The suburbs of Tulsa call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Tulsa to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
So the question arises: do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we’ll use Saturday Night Science to determine which Tulsa ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Tulsa area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Tulsa proper, although Bixby certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Tulsa are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones.
We examined the 16 biggest suburbs of Tulsa to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Oklahoma lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Tulsa in terms of quality of life.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Tulsa? Haskell ranks as the worst suburb of Tulsa for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Tulsa that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Tulsa too.
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The 10 Worst Tulsa Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $33,563 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $96,000 (lowest)
More on Haskell:
We’ll get the ball rolling with Haskell, the absolute worst place to live around Tulsa according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Haskell beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Tulsa area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Haskell.
You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area. There aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Median Income: $50,511 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (highest)
Median Home Value: $136,100 (4th lowest)
More on Inola:
Welcome to Inola. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 19.5 miles to Tulsa. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $50,511 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $60,224 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $114,400 (2nd lowest)
More on Catoosa:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Tulsa suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Catoosa on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.
In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school dropout rate is poor compared to other Tulsa suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $52,103 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $136,200 (5th lowest)
More on Claremore:
If you live in Claremore, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Tulsa suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 4th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Tulsa. Remember, we looked at 16 cities for this study.
Claremore is about 20.7 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $63,625 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $155,600 (10th lowest)
More on Collinsville:
Collinsville has the distinction of being a Tulsa suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Collinsville has the 10th lowest home values in the metro Tulsa area, where the median price is $155,600. The median income is $91,798.
Collinsville has an unemployment rate of 8.31% which ranks 2nd worst.
Median Income: $57,169 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $130,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Sapulpa:
Sapulpa has 21,853 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)
Incomes are towards the bottom, and the poverty rate sits at 12.997063073982565%.
Median Income: $54,063 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 1.8% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $146,400 (8th lowest)
More on Mannford:
Ah, Mannford. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Tulsa.
It’s the place with the 16th most out of work residents in the Tulsa metro area (1.77%).
Median Income: $57,368 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $145,900 (7th lowest)
More on Coweta:
Coweta is a city about 16.8 miles from Tulsa, but Tulsa probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse place to live. Coweta has the 12th most uninsured people, 6th worst incomes, and has the 8th highest unemployment rate (4.93%) in the entire Tulsa metro area.
Homes only cost $145,900 for a reason. That’s cheap for Tulsa standards.
Median Income: $64,043 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $151,500 (9th lowest)
More on Sand Springs:
If you absolutely have to live near Tulsa, then Sand Springs might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Tulsa suburb.
About 5.04% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $73,214 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $163,700 (11th lowest)
More on Kiefer:
Rounding out the ten worst Tulsa suburbs to call home is Kiefer.
Located 15.3 miles outside the city, Kiefers is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 12th highest unemployment rate (3.82%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Tulsa for 2023
To figure out how bad a Tulsa suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Tulsa.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 1,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 16 suburbs to evaluate around Tulsa.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 16 in each category, where 1 was the “worst.”
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index, the “Worst Suburb near Tulsa.” We’re looking at you, Haskell.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Tulsa.
Summary: The areas around Tulsa where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Tulsa with Haskell casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Tulsa aren’t all bad. Bixby takes the cake as the best place to live around Tulsa.
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Detailed List Of The Worst Tulsa Suburbs