Safest Cities in Oklahoma – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

Although violent crime dropped nationally in 2018, Oklahoma witnessed a 1.9% increase of its violent crime rate, and it has higher levels of rape, murder, aggravated assault, and property crime–the four major violent crime categories–than the nation, at large. In the linked news story, Christopher Hill, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, attributes the higher levels of crime to cultural and structural factors that plague the entire southeast region of the country.

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Crime rate per 1,000
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Law enforcement per 1,000

Thankfully, Oklahoma’s crime problem is not endemic to all the state’s cities, and there a handful of communities with excellent safety records. Let’s take a look at Oklahoma’s 5 safest cities.

The safest city in Oklahoma is Guymon, a city of 11.5K in the state’s panhandle region. Guymon boasts strong local livestock and natural gas economies, as well as an impressive violent crime rate of 0.95 per 1,000, which is around 20% of state levels.

Mustang is Oklahoma’s 2nd safest city. The “bedroom” community of Oklahoma City recorded just 30 violent crimes in 2018, for an overall rate of 1.38 offenses per 1,000, while its property crime rate of 10.59 per 1,000 is on par with #1 Guymon’s.

#3 Elk City is another modestly-sized city located on Historic U.S. Route 66 near the western edge of the state that boasts the state’s lowest violent crime rate, a mere 0.61 offenses per 1,000. Elk City’s property crime rate, nearly double those of the first two entries in the ranking, keeps it out of the top spot.

Coming in at #4 is El Reno, a city established during the 1889 land rush and named after the nearby Fort Reno. El Reno’s violent crime rate of 2.23 per 1,000 is a notch higher than preceding entries, yet well below state and national levels.

Edmond, a large city of 93.5K that is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, completes the list of Oklahoma’s 5 safest cities. The city’s violent crime rate of 1.36 per 1,000 is stellar for a community its size.

Oklahoma’s Safest Cities

OKCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Guymon11546111212213211.430.9510.481.91
2Mustang21809302313726111.971.3810.591.70
3Elk City1154472313923820.620.6120.013.38
4El Reno19272433415938419.932.2317.693.06
5Edmond935571271424166155116.581.3615.221.77
6Weatherford11981252513827623.042.0920.953.17
7Jenks23473263072833314.191.1113.081.19
8Bixby27654344194245316.381.2315.151.52
9Glenpool14273662152928119.694.6215.062.03
10Altus18712433855142822.872.3020.582.73
11Stillwater50445168959116112722.343.3319.012.30
12Choctaw12724212101823118.151.6516.501.41
13Newcastle1026682402324824.160.7823.382.24
14Broken Arrow1096631562283198243922.241.4220.821.81
15Sapulpa20948425295557127.262.0025.252.63
16Owasso37220658567692124.741.7523.002.04
17Moore62453108131491142222.771.7321.041.46
18Duncan22351396926173132.711.7430.962.73
19Guthrie11519393393137832.823.3929.432.69
20Enid502141731428119160131.883.4528.442.37
21Claremore18748475584560532.272.5129.762.40
22Norman1245773363466239380230.522.7027.821.92
23Chickasha16314634363149930.593.8626.731.90
24Bethany19448495773962632.192.5229.672.01
25Midwest City577101801795125197534.223.1231.102.17
26Warr Acres10372433863142941.364.1537.222.99
27Miami13162554393249437.534.1833.352.43
28Sand Springs20056196834270235.000.9534.052.09
29Bartlesville36473103121379131636.082.8233.262.17
30Tahlequah16877236854970841.951.3640.592.90
31Lawton931408403338278417844.869.0235.842.98
32Ponca City2406616995166112046.547.0239.522.74
33Ada17339846403672441.764.8436.912.08
34Muskogee37659377153693191350.8010.0140.792.47
35Ardmore24817159108356124250.056.4143.642.26
36Oklahoma City65293656632629813823196148.958.6740.282.12
37Okmulgee11919625482761051.185.2045.982.27
38Durant18043539114396453.432.9450.492.38
39Del City21859172106248123456.457.8748.582.20
40Shawnee31422424161687204064.9213.4951.432.77
41McAlester17999115103146114663.676.3957.282.56
42Tulsa4031474294218939872618764.9610.6554.312.45

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.