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8 Most Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma in 2024 (with Pictures)

downtown Oklahoma city

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

To understand the nature, effect, and degree of crime in the country, the Department of Justice usually administers two very different statistical programs. The first one is the National Crime Victimization Survey, and the second one is the Uniform Crime Reporting program.

The main purpose of the survey program is to collect data that tells us more about the type of crimes involving people who are older than 12 years. That’s why you’ll find law enforcement agencies visiting schools and talking to students.

On the other side of the coin, we have the Uniform crime reporting, which basically compiles the information collected from different agencies. Thanks to this report, we came to learn about Oklahoma cities that have reported the highest crime rates in the past year. And here they are:

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The 8 Most Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma:

1. Muskogee, OK

Muskogee County Courthouse
Muskogee County Courthouse (Image Credit: Valis55, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 36, 675
Murder Rate 8.1 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 53,945 dollars
Poverty Rate 24.64%
Violent Crime in 2021 1,209 per 100,000 people

Most people know Muskogee as the city on the Arkansas River. But we know it as the city that gave Oklahoma the first port capable of accessing the Mexican Gulf. History aside, Muskogee has a population of 36,675 and a population density 850 people for every square mile covered. The city is currently facing a population decline rate of 0.59% annually, with factors such as poverty, unemployment, and crime being the main contributors.

Its poverty rate is one of the highest, as it stands at 24.64%. The average household income is only 53,945 dollars, and if you take the current economic situation into account, you’ll know this figure won’t rise anytime soon.

Other than poverty, crime is also a huge problem. The rates are 49% higher than the Oklahoma County rates, with violent and property crime posting 1,209 and 3,500 per 100,000 people, respectively.

2. Tulsa, OK

Tusla, OK downtown on Arkansas river
Image Credit: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock
Population 402,742
Murder Rate 17.9 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 73,816 dollars
Poverty Rate 19.43%
Violent Crime in 2021 1,133 per 100,000 people

Tulsa is special in more than one way. The city is so dynamic, and it offers an incredible wealth of Art Deco Architecture, with an exceptional dining experience.

As per the 2020 census, Tulsa has a population of 402,742, and this represents a 2.76% increase, if we consider the data collected in 2010. The annual growth rate is believed to be 0.19%, and its current population density stands at 2,039 people for every square mile covered.

Speaking of miles, it’s important to note that Tulsa happens to be the second-largest city in Oklahoma. It stretches over different counties, including Osage, Rogers, Tulsa, and Wagoner. The average income earned by a household is estimated to be 73,816 dollars, with a cost-of-living index of 87%.

The biggest turn off here is the crime rate. The property crime rate is 5,112 per 100,000 people, the violence crime rate is at 1,133 per 100,000 people, and the murder rate stands at 17.9 per 100,000 people. If you compare these figures to what we’re recording in other cities, you’ll realize violent crime and property crime are 92% and 61% higher than the national average.

3. Del City, OK

Population 21,666
Murder Rate 18.4 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 54,352 dollars
Poverty Rate 14.5%
Violent Crime in 2021 993 per 100,000 people

Next up, we have Del City. With a population of 21,666, it’s located a few miles east of Oklahoma City, between the highways of I-40 and I-35 interstate.

You’d think a city that’s next to an Air Force Base would be ranked as one of the safest cities in the nation, but no—Not Del City. As a matter of fact, ‘safe’ is a vocabulary that not so many people use while staying or even vacationing at Del City.

The only good thing here is that it has a poverty rate that’s significantly lower than most cities that have been tagged as dangerous. Obviously, there’s room for improvement with a 14.5% rate, but sometimes it’s okay to celebrate the small wins.

The income earned per household is 54,352 dollars, and the cost-of-living index is at 81%. Houses are so affordable here, but the crime rate is the reason why investors are running away. Property crime is at 3,641 per 100,000 people, the violent crime registered 993 per 100,000 people, while murder stood at 18.4 per 100,000 people.

4. Idabel, OK

Population 6,783
Murder Rate 43.9 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 45,934 dollars
Poverty Rate 28.15%
Violent Crime in 2021 952 per 100,000 people

For a city with a population of only 6,783 people, Idabel is for sure making news for all the wrong reasons. And mind you, this is not the first time we’re showing concern with regard to what goes on there. For the past couple of years, Idabel has made the list of cities with crime statistics that are not only increasing at an exponential rate, but also very disturbing.

You know, now that we’ve thought about it, this could be the reason why its population is declining at 0.44% every year. No sane person would want to stick around knowing very well that the probability of them being made victims is ridiculously high.

As of December 2021, the property crime rate stood at 6,386 per 100,000 people. That of violence was at 952 per 100,000 people. If all factors were held constant, this would mean that Idabel has a property and violent crime rate that’s 126% and 46% more than that recorded as the national average.

The cost-of-living index is 21% lower than the national average, and the average household income is 45,934 dollars. Housing has an index of 47%, but nobody’s excited about that considering the poverty rate is 28.15%. Also, who would want to invest in a home located in a city with a murder rate of 43.9 per 100,000 people?

5. Ardmore, OK

Population 24,538
Murder Rate 0 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 64,409 dollars
Poverty Rate 18.2%
Violent Crime in 2021 870 per 100,000 people

Ardmore is not that small of a city. It has a population density of 491 people for every square mile covered, and as of 2020, it had a population of 24,538. That’s a 1.05% increase from the 24,283 recorded in 2010. And we’re well aware that this might not feel like a significant change, but it’s a change nonetheless.

The FBI report released in December of last year indicated that Ardmore recorded the highest crime in years, both in the violent and property crime sections. The rates were 870 and 4,543 per 100,000 people respectively. Thankfully, there was no murder reported. Could this be due to the Covid virus that forced people to work from home? Maybe, but we’ll never know for sure.

Ardmore living cost index is currently 13% less than the national average, with an average household income of 64,409 dollars.  Poverty is at 18.2%, and that figure hasn’t changed much.

6. Catoosa, OK

Catoosa Oklahoma
Catoosa Oklahoma (Image Credit: Jana Taylor, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 6,885
Murder Rate 14.4 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 70,638 dollars
Poverty Rate 17.9%
Violent Crime in 2021 707 per 100,000 people

Catoosa has its population decreasing. The population in 2010 was 7,151, but now we only have 6,885 people living there. Our estimates say this is a 0.49 annual rate of decline, and a 3.72% decrease.

Fortunately for Catoosa residents, the rate of crime has been on the decline as well. But the sad news is, it’s still higher than the national average.

The most recent data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations puts its property crime rate at 3,579 per 100,000 people, and that of violent crime at 707 per 100,000 people.  The murder rate alone stands at 14.4 per 100,000 people, which is not good news for anyone looking to work late or wake up early for a morning run in the park.

The poverty rate in Catoosa is 17.9%, and the average income earned per household is 70,638 dollars. The cost-of-living index is 86%, but it could have been lower, if healthcare was affordable. Although it’s lower than the national average, its index is still higher than most cities in Oklahoma.

7. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma state capitol building
Image Credit: Frank Romeo, Shutterstock
Population 669,347
Murder Rate 9.5 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 77,896 dollars
Poverty Rate 16.07%
Violent Crime in 2021 706 per 100,000 people

Highly rated schools, a strong economy, and a variety of entertainment options are some of the things that make Oklahoma a special city. What doesn’t make Oklahoma so special is the tornadoes experienced almost every year, and the high crime rates.

And the government knows throwing in the towel is definitely not an option, seeing as it’s one of our nation’s foremost aviation centers. As things stand, the violent crime rate is at 706 per 100,000 people, while that of property crime is at 3,896 per 100,000 people. Murder stood at 9.5 per 100,000 people, and that’s an increase from what was recorded the year before.

If we had to rate the cost of living, we would give it a B+. Health care, Housing, Transportation, and even the utility index have all improved in the last year. Sadly, the poverty rate is still 16.07% and the average household income hasn’t increased that much. It’s currently at 77,896 dollars.

8. Shawnee, OK

Population 31,476
Murder Rate 3.2 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income 57,166 dollars
Poverty Rate 20.53%
Violent Crime in 2021 490 per 100,000 people

First off, we felt you should know the word ‘Shawnee’ was derived from ‘Shawun,’ an Algonquian word that literally translates to Southerner. And now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on and talk about the population. Which, by the way, has increased by a whopping 5.42% since 2010.

This 14th largest city of Oklahoma is currently home to 31,476 people, who earn an average household income of 57,166 dollars. The cost-of-living index is at 84%, but for some reason, the poverty rates keep on rising. The council For Community Economic Research has its present rate at 20.53%.

Moving on to crime, Shawnee is also just as dangerous as any other city on this list. Statistics indicate that crime has been rising for the past couple of years, and it’s now 49% higher than the national average. Property crime stands at 4,240 per 100,000 people, while violent crime registered 490 per 100,000 people. The murder rate also spiked to 3.2 per 100,000 people.

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Factors Contributing to Crime in Oklahoma

Poverty in Oklahoma

There are so many studies out there that confirm there’s a positive correlation between poverty and crime. Just pick and read any one article in the International Journal of Social Economics, and you’ll learn that there has always been a co-integrated relationship between the two. Poverty exposes people to risks that ultimately increase their chances of getting involved in crime, and violence.

Climate in Oklahoma

This might sound like a shot in the dark, but it’s true; crime actually does increase in warmer and cooler climates. A research study released by the University of Wisconsin found out that the homicide and robbery rates kept on spiking during cooler weather, and the burglary rates were high in warmer weather.

Education in Oklahoma

Education usually influences the unemployment rates, which in turn affects the poverty rate numbers. So, if education is affordable and accessible, that city won’t have too many people unemployed due to a lack of skilled manpower, and the poverty rates will go down considerably. The opposite is true, should education become inaccessible or costly.

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Conclusion: Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma

These 8 cities are the worst cities in Oklahoma County. So, if you were planning to visit the city, you should be very vigilant. And if you’re living there, this could be a sign that it’s time to rally up support for change. You know, help make society a better place for posterity.

Featured Image Credit: Sean Pavone, Shutterstock


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