Quality of Life

Quality of Life

When residents and visitors describe Stillwater the words most often used are friendly, fun, educated, safe and vibrant. In fact, Stillwater is known to be a great place to raise a family, a great place to retire and a great place to earn a world-class education. 

Living in Stillwater

City Services

  • The City of Stillwater provides an extremely high level of local government services and is committed to working with residents, businesses and students to exceed expectations. In fact, residents gave Stillwater among the best ratings in the nation for quality of life and as a place to raise children in its 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

    The City also set standards in other areas including overall satisfaction with city services at 22% above the U.S. average and an overall feeling of safety at 17% above the U.S. average. 

    Other areas that received ratings of “very satisfied” or “satisfied” include overall quality of city parks (82%), overall image of Stillwater (74%) and physical appearance of neighborhoods (73%).

Cost of Living


  • Stillwater saw $100 million invested in new commercial projects (retail, restaurants and new housing) in 2015/16 and $70 million in 2016/17.

Health Care

  • Stillwater Medical Center
    Stillwater Medical Center is a 117-bed, not-for-profit, acute-care, general hospital serving patients in all of north-central Oklahoma. It is staffed by more than 1,200 employees with 100+ physicians who represent more than 30 specialties.

  • Payne County Health Department

  • Stillwater, a certified retirement community and is home to an active senior community that provides activities, continued learning opportunities, and health management support for the area’s seniors. There are also many exceptional assisted living care centers as well as home health care treatment and senior care organizations.

Housing Prices

Public Transportation

Learning in Stillwater

Oklahoma State University (OSU)

  • Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University is a comprehensive land-grant university system, with more than 36,000 students, 7,400 employees and campuses located in Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Okmulgee. The main campus offers more than 200 majors in six academic colleges to approximately 22,000 undergraduates. 

Northern Oklahoma College-Stillwater (NOC)

  • Established in 2003, the Stillwater campus serves students seeking general education courses that may transfer to other comprehensive colleges and universities, including Oklahoma State University. NOC-Stillwater admits approximately 400 new students every year and currently serves about 1,700 students. 

Stillwater Public Schools (SPS; K-12 Education)

  • View: Stillwater Public Schools District Profile

  • Testing
    • District ACT average score: 21.3 (2017)

    • State average score: 19.4 (2017)

  • Budget
    • Despite education funding concerns at the state level, SPS' ending fund balance for 2016/17 was 9.61% of district revenue. A fund balance is like a savings account for a school district, necessary to help cover unanticipated costs, expenses before state payments are delivered and to help fund future budgets if planned expenditures exceed anticipated revenues.

  • Staff Certification & Advanced Education (2017)
    • Teachers who hold a certificate in their field: 430

    • National board certified employees: 35

    • Advanced Education:

      • Bachelor's degree: 53%

      • Master's degree: 42%

      • Doctoral degree: 5%

Other K-12 Education

Professional Development & Classes

Various organizations provide opportunities to gain a greater insight into our community as well as leadership skills, community engagement, networking and business mentorship opportunities.

Culture in Stillwater

Having Fun in Stillwater

The best source of information for fun things to do in Stillwater, including sports, festivals, 5/10K runs, music and more is VisitStillwater.

Selected attractions include the following:


  • Karsten Creek Golf Club, Lakeside Memorial Golf Course, Stillwater Country Club and The Links@Stillwater.


  • The City of Stillwater manages more than 5,000 acres of parkland with lakes, ball fields, splash pads, swimming pool, senior center and more. Learn more...

  • Lake McMurtry offers hiking and mountain-bike trails, back-to-nature camping and well-stocked reserves for fishing. The convenience store and bait shop are open seasonal hours.

  • Lake Carl Blackwell, owned by Oklahoma State University, offers camping, gift shop, covered pavilion, grills, restrooms and boat rentals.

  • Stillwater is a designated Bicycle Friendly City and is served by a number of paved and unpaved bicycle and walking trails for non-motorized forms of transit.


  • As a college town, Stillwater is home to the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls. Oklahoma State University teams have won 51 NCAA National Championships.

  • Stillwater High School is a 6A-2 school and competes in football, volleyball, softball, cross country, cheerleading, pom, wrestling, basketball, swimming, baseball, golf, tennis and soccer.