These Are The 10 Best Portland Suburbs


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:

  1. Sherwood
  2. Lake Oswego
  3. Happy Valley
  4. Camas (Photos)
  5. West Linn
  6. Tigard
  7. Beaverton
  8. Tualatin
  9. Hillsboro
  10. Damascus

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.

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How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Portland

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

Then we used the 2010-2014 American Community Survey to research each suburb. FYI: We defined a suburb based on the Census’s designation of being part of an “Urban Cluster,” but not the main city of said urbanized area. For example, the Census considers all of these places to be part of the Portland, Or–Wa Urbanized Area.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to non-CDPs that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 23 suburbs to evaluate around Portland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 23 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


Population 2014: 18,687
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median Home Price: $295,300
Median Income: $84,360

2. Lake Oswego


Population 2014: 37,310
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Median Home Price: $478,400
Median Income: $84,244

3. Happy Valley


Population 2014: 15,693
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Median Home Price: $390,600
Median Income: $100,438

4. Camas

Camas, Washington

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,458
Unemployment Rate: 7.0%
Median Home Price: $294,600
Median Income: $84,643

5. West Linn


Population 2014: 25,710
Unemployment Rate: 8.1%
Median Home Price: $377,700
Median Income: $83,933

6. Tigard


Population 2014: 49,633
Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
Median Home Price: $294,000
Median Income: $60,849

7. Beaverton


Population 2014: 92,593
Unemployment Rate: 9.2%
Median Home Price: $277,500
Median Income: $57,068

8. Tualatin


Population 2014: 26,604
Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
Median Home Price: $310,400
Median Income: $65,903

9. Hillsboro


Population 2014: 95,765
Unemployment Rate: 8.4%
Median Home Price: $238,300
Median Income: $66,668

10. Damascus


Population 2014: 10,711
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%
Median Home Price: $339,200
Median Income: $85,708

Welcome to the ‘Burbs

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 Washington reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Portland

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Sherwood 1 18,687 7.5% $295,300 $84,360
Lake Oswego 2 37,310 9.1% $478,400 $84,244
Happy Valley 3 15,693 7.5% $390,600 $100,438
Camas 4 20,458 7.0% $294,600 $84,643
West Linn 5 25,710 8.1% $377,700 $83,933
Tigard 6 49,633 8.3% $294,000 $60,849
Beaverton 7 92,593 9.2% $277,500 $57,068
Tualatin 8 26,604 9.6% $310,400 $65,903
Hillsboro 9 95,765 8.4% $238,300 $66,668
Damascus 10 10,711 8.9% $339,200 $85,708
Oregon City 11 33,834 9.8% $248,400 $59,429
Portland 12 602,568 9.4% $285,300 $53,230
Fairview 13 9,094 5.4% $194,400 $53,381
Cornelius 14 12,068 16.3% $179,500 $55,203
Battle Ground 15 18,168 8.7% $205,900 $57,347
Wilsonville 16 20,335 8.9% $336,300 $58,757
Gladstone 17 11,668 9.9% $223,000 $54,494
Forest Grove 18 22,070 10.9% $223,500 $48,365
Milwaukie 19 20,449 10.2% $229,900 $55,827
Troutdale 20 16,339 12.8% $222,300 $58,790
Washougal 21 14,563 12.1% $218,300 $60,353
Gresham 22 108,250 12.1% $210,600 $47,706
Vancouver 23 165,554 11.3% $196,700 $50,379

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