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:
- 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)
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.
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 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
- 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 Best Places To Retire In Oregon
- 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