These Are The 10 Best Portland Suburbs For 2019

We analyzed over 37 places around Portland to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the best Portland suburbs.

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Big city living isn’t for everyone–but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There’s the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There’s traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing–pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you’re looking at.

But that’s where the suburbs come in–they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Portland are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

If you happen to be a resident of Sherwood, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Portland ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Or feel free to check out some more reading about Oregon:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Portland for 2019

Figuring out the best ‘burbs around Portland was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data (2013-2017) to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Portland.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 37 suburbs to evaluate around Portland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 37 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the “Best Suburb near Portland.” We’re lookin’ at you, Sherwood.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Sherwood, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 19,107
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $95,309
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.8%
More on Sherwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sherwood is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Portland area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Sherwood.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $95,309 a year, which is the 4th highest in the Portland region. And only 3.3% are out of work. Homes average more than $353,500 each.

West Linn, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,307
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $100,188
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on West Linn: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Linn is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Portland for 2019.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 2.7% of residents lack insurance, good for 3rd best.

Lake Oswego, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 38,212
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $93,993
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on Lake Oswego: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Here in Lake Oswego, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Portland metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Lake Oswego.

Happy Valley, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 18,477
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $115,718
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.6%
More on Happy Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Happy Valley ranks as the 4th best suburb of Portland for 2019.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Happy Valley and the schools are some of the best around.

Ridgefield, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,637
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $93,958
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Ridgefield: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Coming in as the fifth best is Ridgefield.

Ridgefield gets kudos for having the 10th most expensive homes in the Portland area, where houses sell for an average of $330,500. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. Oregon

Oregon Location In Wisconsin

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,033
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $88,250
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
Poverty Rate: 4.3%
More on Oregon: Real Estate

Oregon is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 2.8% which is 2nd best in the area.

According to online reports, Oregon is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Portland area, meaning you need to get in soon.

La Center, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,122
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $88,173
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Rate: 5.4%
More on La Center: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to La Center.

La Center schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 22.7 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Camas, WA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,086
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Income: $101,167
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 3.7%
More on Camas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Camas is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.0% of people lack insurance, good for 12th in the area.

North Plains, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,100
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $81,607
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 3.1%
More on North Plains: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is ‘Everything Better In North Plains?’


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Damascus, OR

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,909
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $88,750
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Poverty Rate: 8.1%
More on Damascus: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Damascus.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Welcome to the Best Portland ‘Burbs of 2019

We said it once and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you’re hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Portland, but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Portland Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Sherwood 19,107 $95,309
2 West Linn 26,307 $100,188
3 Lake Oswego 38,212 $93,993
4 Happy Valley 18,477 $115,718
5 Ridgefield 6,637 $93,958
6 Oregon 10,033 $88,250
7 La Center 3,122 $88,173
8 Camas 22,086 $101,167
9 North Plains 2,100 $81,607
10 Damascus 10,909 $88,750
11 Washougal 15,241 $76,998
12 Dundee 3,205 $75,663
13 Wilsonville 22,789 $67,694
14 Tualatin 27,135 $72,580
15 Tigard 51,355 $70,120
16 Sandy 10,581 $64,057
17 Milwaukie 20,627 $58,911
18 Canby 17,337 $66,220
19 Hillsboro 102,396 $75,599
20 Battle Ground 19,439 $64,888
21 Scappoose 6,975 $71,780
22 Beaverton 95,710 $64,619
23 Fairview 9,261 $58,032
24 Gladstone 11,936 $57,346
25 Troutdale 16,557 $66,224
26 Newberg 22,898 $56,910
27 Cornelius 12,423 $60,766
28 Forest Grove 23,554 $54,503
29 Molalla 8,987 $57,542
30 Hubbard 3,321 $60,338
31 Vancouver 171,393 $55,593
32 Woodland 5,765 $63,933
33 Estacada 3,155 $54,837
34 Gresham 110,336 $50,675
35 St. Helens 13,254 $45,789
36 Woodburn 25,067 $47,042
37 Columbia 10,430 $40,982

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.