OKC is No. 1 in affordability report

In a listing of “the best big cities to live in,” Oklahoma City ranked No. 1 in affordability while Tulsa came in at No. 10.

In the overall category however, Tulsa was No. 52 and Oklahoma City ranked as No. 28 in WalletHub’s survey data from 62 large American cities. The data set ranges from quality of public school system to job opportunities to median annual property taxes.

Other than affordability, Tulsa did not do so well.

Tulsa is No. 38 in “economy rank,” 52 in “education and health,” No. 47 in “quality of life” and No. 58 in “safety.”

Oklahoma City, home of state government, is No. 16 in “economy rank,” No. 47 in “education and health,” No. 54 in “quality of life” and No. 37 in “safety.”

Wichita, Kansas is No. 1 in “lowest housing costs” while Miami, Florida is at the bottom of the list.

According to the report, big cities epitomize opportunity, economic or otherwise, which appeals especially to young professionals. But big-city life requires tradeoffs, too, with higher cost of living, pollution, traffic delays and limited square footage.

What are the biggest draws when choosing a city?

“Cost of living versus salary,” said Patrick McNamara of The University of Nebraska at Omaha. “Cities like Omaha are particularly attractive because salaries are comparatively high and housing cost is low.”

What is the biggest mistake in relocations?

“Thinking that just because they have a good job, they will be happy there,” McNamara said. “Many other factors, such as whether a city has great amenities, rich culture, and engaging people will make life outside the job worth staying in a place.”

One of the keys is being familiar with a new city and visiting there.

“Definitely visit before moving,” McNamara said. “And don’t just rely on the organization that is trying to woo you to work for them showing you around. Wander off by yourself and check out the vibe of the community. This will tell you more about whether you want to move there than any job interview can.”

Best Big Cities to Live in

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. San Diego, California
  5. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  6. Austin, Texas
  7. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada
  9. Denver, Colorado
  10. San Jose, California
  11. New York, New York
  12. Portland, Oregon
  13. Honolulu, Hawaii
  14. Tampa, Florida
  15. Omaha, Nebraska
  16. San Francisco, California
  17. Aurora, Colorado
  18. Chicago, IL
  19. Mesa, Arizona
  20. Raleigh, North Carolina

Best vs. Worst

  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, has the highest homeownership rate, 63.5 percent, which is two times higher than in Miami, the city with the lowest at 31.0 percent.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, has the lowest share of residents living below poverty level, 8.3 percent, which is 4.9 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 40.3 percent.
  • San Francisco has the lowest median debt rate (per median earnings), 16.16 percent, which is 5.1 times lower than in Aurora, Colorado, the city with the highest at 82.04 percent.
  • Wichita, Kansas, has the shortest average commute time, 17.7 minutes, which is 2.3 times shorter than in New York, the city with the longest at 39.9 minutes.
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia, has the fewest violent crimes (per 1,000 residents), 1.38, which is 13.2 times more than in St. Louis, the city with the most at 18.17.