Tulsa vs. Oklahoma City: Which is the Better City?

Whenever someone thinks about Oklahoma, a state in the United States, they think of two famous cities. Following this, the debate appears: Tulsa vs. Oklahoma City. Which is better between these two cities?

It is a consistent debate as some people consider Tulsa better, while others support Oklahoma City. So, it is tough for me, or even many of us, to decide where you should visit or make your permanent destination.

However, I am here to explain the comparison between these two Oklahoma cities depending on versatile facts. After finishing the article, you can justify the better city between Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Statistical Analysis of the Two Cities

Tulsa and Oklahoma City are two of the most populated cities in Oklahoma. They are also the state’s economic and cultural centers.


Oklahoma City is indeed the largest city in Oklahoma. It has a population of over 1,008,000. On the other hand, Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state. Around 783,000 people stay there.

Both cities have a diverse economy, with a mix of energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology industries.

Business Corporations

Oklahoma City has many major corporations, such as Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy.

Hence, Tulsa hosts several Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines and Williams Companies.

Both cities have a vibrant arts scene and offer a variety of museums, theaters, and festivals.

There are many differences between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. They are both great places to live, but each has a unique culture and vibe.

A few significant differences between these two great Oklahoma cities are:


Tulsa is the 47th largest city in the US, with a population of just over people. Oklahoma City is much larger, at almost 1,008,000 people, making it the 28th largest city in the country.


Tulsa is in northeastern Oklahoma, while Oklahoma City is situated in central Oklahoma. It means that Tulsa gets more snow and cold weather than OKC, which enjoys a milder climate.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Tulsa is about 9% cheaper than in Oklahoma City, according to Numbeo.com. Housing costs are significantly cheaper in Tulsa, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment running about $200 less per month than in OKC.

Entertainment options

Both cities offer plenty of entertainment options. Still, they tend to be different types of activities.

You’ll find more art and music venues in Tulsa, while OKC offers more sports and outdoor activities. Indeed, you can find exceptions to this general rule, but overall. But these tend to be the things you’ll find more of in each city.


Both Tulsa and Oklahoma City have decent public transportation options. But Tulsa has the edge here.

The city has a comprehensive bus system. It can get you just about anywhere you need to go. On the other hand, Oklahoma City’s bus system is more limited.

Tulsa also has a light rail system that makes getting around downtown a breeze.


So, how far is Oklahoma City from Tulsa, Oklahoma?

The distance between Tulsa and OKC is approximately 193 miles.

Tulsa Vs. Oklahoma City Population

Both cities have seen their populations grow in recent years. But Tulsa’s growth has been slightly higher. As of 2022, the estimated population of Tulsa is 783,000, while the estimated population of Oklahoma City is 1,008,000.

However, looking at the demographics of each city, a different picture begins to emerge. Oklahoma City is much more diverse than Tulsa, with minorities making up nearly 40% of the population. In contrast, minorities only comprise about 20% of Tulsa’s population.

This diversity can be attributed to a large number of immigrants. These immigrants have made Oklahoma City their home in recent years.

With a growing population and diverse demographics, Oklahoma City is the better place for you. But if you’re looking for a smaller city with a slower pace of life, Tulsa may be a better option.

Tulsa Vs. Oklahoma City Crime

In Oklahoma, the two largest cities are Tulsa and Oklahoma City. They are also the two most populous cities in the state. While they are both large cities, they have very different crime rates. According to Bestplaces.net, I have gathered these data:

In fact, Tulsa has a much higher crime rate (48.3) than Oklahoma City (40.4). Also, this rate is significantly higher than the national average (22.7). Its violent crime rate is nearly twice the national average.

Property crimes are also high in Tulsa. The city’s property crime rate (74.3) is almost triple the national average (35.4). It means that Tulsa residents are more likely to be victims of crime than residents of other cities across the country.

On the other hand, Oklahoma City’s crime rate is lower (60) than the state and national averages (35.4). The city’s violent crime rate is about average when compared to other cities its size. And, while property crimes occur in Oklahoma City, they happen at a lower rate than in Tulsa.

It makes Oklahoma City a safer place to live for its residents.

Is Tulsa or Oklahoma City Bigger

There are two major cities in Oklahoma-Tulsa and Oklahoma City. They are both pretty big, but which is bigger? Let’s look at the numbers (according to Macrotrends.net):

Tulsa has a population of 783,000, while Oklahoma City will come in at 1,008,000 in 2022. So, Oklahoma City is slightly larger than Tulsa. However, the story changes when you factor in the surrounding metropolitan areas.

The Tulsa metro area has a population of 1,023,988, while the Oklahoma City metro area has 1,425,695 people. So, Oklahoma City is much larger when considering the whole metro area.

OKC Vs. Tulsa Skyline

In the heart of Oklahoma, two cities battle for the title “Most populous city in the state.” The capital city of Oklahoma City and the largest city in Tulsa both have populations of over 700,000. But which one is really the biggest?

When it comes to land area, Tulsa takes the cake. At nearly 200 square miles, it’s more than double the size of Oklahoma City. So, if you’re looking for a spacious place to call home, Tulsa may be a better option.

But when it comes to population density, Oklahoma City is much more packed. With nearly 1,400 people per square mile, it’s almost twice as dense as Tulsa. So, if you like being surrounded by people and amenities, Oklahoma City might be a better choice.

Both cities have their pros and cons. But finally, it comes down to what you want in a community. Tulsa is your best bet for a big city with plenty of space to spread out. But Oklahoma City is probably a better fit if you prefer a bustling urban environment.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Ok, is a city in the northeastern part of the state. With over 783,000, it is the second-largest city in Oklahoma. This city is well-known for its art deco architecture, diverse economy, and many cultural attractions.

The city was founded in 1836 by members of the Creek Nation. They were looking for a new home after forced removal from their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama. Likewise, the area around Tulsa was originally settled by Native Americans before the arrival of European settlers. The city’s name comes from the Greek word “Tulasi,” which means “old town.”

Tulsa increased following the discovery of oil in 1901. It became a core center of the oil industry. Then, it remains an important hub for energy production today.

Tulsa’s economy is also diversified, with sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, and finance all playing significant roles. Also, it has several museums and cultural institutions, including the Philbrook Museum of Art, Mayo Hotel, and Tulsa Zoo.

Living in Tulsa, Ok

When most people think of it as a small town in the middle of nowhere. But living in Tulsa has its perks.
A few points you should know about living in Tulsa, Oklahoma are:

  • The cost of living is very affordable.
  • It has a low crime rate and is ranked as one of the safest in the US.
  • There are many things to experience in Tulsa, from art galleries and museums to outdoor activities like hiking and fishing.
  • The people here are friendly and welcoming, making it easy to meet new friends.
  • The weather is mild, with all four seasons represented (though winters can be a bit harsh).

Overall, living in Tulsa is an enjoyable experience and one that I would recommend to anyone looking for a place to call home.

Why is Oklahoma City So Dangerous?

Oklahoma City is one of the most dangerous cities in America. There are several reasons why this is the case.

  • First, the city has a high crime rate.
  • In 2015, Oklahoma City had 6,685 violent crimes per 100,000 people. It is more than twice the national average.
  • Second, Oklahoma City has a high poverty rate.
  • Nearly one-quarter of residents live below the poverty line. It can lead to desperation and crime.
  • Third, Oklahoma City has a large population of gang members.
  • There are an estimated 5,000 gang members in the city. It creates an environment of violence and intimidation.
  • Fourth, Oklahoma City has a problem with drugs.
  • Methamphetamine is particularly prevalent in the city. It leads to additional crime as users commit crimes to get money for drugs.
  • Finally, Oklahoma City is in Tornado Alley.

It is subject to severe weather conditions that can create havoc and destruction.

All these factors combine to make Oklahoma City a perilous place to live.

Is Tulsa Bigger Than Oklahoma City?

In short, no. Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma, with just over 783,000 people. Oklahoma City is the state’s largest city, with a population of nearly 1,008,000. However, when looked at from a different perspective, such as land area or total metropolitan area population, Tulsa comes ahead of Oklahoma City in some measures.

For example, Tulsa has a larger land area than Oklahoma City (188 square miles compared to Oklahoma City’s 607 square miles). Also, it has a more significant total metropolitan area population (1.3 million compared to Oklahoma City’s 1.2 million).

Is Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Good City to Live In?

Tulsa is a great city to live in! The cost of living is very affordable. Besides, you can find versatile things to do. It has a triumphant arts and culture scene and great nightlife.

There are also many outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking trails.

Is Oklahoma City Cheaper Than Tulsa?

Oklahoma City and Tulsa are both great places to live in Oklahoma. They are both affordable, with the cost of living below the national average.

However, when it comes to comparing the two cities, Oklahoma City is cheaper than Tulsa.

The OKC median home cost is $197,000, while the median home price in Tulsa is $190581. A 1-bedroom apartment in OKC rents is $607 to $1,234. On the other hand, the rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Tulsa is $839 to $1401 on average. Regarding transportation costs, Oklahoma City is also cheaper than Tulsa.

The average monthly transit pass in Oklahoma City costs $50, while the average monthly transit pass in Tulsa costs $65. If you own a car, you can expect to pay more about $1 per gallon of gas in Tulsa than in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City also has lower taxes than Tulsa.

OKC has a sales tax rate of 8.63%, while the sales tax rate in Tulsa is 8.52%. The Oklahoma City property tax rate is 0.87%, while the property tax rate in Tulsa is 1.13%.

In conclusion, you should consider moving to Oklahoma City over Tulsa as an affordable place.

Why is Tulsa So Popular?

There are many reasons Tulsa is such a popular destination.

For example, the city offers a unique blend of history and modernity. Visitors can explore the Mayo Hotel, which has been open since 1925. Also, they can take in the view from the top of the BOK Center, which opened in 2008.

Tulsa has many museums and cultural attractions, including the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Tulsa Zoo.

Another reason Tulsa is so famous is its proximity to several outdoor recreation areas. The city is situated on the Arkansas River. This river makes the city a perfect spot for kayaking, fishing, or simply enjoying a scenic float trip.

And just outside of town, visitors can find hiking and biking trails at Keystone Lake or enjoy horseback riding at Osage Hills Wildlife Preserve.

Tulsa has something to offer everyone, from urban adventure to everything. See why this Oklahoma gem is one of America’s most popular destinations!


In the battle of Oklahoma’s two biggest cities or Tulsa vs. OKC, it’s hard to decide which is better. Tulsa and Oklahoma City both have their pros and cons. But they’re both great places to live.

Oklahoma City is better if you want a safer and more affordable place. Alternatively, for a better way of living, Tulsa is better.

I hope you got the thing you were waiting for. Thanks for reading this blog.

Chris Appleford is a Nomadic Traveler. He goes to different parts of the country and tries to share his experiences with others. Also, he assists people in selecting hotels to stay in, things to do in selected areas, and expressing arts and culture.

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