17 Unbiased Pros & Cons of Living in Oklahoma City

17 genuine pros & cons of living in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is a metropolitan area steeped in Western influence and enriched with warm Southern hospitality. If you’re considering relocating to the city, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a great place to work, live, and play for various reasons. However, a couple of downsides that come with living in the city to be aware of. Read on to discover the pros and Cons of Living in Oklahoma City.

#1. Pro: Affordable cost of living

Houses in Oklahoma City

The affordable cost of living in Oklahoma City is one of the most appealing things about it. Compared to the nation’s average index ofnation’se city has a score of 85.4, based on factors such as housing, utilities, transportation, food, and healthcare. Based on Zillow.com the average Oklahoma City home value was $194,763 in May 2022, and the average rent price was $899 for an 850 sq. ft. apartment in February 2022 (RentCafe data).

#2. Con: The weather in the city can be extreme

hot day at Oklahoma State Capitol building

If you opt to make a move to Oklahoma City, then you should be aware that the city frequently experiences severe weather. Centered on “Tornado Alley”, Oklahoma “ity is one of”the most tornado-prone cities in the country. Although the risk of getting caught up in a destructive event is minimal, it is important to listen for weather alerts when the elements kick in. March through June is the season during which severe weather is most likely to occur, so you want to be on high alert during this time. Be sure to visit the City of Oklahoma Emergency Management website to learn how you can prepare for possible threats. 

Tornadoes aren’t the only natural diaren’ts to worry about living in Oklahoma City – the area is also prone to flooding and wildfires. Summers in the city are not as pleasant as one may expect. They tend to be hot and humid, with average highs of about 94°F and lows of 72°. Winters can be unbearably cold for some, with average highs of 50°F and lows of about 30°F. Apart from chilly temperatures, you can also expect to receive the occasional sleet, snowstorm, or hail during the winter months. Snowfall in the city equals about six inches annually. 

#3. Pro: A robust and diversified economy

Oklahoma City downtown at night

Once famed as a regional livestock and oil production hub, Oklahoma City’s economy is robust City’sversified today. In 2018, WalletHub recognized Oklahoma City as one of the best cities to start a business. The unemployment rate in the metropolitan area is 3.3%, which is lower than the national average rate of 3.8%. 

The top industries in Oklahoma City are aviation, administrative support and waste management services, health care and social assistance, energy, and professional, scientific, and technical services. 

Significant employers include AT&T, Mercy Health Center, The State of Oklahoma, Hobby Lobby, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the Federal Aviation Administration, Devon Energy, Sonic Corp, and Integris Health. The lower cost of living in Oklahoma City helps compensate for salaries slightly lower than the US average. 

#4. Con: High crime rates 

police car lights

Unfortunately, criminal activity is rampant in Oklahoma City, with a crime rate of 49 per one thousand residents, the city has one of the highest crime rates in the United States compared to all communities of various sizes. 

According to Neighborhood Scout, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crimes such as armed robbery, rape, aggravated assault, non-negligent manslaughter, and murder in Oklahoma City is one in 138. Your chance of falling victim to a property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny over fifty dollars, and arson) is one in 24, which is a rate of 41 per thousand population.

#5. Pro: Plenty of great neighborhoods

Bricktown, Oklahoma City at night

A. Bricktown

This neighborhood is located directly east of Downtown. It is filled with revitalized old wardowntown giving it a trendy industrial vibe. Bricktown is a walking distance from the vibrant downtown area. Typical housing in the neighborhood includes lofts, townhomes, condos, apartments, and some single-family homes. 

Catch an Oklahoma City Dodgers game at the expansive Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark or cruise along the idyllic Bricktown Canal in a water taxi. The neighborhood also offers chic restaurants, wine bars, piano lounges, and gourmet shops. 

B. Crown Heights

Located about ten minutes north of downtown Oklahoma City, Crown Heights is a historic district established in the 1930s. The area is primarily residential, consisting of various housing types, including Art Deco,Colonial Revival, Ranch,Minimal Traditionalist, and Prairie styles. You can also find contemporary townhomes and condos. 

Crown Height is very family-friendly, thanks in part to the highly-rated schools found in the area. The neighborhood is also known for creating elaborate community holidays such as progressive dinners, an annual Easter Egg Hunt, an annual Fourth of July parade, and Octoberfest.

C. Automobile Alley

Automobile Alley is located in midtown Oklahoma City and was initially established as a car dealership center. The neighborhood has been significantly revamped and is now considered one of the city’s newest upscale neicity’soods. 

The neighborhood offers an exciting urban vibe, with numerous loft homes, townhomes, apartment complexes, and multi-unit housing. 

You can bike or walk to eclectic retail stores and plenty of trendy lounges, restaurants, cafes, and bars. All these features make the neighborhood particularly popular with young professionals.

D. Deep Deuce

In the northeast section of the downtown area, you’ll find the historicayou’ll Deuce neighborhood. It was established as a center of jazz and African-American culture in the 1920s. Home types in the area include lofts, high-rise condos, three-story brownstones, and apartments. 

Deep Deuce is bordered by the Centennial Expressway to the east, making it easy to commute to and from the city center. Other ways to get around include biking, walking, and to ride the streetcar. The revitalization of this vibrant neighborhood has sparked eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, cafes, and bars.  

E. Heritage Hills

Heritage Hills is another midtown neighborhood in Oklahoma City. It appeals to upper- and middle-income families and professionals, with various home types available, ranging from modest vintage bungalows to spectacular historical estate homes. You can also find single-family homes and apartments for rent.  

The restaurants, bars,and shops are not as edgy as what you’ll find in some of thyou’llr neighborhoods, but they are just as charming. Pop into the Old School Bagel for a quick bite or head to The Drake if you’re craving seafood.

Fyou’reo Arts District

This bohemian, artsy, and culturally diverse district is located in the northwestern part of Downtown. It is filled with an eclectic range downtown, including single-family bungalows and three-bedroom Tudor Revival, Federalist, and Ranch styles. You can also find lofts in converted warehouses. 

#6. Con: Little geographical variation

Lawton Oklahoma City Hall

If you enjoy spending your downtime hiking or relaxing at the beach, Oklahoma City isn’t the place for you. isn’tity is right in the middle of a prairie state, meaning there are no mountains or beaches. There are plenty of rolling plains as far as the eye can see, but there isn’t a lot of variety toisn’t forward to in terms of the landscape.

#7. Pro: The city has an excellent educational infrastructure

Library at Oklahoma state university

Oklahoma City has one of the most underrated public education infrastructures in the United States. The metropolitan area has over 120 primary and secondary schools. The city is home to the biggest school district in the Sooner State, which contains highly rated primary and secondary schools. You can be assured that your kids will receive high-quality no matter which part of Oklahoma City you move to. 

When the time comes for your kids to go to college, there are plenty of great options to consider within the city. The University of Oklahoma specializes in health sciences and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities. Other options include Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma City Community College. 

#8. Con: it can feel like a small town regardless of its size

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City serves as the capital and is also the largest city in the state of Oklahoma. Despite the city’s sheer size and rapcity’se of economic growth, you’ll still feel like yoyou’lliving in a small you’reThere aren’t any other large ciaren’tlose by, which means that if you want to go for a holiday, you only have a handful of options, including heading to Amarillo or visiting some of the small towns in the region.

#9. Pro: Oklahoma City experiences all four distinct seasons

Oklahoma City is known to experience all four seasons annually. Despite its location in the south, you can still expect to experience cold winters and hot summers during the average year. The city receives approximately 36 inches of rain, which may seem like a lot, but that’s less thanthat’sational average. There’s typically an averThere’s230 days of sunshine in a year. On average, temperatures soar to the 80s during the summer with a bit of humidity, while the winter temperatures never rise above freezing. 

#10. Con: You may find high levels of fundamentalism in the city

Christianity is the most popular religious practice in Oklahoma City, and fundamentalism is often the most prevalent medium used to embrace faith. According to findings from Pew Research, the city is one of the few where more than half of the population identifies in this category.  

Suppose you don’t believe in the deatdon’talty or corporal punishment. In that case, you might find that your definition of justice differs from that of some of your neighbors, which can lead to some uncomfortable experiences over time. 

#11. Pro: traveling around Oklahoma City is simple

Oklahoma City roads

For the most part, traveling within Oklahoma CIty is pretty easy. The neighborhood you live in plays a huge role in that regard. If you’re fortunate to find you’re in the downtown area, you can easily walk to your favorite restaurants and parks in the city. 

If you don’t live downtown, you don’td still have a relatively edowntown getting around the city. Traffic is generally not a concern for most residents. Your commute will be about five minutes quicker in Oklahoma City compared to other metropolitan areas of the same size across the nation. 

#12. Con: food is taxed in the city

It surprises many when they find out that they have to pay a tax on food purchases. In recent years, efforts have been made to repeal this approach by slightly raising the Oklahoma state sales tax, but this has failed to work so far. Grocery items, drinks, and food are taxed at the full state and local rates, which means you can pay as much as 10% per transaction. 

#13. Pro: Oklahoma City is welcoming to veterans looking to retire

US soldiers

Oklahoma City has a positive relationship with the Armed Forces partly due to the numerous economic benefits that come from stationed personnel. This makes the city one of the top retirement destinations for veterans. The city also offers easy access to healthcare and a lower cost of living, making it all the more appealing to this demographic. 

#14. Con: infrastructure in the city is somewhat underfunded 

Oklahoma City, and the state as a whole, have some yet to be resolved budget struggles. As a result, many infrastructure issues are underfunded and hardly repaired on time, including roadways and bridges.

It’s not uncommon to findIt’sps and holes in the road that could potentially cause damage to your vehicle. Even when funding becomes available, roadway maintenance is usually at the bottom of the priority list. 

#15. Pro: Plenty of fun spots in the city

Oklahoma City offers an eclectic variety of exciting destinations. Some of the top ones include the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, where you can see almost 30,000 artifacts and art pieces; the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, where you can watch the Dodgers play minor league baseball; and the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden where you can see numerous plant and animal species.  

#16. Con: Oklahoma city is not politically diverse

Although Oklahoma City has high levels of cultural diversity, there isn’t much to consider whisn’t comes to politics or religion. If you’re not a Republican oyou’reristian, you’ll automatically findyou’llelf in the minority living in the city, making it feel unbalanced to a certain extent. 

#17. Pro: warm and welcoming people 

welcoming people

Oklahoma City is often ranked as one of the friendliest cities in the country. Most of the residents are polite and willing to help. Someone is always ready to offer a smile, a joke, a compliment, or directions anywhere you need to be.

Final thoughts

As you can see from the comprehensive list of pros and cons, Oklahoma City can be a fun and affordable place to live, but it isn’t the right communityisn’t everyone.

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Zoltan Szatmari

Zoltan is a test and industrial engineer from Europe who loves learning anything new and working on small projects. When he is not working, he is usually hiking or going to the cinema.

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