nd highest in the state.

Crime is certainly above the state average here.

But on the bright side, the education, measured in terms of money spent per student and teacher-student ratio, is towards the top.

Henryetta, OK

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Population: 5,726
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $59,400 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (1st worst)
More on Henryetta:  Data | Photos

Henryetta, where there’s absolutely nothing to do unless you enjoy bowling, ranks as the 7th worst city in Oklahoma.

Besides the lack of pure amenities, Henryetta has some real economic problems to contend with. The unemployment rate hovers near 14.9%, and families earn around $32,822 a year. It’s also the 29th highest in Oklahoma for crime, where 1 in 32.2 people gets robbed every year.

Does living in a place where people who come to visit are robbed sound like fun?

Seminole, OK

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,384
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $62,200 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (6th worst)
More on Seminole:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at science and data, Seminole is the 8th worst place you can live in Oklahoma. Let’s see why.

The unemployment rate in Seminole is 11.3%. In terms of comparing Oklahoma cities to one another, that’s the 6th highest in the state.

And while a lot of folks in Seminole are out of work, the ones who have jobs earn $36,114 a year, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. And the crime in Seminole is the 44th highest in the state, where 1 in 48.9 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers. That’s really high.

Plus, it’s one of the least densely populated places in the state, where you have to drive an hour to Oklahoma City to find anything beyond the norm for fun. Sure, Oklahomans enjoy their ‘outdoor’ fun, but when you want to mix in a fancy night out or hit the malls, that’s a long drive.

Seminole folks could use a big hug right about now.

Review Of Seminole by HomeSnacks User

I’m from seminole plenty of work here I’ve never had a problem crime wise and if you don’t mind fishing and lakes plenty to do plus casinos everywhere

Okmulgee, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,123
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $63,000 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (4th worst)
More on Okmulgee:  Data | Photos

If you drive a half hour south of Tulsa on Route 75, you’ll come to Okmulgee, which has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the state of Oklahoma. At 12.4%, a lot of folks are having a hard time finding jobs here, and those that do earn some of the lowest salaries in the state.

The crime rate is the 14th highest in the state, where people have to lock their doors at night, considering that 1 in 24.3 was statistically vulnerable to a property crime in 2019.

Shawnee, OK

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 30,974
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $98,600 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (15th worst)
More on Shawnee:  Data | Photos

There’s probably not many people in Oklahoma that would be surprised to see Shawnee on this list. In fact, if Shawnee wasn’t somewhere in the top 10, most people would start to wonder if our data was accurate.

Here are the statistics. Shawnee has the 4th worst crime rate in Oklahoma. No surprises there. How dangerous is it though? There were almost 388 violent crimes in Shawnee in 2019. Residents here had a 1 in 79 chance of being killed, raped or attacked. Just wow.

The home values in Shawnee are the 22nd cheapest in the state ($98,600), the unemployment rate is the 15th highest (7.4%), and the annual household income is 19th lowest in Oklahoma, at $38,471. That’s basically at the poverty level for a family of four.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Oklahoma

If you’re looking at areas in Oklahoma with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Poteau ranks as the worst city to live in Oklahoma for 2019.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Oklahoma:

  1. Jenks (Pop. 20,836)
  2. Edmond (Pop. 89,769)
  3. Alva (Pop. 5,167)

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Oklahoma

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Poteau 8,729 5.7% $99,500
2 Wagoner 8,688 12.4% $93,000
3 Purcell 6,352 9.1% $134,900
4 Anadarko 6,710 12.8% $65,000
5 Sallisaw 8,574 6.9% $97,000
6 Idabel 6,954 5.3% $73,900
7 Henryetta 5,726 14.9% $59,400
8 Seminole 7,384 11.3% $62,200
9 Okmulgee 12,123 12.4% $63,000
10 Shawnee 30,974 7.4% $98,600
11 Pauls Valley 6,116 4.2% $84,300
12 Muskogee 38,139 7.1% $88,600
13 Durant 17,198 5.5% $104,200
14 Ardmore 24,927 7.2% $107,600
15 Cushing 7,793 6.4% $78,200
16 Catoosa 7,524 5.7% $108,400
17 Hugo 5,215 14.0% $66,200
18 Guthrie 10,984 6.6% $119,100
19 Tahlequah 16,481 8.2% $117,700
20 Warr Acres 10,385 6.5% $109,600
21 Mcalester 18,198 6.5% $98,600
22 Tecumseh 6,571 4.4% $89,500
23 Tulsa 401,352 6.7% $129,000
24 Holdenville 5,653 8.6% $54,500
25 Chickasha 16,256 3.4% $82,400
26 El Reno 18,378 7.2% $106,200
27 Pryor Creek 9,387 8.0% $99,200
28 Duncan 22,998 7.3% $99,200
29 Blackwell 6,845 10.6% $54,200
30 Sulphur 5,014 4.8% $90,000
31 Vinita 5,512 7.0% $77,400
32 Ada 17,262 5.4% $108,300
33 Lawton 95,168 9.3% $112,700
34 Grove 6,791 4.7% $160,000
35 Miami 13,428 6.3% $78,700
36 Skiatook 8,026 5.4% $124,700
37 Noble 6,668 9.4% $111,500
38 Enid 50,809 5.6% $102,100
39 Coweta 9,549 6.6% $132,100
40 Lone Grove 5,013 7.3% $123,300
41 Altus 19,181 5.9% $97,300
42 Harrah 5,934 5.9% $147,200
43 Sapulpa 20,477 3.1% $111,100
44 Norman 119,820 5.3% $169,700
45 Clinton 9,344 3.7% $111,400
46 Claremore 18,777 6.2% $118,100
47 Bethany 19,508 5.8% $117,100
48 Tuttle 6,773 3.3% $201,800
49 Woodward 12,687 5.8% $119,000
50 Perry 5,006 5.6% $84,100
51 Sand Springs 19,727 4.8% $119,000
52 Collinsville 6,536 7.7% $134,400
53 Stillwater 48,685 4.8% $162,300
54 Glenpool 12,929 3.4% $133,700
55 Newcastle 9,327 3.3% $189,200
56 Choctaw 12,228 3.9% $166,000
57 Guymon 11,859 3.3% $127,400
58 Bartlesville 36,398 4.8% $115,100
59 Weatherford 11,894 4.8% $158,300
60 Blanchard 8,403 3.4% $186,100
61 Moore 59,992 4.4% $133,900
62 Piedmont 7,079 0.6% $199,200
63 Yukon 25,729 3.7% $133,300
64 Owasso 34,634 3.9% $162,900
65 Mustang 20,125 4.4% $148,900
66 Broken Arrow 106,264 4.9% $161,000
67 Bixby 24,939 3.3% $203,800
68 Jenks 20,836 3.5% $197,100
69 Edmond 89,769 3.5% $216,500
70 Alva 5,167 4.2% $89,100

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40 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Oklahoma For 2019

  1. So you’ve never heard of fort smith which is only a 30 minute drive from poteau , I don’t believe that’s a long way to drive .

  2. Miami is Horrible?
    Your choice of pictures is! This is my hometown. I haven’t lived there in 25 years. I have been living in Godforesaken Texas. But I would give my right arm to move back. The history, memories and the beautiful things you won’t mention makes this town my forever home!

  3. I’m from seminole plenty of work here I’ve never had a problem crime wise and if you don’t mind fishing and lakes plenty to do plus casinos everywhere

    1. Never had an issue with crime in Seminole? Hard to believe. Its become a mecca for juvenile delinquents and druggies.

  4. Idabel’s crime stats have fallen dramatically over the last 30 yrs, I went to work for them in 1975. We were always in the top 3 crime per capita city in the state until the late 80’s when they started to drop from a lot of hard work from some extrodnary cops. It may be lower now because Idabel is like a lot of small Oklahoma towns that are slowly dying away. Still a pretty good place to live.

  5. Here’s a fact… 1.5 million tourist visited Broken Bow in 2014. Projected more in 2015. List is crap… who visits armpits by the hoards?

    1. They don’t visit broken bow, they visit hochatown, beavers bend state park, and the lake. Rarely do you see any tourist in BB… they all stay in the camp grounds or cabins in hochatown. Get your facts straight.

      1. If the tourist don’t visit Broken Bow. Why are our resturants, motels highways, grocery store and Walmart packed from Feb. Thru Oct., driving in Broken Bow on the weekend is as bad as driving in OKC. If you don’t believe, come to our little hidden paradise and see for yourself.

  6. We did some quick fact checking and found that quite a bit of information on your datasheet is either outdated, inaccurate, or wrongly compared.

    What we found with Poteau:

    From 2000 to 2013, we’ve seen a 206.82 percent growth factor. That’s one of the strongest growth factors in the state.

    Crime rating is at an 88.3, which is 11.97% lower than the rest of the national average. Violent crime rates at 18.94, which is 81.06% lower than the national average. Both of these are extreme positives. The only negative here is with our property crime score. Our property crime score is a 249.24, which is 149% higher than the national average. Still we’re doing very well with the rest of the state and nation on how we handle crime.

    Our quality of life index measures at 120. This is quite a bit above the national average. On almost every aspect, we measure on par with the state average. The only areas we fall in the national average is in culture (which is still far above the state average) and in the amusement average. However, this was measured in 2010. Since then, we’ve added the Reynolds Center, the skatepark, adding two new restaurants, and downtown is coming alive again.

    Our median income is slightly lower, but so is our cost of living. Average that out and we’re about on par with the rest of Oklahoma. Oklahoma, on average, is slightly lower than the national average, but that’s to be expected.

    Our unemployment rate is 6.60%, which is high, however, with employers such as Chili’s, Montana Mike’s, and others moving in to Poteau, we expect this number to drop. This number was closest to the mark with yours, however, it was still off.

    Just looking at the actual facts, and being non-biased, I don’t think this list is accurate at all. In fact, just a few months ago, Poteau was rated among the top ten.

    With spending just a few minutes checking this out and finding this many errors, I can only imagine what exists on other towns. Part of my business is traveling across Oklahoma and with many of the towns you mentioned as being the worst, I haven’t found that to be true by any means.

    I’m not sure where you got your numbers, but if you don’t mind, I would like to see the sources. What you said was from the Census wasn’t found on the Census . gov website.

  7. I lived in skiatook my whole life and have never have herd board or poles stolen and I would rather live in skiatook than anywhere else in owasso there has been a bunch of shootings! But skiatook in my opinion is the best town to live in!

  8. I was raised all around the muskogee area and decent work is very hard to find. Would love to move back it is home

  9. Hobart,ok sucks pertty bad.nothing to do bunch of drug problems there.just to get to a bigger town u have to go to Lawton about a hour away. Not such a bright town it self.i grew up in lawton its gotten bad in its most recent years.

    1. I’m a native Lawtonian and I love Lawton, Oklahoma. I loved my family and friends and so did the rest, of the people. They stand up, for the way they believe in and they believe, in mutual respect. They bond. with people.
      We have pride, in who we are and where we’re from. Lawton was our foundation, to our life and there is nothing you can do or say, to change our mind.

  10. Have you actually driven in either Broken Arrow or Owasso? The traffic is the main reason I would never live in either place. I couldn’t afford a house in any of those top 10 places anyway.

  11. Anyplace is what you make of it. We spent a year in Sidi Slamine Morocco in 1959/60/ You have to go to hell and turn left to get to Sidi Slamine, we made the most of it and it was a good assignment. It is an attitude.

  12. I think scoring a high population density as a good thing is WAY too much on the opinion side.

    As a result this whole article is bullshit.

    You couldn’t pay me to live somewhere with high population density.

    And Broken Bow is fantastic. Someday I will get my family out of Durant and back to BBow.

  13. I would rather live in one of these small towns than any big city in the world. People don’t know what they are missing. As we always say this is GOD’S country!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I lived in both Poteau and Heavener during the 15 years that I lived in Oklahoma. All that I can say is that Heavener is where you would stick the plug if you were going to give the planet an enema. And Poteau is pretty much (geographically) right next to it. You can figure it out from there. The people are not friendly and there is ZERO to do in either town.

  15. I lived in some of the worst, and some of the best. as long as it isn’t a hate ridden town, its ok by me. I loved living I Seminole, as I was born and raised down the road in Wewoka (which doesn’t make any list) these small towns are my best memories, and also my worst. except for the unavailability of some goods, and the need to travel to get most things…it was a great time

  16. I’ve been stuck in Miami for a while now. It’s quite the culture shock moving from a thriving city to this place. No opportunity here, if Walmart doesn’t have what you need you have to drive to Joplin, and people aren’t very welcoming here. You are only accepted in this community if you were born here.

  17. oklahoma sucks cuz all they want to do is lock up good people and slap chomos on the hand its a perverted state probably ran by a chomo money starving demons

  18. Yeah the state is kind of corrupt, but I lived in virginia and now new York and I can’t wait to go back to OK. The laws up here are ridiculous. However, Oklahoma is a very narrow minded state. Welcome to the Bible belt. However, it’s fairly peaceful in the country towns. I lived in towns in Leflore County and haskell county. The towns I refuse to live in are keota, bokoshe, mccurtain, Panama, porum and Spiro. Mostly because of bums and drugs. Panama was practically a meth capital at one time. The police department was supposedly involved in the problem as well. Spiro is also pretty bad. The towns I would purchase a home in would be stigler, Quinton, maybe heavener or kinta if it was out in the country. I really don’t like poteau. It has good neighborhoods but it has some drug issues and the cops are kinda lousy. Heavener and stigler also have some really poor neighborhoods with problems.

  19. There are reasons why there is a Facebook group called “Losers of Lawton”.

    And HENNESSEY. When a town shares a name with cheap liquor…..just saying.

  20. I was born and raised in snyder would love to go back just to see it but would never live there I need trees and greenery which is not there. I left when I was 17 yeasts old have spent most of that time in Alabama one in Washington Stand would not live anywhere else.

  21. If you do not live in this state, or any of the cities or towns listed, then keep your opinions to yourself. You are not going by the proper information, and have no real knowledge of any place in this state. Please keep your opinions in your own states where you have direct knowledge.

  22. Credibility of your story takes a big plunge when you have the wrong pictures of the city which you are bashing.

  23. I grew up in Hugo and was back recently. It has not gotten better so the others must have fared even worse. Your assessment actually seems fair in that it does not in personal opinion. I remember when Hugo was bustling thriving community. Time has not been kind to them.

  24. I have lived in Sallisaw sense 1997. This town’s crime rate is not the best and housing is too high if your trying too buy a home. I will be the first too tell you that everybody is up in everyone else’s business and everybody is sleeping with everybody else’s wife. The good thing,s about Sallisaw is the Farmers market and Cruse night, diamond days and the ppl are both friendly and jerk’s. The casino is good for fun and there are places you can work such as slpt, avagen and celphom plus fast food restaurant,s . The view is beautiful and lake Tenkiller is not too far away neither is ft Smith Ark and there are lots off places too work. Every place has its own attitude and too know it you must first become part off it so good luck and may God Bless you on your journey where ever you decide too go.

  25. I’m surprised McAlester and Lawton aren’t a the top of this list. Both have high unemployment and crime. And yes, I’ve live in McAlester.

  26. Y’all rank Edmond Oklahoma has one of the best places to live in Oklahoma, this is simply not true. The crime rate that was posted by your site isn’t at all like the facts. THERE IS RAMPANT DRUG MANUFACTURING AND DRUG USE ! If you plan to go out on Friday or Saturday night THERE IS VERY LITTLE TO DO AS FAR AS ENTERTAINMENT UNLESS YOU CONSIDER GOING OUT TO A BAR ENTERTAINMENT SO YOU HAVE TO GO TO OTHER TOWNS OR CITIES ! While it’s true that crimes like assault and battery, theft had been on the decrease it is NOW on the increase ! I would avoid Edmond Ok. as a place to live !

  27. You rank Norman worse than Clinton? That is a goddam joke. And you have the same picture for both Henryetta and Olkmulgee. Get your shit together. Additionally, your metric of high population density being good is border line retarded. it’s good if you want to spend two hours a day in gridlock traffic. Fuck this list and fuck you.

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