Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon For 2020

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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Oregon.

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Did you know that Oregon is home to the world's smallest park in Portland, the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene, Bart Simpson's home in Springfield, and some pretty cool family friendly places to call home.

That's right, The Beaver State knows how to keep families safe, educated, happy, healthy, and entertained. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has found all of those qualities and rolled them into the top ten best places for families in Oregon for 2020. How did we determine Oregon's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in this Pacific Northwest state with more than 12,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 31 family friendly Oregon places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Besides being a great state for families, Oregon is also one of the fastest growing states. Are we surprised? Absolutely not. Oregon currently has 1.3 million families, and that number is expected to increase over the next ten years; and that folks, is because the state has a ton of awesome "Oregon" stuff to do. Like, biking the world class trails in Bend, visiting one of the state's 120 farmers' markets, or spending the day at the Medford Railroad Park. And it wouldn't be right if we didn't mention all of the great companies that keep Oregon families safe and comfortable, and the state affordable. Just think, if you live in Oregon, you and/or your kids could work for Nike in Beaverton or the biggest cheese factory in Tillamook.

More importantly, if you want to hear more about where your cheddar will go the furthest for your family in Oregon, keep reading.

Oregon has a ton of family friendly places for every budget. There are places like Salem for the outdoorsy family, and places like HIllsboro for families just starting out. But, the number one most family friendly place in Oregon is, La Grande.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Oregon's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, take a look below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

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 2020

La Grande, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,103
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Boise City
Households with kids: 32.1%
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


Population: 23,923
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 35.7%
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.

Canby, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,527
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 37.0%
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.

St. Helens, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,446
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 34
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 38.1%
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.

Tualatin, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,338
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 32.5%
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


Population: 38,705
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 29.3%
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.

Cornelius, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,575
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 37
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 48.4%
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.

Milwaukie, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,955
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 46
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 23.2%
More on Milwaukie: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Milwaukie is a city in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. A very small portion of the city extends into Multnomah County. The population was 20,291 at the 2010 census. Founded in 1847 on the banks of the Willamette River, the city, known as the Dogwood City of the West, was incorporated in 1903 and is noted as the birthplace of the Bing cherry. The city is now a suburb of Portland and also adjoins the unincorporated areas of Clackamas and Oak Grove.

Review Of Milwaukie by HomeSnacks User

School system is fantastic and it is a really quiet pretty area south of Portland

Property values are much better than much of the Portland metro area.

Hillsboro, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 104,730
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 35.6%
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.

Bend, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 90,500
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 70
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 29.6%
More on Bend: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Bend is a city in, and the county seat of, Deschutes County, Oregon, United States. It is the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregon's largest city, and despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. Bend recorded a population of 76,693 at the time of the 2010 U.S. Census, up from 52,029 at the 2000 census. The estimated population of the city as of 2013 is 81,236. Bend's metro population was estimated at 165,954 as of July 1, 2013. The Bend MSA is the fifth largest metropolitan area in Oregon.

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 31 cities. You can download the data here.

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 La Grande, OR 13,103 63
2 Forest Grove, OR 23,923 55
3 Canby, OR 17,527 47
4 St. Helens, OR 13,446 53
5 Tualatin, OR 27,338 55
6 Lake Oswego, OR 38,705 51
7 Cornelius, OR 12,575 50
8 Milwaukie, OR 20,955 45
9 Hillsboro, OR 104,730 50
10 Bend, OR 90,500 56

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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