These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2018

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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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Ahh, Oregon.

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:

  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)

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.

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 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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

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

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 has a strong showing in our best places to live in Oregon analysis, coming it at 3rd best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to Oregon, Brookings is a great option.

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

In Sandy, everyone loves to call Sandy home! The median home value is the 29th highest in Oregon.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Beaver State.

Sandy should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Oregon, as there were only 29 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in Oregon (7.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 20th most expensive in Milwaukie ($245,000), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $55,880 a year.

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

Tualatin 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 $337,100 and households earn a median salary of $71,896. One could get used to that.

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’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 14th highest, making Silverton a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Silverton has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

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

Bend has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Bend has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 5.6% and lowering. And the Bend police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 23rd lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

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

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

  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 2018

  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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