Mapping Poverty: Where Videos Are Recorded

The neighborhoods where “Talk With Us” videos are being shot have some of the highest poverty rates and percentages of minority residents in Oklahoma City.

University of Oklahoma students and Oklahoma Watch journalists sought and analyzed demographic, economic and other data for all census tracts in Oklahoma County, for 2010 or later. Then they identified clusters of high-poverty residential census tracts. Census tracts are relatively small, geographical subsets of counties and generally have populations ranging from about 1,200 to 8,000.

Two of the three areas identified — northeast and south Oklahoma City — are home to cherished historical communities. The other area, miles west of downtown, features a troubled corridor along West 10th Street with rundown apartment complexes and modest homes.

Poverty, by Neighborhood

This map shows census tracts in Oklahoma County shaded by ranges of poverty. Click on a tract to see population, poverty rates and racial breakdowns. Hispanic counts are a total of white and non-white Hispanics. The tracts outlined in red are where “Talk With Us” student and professional journalists are conducting mobile-video interviews. Type in a location name or address to mark it on the map.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

The area is predominantly black and represents the outgrowth of the black community from its old residential and commercial hubs in near-east downtown, known as the Deep Deuce. The Deep Deuce has been remade into a trendy enclave of apartments, condos, restaurants and bars. The northeast area was home to the leaders of the city’s civil-rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It now suffers from blight, depopulation, high crime and other social ills related to poverty.

The historic heart of south Oklahoma City is Capitol Hill, which was a town for a short time in the early 20th century. It evolved into a center of commerce and culture and retains a sense of independence and pride, with its own chamber of commerce. The demographics of a swath of south Oklahoma City have shifted: Many neighborhoods are now predominantly Hispanic and poverty rates are over 40 percent. Hispanic culture abounds. Spanish is heard and seen on many streets, and Spanish-language media are here or nearby.

North of Interstate 40, in areas bordered by West 10th Street, is a mix of a tattered or modest homes, industrial lots, cheap retail and sketchy apartment complexes. Poverty and crime thrive. Some apartments are magnets for immigrants. In late 2013, Oklahoma City police secured a grant to launch an initiative to combat violent crime in a section of the west side.

1 Comment

  1. Paul Bagley on April 21, 2015 at 12:40 am

    There are six properties within close proximity owned by two separate landlords, one of which has a notorious reputation.

    One landlord has proven to be what is commonly known as a “Deadbeat Landlord.” It’s his responsibility to review the tenants and their background before agreeing to a lease. However this is not his concern at all as he does nothing for upkeep and prefers tenants that won’t complain about living in disrepair. Unfortunately for us, these tenants lack motivation as evidenced by the perpetual chaos of their houses and yards. Add to that the all-night casual drug traffic as witnessed by all. In essence, the bottom rung of society come to our neighborhood for drugs. I don’t need to explain what a calamity the introduction of meth has done to these folks and for society at large.

    They’re not the disabled or seniors living on social security. Rather section 8 is for a new generation of people who cope but exacerbate their demise with drug abuse rather than medicinal use.

    It’s in our interest to understanding the dispersement or density and concentrations of Section 8 housing. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes, rather it will help senior citizen homeowners with limited computer access/skills/mobility to better understand why their neighborhoods are deteriorating. This has become evident in the form of deadbeat landlords which has the unfortunate consequence of drug dealing tenants as evident from our neighborhood watch efforts.

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