In Oklahoma, is it true that the wind often comes sweepin’ down the plains? Surely. Another thing that’s true: Oklahoma is one of the most affordable states in the country.
The state has gorgeous landscapes, between the sprawling prairies of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to the flowing creeks of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. There are plenty of state parks and wildlife refuges to explore.
Just under 4 million “Okies” call Oklahoma home; it also happens to be home to the second-highest proportion of Native Americans in the country, and nearly half of the state is considered an Indian reservation.
If you’re considering moving to the Sooner State, you’ll want to know the cost of living in Oklahoma.
What’s the Average Cost of Living in Oklahoma?
Average Cost of Living in Oklahoma: $34,533 per year
Oklahoma has the third-lowest cost of living in the United States, behind only Kansas and Mississippi, according to MERIC’s 2021 Cost of Living Index for the third quarter of 2021.
Average Housing Costs in Oklahoma: $607 to $1,234 per month
In late 2021, Zillow gave a typical home value in Oklahoma of nearly $160,000. That’s less than half the national median sale price of $352,800 the National Association of Realtors® reported.
Homes in Oklahoma are cheaper than in the rest of the country, but they also lag in terms of price appreciation. Like much of the country, Oklahoma’s average home values increased substantially in 2021. The state’s values rose by 14.2%, but that fell under the national average growth rate of 19.2%.
Below are the median mortgage and rental costs for homes in Oklahoma, according to the latest census data.
• Median monthly mortgage cost: $1,234
• Median studio rent: $607
• Median one-bedroom rent: $641
• Median two-bedroom rent: $793
• Median three-bedroom rent: $980
• Median four-bedroom rent: $1,170
• Median gross rent: $810
Home values vary widely in Oklahoma. For example, a home in Oklahoma City can cost twice as much as one in a smaller city like Muskogee.
City in Oklahoma
Typical Home Price
* data as of 8/31/2021, all other data sourced from 9/30/2021
Utility Costs in Oklahoma
Average Utility Costs in Oklahoma: $382 per month
Below is a snapshot of the typical monthly utility costs that Oklahoma residents can expect to pay.
Actual results will depend on what type of property you own and where it’s located.
Average Oklahoma Bill
Cable & Internet
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price, 2021; Inspirecleanenergy.com; DoxoInsights, U.S. Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report 2021; and Rentcafe.com, What Is the Average Water Bill?
Groceries & Food
Average Grocery & Food Costs in Oklahoma: $220 per person, per month
Oklahoma actually has the lowest food and beverage costs of any state in the country, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ latest personal consumption expenditures data. Oklahomans pay an average of $220 per month, or $2,645 per year on non-restaurant food and beverages.
Where you live affects average food costs. For example, you can buy a steak at a supermarket for $11.13 in Muskogee, but that same steak would cost you $14.36 in Enid.
Let’s chew on grocery costs in Oklahoma cities, from most to least affordable. The rankings are based on price data obtained from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s, Cost of Living Index for the second quarter of 2021.
Grocery Items Index
Average Transportation Costs in Oklahoma: $5,113 to $13,896 per year
Oklahoma used to be a thruway for the famed Route 66 when it was still in service; today it remains a popular destination for road warriors from all over.
You’ll want to keep an eye on transportation costs if you’re thinking about moving to Oklahoma, especially since its auto insurance rates run high.
Transportation costs will vary depending on your commute and the size of your family. Here are costs from MIT’s Living Wage Calculator for different family sizes.
Average Annual Transportation Cost
One adult, no children
Two working adults, no children
Two working adults, two children
Average Health Care Costs in Oklahoma: $6,121 per person, per year
Oklahomans spend an average of $6,121 per year on health care, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Compared with Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, Oklahoma’s health care costs fall near the middle of the pack.
If you’re looking for affordable health insurance in Oklahoma, you can shop for and compare health insurance plans using the federal marketplace at healthcare.gov .
Average Child Care Costs in Oklahoma: $884 to $1,318 per child, per month
Child care costs take up a healthy chunk of any family’s monthly budget, and the costs can change depending on the age of a child and the setting.
Oklahoma has a progressive income tax, which adjusts your rate based on your income bracket.
The highest marginal tax rate in Oklahoma is 5% for both single filers who earn over $7,200 and joint filers who earn over $12,200 a year, the Tax Foundation notes.
When factoring in property, sales, and use taxes, Oklahoma has a below-average tax burden, with an effective state-local tax rate of 8.2%. It ranks 46th on taxfoundation.org’s rankings of local tax burdens by state; “tax burden” measures the aggregate impact of all taxes levied by state and local governments, as recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Oklahoma had a lower tax burden than nearby New Mexico and Arizona, but its southern neighbor, Texas, came out one rank ahead, with a slightly lower effective tax rate of 8%.
Now that we’ve tackled the everyday expenses for living in Oklahoma, let’s take a look at the costs of some of the state’s greatest attractions.
• Adult admission to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City: $12.50
• Pair of Western cowboy boots: $99.99 to $1,149.99
• Tickets to the rodeo: $20 to $35
• Ten-gallon hat: $69.99 to $1,000
• Chicken fried steak: $12 to $23
If you’ve always been a fan of the Lone Ranger, Will Rogers, or Ben Johnson, you can buy your very own set of cowboy boots and Stetson hat and live out your cowboy fantasies at the rodeo in Guthrie.
While wandering out yonder, you might want to stop for a plate of the official state meal: chicken fried steak, fried okra, cornbread, barbecue pork, sausage and gravy, grits, squash, corn, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecan pie. Oklahoma state law actually codified this combination in 1988.
How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Oklahoma?
MIT’s Living Wage Calculator lists the “living wage” for a single individual in Oklahoma as $28,142 per year, or $13.44 per hour. Obviously this figure will vary depending on personal consumption habits.
The Southwest, including Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, has the lowest personal consumption expenditures in the nation. Of this contingent, Oklahoma has the lowest expenditure of the bunch.
If you’re looking for an affordable state, Oklahoma might be the perfect place for you, as U.S. News & World Report’s Affordability Rankings actually ranked it the second-most-affordable state in the union. Thanks to its open plains and low population per square mile, Oklahoma does well on housing, grocery, and health care costs.
What City Has the Lowest Cost of Living in Oklahoma?
Data from the Council for Community and Economic Research’s 2021 Cost of Living Index helps compare expenses across major cities in Oklahoma. The three most affordable cities are below.
Muskogee has the lowest cost of living in Oklahoma. A city with a population of around 37,000, Muskogee is less than an hour’s drive southeast of Tulsa and sits on the banks of the Arkansas River. It has the lowest housing, grocery, and health care costs in the state.
Ponca City has the second lowest cost of living in Oklahoma and is located about halfway between Wichita, Kansas, and Oklahoma City. The city has a relatively small population of around 25,000 and is home to the Pioneer Woman Museum. Homes in Ponca City are the third-most affordable in the state; however, its transportation and grocery costs are among the highest.
Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma. The city is equidistant between New York City and Los Angeles, and has the largest population in the state. It also has the third-largest land mass of any city in the country. This big city, dubbed “the Big Friendly,” has the third-lowest cost of living in Oklahoma and attracts all types; its population saw double-digit growth in 2020.
SoFi Home Loans
Oklahoma embraces the traditional cowboy mystique, true grit, and, yes, grits. That vibe and the low cost of living in Oklahoma beckon newcomers. If you’re an Okie in the making, you may need a mortgage.
Although there are many home loans on the market to choose from, SoFi offers a range of home loans at competitive interest rates and with as little as 5% down.
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