These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2019

We analyzed over 350 places in Oregon to determine the cream of the crop.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in Oregon.

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Oregon is best known for its forests, mountains, farms, and beaches.

Most people think that Oregon is filled with a bunch of hippies and tree huggers sitting around eating granola and smoking pot; but if you live in Oregon, you know that there is so much more.

The Beaver State has some of the best cities to call home.

The love the residents have for their state is evident on every license plate. “We love Dreamers,” “Things Look Different Here,” and “Pacific Wonderland,” are just a few of the love letters Oregonians write to their state on a daily basis.

Who wouldn’t be in love in with a state where you can ski and surf in the same day? #outdoorenthusiastsdreamcometrue

But what about those fun facts that only Oregonians know that make the cities in their state the best? We think they would go something like this: Did you know that some of the happiest cows and the some of the best cheese come from the coast? Tillamook to be exact.

Or that if you drive slightly South of Tillamook to Astoria, you can catch a glimpse of the secret rock puzzle that helped the Goonies find their treasure. And if you head inland and up about 11,000 feet to Mt. Hood, you can take a tour of the hotel used in The Shining. Best cheese + treasure + Jack Nicholson movies = best cities ever!

It doesn’t stop there. You probably have something in your closet right now designed by the great people of Oregon: a Columbia jacket, Nike running shoes? Thanks Oregon for keeping us warm and skinny! You’re the best!

Oregon has every type of city for every type of person. Hip millennial cities like Portland, hippie tree huggin’ cities like Bend, and coastal cities like Coos Bay are great places to find work, raise families, and just plain enjoy life.

And if that doesn’t seal the deal, check out our stories, Best States to Raise a Family and Best States to Retire: Oregon crushes the competition.

Whether you are an Oregon State Beaver fan, or an Oregon Ducks fan, or just a fan of Oregon’s 0% sales tax, there is a city in Oregon for you. How did we determine the Best Places to Live in Oregon? Grab a chunk of Tillamook cheese and a Kriek from Cascade Brewing and read on to see how we determined the Best Places to LIve in Oregon 2019:

  1. Lake Oswego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Sherwood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Brookings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Sandy (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Milwaukie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Tualatin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Canby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Silverton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Bend (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Beaverton (Photos | Homes For Sale)

The cities in Oregon are known for their quirky, avant-garde culture, iconic coffee shops, local flare, and farm to table restaurants.

And, don’t get us started on their gold star recycling programs and cutting edge transportation.

Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down 350 of Oregon’s Best Places to Live to just 10.

What city is the best place to live in Oregon for 2019? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Lake Oswego is the best place to live in Oregon if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

We also looked at facts like low unemployment rates, education, and available housing to individually analyze the cities. Below are the Top 10 Best Places to Live in Oregon based on our calculations.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Oregon

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Salem with a population of 161,975 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 73 cities, 107 towns, and 123 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Oregon

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Oregon across a number of criteria from one to 73, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Oregon”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Oregon? That would be Lake Oswego.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Oregon.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Lake Oswego at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Lake Oswego, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 38,065
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $508,500 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (12th best)
More on Lake Oswego: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 6.3% of Lake Oswego residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 12th closest of any city in Oregon.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Lake Oswego also ranked well for crime (6th) and median income ($89,979).

Sherwood, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,965
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $313,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (2nd best)
More on Sherwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

You can take a stroll down to Old Town for a business meeting and then over to one of the many parks around town.

The median home costs a cool $313,000 and households make $86,111 which is good for 4th in Oregon.

As an aside, while putting together the research for this report, we were pretty sure we would see Sherwood in the top ten, and we were right.

Brookings, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,390
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $264,400 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (24th best)
More on Brookings: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Brookings is a short drive from everything, but who would want to leave the 3rd best place in Oregon?

Homes are priced around $264,400 and residents have the 2nd shortest commute in Oregon.

Sandy, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,369
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 15)
Median Home Value: $219,600 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (16th best)
More on Sandy: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sandy broke into the top ten best places to live in Oregon on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 16th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 13th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 68th shortest average commute time of any place in Oregon.

Milwaukie, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,643
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $245,000 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (22nd best)
More on Milwaukie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Milwaukie isn’t just the nicest place to live in Oregon – it’s also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It’s got the 22nd lowest unemployment rate, the 21st highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you’re looking at science and data, Milwaukie definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

Tualatin, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,024
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $337,100 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (10th best)
More on Tualatin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

You might be surprised to see the Town of Tualatin so high on the list. Unless you live in Tualatin.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 6.2%, Tualatin residents are some of the hardest working in the state of Oregon. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Tualatin is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Tualatin is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Canby, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,218
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 19)
Median Home Value: $256,900 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (4th best)
More on Canby: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 7th best place in Oregon is Canby. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Oregon.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 5.4% helps thing too.

One of Canby’s main attractions is the Clackamas County Fairgrounds, where Clackamas County hosts its annual Fair and Rodeo (Seems fitting to me that Clackamas County has an annual rodeo).

Silverton, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,585
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $230,500 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (36th best)
More on Silverton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Silverton comes in at a close 8th. They have the 36th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 14th highest median income as well, which means the people in Silverton are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 25th best in the state.

Bend, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 84,416
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $295,300 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (6th best)
More on Bend: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Bend so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Bend great. They also have the 23rd highest median income and the 14th shortest commute time.

Beaverton, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 94,865
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $303,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (31st best)
More on Beaverton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Oregon, as there were only 133 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 31st lowest in Oregon (7.9%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 12th most expensive in Beaverton ($303,500), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $59,620 a year.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Oregon

If you’re looking at areas in Oregon with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Lake Oswego made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Oregon for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In Oregon

  1. Banks (Pop. 1,688)
  2. Jacksonville (Pop. 2,845)
  3. King City (Pop. 3,599)
  4. Eagle Crest (Pop. 1,630)
  5. Stafford (Pop. 1,945)
  6. Sublimity (Pop. 2,845)
  7. North Plains (Pop. 2,072)
  8. Yamhill (Pop. 1,174)
  9. Durham (Pop. 1,417)
  10. Dundee (Pop. 3,203)

Best Small Towns To Live In Oregon

  1. Rivergrove (Pop. 438)
  2. Cloverdale (Pop. 297)
  3. Tetherow (Pop. 349)
  4. Tumalo (Pop. 602)
  5. St. Paul (Pop. 389)
  6. Black Butte Ranch (Pop. 343)
  7. Neskowin (Pop. 177)
  8. Riverside (Pop. 152)
  9. Bayside Gardens (Pop. 662)
  10. Adair Village (Pop. 933)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Oregon according to the data:

  1. Prineville (Pop. 9,419)
  2. Ontario (Pop. 11,045)
  3. Madras (Pop. 6,504)

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Oregon

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Lake Oswego 38,065 6.3% $508,500
2 Sherwood 18,965 4.8% $313,000
3 Brookings 6,390 7.3% $264,400
4 Sandy 10,369 6.6% $219,600
5 Milwaukie 20,643 7.2% $245,000
6 Tualatin 27,024 6.2% $337,100
7 Canby 17,218 5.4% $256,900
8 Silverton 9,585 8.3% $230,500
9 Bend 84,416 5.6% $295,300
10 Beaverton 94,865 7.9% $303,500
11 West Linn 26,242 5.6% $397,500
12 Tigard 50,787 6.1% $320,100
13 Gladstone 11,850 8.8% $232,300
14 Hillsboro 100,462 6.3% $255,700
15 Corvallis 55,766 8.1% $276,900
16 Keizer 37,497 8.2% $203,600
17 Happy Valley 17,474 6.5% $425,300
18 North Bend 9,635 9.1% $169,400
19 Scappoose 6,901 9.2% $222,400
20 Newberg 22,749 6.6% $228,000
21 Central Point 17,793 9.3% $188,300
22 Warrenton 5,260 4.9% $208,600
23 Wilsonville 21,814 6.8% $349,800
24 Ashland 21,002 7.4% $362,500
25 Forest Grove 23,214 7.6% $232,400
26 The Dalles 15,276 5.6% $177,500
27 Newport 10,139 5.7% $219,100
28 Monmouth 9,919 6.8% $198,100
29 Creswell 5,154 8.5% $185,000
30 La Grande 13,079 7.0% $150,000
31 Dallas 15,175 11.2% $179,400
32 Damascus 10,842 8.0% $360,300
33 Albany 51,919 10.1% $179,900
34 Portland 620,589 7.5% $319,400
35 Molalla 8,867 6.5% $207,200
36 Fairview 9,215 7.3% $211,600
37 Astoria 9,595 6.4% $233,600
38 Troutdale 16,535 11.6% $233,600
39 Eagle Point 8,790 9.6% $192,900
40 Eugene 161,649 8.3% $246,400
41 Mcminnville 33,724 10.3% $200,800
42 Cornelius 12,241 11.5% $193,300
43 Hood River 7,476 2.7% $324,600
44 Florence 8,597 11.0% $180,900
45 Tillamook 5,063 7.1% $177,100
46 Pendleton 16,861 11.0% $147,400
47 Coos Bay 16,129 10.2% $166,200
48 Talent 6,323 10.4% $186,600
49 Gresham 110,042 8.8% $224,000
50 Salem 161,975 9.0% $188,900
51 Hermiston 17,150 7.4% $143,600
52 St. Helens 13,169 7.7% $179,300
53 Medford 78,856 7.6% $213,300
54 Seaside 6,514 12.1% $258,100
55 Lebanon 16,162 8.8% $143,100
56 Roseburg 22,201 10.5% $170,900
57 Independence 8,982 11.8% $150,300
58 Grants Pass 36,776 9.7% $186,200
59 Stayton 7,875 13.1% $195,700
60 Redmond 27,998 9.8% $194,600
61 Sutherlin 7,883 8.9% $126,300
62 Sheridan 6,054 15.8% $153,000
63 Winston 5,364 11.3% $149,900
64 Umatilla 6,986 14.5% $114,700
65 Woodburn 24,765 9.6% $157,900
66 Springfield 60,611 9.8% $166,300
67 Milton-Freewater 7,059 9.9% $108,800
68 Cottage Grove 9,889 10.7% $161,000
69 Klamath Falls 21,322 14.5% $139,300
70 Sweet Home 9,171 15.3% $118,500
71 Prineville 9,419 12.2% $133,000
72 Ontario 11,045 10.6% $108,500
73 Madras 6,504 15.2% $105,400

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18 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2019

  1. 9 of the 10 best places to live in Oregon are Portland area suburbs? Sure, let’s run with that. Attention people looking to move to Oregon – move to the Portland area and leave the rest of us alone. thanks.

  2. Any list that has Cornelius tied for 13th, while it’s FAR more livable neighbor Forest Grove is 42nd should be considered suspect, to say the least. And Ashland all the way down at 37th? This is what happens when a few numbers are used to determine the “best places to live”. lol

  3. This post made me laugh because it pretty much said “Portland” is the best city. No top ten. Just a top one.

    Clearly this person doesn’t know Oregon very well.

  4. Oak Hills is not an actual city – it’s Beaverton. West Linn, like Lake Oswego, are two of the most expensive places to live and the least racially diverse. And nothing more ignorant than making a stereotype about over a million people as hipsters.

    1. I agree with the majority; this list is a compilation of areas around Portland. And, not every one can afford housing in Lake Oswego and West Linn. The adjusted median income will be high in each. I would question the crime rate figure for all areas mentioned.

  5. Options are cool because they are not facts. Numbers are different. Crunch a number and you get a sum total, period. Peoples’ opinion on their town, city or community are just that. OPINIONS not facts. Keep that in mind before telling others of flaws, attitudes and degrading.

  6. Thanks for the refreshing fact-based approach and the work put in. Obviously that leaves out “likability”; but that is something which will be different for everybody anyway since it is based on one’s own perceptions and likes/dislikes. I just find it nice to have a ranking and – even better – the excel list with all the numbers based on some researchable statistics. This in combination with impressions from visits and looks at rental/property prices would probably make it easier finding a suitable place if you are from out of state and plan on moving and want/need to take a systematic approach to the decision.

  7. Perfect list, would love to follow every inch of it. I´m a wanderer myself and I could put quite a few check marks to some from these list and still willing t see more and more. So happy travelling to all of us!

  8. This is really false information and whoever is behind entering such is or must be known as White Trash. And has NEVER traveled or knows much about Oregon, Let it be known that many of the cities or towns they list is really part of a larger city. Like Four Corners is part of the city of Salem the Capitol of this Great State. I live in Keizer and have for years
    the city council votes many businesses from entering and the crime rate grows each year and as far as employment for higher paying jobs one has to drive a good distance to get a
    job that pays over $12.00 to $15.00 per hour even with a college education. These are the real facts.

  9. Having spent 30 years in Oregon… Boy, you have got to be out of your ducking mind with this list. Incredible.

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