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Best Places to Live in Oklahoma

Nestled in the heartland of the United States, you’ll find Oklahoma—aka the Sooner State, named for the early settlers who staked their claim before the land rush officially began (guess they just couldn’t wait!). The state’s natural beauty, booming industries, vibrant culture and rich heritage make it a great place to work, live and raise a family.

Much of Oklahoma’s climate can be classified as subtropical, which basically means you can expect hot summers and cool to mild winters—and yes, there is an occasional tornado. But overall, the weather here is diverse depending on where you live. For example, the panhandle might be a little colder than the southwest area.1

So, if you’re someone who enjoys warmer weather but has an appreciation of all four seasons, Oklahoma might just be the perfect climate for you.

Which is a great thing, because Oklahoma has a ton of green space and natural sights to get out and explore! From the Ozark Mountains to acres upon acres of green space in urban and suburban areas, there’s always a pretty spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air.

And perhaps the best part? Oklahoma has a pretty low cost of living. In fact, it’s around 13.6% lower than the national average. Not too shabby, huh?

Pair that with the state’s major industries—such as oil and energy, aerospace, and biotechnology, just to name a few—and you’ve got excellent opportunities to make quite a comfortable living for yourself and your family.

Here’s our list of some of the best places to live in Oklahoma.

Note: The charted information below is based on April 2024 data and may be subject to change.

oklahoma's best cities to live in

Oklahoma City

Old West attitude meets modern conveniences—that’s what you’ll find while living in Oklahoma City. In fact, Forbes ranked OKC third in the nation as one of the best cities to move to in 2024.2 Nice!

What’s there to do in Oklahoma City? Well, tons! If museums are your jam, be sure to check out the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Science Museum, and the First Americans Museum.3 And if you’re feeling sporty, be sure to catch an Oklahoma Thunder (NBA) game at Paycom Center.

Feeling outdoorsy? Scissortail Park offers 70 acres of green space to explore. We’re talking scenic strolls along the Oklahoma River, the Children’s Playground, breathtaking gardens, watersports, and even live concerts and performances. And when you get hungry, be sure to head over to Cheever’s Café for upscale Southwestern and Southern cuisine.

For professionals hunting down a new gig, OKC is a hub for today’s biggest and most innovative industries. From aviation and aerospace to biotechnology, energy and transportation—the diversity of industry there positions the city for a strong economic future.4

Population

694,7685

Median Household Income

$63,7136

Median Monthly Rent

$1,3507

Median Home Value

$227,3008

Unemployment Rate

3.8%9

Average Annual Rainfall

33.9"10

Edmond

Edmond is just north of Oklahoma City, and it’s part of the Oklahoma City metro area. Known for being hilly (by Oklahoma standards), Edmond has 33 parks with lots of space to walk, hike or bike.11 You can do it all—plus fishing, boating and horseback riding—at Arcadia Lake, which has 26 miles of shoreline.

Edmond’s low crime rate and top-rated schools make it a great place to raise a family.12 It also has plenty of shopping and dining options. Hidalgo’s is a local favorite that serves up authentic Mexican and Peruvian dishes.

The city’s major industries include education and health care.13  Plus, Life Church, one of the largest multi campus churches in the country, is also headquartered in Edmond.

Population

96,30414

Median Household Income

$102,89615

Median Monthly Rent

$1,79516

Median Home Value

$345,10017

Unemployment Rate

2.7%*18

Average Annual Rainfall

33.1"19

*Unemployment rate based on Oklahoma County data.

Norman

Just south of Oklahoma City and home to the University of Oklahoma, Norman is a suburb buzzing with awesome things to do—especially when it comes to sports, education, history and local culture.

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You can attend a Sooners football game, explore the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, stroll down the Miller Historic District, or visit any of the many art galleries, theaters and music venues. And be sure to check out the Mont for delicious burgers and laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere.

Its high-rated public school system, multiple parks, and proximity to Oklahoma City make Norman an excellent place to raise a family, especially for professionals commuting into the city.20

Population

129,62421

Median Household Income

$61,03022

Median Monthly Rent

$1,42523

Median Home Value

$244,70024

Unemployment Rate

2.5%*25

Average Annual Rainfall

33.7"26

*Unemployment rate based on Cleveland County data.

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Tulsa

Historically known as the “Oil Capital of the World,” Tulsa is a city rich with industry, culture and history.27 From zip-lining above the treetops to catching a show at the historic Cain’s Ballroom, there’s always something fun to do in Tulsa.

Smoked meat lovers shouldn’t miss BurnCo. Barbeque—a popular spot where locals can enjoy tender brisket and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Tulsa’s also known for affordable shopping (we’re big fans of this) and vibrant nightlife.28

The city’s major industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, finance, and energy.29 Combine Oklahoma’s already low cost of living with Tulsa’s solid school system and excellent diversity—and you’ve got a standout place to live in the state.30

Population

411,93831

Median Household Income

$56,64832

Median Monthly Rent

$1,30033

Median Home Value

$174,20034

Unemployment Rate

2.9%35

Average Annual Rainfall

42.4"36

Jenks

For folks looking for those small-town vibes and a tight-knit community, Jenks is one of the best places to live in Oklahoma. Here, you’ll find plenty of local events, shopping, and several well-maintained parks and recreational areas to explore. Take the family on an undersea adventure at the Oklahoma Aquarium or on a scenic stroll along the Riverwalk Crossing.37

And when you get a serious case of the hungries—Jenks has you covered. Be sure to check out the Waterfront Grill overlooking the Arkansas River or visit Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina for authentic Mexican eats.

Combine it all with Jenks’s top-rated public school system and low crime rate, and you’ve got an excellent place to raise a family.38 Plus, the city’s location just south of Tulsa makes it an easy commute to work.

Population

25,87239

Median Household Income

$101,76740

Median Monthly Rent

$2,04541

Median Home Value

$265,40042

Unemployment Rate

2.9%*43

Average Annual Rainfall

42.2"44                 

*Unemployment rate based on Tulsa County data.

Broken Arrow

With 41 parks, tons of shopping, awesome community events, rich history and delicious eats—Broken Arrow has it all.45 It’s really no surprise that this suburb of Tulsa is routinely recognized as an excellent spot to raise a family.

Why? Well, for starters, the city has a great public school system and a top-notch public safety department.46 In fact, Broken Arrow ranks as the 11th safest city in the country—talk about impressive.47 So, you can kick back and relax knowing that you and your family are safe and sound.

Plus, Broken Arrow’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Tulsa, making it a breezy commute for traveling professionals. Awesome nature, a vibrant community and peaceful vibes—that’s Broken Arrow.

Population

120,44848

Median Household Income

$79,07549

Median Monthly Rent

$1,82550

Median Home Value

$236,60051

Unemployment Rate

2.9%*52

Average Annual Rainfall

42"53

*Unemployment rate based on Tulsa County data.

Owasso

Just 13 miles north of downtown Tulsa, you’ll find Owasso—a vibrant community that grew from small town to bustling suburb.54 Owasso’s public school district is one of the biggest in the state and is recognized for exceptional educational programs.55

On the recreational side, Owasso offers plenty of options with a strong sense of community. For outdoor lovers, there’s tons of parks to explore, some of which are even dog-friendly for all your furry friends.56

This city also hosts various local events and festivals throughout the year, like the Kids Fishing Derby in June and the Red, White, and Boom fireworks display on the Fourth of July.57 And when it comes to dining, you won’t be disappointed with your options. Be sure to check out the Bricktown Brewery Restaurant for budget-friendly, mouthwatering burgers and brews.

64.8% of residents work in financial, managerial, administrative and sales fields. Additionally, thriving industries such as medical, education and retail distribution contribute to a well-diversified job market. This includes big household names, such as Amazon, Verizon, Whirlpool and American Airlines.58

Population

38,13459

Median Household Income

$79,18360

Median Monthly Rent

$1,80061

Median Home Value

$218,40062

Unemployment Rate

3.6%63

Average Annual Rainfall

44"64

Stillwater

Nicknamed “America’s Friendliest College Town,” Stillwater certainly lives up to its reputation.65 Home to Oklahoma State University, the school drives a big chunk of Stillwater’s culture—attracting students, faculty and researchers from the area and worldwide. And with its great school system, medical facilities, and low crime rate, Stillwater often ranks among the country’s top small cities when it comes to quality of life.66

The city also boasts a strong sense of community, which is clearly shown at all Stillwater’s vibrant happenings and events. From cheering on OSU sports at games to enjoying live music at Eskimo Joe’s or gearing up for the annual Calf Fry Music Festival at the Tumbleweed, you’ll always have something exciting marked on the calendar.67

Plus, you know the charming downtown areas found in your favorite Hallmark movies? Stillwater’s got one! And yes, it’s packed with local shops, restaurants and entertainment venues to explore.68

Small-town vibes? Check. Always something to do? Check. And a friendly, supportive community? Check. When it comes to home life, Stillwater checks all the boxes.

Population

48,64469

Median Household Income

$39,99870

Median Monthly Rent

$1,20071

Median Home Value

$213,10072

Unemployment Rate

2.8%*73

Average Annual Rainfall

35.9"74

*Unemployment rate based on Payne County data.

Bartlesville

Bartlesville is a city rich in national history with its eyes on the future. The oil boom in the early 1900s propped the city up as a major energy supplier—a reputation Bartlesville still holds today, although now there are other growing industries within the city. In fact, one of the world’s largest oil companies, Phillips Petroleum Company, got its start in Bartlesville.75

Okay, on to the fun stuff. For recreation, there’s tons to explore. Bartlesville is well known for its unique, historic and beautiful (yup, the trifecta) architecture. There’s also plenty of local shopping for shop-till-you-droppers, especially if you’re into antiques and open-market shopping.76

For parks, you can’t go wrong in Bartlesville. Here, you’ll find 17 parks and open space areas.77 That’s over 860 developed acres of green space for you to explore, bike, hike or settle in for a nice picnic.

And for the family, Bartlesville has a highly rated public school system.78 Combine that with the community’s sparse suburban feel, bountiful green space, and a ton of vibrant things to do, and you’ve got a great place to call home and raise a family.

Population

37,31479

Median Household Income

$58,23080

Median Monthly Rent

$1,05081

Median Home Value

$146,70082

Unemployment Rate

4.1%83

Average Annual Rainfall

42.3"84

Ready to Move to Oklahoma?

If Oklahoma seems like the place for you, don’t start packing just yet. If you’re serious about making the Sooner State your new home, you need an Oklahoma-based real estate agent who can help you find an area that’s just right for you.

Luckily, we happen to know a few.

 

Next Steps

  • Decide where in Oklahoma you want to live.
  • Interview at least three local RamseyTrusted agents.
  • Choose one who’s right for you and start your moving journey.
See Oklahoma Agents

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About the author

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Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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