To the untrained eye, it seems as if every town in the state would be a great place to live. What with Oregon being home to Mt. Hood., Crater lake, and miles of Pacific Coast awesomeness.
But here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best place to live in Oregon.
After analyzing over 350 places in Oregon, we came up with this list as the best places in the Beaver State:
- Lake Oswego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sherwood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Brookings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sandy (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Milwaukie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tualatin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Canby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Silverton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bend (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Beaverton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Lake Oswego if you’re thinking of moving to Oregon — it’s the best the Beaver State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Oregon.
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Oregon
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon
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’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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).
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.
The crime is the 1st lowest in the state in Brookings, and there were only 3 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Oregon, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Brookings earn $40,316 a year.
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 comes in at a close 5th. They have the 22nd lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 21st highest median income as well, which means the people in Milwaukie are working and getting paid well.
Additionally, the median home value is the 20th best in the state.
If you live in Tualatin, you probably know how great it is already.
Tualatin has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($71,896). And the crime is really, really low (30th lowest in Oregon).
If we could afford to move here, we probably would.
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 is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.
Home prices clock in at $230,500 and households earn a median salary of $59,904. One could get used to that.
Bend is by far one of the best places to live in Oregon: the math proves it! This city has the 6th lowest unemployment rate and the 23rd highest median income in all of Oregon.
Plus, the median home values are the 13th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 23rd lowest in the state, making Bend a safe and great place to live.
In Beaverton, everyone loves to call Beaverton home! The median home value is the 12th highest in Oregon.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 31st lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Beaver State.
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 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Oregon
- Banks (Pop. 1,688)
- Jacksonville (Pop. 2,845)
- King City (Pop. 3,599)
- Eagle Crest (Pop. 1,630)
- Stafford (Pop. 1,945)
- Sublimity (Pop. 2,845)
- North Plains (Pop. 2,072)
- Yamhill (Pop. 1,174)
- Durham (Pop. 1,417)
- Dundee (Pop. 3,203)
Best Small Towns To Live In Oregon
- Rivergrove (Pop. 438)
- Cloverdale (Pop. 297)
- Tetherow (Pop. 349)
- Tumalo (Pop. 602)
- St. Paul (Pop. 389)
- Black Butte Ranch (Pop. 343)
- Neskowin (Pop. 177)
- Riverside (Pop. 152)
- Bayside Gardens (Pop. 662)
- Adair Village (Pop. 933)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Oregon according to the data:
- Prineville (Pop. 9,419)
- Ontario (Pop. 11,045)
- Madras (Pop. 6,504)
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Oregon
- 10 Safest Places In Oregon
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Oregon
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Oregon