Most Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma

May 31st 2024
Oklahoma is home to a population of over 4 million people and boasts a strong economy driven by production of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products. But beneath the surface of prosperity, some cities face challenges, including soaring crime rates. Let's explore the ten worst cities in Oklahoma, providing you with the information you need to know to stay safe.

hash-markIs Oklahoma Dangerous?

Yes, Oklahoma is pretty dangerous compared to other US states. The violent crime rate in Oklahoma is 419.7 per 100,000 residents, which is well above the national average, making it one of the most dangerous states in America.

As the state's crime rates are relatively high,  being aware and taking precautions can help you stay safe in Oklahoma.

hash-mark10 Most Dangerous Cities in Oklahoma

  1. Tulsa
  2. Pauls Valley
  3. Muskogee
  4. Warr Acres
  5. Shawnee
  6. Del City
  7. Ardmore
  8. Oklahoma City
  9. Ponca City
  10. Lawton


The most dangerous city in Oklahoma is Tulsa, which is also the second-most-populous city in the state with a population of 413,066. Known as the "Oil Capital of the World" for much of the 20th century, Tulsa played a crucial role in the American oil industry. Despite its rich history, Tulsa is considered the most dangerous city in Oklahoma, with crime rates 124% higher than the national average. 

Residents face a 1 in 20 chance of becoming a crime victim. North Tulsa, particularly in public housing areas, experiences the highest crime rates, with gang violence being a significant problem. On June 1, 2022, a tragic mass shooting at a medical center resulted in five deaths, including the shooter.

hash-markPauls Valley

Pauls Valley is a city in Garvin County, Oklahoma, with a population of 6,026. The economy is mainly based on agriculture and oil production. However, crime is a significant issue in this city, with rates 106% higher than the national average. 

Residents have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming a crime victim, and burglary is the main concern. Additionally, there are many abandoned houses and properties scattered throughout the town, adding to the area's challenges.


Muskogee, with a population of 36,738, was once the Capital of Indian Territory and holds an important place in both Oklahoma and American history. Home to Bacone College, this city has a lot to offer, but it also faces some serious challenges. Muskogee's crime rates are 93% higher than the national average, giving residents a 1 in 23 chance of becoming a victim of crime. 

On February 2, 2021, a tragic event shook the community when a gunman killed six people, including five children. Additionally, the city struggles with issues like theft, often committed by groups at night. 

hash-markWarr Acres

Warr Acres, a city established by the dynamic businessman C.B. Warr, is located near Oklahoma City University and Southern Nazarene University. With a population of 10,452, Warr Acres ranks fourth among the most dangerous cities in Oklahoma. 

The crime rate in Warr Acres is 85% higher than the national average, giving residents a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a crime victim. Property theft is common, and the city's infrastructure is lacking, with poorly maintained roads being a significant issue.


Shawnee, the county seat of Pottawatomie County, is about 45 minutes east of downtown Oklahoma City. This city of 31,720 people is home to Oklahoma Baptist University and Gordon Cooper Technology Center and serves as a regional medical center. 

However, Shawnee faces significant challenges. Crime rates are 75% higher than the national average, and residents have a 1 in 25 chance of becoming victims of crime. Half the population is homeless, and many others struggle with opioid addiction. One of the main issues in Shawnee is the harassment of elderly widows who live on social security.

hash-markDel City

Del City, Oklahoma, is a small community with a population of 21,822. It's located close to two major highways, Interstate 40 and Interstate 35, making it easily accessible. Originally, it was a "bedroom" community in Boone Township. However, Del City faces several challenges. The crime rate is 70% higher than the national average, with shootings and burglaries being significant problems. 

Residents have a 1 in 26 chance of becoming crime victims. Additionally, the school district is known for its poor quality, and there are limited entertainment options in the area.


Ardmore, located in Oklahoma and known as "Chickasaw Country" in state tourism brochures, has a population of about 24,725. Unfortunately, it is not the safest place to visit or live, as crime rates here are 62% higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 27 chance of becoming a victim of crime. 

Methamphetamine use is a significant issue in the area, and the local schools face many challenges. Additionally, there are occasional gang-related incidents, making safety a concern for those in the community.

hash-markOklahoma City

Oklahoma City, the capital and largest city of Oklahoma, is home to about 694,800 people. It's famous for having one of the biggest livestock markets in the world and is known as the "Horse Show Capital of the World." 

However, the city faces challenges with crime, having rates that are 59% higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 28 chance of falling victim to crime, with gang activity being a significant problem in the area.

hash-markPonca City

Ponca City is also one of the worst cities in Oklahoma due to its high crime rates. Ponca City is a small city in Kay County, Oklahoma, with a population of 24,340. It is situated within a 90-minute drive of three major metropolitan areas, making it strategically located. 

However, Ponca City has a high crime rate, which is 59% above the national average. Residents have a 1 in 28 chance of becoming a victim of crime. The city also faces significant poverty, and many people in the town do not finish high school. 


Lawton, a city with a population of 91,542, wraps up our list of most dangerous cities in Oklahoma. Despite its close ties to the Fort Sill Military Reservation, which has helped keep its economy and population stable, Lawton struggles with high crime rates. Crime in the city is 25% higher than the national average, and residents have a 1 in 35 chance of becoming a victim. 

Meth, crack, and alcohol addictions are serious problems, and the streets are filled with homeless people openly using drugs.