These Are The 10 Best Portland Suburbs For 2018

We analyzed over 23 places around Portland to identify the most kickass place to live.

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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…

Here are the 10 best suburbs around Portland for 2018:

  1. Sherwood (Photos)
  2. Lake Oswego (Photos)
  3. West Linn (Photos)
  4. Camas
  5. Happy Valley (Photos)
  6. La Center
  7. Oregon
  8. Ridgefield
  9. North Plains
  10. Tualatin (Photos)

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, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Oregon check out the best places in Oregon overall or the worst.

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.

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How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Portland for 2018

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 (2012-2016) 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.

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1. Sherwood

Sherwood, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,965
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Median Home Price: $313,000
Median Income: $86,111
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 $86,111 a year, which is the 6th highest in the Portland region. And only 4.8% are out of work. Homes average more than $313,000 each.

2. Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 38,065
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $508,500
Median Income: $89,979
Lake Oswego is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Portland for 2018.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 4.5% of residents lack insurance, good for 5th best.

3. West Linn

West Linn, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,242
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Median Home Price: $397,500
Median Income: $89,806
Here in West Linn, 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 West Linn.

4. Camas

Source: Public Domain

Population: 21,393
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Median Home Price: $341,300
Median Income: $94,350
Camas ranks as the 4th best suburb of Portland for 2018.

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

5. Happy Valley

Happy Valley, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,474
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Median Home Price: $425,300
Median Income: $106,197
Coming in as the fifth best is Happy Valley.

Happy Valley gets kudos for having the 2nd most expensive homes in the Portland area, where houses sell for an average of $425,300. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

6. La Center

Source: Public Domain

Population: 3,079
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Median Home Price: $264,500
Median Income: $83,170
La Center 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 6.1% which is 11th best in the area.

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

7. Oregon

Population: 9,912
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Home Price: $226,900
Median Income: $76,480
The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Oregon.

Oregon 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 13.8 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

8. Ridgefield

Source: Public Domain

Population: 6,112
Unemployment Rate: 3.1%
Median Home Price: $287,600
Median Income: $88,286
Ridgefield 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 5.9% of people lack insurance, good for 10th in the area.

9. North Plains

Population: 2,072
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Median Home Price: $248,400
Median Income: $72,159
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.

10. Tualatin

Tualatin, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,024
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Median Home Price: $337,100
Median Income: $71,896
And rounding out the top ten for 2018 is Tualatin.

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 2018

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

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Sherwood 1 18,965 4.8% $313,000 $86,111
Lake Oswego 2 38,065 6.3% $508,500 $89,979
West Linn 3 26,242 5.6% $397,500 $89,806
Camas 4 21,393 5.4% $341,300 $94,350
Happy Valley 5 17,474 6.5% $425,300 $106,197
La Center 6 3,079 6.1% $264,500 $83,170
Oregon 7 9,912 3.5% $226,900 $76,480
Ridgefield 8 6,112 3.1% $287,600 $88,286
North Plains 9 2,072 4.4% $248,400 $72,159
Tualatin 10 27,024 6.2% $337,100 $71,896
Damascus 11 10,842 8.0% $360,300 $82,830
Dundee 12 3,203 4.2% $232,600 $67,194
Tigard 13 50,787 6.1% $320,100 $65,505
Wilsonville 14 21,814 6.8% $349,800 $63,097
Canby 15 17,218 5.4% $256,900 $62,035
Washougal 16 14,987 7.3% $243,400 $70,943
Milwaukie 17 20,643 7.2% $245,000 $55,880
Sandy 18 10,369 6.6% $219,600 $61,687
Hillsboro 19 100,462 6.3% $255,700 $70,180
Beaverton 20 94,865 7.9% $303,500 $59,620
Gladstone 21 11,850 8.8% $232,300 $57,169
Battle Ground 22 18,987 6.8% $223,000 $60,644
Scappoose 23 6,901 9.2% $222,400 $63,175
Molalla 24 8,867 6.5% $207,200 $55,082
Troutdale 25 16,535 11.6% $233,600 $62,992
Newberg 26 22,749 6.6% $228,000 $53,075
Forest Grove 27 23,214 7.6% $232,400 $49,857
Fairview 28 9,215 7.3% $211,600 $54,802
Woodland 29 5,684 3.6% $193,900 $62,344
Cornelius 30 12,241 11.5% $193,300 $58,420
Vancouver 31 169,982 8.1% $217,200 $52,004
Estacada 32 3,051 5.2% $226,300 $50,757
Gresham 33 110,042 8.8% $224,000 $49,866
Hubbard 34 3,268 8.0% $178,800 $58,550
St. Helens 35 13,169 7.7% $179,300 $45,727
Columbia 36 10,382 9.5% $102,100 $39,625
Woodburn 37 24,765 9.6% $157,900 $44,228

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