Anyone who has moved totally understands the value of researching the place you're going. We hop online, check out the town, survey social media, and ask a few questions just to get a feel for a new town.

If you were planning on moving to Muskogee, Oklahoma though, everything online would point you towards taking a hard pass.

Let's break down the stats and figure out why Muskogee has such a bad rap.

First and foremost, I'm a resident of Lawton, OK, so I'm pretty much an expert on this topic.

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Secondly, while Muskogee was once a quaint little countryfied town known to the world as "that place Merle Haggard sings about," the giants of pop culture have fallen.

On the shortlist, the elephant in the room is Muskogee's crime rate. It's just shy of being double the national average. While you might want to point at Oklahoma's crime rate as a whole to defend it, the Sooner State average is still smaller by 30% or so.

If we break apart the crime measurements, Muskogee only looks worse.

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Like most Oklahoma towns, the murder rate is relatively low in comparison to the national average, but other violent crimes are off the scale.

In Muskogee, you're three times as likely to become the victim of aggravated assault compared to anywhere else in the state. Four times as likely when compared to the entire country.

This metric includes everything from the loser of a fight pressing charges to rape. I'm guessing they won't claim that #1 status or hit you with the classic "It's not thaaat bad!"

No friend, it is that bad. Muskogee is basically the Chicago of Oklahoma.

Property crime is also extremely high in Muskogee.

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Honestly, you can look at the statistics yourself. Muskogee owns the high score on everything else on the list too.

  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Larceny
  • Car theft

The property crime rate in Muskogee is +/-125% higher than the state average and 150% higher than the national average.

How do residents cope with the high crime?

The standard quick answer to that sort of a question is a wild justification that it's so cheap to live there, people don't want to leave... but that's not the case for Muskogee.

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The internet has run all of those statistics too, and while Oklahoma is generally much cheaper, Muskogee is within 1% of the national average cost of living.

It's a small town with big rents and high utility costs.

Why do people move there?

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Here's the neat thing, they don't.

With the exception of 2015 which saw a 0.1% increase, the population in Muskogee has steadily declined over the last decade... Now you're starting to realize why.

Is there anything forgiving about Muskogee?

Glad you asked, there absolutely is.

Muskogee is like any other town in this country, it's just not living its best life at the moment.

It was once a Mayberry of sorts for one generation. Another generation likely looks back on their childhood there with the happiest of memories. A third generation is probably glad to have left. One town, tons of different viewpoints and experiences.

As I mentioned before, I currently reside in Lawton. I know towns can change.

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Our continually rotating populace of military personnel love to complain about Lawton in its current form, but if they only knew how bad it used to be.

Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure Lawton used to be Oklahoma's murder capital. L-town was on the trip to grandmas house growing up, my SWOK parents always told us "Never go into Lawton. It's too dangerous." Lawton worked hard in the 1990s to change that and they succeeded. Murder still happens here, just not as much.

While Muskogee may be among the worst places in America to live, it's only for now. They can take steps to improve life, make the town safer, evolve and rebirth into a new booming place, but it'll take a lot of work. Since change like that requires the involvement of everyone, it's hard to say if the local Okies will put out the effort, but it can be done.

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Click here to read more about Muskogee. See the full American city rankings here.

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I ran across a dead thread on liberal Facebook--AKA--Reddit where people were talking in detail trying to rank the worst cities in the state. While you may not agree politically with your fellow statesmen, you really can't defend a lot of this. Here's the list for least worse to absolute worst as voted by them.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

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After compiling information from social media, here's a quick rundown on the locations Okies think would be a perfect fit for 24/7 hot brisket on the board.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

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Gallery Credit: Kelso