17 Reasons Not to Move to Tulsa, Oklahoma (Voted by the Locals!)

When it comes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, many people have found reasons why they enjoy living there. However, many other people haven’t enjoyed living in this city. So, what are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t move to Tulsa, Oklahoma?

We have listed 17 reasons why you shouldn’t move to Tulsa, Oklahoma below, so it will be relatively easy for you to decide whether or not you should move there in the future.

1. Crime

Tulsa, Oklahoma is riddled with crimeOpens in a new tab., so if you enjoy being safe and not having to lock your door when you leave your home, you should absolutely not move to this city. Tulsa is considered the most violence-filled city in Oklahoma, which is not at all comforting. Many people do drugs, partially because of how easy it is to access them.

When it comes to the crime rate in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 11 per 1,000 people are the victim of a violent crime every year. The property crime rate is not much better, as about every 50 per 1,000 people are the victim of a property-related crime every year.

Currently, Tulsa, OklahomaOpens in a new tab. has a crime index of 2 out of 100, 100 being the safest city in the United States. I don’t know about you, but that number is not comforting to me at all. If you choose to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, you will definitely want to install a home security system soon after you move in.

2. Weather

The weatherOpens in a new tab. in Tulsa, Oklahoma is sometimes temperamental, especially during the spring and summer. However, that is not why you may not want to move there because of the weather. Instead, the heat and humidity are the weather-related reasons why you do not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

During the summer, Tulsa, Oklahoma often reaches 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This extremely warm temperature is made more stifling because of the high amount of humidity that can be found in Tulsa. If you choose to move to Tulsa, you will want to avoid going outside of your air-conditioned home for most of the season.

The winter season is relatively short and mild, as Tulsa doesn’t get a lot of snow, as the temperature rarely drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the fall and winter seasons are often extremely windy in Tulsa, so be prepared when you go outside if you choose to move to this city. The spring season is typically rainy but warm.

3. Natural Disasters

Even though the weatherOpens in a new tab. is relatively mild in Tulsa, Oklahoma, it is quite prone to natural disasters. The residents of Tulsa frequently have to hide in their homes to avoid tornadoes, even though many Tulsa homes don’t have basements for their owners to hide in. Some other natural disasters that Tulsa residents often experience are:

  • Severe Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Superstorms
  • Flooding
  • Drought
  • Ice Storms
  • Earthquakes
  • Wildfire
  • Hail

Tulsa has also been the home of ice storms, but they happen infrequently. The number of earthquakes occurring in Tulsa is increasing.

4. Mold Grows Easily

Mold grows extremely quickly in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so if you are worried about mold growing in your home and making your family sick, you absolutely do not want to move to Tulsa anytime soon. Tulsa is not a good place for people that have asthma or lung-related illnesses to live because of how quickly mold can grow.

Tulsa, Oklahoma is considered one of the worst places for mold in the country because of how quickly it grows there. Mold grows extremely quickly in Tulsa because of how hot and humid it is and because of how cold it can get during the winter. Because of how quickly the temperature changes and because of how drastic the changes are, mold thrives in Tulsa.

5. Lack of Public Transportation

If you don’t own a car, don’t have a driver’s license, or simply want to avoid driving because you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, you absolutely do not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa is quite spread out, so it will take a long time and be hard to walk to your destination if you don’t have a car. If you typically rely on public transportation during the day, you will be nearly out of luck, as there is only one source of public transportation in Tulsa.

The only public transportation that Tulsa, Oklahoma has is a bus. It doesn’t typically run on Sundays and runs for only a few hours on Saturdays, and it sometimes doesn’t run on holidays. This means that if you miss your bus because you were working late in the city and don’t have a car, you will need to get an Uber, ask a friend for a ride, or simply walk home, even though crime is rampant in the city.

It currently doesn’t seem like city officials in Tulsa are not interested in expanding the public transportation system in the city, as they don’t think it is necessary or that people would use it enough to warrant what it would cost to build and maintain a new public transportation system.

6. It’s an Oil Town

OklahomaOpens in a new tab. has many oil fracking sites across the state, and Tulsa is no exception. Many people that live in the area either own an oil company, work for one, or work for a company that is somehow related to oil fracking and the oil industry.

If you don’t want to see an oil rig or two every time you travel, even to the downtown area, or don’t support the oil industry, you definitely do not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

7. Job Market is Not Expanding

The job marketOpens in a new tab. in Tulsa, Oklahoma is not expanding very quickly, especially when you compare its job market to other states and cities where the job market is booming in multiple industries. This makes it extremely hard for people to find a job when they move to the area or lose their job for various reasons. There just aren’t enough decent jobs to go around.

If you do not work in the healthcare or oil industries, as jobs in these industries are the most abundant, you definitely don’t want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as it will be hard for you to find a well-paying job if you don’t already have one lined up when you move to the city.

8. Homelessness

The number of homeless people in Tulsa, Oklahoma is relatively high, especially considering how the number compares to cities that have a much larger population. In 2019, there were about 1,221 people that were homeless in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The number of people that are homeless in Tulsa, Oklahoma has likely increased since 2019, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic began and caused many people to lose their jobs, making it so they were unable to pay their mortgages or rent.

9. It is Part of the Bible Belt

Tulsa, Oklahoma is part of the Bible BeltOpens in a new tab., so many residents have strong religious beliefs and want to share them. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, it just means that your neighbors and friends will likely want to talk to you about what your religious beliefs are and what the church that they regularly attend believes. If you are not comfortable talking about religion, you likely won’t want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma

10. Lack of Outdoor Activities

If you enjoy participating in outdoor activitiesOpens in a new tab. like hiking or swimming, you will likely not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as you will struggle to find things to do outdoors other than potentially dirt biking. Tulsa does not have much greenery which makes many hiking trips worthwhile.

If you enjoy participating in outdoor activities, you will likely have to drive to another city or away from the suburbs to find an outdoor activity that suits your preferences. This makes last-minute hiking or camping trips quite hard to participate in.

11. High Taxes

If you don’t enjoy paying a lot of money in taxes, you definitely don’t want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. There is an 8.52% sales tax in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is higher than the sales taxOpens in a new tab. in many other states.

However, there is no income tax in Tulsa, which is comforting to many people that work in the city. However, you will still have to pay quite a bit of money in taxes yearly if you choose to move to Tulsa, partially because of the high sales tax.

12. Small Town

Tulsa, Oklahoma is not an extremely bustling city, even in the downtown area. Although that may seem quite appealing to many people, if you enjoy living in or nearby a busy, bustling city that is almost constantly full of people, you definitely will not want to move to Tulsa.

Tulsa, Oklahoma is a relatively small town and city, so it often has a small-town feel, even when you go into downtown Tulsa.

13. People are Highly Conservative

Oklahoma is a state that is filled with people that often vote conservative, so if you typically have political beliefs that don’t line up with conservative beliefs, you may not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. A city filled with conservative people is not bad in any way, shape, or form, but just keep in mind the political beliefs of the majority of the people that live in Tulsa before you move there.

14. High Utility Bills

Your utility bill while living in Tulsa, Oklahoma will likely be very high every month, even if you try to keep the costs low. During the winter, you will likely be blasting the heat, while during the summer you will be blasting the air conditioning and turning all of the fans that you own.

Many people that live in Tulsa, Oklahoma find that their utility bill is quite high every month because of the lack of insulation in many homes and apartments. Heat and cold air constantly leak out, making room for hot or cold air to make its way into your home, which causes you to use your heat or air conditioning more than you have while living in other states. Some residents even say that it seems like the apartments and homes in Tulsa seem to be made of cardboard.

15. Lackluster Education System

If you have children or hope to in the future and can’t afford to send them to a private school, you will not want to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, as its public education systemOpens in a new tab. is not great. For the 2019-2020 school year, the graduation rate of senior high school students in Tulsa, Oklahoma was 78.8%. While this was an improvement from the graduation rate of students graduating during the 2018-2019 school year, which was 74.9%, anything less than about a 95% high school graduation rate is pretty dismal in my eyes.

The low high school graduation rateOpens in a new tab. is likely partially caused by the lack of public school funding. When data about how much each state spends on education each year in 2022, it was found that Oklahoma ranked 46th in funding and 47th in spending out of all 50 states. That is not good at all and doesn’t spell success for students in Tulsa.

16. Rough Roads and Bad Drivers

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the roads are filled with potholes and many drivers on the road are texting while driving, which is incredibly dangerous. Although there isn’t a lot of traffic in Tulsa, many people drive slower than they should because they are otherwise distracted. If you move to Tulsa, you will almost constantly have to dodge distracted drivers and potholes. At least your reflexes will become sharp after a few months.

17. Construction

If you choose to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, you will have to deal with construction for most of the year. Most of the time, the construction is done on the roads and it doesn’t seem like anything gets done, especially not within a reasonable amount of time. You will simply have to deal with the orange cones, slower speed limits, and various closed roads until the end of time or until you move to another city or state.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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