10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Oregon have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in Oregon.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Oregon? We’ve got the answers here.

If you’re thinking of making a move to Oregon, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Oregon and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon For 2019

Canby, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 17,337
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 34.6%
More on Canby: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Canby is a city in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. The population was 15,829 at the 2010 census. It is along Oregon Route 99E, 2 miles northeast of Barlow. In May 2016 Canby was featured on ABC’s series 20/20, when the local “Canby Psychic” was part of an investigation of swindling a local rancher of $15 million.

Sherwood, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,107
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 45.2%
More on Sherwood: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sherwood is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States. Located in the southeast corner of the county, it is a residential community in the Tualatin Valley, southwest of Portland. As of the 2010 census, Sherwood had a population of 18,194 residents. The city’s population for 2014 was estimated to be 18,978 by the U.S. Census. Sherwood was first incorporated in 1893 as a town. Originally named Smockville after its founder, James Christopher Smock, the town was given its current name by local businessman Robert Alexander in 1891, who likely named it after his hometown of Sherwood, Michigan.

La Grande, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 12,999
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 27.3%
More on La Grande: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

La Grande is a city in Union County, Oregon, United States. Originally named “Brownsville,” it was forced to change its name because that name was being used for a city in Linn County. Its name comes from an early French settler, Charles Dause, who often used the phrase “La Grande” to describe the area’s beauty. The population was 13,082 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Union County. La Grande lies east of the Blue Mountains and southeast of Pendleton.

Forest Grove, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,554
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 34.7%
More on Forest Grove: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, 25 miles west of Portland. Originally a small farm town, it is now primarily a bedroom suburb of Portland. Settled in the 1840s, the town was platted in 1850, then incorporated in 1872, making it the first city in Washington County. The population was 21,083 at the 2010 census, an increase of 19.1% over the 2000 figure.

Tualatin, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 27,135
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 31.7%
More on Tualatin: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Tualatin is a city located primarily in Washington County in the State of Oregon. A small portion of the city is also located in neighboring Clackamas County. It is a southwestern suburb in the Portland Metropolitan Area that is located south of Tigard. The population was 26,054 at the 2010 census.

Lake Oswego, OR

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 38,212
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 28.5%
More on Lake Oswego: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lake Oswego is a city in the State of Oregon, primarily in Clackamas County with small portions extending into neighboring Multnomah and Washington counties. Located about 8 miles south of Portland and surrounding the 405-acre Oswego Lake, the town was founded in 1847 and incorporated as Oswego in 1910. The city was the hub of Oregon’s brief iron industry in the late 19th century and is today an affluent suburb of Portland. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 36,619, a 3.8% increase over the 2000 population of 35,278.

Albany, OR

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 52,007
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 30.0%
More on Albany: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Albany is the county seat of Linn County, and the 11th largest city in the State of Oregon. Albany is located in the Willamette Valley at the confluence of the Calapooia River and the Willamette River in both Linn and Benton counties, just east of Corvallis and south of Salem. It is predominantly a farming and manufacturing city that settlers founded around 1848. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population of Albany was 50,158. Its population was estimated by the Portland Research Center to be 51,583 in 2013.

St. Helens, OR

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 13,254
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 36.3%
More on St. Helens: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

St. Helens is the county seat of Columbia County, Oregon. It was founded by Captain H. M. Knighton, a native of New England, in 1845 as “Plymouth”. The name was changed to St. Helens in the latter part of 1850 for its view of Mount St. Helens, roughly 39 miles away in Washington. The city is approximately 28 miles northwest of Portland. Its population was 12,883 at the 2010 census.

Cornelius, OR

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,423
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 45.1%
More on Cornelius: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cornelius is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States. Located in the Portland metropolitan area, the city’s population was 11,869 at the 2010 census. The city lies along Tualatin Valley Highway between Forest Grove to the west and Hillsboro to the east. Cornelius was incorporated in 1893 and is named for founder Thomas R. Cornelius.

Hillsboro, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 102,396
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 33.3%
More on Hillsboro: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hillsboro is the fifth-largest city in the State of Oregon and is the county seat of Washington County. Lying in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area, the city hosts many high-technology companies, such as Intel, that comprise what has become known as the Silicon Forest. At the 2010 Census, the city’s population was 91,611.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Oregon anyways?

To give you the places in Oregon which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Beaver State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Oregon, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 12,000 people. For Oregon, that meant a total of 34 cities.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in Oregon ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles Oregon according to the data:

  1. Redmond
  2. Springfield
  3. Ashland

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Oregon?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Canby, OR 17,337 37
2 Sherwood, OR 19,107 32
3 La Grande, OR 12,999 64
4 Forest Grove, OR 23,554 47
5 Tualatin, OR 27,135 47
6 Lake Oswego, OR 38,212 52
7 Albany, OR 52,007 60
8 St. Helens, OR 13,254 58
9 Cornelius, OR 12,423 54
10 Hillsboro, OR 102,396 52

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