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.

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 ten.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2019

Lake Oswego, OR

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

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

7
/10

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

7
/10

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 comes in at a close 3rd. They have the 24th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 55th highest median income as well, which means the people in Brookings are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 15th best in the state.

Review Of Brookings by HomeSnacks User

Personally i’ve only lived in Brookings for about 4 years, but i have lived all over the state of Oregon. Brookings would be at the top of my list to live in, not the bottom.

Sandy, OR

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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

Crime is something that doesn’t happen very often in Sandy. Statistically the 9th safest place in the state, there were only 8 violent crimes in the entire city last year.

It’s really beautiful in Sandy, and new homes continue to replace older homes. Resident earn $61,687 a year, and homes are valued at more than $219,600.

What else could you possibly want if you’re someone who likes the good things in life?

Review Of Sandy by HomeSnacks User

1

Milwaukie, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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 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 $245,000 and households earn a median salary of $55,880. One could get used to that.

Review Of Milwaukie by HomeSnacks User

School system is fantastic and it is a really quiet pretty area south of Portland

Property values are much better than much of the Portland metro area.

Tualatin, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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

The Town of Tualatin might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.

The crime rate in Tualatin isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $337,100 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Oregon.

If Tualatin can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (6.2% is the 10th highest in the state.

Canby, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

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

8.5
/10

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 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 Silverton has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 8.3% and lowering. And the Silverton police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 12th lowest in the state here.

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

Review Of Silverton by HomeSnacks User

I love the cute town of Silverton Oregon. It’s right next to Silver Falls State Park, a forested canyon with over ten waterfalls. It was nice to be in nature and, afterwards, to stop at the grocery store in town for a bite to eat.

Silverton is small and easy to navigate. The city park is great for kids and some of the buildings in old part of town have murals. The grocery store in town, Roth’s, has an awesome deli where you can get delicious sandwiches.

Bend, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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

It’s obvious why Bend ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 6th lowest unemployment rate and the 13th highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Bend a great place to live.

Beaverton, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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

Beaverton is another gem in Beaver State. The unemployment rate here is 31st lowest in the entire state at 7.9%. Other factors that make Beaverton so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $303,500, and parents earn a combined $59,620 a year

There’s nothing like the American dream.

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.

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:

Where Are The 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

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20 thoughts on “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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