These Are The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon For 2018

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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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.


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.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Beaver State:

  1. Sandy (Photos)
  2. Canby (Photos)
  3. Sherwood (Photos)
  4. The Dalles (Photos)
  5. Gladstone (Photos)
  6. Forest Grove (Photos)
  7. Tualatin (Photos)
  8. Lake Oswego (Photos)
  9. Albany (Photos)
  10. La Grande (Photos)

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 the best places to live in Oregon and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

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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 10,000 people. For Oregon, that meant a total of 38 cities.

Read on to see why Sandy is where all the families are headed, while Springfield is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Sandy

Sandy, Or

Population: 10,369
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 40.9%

2. Canby

Canby, Or

Source: Public domain

Population: 17,218
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 38
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 38.0%
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 (3 km) northeast of Barlow. In May 2016 Canby was featured on ABC’s series 20/20 (U.S. TV series), when the local ‘Canby Psychic’ was part of an investigation of swindling a local rancher of $15 million.

3. Sherwood

Sherwood, Or

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,965
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 47.6%
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.

4. The Dalles

The Dalles, Or

Population: 15,276
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 32.7%
The Dalles /dælz/ is the county seat and largest city of Wasco County, Oregon, United States. The population was 13,620 at the 2010 census, and is the largest city on the Oregon side along the Columbia River outside the Portland Metropolitan area.

5. Gladstone

Gladstone, Or

Population: 11,850
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 43
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 34.6%
Gladstone is a city located in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. The population was 11,491 at the 2010 census. Gladstone is an approximately 4-square-mile (10 km2) suburban community, 12 miles (19 km) south of Portland, the largest city in Oregon, and located at the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.

6. Forest Grove

Forest Grove, Or

Source: Public domain

Population: 23,214
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 39.0%
Forest Grove is a city in Washington County, Oregon, United States, 25 miles (40 km) 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 (17,708).

7. Tualatin

Tualatin, Or

Population: 27,024
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 33.8%
Tualatin /tultn/ 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.

8. Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego, Or

Population: 38,065
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 29.6%
Lake Oswego /swio/ 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 (13 km) south of Portland and surrounding the 405-acre (1.64 km2) 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.

9. Albany

Albany, Or

Population: 51,919
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 69
Closest Major City: Portland
Households with kids: 35.1%
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.

10. La Grande

La Grande, Or

Population: 13,079
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Spokane
Households with kids: 28.7%
La Grande /lrænd/ 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.

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. Springfield
  2. Ashland
  3. Redmond

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Oregon

City Rank Population Amenities Score
Sandy 1 10,369 45
Canby 2 17,218 52
Sherwood 3 18,965 36
The Dalles 4 15,276 49
Gladstone 5 11,850 59
Forest Grove 6 23,214 55
Tualatin 7 27,024 49
Lake Oswego 8 38,065 39
Albany 9 51,919 62
La Grande 10 13,079 63
Cornelius 11 12,241 60
Pendleton 12 16,861 72
Dallas 13 15,175 34
Milwaukie 14 20,643 60
Bend 15 84,416 71
Ontario 16 11,045 51
Beaverton 17 94,865 43
Hillsboro 18 100,462 47
St. Helens 19 13,169 53
Klamath Falls 20 21,322 72
Corvallis 21 55,766 43
Roseburg 22 22,201 60
Woodburn 23 24,765 39
Mcminnville 24 33,724 58
Grants Pass 25 36,776 63
Hermiston 26 17,150 46
Keizer 27 37,497 31
Lebanon 28 16,162 58
Gresham 29 110,042 40
Tigard 30 50,787 55
Salem 31 161,975 67
Portland 32 620,589 100
Eugene 33 161,649 81
Central Point 34 17,793 47
Medford 35 78,856 50
Redmond 36 27,998 34
Ashland 37 21,002 55
Springfield 38 60,611 42

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