Tulsa is way low on the list of ‘well-run cities’ in USA

Tulsa ranks No. 57 overall in a study of “best run cities” but Tulsa drops down to No. 140 in terms of “overall city services,” according to a new WalletHub study. In “total budget per capita,” Tulsa got a high ranking at No. 20.

That means that Tulsa gets a lot of tax money per capita but doesn’t deliver much in the way of city services.

Tulsa, at No. 147, was third from the bottom in the lowest high school graduation rate. Tulsa edged Washington, D.C.; Toledo, Ohio; and Denver for the worst three spots.

In contrast, Oklahoma City was No. 11 in the overall ranking. Oklahoma City was No. 81 in “overall city services” and No. 8 – another high ranking – in “total budget per capita.”

Tulsa was No. 34 in financial stability and No. 85 in “economy.” Tulsa ranked No. 115 in health, No. 133 in safety, No. 142 in infrastructure and pollution and No. 144 – seventh from the bottom in education.

Oklahoma City had a better ranking in every category except infrastructure and pollution, where Oklahoma City was dead last at No. 150. Oklahoma City was No. 13 in financial stability, No. 77 in economy, No. 95 in health, and No. 98 in education.

In the past 10 years, Tulsa has poured hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into Downtown Tulsa while city officials have closed public swimming pools and torn down recreation centers in other parts of the city. City leaders purchased a new City Hall, built a new arena and baseball park and paid for subsidized private downtown residences while building multiple parking facilities. At the same time, they increased sales taxes and in some cases, property taxes.

WalletHub’s analysts compared 150 of the largest cities according to how well they are managed by their leaders. The study examined each city’s performance on six key indicators, including financial stability, education, health, safety, economy as well as infrastructure and pollution. Those factors were combined to construct an “Overall City Services” ranking which measured the cities’ total per-capita budgets in order to reveal their budgeting efficiency.

Casper, Wyoming, the city with the lowest long-term debt outstanding per capita, $700, which is more than 28 times lower than in Atlanta, the city with the highest, $19,902.

Frederick, Maryland, has the highest high-school graduation rate, 93 percent, which is two times higher than in Denver, the city with the lowest, 56 percent.

San Francisco has the lowest number of infant (less than 1 year old) deaths per 1,000 live births, 2.53, which is nearly five times lower than in Richmond, Virginia, the city with the highest, 12.34.

Warwick, Rhode Island, the city with the lowest number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 1.02, which is nearly 20 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 19.89.

Fargo, North Dakota, the city with the lowest unemployment rate, 2.18 percent, which is nearly six times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 12.38 percent.

Chesapeake, Virginia, has the highest average annual household income (adjusted for cost of living), $71,245, which is three times higher than in Hartford, Connecticut, the city with the lowest, $23,564.

Fremont, Calif., the city with the lowest percentage of residents below the poverty line, 6.3 percent, which is seven times lower than in Flint, Michigan, the city with the highest, 41.6 percent.

Little Rock, Arkansas, has the lowest share of pavements in poor condition, 2 percent, which is 37 times lower than in San Francisco, Calif., the city with the highest, 74 percent.

Fairbanks, Alaska, has the shortest average commute time, 13 minutes, which is three times shorter than in New York, the city with the longest, 39.40 minutes.

Billings, Montana, the city with the lowest median air-quality index (measures air pollution), 27, which is nearly four times lower than in Riverside, Calif., the city with the highest, 97.


Overall Rank

  1. Boise, Idaho
  2. Nampa, Idaho
  3. Provo, Utah
  4. Missoula, Montana
  5. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  6. Oklahoma City
  7. Tulsa
  8. San Francisco
  9. Gulfport, Mississippi
  10. New York City
  11. Detroit
  12. Washington, D.C.

Highest Graduation Rate

  1. Frederick, Maryland

Lowest Graduation Rate

  1. Denver

Most Hospital Beds Per Capita

  1. Little Rock

Least Hospital Beds Per Capita

  1. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Lowest Violent Crime Rate

  1. Warwick, Rhode Island

Highest Violent Crime Rate

  1. Detroit

Lowest Unemployment Rate

  1. Bismarck, North Dakota
  2. Fargo, North Dakota
  3. Lincoln, Nebraska
  4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  5. Austin, Texas
  6. Burlington, Vermont

Highest Unemployment

  1. Detroit

Highest Average Annual Household Income (cost of living adjusted)

  1. Chesapeake, Virginia

Lowest Average Annual Household Income (cost of living adjusted)

  1. Hartford, Connecticut

Lowest Percentage of Residents in Poverty

  1. Fremont, California

Highest Percentage of Residents in Poverty

  1. Flint, Michigan

Highest Quality of Roads

  1. Little Rock

Lowest Quality of Roads

  1. Anaheim, California
  2. Fremont, California
  3. Huntington Beach, California
  4. Long Beach, California
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Oakland, California

Least Air Pollution

  1. Billings, Montana

Most Air Pollution

  1. Riverside, California