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Three new cities moved into the most affordable places to call home in Oklahoma according to our HomeSnacks affordable places for 2021 report.
Each year we analyze what we feel are the most affordable places to live in Oklahoma. We take into account categories that we all agree make a state affordable like average home and rent prices. We also take into account places with low crime, great jobs, worthy salaries, and solid schools. We even looked at short commute times. According to the Happiness Research Institute, most people don't like where they live and wished they lived somewhere more affordable. However, not the folks in our most affordable Okie places.
How did we determine the most affordable places to live in Oklahoma? We consulted the latest Census data on cost of living. We discovered that most Oklahomans have never really experienced unemployment. The Sooner State has managed to stay ahead of the national unemployment rate holding strong at 3.3%.
This is because we can thank Oklahoma for jobs in all things agriculture. But did you know that Oklahoma City is home to Sonic Drive-In Restaurants and Tulsa is home to PenWell? These Oklahoma cities and Oklahoma companies are working hard to keep Oklahomans happy and employed; thus able to afford to call this Midwest state home.
Are you surprised by this year's results? Pull up a chair and put a smile on your face as we look at Oklahoma's most affordable cities.
It's simple economics, folks. When you choose to live in one of Oklahoma's most affordable places, you are choosing to live where your Oklahoma dollar will go the furthest. And that, Oklahomans, makes perfect sense.
What's the most affordable place to live in Oklahoma for 2021? Drum roll... the number one most affordable place to live in Oklahoma is Anadarko based on the most recent Census data.
To see how your city compared, take a look at the list below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head on down to the bottom.
And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Oklahoma and the cheapest places in the country:
The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oklahoma For 2021
Coming in as the cheapest place in Oklahoma is Anadarko, a small city about 50 miles southwest of Oklahoma City
Native Americans make up a plurality and almost a majority in Anadarko, which has been aptly nicknamed the "Indian Capital of the Nation." So definitely make it a point to visit the free American Indian Hall of Fame while you're here. Unfortunately, unemployment is quite high in Anadarko, so you may want to have a job lined up before you can really take advantage of the city's affordability. The median income in Anadarko is $43,072 and the median home price is $72,500.
If you're looking for the cheapest homes in Oklahoma, look no further than Holdenville. Homes in Holdenville go for a median price of $55,100, and with residents earning a median income of $32,433, the city has the fourth best home price to income ratio in all of OK. Not to mention that the median rent in Holdenville, $537/month, is the lowest you're going to see on this list. If you stick to cheap activities like swimming and fishing at Holdenville City Lake, there'll be plenty of money left in your wallet at the end of every week.
Holdenville is located about 75 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.
Located between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Cushing rounds out our list of cheapest places to live in Oklahoma. Cushing has the 12th cheapest homes and the ninth best home price to income ratio in the state. Homes go for $85,600 and the median income in Cushing is $42,106. Cushing is also known as the "Pipeline Crossroads of the World" due to its economy's strong reliance on the oil industry.
Noble's population has been steadily growing in recent years, and it's not hard to see why. It's safe, has excellent schools, and a great job market. Oh, and it's the fourth most affordable city in Oklahoma of course! For all these top-notch amenities, Noble's housing is a bit pricier than elsewhere on this list.
On the flip side, Noble residents are also paid better, with a median income of $63,150, so paying $121,200 for a home is no biggie. In fact, it's one of the easiest places to pay off the mortgage statewide. And while a median rent of $881 may look intimidating compared to other places on this list, it's still firmly below the Oklahoma average.
Kicking off our list of the most affordable cities in Oklahoma is Alva, a small city located in the northwestern part of the state. Alva doesn't have the cheapest home prices or lowest rent in the state, but thanks to a combination of good income and well below average housing costs, the city earns the #5 rank with ease.
On top of all that, Alva is home to Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where you can get your college degree for next to nothing. Alva's also one of the safest places in Oklahoma, so don't worry that you're trading affordability for security. The median home price in Alva is $94,900 and the median income is $44,646, making Alva one of the easiest places to pay off the mortgage in Oklahoma. Add to that super-affordable rent and you've got all the makings of the fifth cheapest city in the state.
Located about an hour south of Wichita, Kansas, Blackwell ranks as the sixth least expensive city in Oklahoma. Blackwell's economy centers around agriculture and fossil fuels, so if you have the relevant experience, scoring a job here should be a piece of cake.
You'll have no trouble believing you're in one of the cheapest states in America when it comes time to start paying your mortgage in Blackwell. The city has the best home price to income ratio in Oklahoma by a wide margin, thanks to Blackwell residents earning a median income of $42,371 and paying a measly $63,800 for homes.
Ponca City ranks as the seventh most inexpensive city in Oklahoma by virtue of being an equally affordable place for home-buyers and renters. Ponca City's economy is centered around the oil industry and operates a 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery for Phillips 66. And if you want a glimpse at how the oil magnates of the 1920's lived, definitely check out the Marland Mansion. The median home price in Ponca City is $96,600 and the median income is $44,043.
Ponca City is located about an hour and a half northwest of Tulsa.
Seminole clocks in as the eighth most affordable city in Oklahoma. Seminole earned this spot thanks to having the second cheapest homes in the state and paying residents well enough to afford them. Homes in Seminole go for about $61,900 and residents earn a median income of $37,120, meaning residents pay the second smallest proportion of their salary on homes statewide. And if you've got kids, or are a kid at heart, you'll love having the Jasmine Moran Children's Museum right in your backyard.
Seminole is about an hour east of Oklahoma City.
Located about 40 miles south of Oklahoma City, Chickasha ranks as Oklahoma's ninth cheapest place to call home.
Don't let Chickasha's affordability lead you to believe it skimps on quality -- the unemployment rate of 3.17% is much lower than the statewide average, and residents earn a median household income of $42,175.
The cost of living in Chickasha is about 18% cheaper than the national average, but in terms of housing, things are almost half as expensive here. The median price of rent is only $713, and if you decide to move here long-term, the median home price is just $85,900.
Art abounds in Chickasha, and you don't have to pay a dime to see most of it -- murals dot the downtown area. Chickasha is also well known for hosting the annual Festival of Light, a month-plus long event that's one of the premier winter shindigs in the country.
Woodward may be a city of only 12,448, but it's a big population center in northwestern Oklahoma. In addition to being incredibly safe, with a crime rate 30% below the Oklahoma average, Woodward is the tenth most affordable spot in the state.
Not to mention that with great schools and family-friendly amenities around, Woodward is also one of the best cities for families in Oklahoma. Woodward is also home to Boiling Springs State Park, which has hikes, campgrounds, and even a golf course.
History buffs will appreciate The Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum, regarded as one of the best local museums in the state. And anyone can have a good time wandering around Woodward's vibrant shopping district with locally-owned shops and boutiques.
The cost of living is moderately cheap in Woodward, but housing costs are where it really shines. Homes in Woodward sell for a median price of $117,800, and you can find a place to rent for $801 or less. Folks here also earn an above-average median household income of $53,903, which makes everything feel that much cheaper.
How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Sooner State For 2021
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Oklahoma to figure out which is the least expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 74 places in Oklahoma that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the lowest cost of living in Oklahoma according to the data is Anadarko. You can download the data here.
There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Oklahoma Cheapskate
If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in Oklahoma, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Oklahoma for 2021.
Here's a look at the most expensive cities in Oklahoma according to the data:
For more Oklahoma reading, check out:
The Most Affordable Places To Live In Oklahoma