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 2017.

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Where are the best places in the state of Oregon?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Beaver State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Oregon.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 73 places in Oregon, we came up with this list of the best places:

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

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.

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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 5,100
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 73 cities, 108 towns, and 170 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 5,100 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.

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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.

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1. Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 38,065
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Values: $508,500 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (11th best)
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).

2. Sherwood

Sherwood, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,965
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Home Values: $313,000 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (2nd best)
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.

3. Brookings

Brookings, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,390
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 8)
Home Values: $264,400 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (23rd best)
Brookings has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Oregon.

The unemployment rate is the 24th lowest in the state at 7.3%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $40,316, and the average cost of a home is $264,400. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.

We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Brookings one of America’s gems.

4. Sandy

Sandy, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,369
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 14)
Home Values: $219,600 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (16th best)
Sandy’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 13th highest, making Sandy a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

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

5. Milwaukie

Milwaukie, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,643
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 9)
Home Values: $245,000 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.2% (22nd best)
The Town of Milwaukie might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Milwaukie isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $245,000 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Oregon.

If Milwaukie can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (7.2% is the 22nd highest in the state.

6. Tualatin

Tualatin, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,024
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Home Values: $337,100 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (10th best)
Tualatin takes 6th place on our list of best places in Oregon for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (10th overall) and things to do.

Tualatin is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years.And that tends to happen when home prices hit $337,100 at the median.

7. Canby

Canby, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,218
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 19)
Home Values: $256,900 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (4th best)
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).

8. Silverton

Silverton, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,585
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Values: $230,500 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 8.3% (35th best)
Silverton ranks 8th on our list of best places to live in Oregon thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Oregon that we examined.

People have been flocking to Silverton over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

9. Bend

Bend, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 84,416
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Values: $295,300 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (6th best)
We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Bend one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Bend.

10. Beaverton

Beaverton, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 94,865
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Home Values: $303,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (31st best)
We think the motto in Beaverton should be “Everything is greater in Beaverton,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Beaverton has some of the highest home values in Oregon, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Beaverton only has 13.4% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Beaverton a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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. Beatty (Pop. 0)
  2. West Scio (Pop. 139)
  3. Beaver (Pop. 170)
  4. Butteville (Pop. 159)
  5. Cloverdale (Pop. 297)
  6. Rivergrove (Pop. 438)
  7. Tumalo (Pop. 602)
  8. Tetherow (Pop. 349)
  9. Greenhorn (Pop. 11)
  10. Bellfountain (Pop. 93)

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

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

For more Oregon reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Oregon

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

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15 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.

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