Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People


Poverty in Oklahoma

Poverty in Oklahoma is at a 10-year High


Poverty in Oklahoma is at a 10-year high, according U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

More than 610,000 Oklahomans lived below the poverty line in 2010. Poverty in Oklahoma reached a high in 2006, dipped in 2007 and 2008, and started climbing again in 2009.

Poverty percentages for Oklahomans under 18 are the highest they’ve been in a decade, and the increases are outpacing adult poverty estimates.

Poverty percentages for those under 18 increased more than 2 percent from 2009, as did the percentages of those aged 5–17 in families. The number of children under 5 living in poverty increased 3 percent from 2009–2010, the data show.

Latest Posts

Hard Times a Familiar Feeling in Okfuskee County

Joan Matthews stands outside the town hall in Boley, where she's been mayor for more than a decade.

Okfuskee County is home to what was once the largest all-black community in the country and legendary Dust Bowl-era folk singer Woody Guthrie. It also has the highest poverty rate in Oklahoma. Decades after Guthrie recorded his songs about the struggles of the workingman, hard times continue in Okfuskee County. That’s especially true for tiny [...]

Paid Off, But Peddling to Pay Bills


Boley’s biggest employer is a state prison, the John Lilley Correctional Center, which houses about 800 inmates on any given day, officials there say. Technically, more than half the town is behind bars. You’ve heard of a one-horse town. Boley is a one-restaurant town, and its owner has a lot of perspective on life in [...]

For One of Oklahoma’s Poorest Counties, No Easy Way Out of Poverty

Ty and Hicks

For Oklahomans under the age of 18, the hardest place to grow up is in Choctaw County. The area reflects the latest U.S. Census numbers showing poverty on the increase in many rural areas across the country. The situation is especially bad for Choctaw County’s young people, who suffer under a poverty rate of almost [...]

Mapped: An Overview of Poverty in Oklahoma

Poverty in Oklahoma

Poverty in Oklahoma is at a 10-year high, according U.S. Census Bureau estimates released last week. Explore the issue at the county level with StateImpact Oklahoma’s interactive maps.

Tulsa County Sees Uptick in Extreme, Concentrated Poverty

Many locals were surprised that Broken Arrow, Tulsa's largest suburb, hosts a band of extreme poverty.

Increasingly, Tulsa’s poor are living in “poverty belts,” areas where more than 40 percent of the population is below the federal poverty level, according to the Tulsa World. The paper’s Wayne Greene reports: That concentration of need means some 10,000 local residents not only suffer from their own lack of income, but also find that [...]

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