Bad things about living in Oklahoma

10 Bad Things About Living in Oklahoma | Shocking Facts

Bad Things About Living in Oklahoma

There are some things that makes living in Oklahoma less than ideal for some individuals, which include extreme weather conditions, lack of good public transport, unmaintained infrastructure, frequent earthquakes, and poor education systems. But no state is perfect, and Oklahoma is no exception. It also has its benefits, including a low cost of living and abundant natural resources. If you are considering moving to Oklahoma, read on! This article identifies a few things you might want to reconsider.

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About: Is Oklahoma a good place to live?

Sure, Oklahoma is a good place to live. The state is one of the most unique and vibrant states in the United States. It’s located in the Great Plains region of the country, bordered by Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Missouri. With a population of close to 4.1 million people as of 2022, Oklahoma is attractive for people to live and work.

Living in Oklahoma offers plenty of amenities and activities for residents to enjoy. The state has a diverse landscape featuring rolling hills, lush green forests, lakes, meandering rivers and sweeping prairies. They provide plenty of opportunities for water-based activities like boating, swimming, and kayaking. In addition to natural resources, the state offers plenty of art galleries, museums, and performing arts venues, whilst you can find a variety of festivals throughout the year that celebrates cultural traditions from across Oklahoma’s many ethnicities.

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Oklahoma’s cost of living

If you’re considering living in Oklahoma, then you’ll be happy to know that it’s an affordable place to call home. According to a 2021 report from Numbeo, the cost of living in Oklahoma is about 11% lower than the national average and 3.7% lower than the state’s immediate neighbour, Texas. Housing expenses are particularly low compared to other states, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money on their monthly expenses.

Renters will have plenty of affordable options when it comes to where they live in Oklahoma. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $650 per month, while two bedrooms come in at around $750 per month – both figures being significantly cheaper than the US average of $949 and $1,149 respectively. Generally, the state boasts a lower-than-average cost of housing, groceries, food, health care and transportation compared to other states across the US.

Oklahoma Quality of Life

With regard to quality of life, the state ranks 43rd overall among all U.S. states based on 71 measures and indicators of quality of life. This suggests that residents face numerous handles when accessing basic services.  Here is the summary of the rankings.

Bad Things about Living in Oklahoma

Top 10 reasons not to move to Oklahoma

1. Lack of good, affordable public transportation

One of the biggest issues is the lack of reliable and affordable public transportation. Unfortunately, public transportation options in Oklahoma are severely limited and extremely unreliable compared to other states. Road transport is the common mode of public transportation however, Oklahoma roads are crumbling and full of portholes.  This makes navigation difficult even for those who own a car.

Public transport options such as trains and buses are also inaccessible for most lower-income individuals who rely on them as their primary means of transportation. Those living in rural areas often have little to no access to public transport and must rely on their own vehicles to get around. This can be costly, especially when gas prices are high or if they have a low-income job that doesn’t cover the cost of car maintenance. Even those who live in urban areas often find it difficult to rely solely on public transport due to its limited availability and frequency of service.

2. Poor education systems

Recently, Oklahoma’s education system was ranked 44th out of 50 states. The state has terrible public schools which are highly underfunded. Teachers are underpaid and education is undervalued. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), the state’s students consistently fall behind the national average on standardized tests, and graduation rates are low compared to other states.

Oklahoma’s educational standards have consistently been below average, with students scoring below national averages in standardized tests such as math and reading. Furthermore, Oklahoma ranks 48th out of 50 states in per-pupil spending, meaning that schools lack the resources to provide quality education.

This lack of funding has resulted in outdated textbooks and technology, overcrowded classrooms, and insufficient teacher salaries. Consequently, many students are not receiving the education they need to succeed after high school or even within the state. The poor education system affects more than just student performance; it also affects economic growth and the overall quality of life for Oklahomans.

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3. Boring local musical scenes

Another bad thing about living in Oklahoma is the boring local musical scene. I mean, who does not like thrilling musical entertainment? Unfortunately, music fans in Oklahoma often find themselves stuck with uninspiring performances from bands and artists just going through the motions. These musicians rarely have any energy or enthusiasm, and they often just play cover songs rather than unique material. This makes it difficult to find an entertaining music experience in Oklahoma and can make people feel like they’re missing out on something special elsewhere.

The lack of originality also means there isn’t much variety within the local music scene, so it can be hard to find something new to listen to or enjoy live. Sadly, this stagnation has led many people to look for entertainment outside the state and even move away from Oklahoma altogether due to its boring musical environment.

4. Low wages

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wage growth has stagnated since 2011, with only slight yearly increases. The minimum wage in Oklahoma is $ 7.25 and the average wage for Oklahoma workers is currently $ 24.04 an hour, less than half of what is needed to support a family of four in the state. The state has been named to have the eighth-lowest pay among the 50 U.S. states, with an average earning of $ 24.04 per hour. As such, workers in the state earn nearly $16 less per hour than in Connecticut, the highest-paid workforce per hour. Learn more about Oklahoma wages here. 

This wage gap leads to many other problems for those living in Oklahoma. It’s difficult to find affordable housing with low wages and even harder to pay off debt or save money for retirement or emergencies. Many people are forced into minimum-wage jobs that don’t offer benefits such as healthcare or paid time off work.

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5. Drug Use, especially Meth and Marijuana

Oklahoma is often seen as a rural, conservative state with little to offer. But sometimes, this conservatism can be a hindrance when it comes to drug use. Drug abuse and addiction have long been an issue in Oklahoma, particularly with meth and marijuana.

The accessibility of methamphetamines has increased dramatically in recent years due to its production and trafficking from neighbouring states like Texas and Arkansas. Marijuana use is also rampant among the younger population of Oklahoma despite being illegal in the state.

These issues are not only bad news for those who choose to partake in drug use; they are also bad news for the citizens of Oklahoma who must contend with rising crime rates associated with drugs and their related activities.

6. High crime and incarceration rates

Oklahoma’s violent crime rate has been higher than the national average in the past years. The property crime rate is also higher than the national average. Reports show that there is more violent crime in rural areas and more property crimes in urban areas.

These high crime rates contribute to high rates of incarceration in Oklahoma. The state’s tough laws on drug possession, for example, mean that even small amounts of drugs can lead to incarceration. Violent crimes account for just 13% of total crimes in Oklahoma, versus 15% nationwide. Learn more about Oklahoma crime and incarceration here.


7. High Obesity Rates

According to recent reports, over 31% of adults and nearly 17% of children across Oklahoma suffer from obesity. This alarming statistic can be attributed to various factors ranging from socioeconomic status to lifestyle choices. The socio-economic situation in Oklahoma is at an all-time low, with many families living below the poverty level and struggling to afford basic nutritional needs. Individuals living in these conditions may find themselves eating unhealthy processed foods due to their affordability and availability.

It’s believed that many residents living in Oklahoma have adopted unhealthy habits due to the lack of available affordable and nutritious food options within their communities. For example, fast food restaurants are often more accessible than fresh produce stores or grocery outlets, which can lead people towards unhealthy eating habits on a daily basis.  Furthermore, lack of physical activity is also common among lower-income households, increasing their risk of obesity.

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8. Poorly maintained infrastructure

Living in Oklahoma can have its drawbacks when it comes to infrastructure. Poorly maintained roads and highways across the state are a headache for commuters while crumbling bridges and outdated sewer systems are a blight on many neighbourhoods. Furthermore, many of the buildings, homes and other structures are outdated and need repair. In addition to this physical decay, a lack of public transportation makes getting around even more difficult. Many roads are full of potholes, and highways and bridges have also fallen into disrepair, leading to unsafe driving conditions that could lead to accidents if left unaddressed.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect is that these issues have been present for years with little action taken by local governments or civic organizations to address them. This disrepair leads to higher costs for individuals as they must pay for repairs out-of-pocket or rely on private transport, which quickly adds up. The result is an exacerbation of economic inequality in terms of income levels since those with lower incomes have less ability to access these services due to cost barriers.

FILE - This Feb. 11, 2014 file photo shows a car driving by a pothole in Detroit, as a fuel station is seen in the background. Congress has kept federal highway and transit programs limping along for the past six years, unable to decide how best to pay for them. Lawmakers’ indecision mirrors what The Associated Press and GfK found in a recent opinion survey. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

9. Racism

Racism is a bad thing to deal with no matter where you live, but it can be particularly hard when living in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has one of the highest proportions of people who are Native American than any other state in the U.S., and these people have often been treated with less respect than those who are not Native American. In addition to bias against Native Americans, there have been numerous reports of discrimination against African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities in Oklahoma.

Hate crimes are not uncommon either; even though they may be prosecuted under state law, they still happen far too often. This cultural divide has contributed to widespread structural racism against various ethnic groups, making life difficult for people of certain races to thrive in this state.

University of Oklahoma students

10. Limited scenery for outdoor activities

Living in Oklahoma can have its drawbacks, especially when discussing the state’s flat and arid land with few scenery and natural attractions. Oklahoma is home to rolling hills and plains of prairie grasslands, but if you’re looking for more majestic mountain ranges or lush green forests, then the Sooner State may not be the best place for you. This lack of scenic beauty also limits potential outdoor activities, as hiking trails and ski resorts are few and far between.

Oklahoma has grown a reputation as a “boring” state due to its limited outdoor recreation options. For avid hikers or skiing fanatics, Oklahoma simply doesn’t provide enough variety to keep them entertained for long periods of time.

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Wrap Up

Overall, living in Oklahoma has its pros and cons. The lack of public transportation options, increased drug use, racism, low wages, boring musical scenes, poor infrastructure, limited outdoor activities, and poor education system diminish the residents’ quality of life. Nevertheless, those who choose to stay in Oklahoma are usually rewarded with a strong sense of community and an appreciation for the slower pace of life. Ultimately, whether or not Oklahoma is the right fit for you comes down to personal preferences.

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