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20 Reasons Not to Move to Tulsa

Reasons Not to Move to Tulsa

In recent years, Tulsa, Oklahoma, has garnered attention as an emerging destination for young professionals, families, and retirees. Nevertheless, like any city, it presents its own array of drawbacks. 

In this extensive guide, we will delve into 20 reasons not to move to Tulsa. We’ll begin with the least pressing concern at number 20 and progressively move towards the most significant challenge at number 1. Each section will provide a detailed explanation, offering you a comprehensive perspective on the potential obstacles you might encounter in this city.

You can also find out reasons not to move to Colorado Springs here.

20. Limited Public Transportation Options

Tulsa’s public transportation system has some limitations, which can be a notable drawback for those who don’t have a personal vehicle. The city’s bus service, Tulsa Transit, operates on limited routes and schedules, potentially making commuting a time-consuming process.

Additionally, Tulsa lacks a metro or light rail system, which are often found in other metropolitan areas. This deficiency in robust public transportation options results in a heavy reliance on cars, contributing to traffic congestion and increased pollution levels.

If you favor a city with comprehensive transportation alternatives and connectivity, Tulsa might not fully meet your expectations.

19. Extreme Weather Conditions

Next on the list of the 20 reasons not to move to Tulsa is the turbulent weather. As part of Tornado Alley, just like Missouri, the city is susceptible to tornadoes and thunderstorms. Weather like this is uncomfortable, dangerous, and damaging.

For instance, in May 2019, the city witnessed severe flooding, resulting in evacuations and substantial harm to homes and infrastructure. If you lean towards a milder climate and have fewer concerns related to weather, Tulsa might not align with your preferences.

18. Higher Crime Rates

This will be a concern for anyone looking to move to Tulsa. While acknowledging that crime exists in every city, it’s noteworthy that Tulsa registers a higher crime rate in comparison to other cities of its size. The city exhibits elevated rates of both violent and property crimes, surpassing the national average. Consequently, safety can be a concern, particularly in specific neighborhoods.

It’s prudent to conduct thorough research into the areas you’re contemplating for your move and adopt essential precautions to safeguard yourself and your belongings. If safety holds paramount importance for you, Tulsa’s crime rates might serve as a notable deterrent.

17. Educational System Concerns

Tulsa’s educational system has come under scrutiny due to its performance. Numerous public schools in the city receive lower ratings, grappling with problems like overcrowded classrooms and insufficient funding.

Additionally, Tulsa reports a high school graduation rate below the national average. While there are undoubtedly commendable schools in the region, they might face higher demand, making admission more competitive. If you’re relocating with your family, the state of the educational system could significantly influence your decision, and Tulsa may not align with your standards in this regard.

16. Limited Recreational Opportunities

For individuals who seek a bustling city life with a wide array of recreational possibilities, Tulsa might not fully satisfy those desires. Compared to other major U.S. cities, Tulsa has minimal nightlife, dining, and entertainment options. While parks and natural reserves cater to outdoor enthusiasts, their offerings can be limited, especially for more refined recreational activities.

If you relish the vibrancy of a bustling city with a diverse range of leisure options, Tulsa might not align with your preferences.

15. Economic Instability

Tulsa’s economy has experienced fluctuations primarily tied to its heavy dependence on the oil and gas sector. Despite endeavors to broaden economic horizons, challenges persist, including a higher unemployment rate in comparison to other cities.

This economic instability can have implications for various facets of life in Tulsa, such as job stability and the prospects for professional advancement. If you’re in search of a city characterized by a stable economy and a plethora of diverse job prospects, Tulsa might not emerge as the most suitable choice.

14. Housing Market Fluctuations

The housing market in Tulsa has experienced its fair share of ups and downs, with periods of both rising and falling home values. While this situation might offer prospects for investors, it can create hurdles for prospective homeowners seeking a dependable and foreseeable market. These fluctuations can impact your property’s value over time, potentially resulting in financial setbacks.

Furthermore, the rental market echoes this instability, featuring fluctuating rental prices that can undergo significant changes over brief intervals. If you prioritize stability in the housing market, the unpredictable nature of Tulsa’s market could raise concerns.

13. Limited Healthcare Facilities

Tulsa lags behind other metropolitan areas in terms of the quantity and variety of healthcare options available. Residents frequently encounter extended appointment wait times and restricted choices for specialist services.

Additionally, certain healthcare facilities have faced scrutiny for the quality of services they offer. If having a broad spectrum of top-tier healthcare options is a paramount consideration for you, Tulsa may not emerge as the optimal destination for your relocation.

12. Infrastructure Issues

Tulsa has been grappling with persistent challenges in its infrastructure, encompassing road maintenance and flood control systems. The city has witnessed substantial flooding incidents, partly attributable to inadequate drainage systems.

Also, numerous roads are in a state of disrepair, resulting in heightened vehicle maintenance expenses for residents. Although the city administration is endeavoring to tackle these issues, progress has been gradual, and many problems persist. If you place a premium on well-maintained infrastructure when selecting your home city, Tulsa might not entirely meet your standards.

11. Lack of Higher Education Institutions

Tulsa hosts a handful of higher education institutions, but these options are relatively restricted when compared to other cities of similar size. This limitation can be a drawback for students seeking an extensive array of educational opportunities and fields of study.

Furthermore, the existing institutions have drawn criticism for their high tuition fees and limited financial aid offerings. If you or your family members aspire to pursue higher education, Tulsa’s constrained options may present a noteworthy drawback.

10. Sparse Networking Opportunities

For professionals aiming to advance their careers, networking frequently plays a pivotal role. Regrettably, Tulsa provides limited avenues for networking, particularly in industries beyond oil and gas.

The city lacks the dynamic business communities present in other urban centers, potentially impeding your career development and prospects for collaboration. If you’re eager to cultivate a strong professional network, Tulsa might not be the place you’re in search of.

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9. Limited Arts and Culture Scene

Tulsa’s arts and culture scene, in comparison to other cities, stands on the more restrained side. The city doesn’t possess the dynamic, constantly evolving arts scene that often captivates creatives and art performers.

The chances for involvement with the arts, whether through galleries, theaters, or music venues, are somewhat restricted, potentially posing a drawback if you hold a deep passion for arts and culture.

8. High Sales Tax

Tulsa has one of the nation’s highest sales tax rates, and this can significantly impact your cost of living. This has to be on the list of the reasons not to move to Tulsa. This heightened sales tax applies to nearly all purchases, resulting in elevated prices for everyday items compared to many other cities. Such a substantial tax burden might give you pause if you’re in search of a city with a more budget-friendly cost of living.

7. Limited Green Spaces

Tulsa falls short in providing ample green spaces where residents can escape the urban hustle and find tranquility. The existing parks are frequently modest in size and can become quite crowded, particularly on weekends. If you’re someone who cherishes expansive green areas for leisure and recreation, Tulsa might not align with your expectations.

6. Air Quality Concerns

Tulsa has encountered challenges concerning air quality, attributed in part to industrial operations and heavy vehicular traffic. Poor air quality in the city can harm respiratory patients. If clean air is important to you, Tulsa may not be the best choice.

5. Limited Diversity in Dining Options

Tulsa does offer a variety of restaurants, but the diversity of dining options, particularly in terms of international cuisines, is somewhat limited. For food enthusiasts seeking an extensive array of culinary experiences, Tulsa might not provide the vibrant and diverse dining scene you’re hoping for.

4. Traffic and Road Safety Issues

Despite its size, Tulsa contends with substantial traffic and road safety concerns. The road layout and traffic management systems have often come under scrutiny for their perceived inadequacy, resulting in congestion and accidents. If your priorities include hassle-free commuting and road safety, Tulsa might present some challenges in these regards.

3. Limited Opportunities for Young Professionals

Young professionals may encounter limited opportunities in Tulsa, given that the city lacks the dynamic and diverse job market commonly found in other urban centers. Employment prospects often revolve around a handful of industries, which may not align with aspirations for career growth and exploration.

2. Struggling Downtown Revitalization

Despite endeavors to revitalize the downtown area, progress has been gradual, and it falls short of the vibrant urban atmosphere characteristic of other cities. The restricted array of amenities, entertainment choices, and dining establishments can constitute a notable drawback if you seek a bustling and lively downtown experience.

1. High Risk of Natural Disasters

The threat of tornadoes, floods, and severe storms in Tulsa tops our list of the reasons not to move to Tulsa. Located in Tornado Alley and known for its severe weather, the city poses a safety and property damage risk to residents. This elevated risk should be a paramount consideration in your decision-making process.


In summary, Tulsa possesses commendable aspects, and is one of the top places to live in Oklahoma but it also carries a spectrum of challenges that individuals contemplating a move should take into account. Ranging from restricted healthcare resources to the substantial risk of natural disasters, it’s vital to thoroughly assess these factors before determining whether Tulsa is the right place to establish your new residence. If you’re still looking for a place to relocate to in Oklahoma, consider one of these conservative counties.

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