Tulsa is the second biggest city in the state of Oklahoma. The city played a prominent role in America’s industrial revolution and was in fact nicknamed the ‘Oil Capital of the World’ back in the 19th century. Tulsa has a population of about 413,000 and is located on the Arkansas River. The city has lessened its dependence on the energy sector in the past century to develop a more diversified economy. There are plenty of sports, education, health and transport facilities in Tulsa. Any expat moving to Oklahoma should seriously consider living in Tulsa.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to live? Tulsa has been consistently ranked by various American newspapers and magazines among the 50 most livable cities in America. Most Tulsans are life-long residents which is evidence that most people who live in Tulsa like it. With a strong community and rich heritage, moving to Tulsa is not a bad idea.
Living in Oklahoma will reveal that Tulsa is an affordable city filled with culture and excitement. The city is in prime ‘Green Country’ as the residents would say and it has many beautiful parks and natural scenery. Other than the state of Bavaria in Germany, you will be hard-pressed to find another place that likes beer as much as Oklahoma. The buildings have incredible architecture and the city’s museums are filled with precious art. Tulsa is also a great dwelling pace for nature lovers. Despite facing many natural disasters over the years, Tulsa is a moderately habitable city.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to live? Prons & Cons.
Tulsa is, in general, a good place to live. The residents are meek and helpful. However, just like in any other city around the world, Tulsa has its good and bad sections. Northern Tulsa is considered to be more insecure than Southern Tulsa. The neighborhoods in Tulsa as judged by security, cleanliness, school districts and management can be classified into good and bad neighborhoods. Good neighborhoods in Tulsa include Edmond, Piedmont, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso, Bixby, Mustang, Alva, Greenwood, Sand Springs, Yukon, Skiatook, Moore, and Coweta. Bad neighborhoods in Tulsa include Brady Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, Southern Hills, 71 Street Corridor, Expo Square, West Tulsa and Utica Square.
The degree of crime in Tulsa is quite high and has been increasing in the recent past. The city has experienced an average of 6% increase in crime for the past few years. The crime rate in Tulsa is 137% higher than the American national average. You alarmingly have a 1 in 16 chance of being a victim of a crime in Tulsa. Tulsa’s insecurity levels are further evidenced by the fact that the city only has a safety index of 2% meaning that Tulsa is only safer than 2% of American cities. Property crimes and violent crimes make up most of the crimes in the city. Insurance for all your assets is paramount if you are living in the city.
The first two public schools in Tulsa were built in 1905. The Tulsa Board of Education has operated Tulsa’s education system since 1907. Tulsa Public Schools is Oklahoma’s second largest school district and has nine high schools serving over 41,000 students. Booker T. Washington High School is the best high school in the city. Most primary and secondary schools in Tulsa are affiliated with religious denominations. The city has 15 institutions of higher education which consists of two private universities namely the University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. The University of Tulsa has been ranked as one of the best universities in the nation. Other notable higher education institutions include Rogers State University, Tulsa Community College and the Spartan School of Aeronautics.
Tulsa has an extensive transport network. Tulsa’s highway system connects the city to other cities in the region like Missouri and Oklahoma City. Most highway users travel using the city’s bus operator, Tulsa Transit which runs over 97 buses on 19 routes in and around the city. Highways that pass through Tulsa include I-44, US-412, US-169, US-75, OK-51, Creek Turnpike, and Gilcrease Expressway. The Tulsa International Airport is the city’s main airport serves more than three million travelers annually. Other airports include Richard L. Jones Jr. Airport. Freight railways cut across the city but there are no mass transit rail lines in Tulsa. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is an inland port and one of the largest river ports in the USA.
The social life in Tulsa has options for everybody whether it is theater and museums for the more cultured residents or sports for the more physically inclined. You will find every sort of social amenity in Tulsa.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to work?
Tulsa’s economy has been significantly diversified from its heavy reliance on oil for over 100 years. However, the city’s energy sector still remains its main industry employing about a quarter of all Tulsa’s workers either directly or indirectly. Other major industries in Tulsa include IT, finance, logistics, agriculture, biosciences, defense and aerospace industries. The largest single employers in Tulsa are Hilti North America, The University of Tulsa, Consumer Affairs Tulsa, American Airlines Maintenance Base and Diagnostics Laboratory of Oklahoma.
A city’s unemployment rate is a good indicator of the job market in a particular area. Tulsa’s unemployment rate as of March 2019 was 3.3% which is slightly lower than the national average of 4.5%. The median annual household income in Tulsa is $41,957 which is lower than the national average of $53,482.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to buy a house?
Buying a house in the Tulsa area can be challenging. One of the key factors in deciding where to buy a house in Tulsa is the topography. Many areas are prone to flooding and you should ensure your home is safe from natural disasters. Most homes in Tulsa are owned by a mortgage. Therefore, consult with many mortgage lenders to get the best deal on the market. The average property price in Tulsa is $121,000 and is expected to continue rising for the next few years.
Tulsa has a quite high level of insecurity but there are still areas that are considered safe. Good neighborhoods in Tulsa include Edmond, Piedmont, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso, Bixby, Mustang, Alva, Greenwood, Sand Springs, Yukon, Skiatook, Moore and Coweta. Bad neighborhoods in Tulsa include Brady Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, Southern Hills, 71 Street Corridor, Expo Square, West Tulsa and Utica Square. Given Tulsa’s insecurity and its proneness to natural disasters, it is not a good place to buy a house.
The average monthly rent for an unfurnished one bedroom apartment in Tulsa is $650. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $820 a month. The average rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1100 a month. The average monthly rent for a four-bedroom apartment is $1480 and the average rent for a five-bedroom apartment is $1750 a month.
The average buying price of a single bedroom apartment in Tulsa is $115,000. The average price of an apartment with double bedrooms is $130,500. The average price of an apartment with triple bedrooms is $157,800. The average price of a quadruple bedroom apartment is $190,400. The average price of an apartment with quintuple bedrooms is $209,075.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to retire?
Tulsa probably will not receive credit for being an ideal retirement location and the foremost reason for this is its level of insecurity. Granted that the city has all the necessary facilities to enable senior citizens to live comfortably, it matters little if you are in a constant state of anxiety. Another reason not to retire in Tulsa is that Oklahoma experiences flooding among other natural disaster which would be a major setback if you invested your retirement into a property. The city’s green spaces and a low cost of living are not enough to call Tulsa a good place to retire.
Good neighborhoods in Tulsa include Edmond, Piedmont, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso, Bixby, Mustang, Alva, Greenwood, Sand Springs, Yukon, Skiatook, Moore and Coweta. Bad neighborhoods in Tulsa include Brady Arts District, Downtown, Uptown, Southern Hills, 71 Street Corridor, Expo Square, West Tulsa and Utica Square. Given Tulsa’s insecurity and its proneness to natural disasters, it is not a good place to buy a house.
You can use the above rental rates and house prices as a guide when looking for retirement properties in Tulsa.
Is Tulsa, Oklahoma a good place to visit?
There are plenty of landmarks to see, festivals to attend and attractions to visit in Tulsa. The top places to visit in Tulsa include Tulsa Zoo, Gilcrease Museum, The Blue Whale of Tuscaloosa, Center of the Universe, Woodward Park and Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of living in Tulsa, Oklahoma?
The cost of living in the city is low and is 8% lower than the national average. The largest expenses of most households are housing costs and utilities.
Is Tulsa a good place to invest in property?
I would not consider Tulsa a prime place to invest in property. Incomes are low in Tulsa and the chance of significant damage happening to the property is higher than in other cities. Property investors get a raw deal in low rental rates and high risk.
Is Tulsa a good place to raise a family?
Tulsa has a low cost of living, somewhat good schools and plenty of social amenities. However, all the above mean little if you cannot enjoy them. Your family’s security is paramount hence Tulsa is not a good place to raise a family.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.