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:
- Lake Oswego
- Happy Valley
- Camas (Photos)
- West Linn
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.
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.
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
Population: 20,458Unemployment 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
Population 2014: 49,633 Unemployment Rate: 8.3%
Median Home Price: $294,000
Median Income: $60,849
Population 2014: 92,593 Unemployment Rate: 9.2%
Median Home Price: $277,500
Median Income: $57,068
Population 2014: 26,604 Unemployment Rate: 9.6%
Median Home Price: $310,400
Median Income: $65,903
Population 2014: 95,765 Unemployment Rate: 8.4%
Median Home Price: $238,300
Median Income: $66,668
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:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Washington
- 10 Small Towns In Washington Where You’d Never Want To Live
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Washington
Detailed List Of The Best Burbs To Live Around Portland