These Are The 10 Worst Tulsa Suburbs For 2019


We used science and data to determine which Tulsa suburbs 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 fourth time ranking the worst suburbs around Tulsa.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Tulsa.

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 science and data to determine which Tulsa ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Tulsa area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all 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. So without further ado…

We examined the 15 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.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Tulsa for 2019:

  1. Catoosa (Photos)
  2. Skiatook (Photos)
  3. Claremore (Photos)
  4. Sapulpa (Photos)
  5. Mannford (Photos)
  6. Coweta (Photos)
  7. Sand Springs (Photos)
  8. Collinsville (Photos)
  9. Verdigris (Photos)
  10. Glenpool (Photos)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Tulsa that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Oklahoma check out the best places in Oklahoma overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Tulsa too.

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Tulsa 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 threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2013-2017, 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 drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Tulsa.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 15 suburbs to evaluate around Tulsa.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 15 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 lookin’ at you, Catoosa.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

Catoosa, OK

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,524
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $51,840 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $108,400 (1st lowest)
More on Catoosa:  Data | Photos

We’ll get the ball rolling with Catoosa, the absolute worst place to live around Tulsa according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Catoosa beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 6th worst in the Tulsa area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st 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 Catoosa.

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.

Skiatook, OK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,026
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,409 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $124,700 (6th lowest)
More on Skiatook:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Skiatook. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 15.2 miles to Tulsa. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $43,409 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Claremore, OK

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,777
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,303 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $118,100 (3rd lowest)
More on Claremore:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Tulsa suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Claremore 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 drop out rate is poor compared to other Tulsa suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Sapulpa, OK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 20,477
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Income: $46,282 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $111,100 (2nd lowest)
More on Sapulpa:  Data | Photos

If you live in Sapulpa, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Tulsa suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 14th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Tulsa. Remember, we looked at 15 cities for this study.

Sapulpa is about 15.1 miles to downtown.

Mannford, OK

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,132
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $49,318 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $121,000 (5th lowest)
More on Mannford:  Data | Photos

Mannford has the distinction of being a Tulsa suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Mannford has the 5th lowest home values in the metro Tulsa area, where the median price is $121,000. To put that into perspective, in Bixby, the median income is $90,039, which is the best in the area.

Mannford has an unemployment rate of 4.3% which ranks 8th worst.

Coweta, OK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,549
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $51,515 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $132,100 (7th lowest)
More on Coweta:  Data | Photos

Coweta has 9,549 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 12.0%.

Sand Springs, OK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,727
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,533 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $119,000 (4th lowest)
More on Sand Springs:  Data | Photos

Ah, Sand Springs. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Tulsa.

It’s the place with the 7th most out of work residents in the Tulsa metro area (4.8%).

Collinsville, OK

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,536
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $57,430 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $134,400 (9th lowest)
More on Collinsville:  Data | Photos

Collinsville 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. Collinsville has the 6th most uninsured people, 9th worst incomes, and has the 1st highest unemployment rate (7.7%) in the entire Tulsa metro area.

Homes only cost $134,400 for a reason. That’s cheap for Tulsa standards.

Verdigris, OK

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,291
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $57,292 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $151,900 (11th lowest)
More on Verdigris:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near Tulsa, then Verdigris might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Tulsa suburb.

About 4.0% of residents are out of work.

Glenpool, OK

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 12,929
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $68,266 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $133,700 (8th lowest)
More on Glenpool:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Tulsa suburbs to call home is Glenpool.

Located 13.6 miles outside the city, Glenpools is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 12th highest unemployment rate (3.4%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Tulsa where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Tulsa with Catoosa 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.

  • Bixby
  • Jenks
  • Owasso

For more Oklahoma reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Tulsa Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Catoosa 7,524 $51,840 $108,400
2 Skiatook 8,026 $43,409 $124,700
3 Claremore 18,777 $41,303 $118,100
4 Sapulpa 20,477 $46,282 $111,100
5 Mannford 3,132 $49,318 $121,000
6 Coweta 9,549 $51,515 $132,100
7 Sand Springs 19,727 $54,533 $119,000
8 Collinsville 6,536 $57,430 $134,400
9 Verdigris 4,291 $57,292 $151,900
10 Glenpool 12,929 $68,266 $133,700
11 Kiefer 2,434 $61,635 $143,000
12 Broken Arrow 106,264 $70,788 $161,000
13 Owasso 34,634 $67,130 $162,900
14 Jenks 20,836 $90,039 $197,100
15 Bixby 24,939 $80,638 $203,800

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