About 208,000 new residents were added to the state rolls in Oklahoma between the 2010 and 2020 Census reports. That equates to a growth rate of about six percent, which is just under the U.S. average.
While that’s Oklahoma’s slowest growth rate in 20 years, it still indicates that the state remains an attractive option for some who are looking to relocate. Whether they’re coming from outside Oklahoma or are current Oklahoma residents seeking a change of pace, it’s important to understand how common property crime is in Oklahoma and which communities have the highest and lowest rates.
Violent crime may get more press attention, but property crime is far more common for the average person. So, how does Oklahoma stack up?
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Oklahoma is ranked #45 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 2.85% chance of being a property crime victim in Oklahoma in the next 12 months.
- Oklahoma’s property crime rate is 35% higher than the average crime rate in the United States.
- West Siloam Springs has the highest property crime rate in Oklahoma (79.3 incidents per 1,000 people).
- West Siloam Springs is a tiny town of about 870 people, and its population-adjusted property crime rate is based on 69 total reported incidents. In addition to having a low permanent population, West Siloam Springs is also a tourist destination that boasts a popular casino and serves as a gateway to Natural Falls State Park, which draws more than 100,000 visitors per year.
Oklahoma’s average property crime rate in 2019 was more than seven points higher than the overall U.S. rate, but among Southern states, Oklahoma is closer to average. States in the Southern region have an average property crime rate of about 25 incidents per 1,000. Only five states and the District of Columbia have higher property crime rates than Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Oklahoma average:: 28.5 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
While the state is, unfortunately, among the national leaders in property crime, Oklahoma’s rate has dropped, which puts it in ample company. Only two states (Alaska and North Dakota) saw property crime increase over the past decade. It’s certainly good news that property crime has become less common in Oklahoma since 2010, but the decline of 17 percent is on the lower end compared to other states that also have seen property crime rates drop — the average decline was 27 percent.
Oklahoma’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Oklahoma 10-year average: 31.08 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -17% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 17% decrease in property crime in Oklahoma from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2010 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Oklahoma?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Oklahoma was 2010 (34.4 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Oklahoma?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Oklahoma was 2019 (28.5 crimes per 1,000 people)
What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.
Oklahoma’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Oklahoma over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 19.9 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 8.1 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 19.9 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 3 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.2 crimes per 1,000 people
- Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Oklahoma.
- +23% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- Vehicle theft rose by 23%.
- -33% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- Burglary fell by the highest rate, 33%.
Oklahoma’s property crime rate is higher than average, as is the state’s violent crime rate. Among the factors researchers have tied to this phenomenon, many agree that socioeconomic indicators are the biggest contributing factors.
As University of Oklahoma assistant sociology professor Christopher Hill told The Oklahoman newspaper, “Oklahoma tends to have a higher rate of poverty and other conditions that might be called ‘issues of social disorganization’ that tend to be conducive to higher crime rates. I think the lower socioeconomic status of Oklahoma is one of the bigger things that needs to be looked at as to why Oklahoma has a higher rate of violent crime and property crime.”
It’s notable that Oklahoma has the eighth-highest poverty rate in the country, with more than 15 percent of residents living below the poverty line, while its median household income ($54,449) is well below the U.S. median of $65,712.
Still, exploring state-level trends is somewhat limiting because crime is a hyperlocal issue. Those community-to-community differences create vast gaps between property crime rates. West Siloam Springs, for example, leads the state with its property crime rate of about 79 incidents per 1,000 people, while Boley, which has a larger population, had just one reported property crime in 2019, which means it has the lowest property crime rate in Oklahoma.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data)*:
- Boley, Oklahoma (Okfuskee County)
- Porum, Oklahoma (Muskogee County)
- Hulbert, Oklahoma (Cherokee County)
- Olustee, Oklahoma (Jackson County)
- McCurtain, Oklahoma (Haskell County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma (Delaware County)
- Geary, Oklahoma (Blaine and Canadian counties)
- Idabel, Oklahoma (McCurtain County)
- Catoosa, Oklahoma (Rogers and Wagoner counties)
- McAlester, Oklahoma (Pittsburg County)
* Excludes cities with zero property crime reported