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Oregon is best known for its forests, mountains, farms, and beaches.
The Beaver State also 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 bold statements Oregonians boast about their state on a daily basis. Who wouldn't be in love in with a state where you can ski and surf both n the same day.
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.
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 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2020:
- Lake Oswego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- West Linn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sherwood (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Milwaukie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tualatin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Scappoose (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tigard (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bend (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Canby (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hillsboro (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Oregon cities 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 72 of Oregon's best places to live to just ten.
What city is the best place to live in Oregon for 2020? 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 ten best places to live in Oregon based on our calculations.
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In Oregon
- Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon
The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2020
Well, I guess technically 3.2% of Lake Oswego residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 4th 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 (4th) and median income ($100,461).
Who doesn't want to live inWest Linn? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.
Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 4.1%.
Mix a ton of parks and walking trails without fear of getting your bike stolen and you've got a great place to live.
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 $388,800 and households make $103,592 which is good for 3rd 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.
Things can't get much better than in the town of Milwaukie. The crime is the 6th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Milwaukie make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.
The median home costs a cool $291,300 and households make $63,421 which is good for 18th in Oregon.
The Town of Tualatin consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren't any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?
Let's see why Tualatin ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Tualatin are the 6th most expensive in the state of Oregon, with the average home worth a whopping $397,300. We're not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Tualatin if they can afford it.
Other numbers that stand out: Tualatin residents have the 5th highest income in the state, and the 25th lowest crime numbers in Oregon.
In Scappoose, everyone loves to call Scappoose home! The median home value is the 23rd highest in Oregon.
Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 28th lowest in the state and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Beaver State.
We wouldn't be surprised to see CNN call Tigard 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 Tigard.
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's A LOT of demand to live in Bend.
Bend ranked impressively high for its crime rate (18th overall) and its short commute times (16th).
We think that's worth the price of admission.
Taking its place as the 9th 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 4.0% 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).
Hillsboro has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Oregon. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Hillsboro is a real gem.
With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for Hillsboro residents to work is significantly higher than average.
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 166,756 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 72 cities, 107 towns, and 123 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Oregon 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 72, 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.
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 2020.
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:
- Madras (Pop. 6,674)
- Prineville (Pop. 9,748)
- Ontario (Pop. 10,997)
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Oregon
- Richest Cities In Oregon
- Safest Places In Oregon
- Worst Places To Live In Oregon