Tulsa’s unique history helps define who we are as a city today. Many of the indicators presented in this report have roots in that history. Long before Tulsa became a formal city, particular groups of Tulsans have had to endure oppressive people, policies, laws, institutions and overall systems that have hindered or prevented them from not only reaching their goals, but having the opportunities to seek them out. Key examples of events and practices that contribute to that oppression include the Trail of Tears of the 1830s, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and redlining practices beginning in the 1930s which prevented many African American families from buying homes in Tulsa. These are just a few of the countless events, practices, policies, laws and whole systems of oppression that have plagued particular groups of Tulsans historically, and that continue to create disparities and barriers today.
The City of Tulsa strives to eliminate disparities and barriers that hinder equitable opportunities and outcomes for all Tulsans. The first step toward reaching this goal is to identify and measure inequalities that prevent some Tulsans from thriving. The next step is to use that information to guide public policy and innovative solutions that lead to equitable opportunities and outcomes.
How do we measure equality in Tulsa? In 2017, to answer this question, the City of Tulsa and the Community Service Council created a longitudinal, data-based framework to identify inequalities, to measure their impact, and to track progress in reducing or eliminating them—the Tulsa Equality Indicators. Since then three annual reports have been released.
How are the data used? The report’s findings enable city and community leaders to identify the city’s greatest challenges to equity, and then to apply that data to the development of policies and solutions that will make progress towards being a city where all residents have equitable opportunities to thrive.
Tulsa Equality Indicators includes a set of 54 indicators, organized into six broad themes: economic opportunity, education, Housing, Justice, Public Health, and Services. The selection of indicators is community-driven and intentionally distributed evenly across the six themes. The indicators are not intended as a comprehensive list of all inequalities experienced by Tulsans, but rather as a representative sample.
How are Equality Indicators unique? Social indicators are measures of social conditions that do not explicitly compare one group to another. Social indicators provide important and familiar metrics (e.g., unemployment rate) and are useful data points for understanding the well-being or status or a community. Equality Indicators, on the other hand, go a step further to provide comparative data about subgroups within a community (e.g., comparison of unemployment rates for males vs. females).
To view scores and data for each of the following indicators, go to the SCORES section.