Best Small Towns In Oregon For 2020


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Oregon are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Oregon.

You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Oregon, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Beaver State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Oregon based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Oregon ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Oregon for 2020.

What’s the best small town in Oregon? North Plains is the best small town in Oregon based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like North Plains, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Beaver State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Oregon For 2020

North Plains, OR

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,427
Median Income: $84,737 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $329,400 (14th Best)
More on North Plains: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,189
Median Income: $69,688 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $218,500 (40th Best)
More on Adair Village: Data | Homes For Sale

Sublimity, OR

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,899
Median Income: $70,250 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $290,000 (20th Best)
More on Sublimity: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Jacksonville, OR

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,873
Median Income: $59,154 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $312,900 (16th Best)
More on Jacksonville: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 1,811
Median Income: $101,071 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $272,200 (24th Best)
More on Banks: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,191
Median Income: $76,993 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $428,800 (6th Best)
More on Eagle Crest: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,178
Median Income: $57,841 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $337,600 (10th Best)
More on Dunes City: Data | Homes For Sale

Dundee, OR

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,219
Median Income: $77,656 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $289,100 (21st Best)
More on Dundee: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 1,724
Median Income: $80,714 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $559,600 (2nd Best)
More on Durham: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,477
Median Income: $51,423 (55th Best)
Median Home Value: $333,300 (12th Best)
More on Metzger: Data | Homes For Sale

Philomath, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,702
Median Income: $59,880 (30th Best)
Median Home Value: $229,900 (35th Best)
More on Philomath: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 1,353
Median Income: $77,333 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $259,300 (29th Best)
More on Yamhill: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,302
Median Income: $69,453 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $517,900 (3rd Best)
More on Sunriver: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 1,531
Median Income: $66,375 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $331,700 (13th Best)
More on Gearhart: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,322
Median Income: $86,429 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $432,500 (5th Best)
More on Beavercreek: Data | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Oregon

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2014-2018 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 112 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 112, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Oregon. Top of that list — North Plains. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Oregon.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Oregon are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Oregon:

  1. Powers
  2. Warm Springs
  3. Bunker Hill

For more oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Oregon

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 North Plains, OR 2,427 $84,737.0 $329,400.0
2 Adair Village, OR 1,189 $69,688.0 $218,500.0
3 Sublimity, OR 2,899 $70,250.0 $290,000.0
4 Jacksonville, OR 2,873 $59,154.0 $312,900.0
5 Banks, OR 1,811 $101,071.0 $272,200.0
6 Eagle Crest, OR 2,191 $76,993.0 $428,800.0
7 Dunes City, OR 1,178 $57,841.0 $337,600.0
8 Dundee, OR 3,219 $77,656.0 $289,100.0
9 Durham, OR 1,724 $80,714.0 $559,600.0
10 Metzger, OR 3,477 $51,423.0 $333,300.0
11 Philomath, OR 4,702 $59,880.0 $229,900.0
12 Yamhill, OR 1,353 $77,333.0 $259,300.0
13 Sunriver, OR 1,302 $69,453.0 $517,900.0
14 Gearhart, OR 1,531 $66,375.0 $331,700.0
15 Beavercreek, OR 4,322 $86,429.0 $432,500.0
16 Stafford, OR 1,807 $88,333.0 $884,100.0
17 Coburg, OR 1,144 $55,208.0 $288,400.0
18 Aurora, OR 1,254 $81,429.0 $339,500.0
19 Millersburg, OR 1,646 $77,115.0 $304,100.0
20 King City, OR 3,807 $53,750.0 $251,100.0
21 Terrebonne, OR 1,626 $64,313.0 $215,200.0
22 Island City, OR 1,028 $56,944.0 $171,300.0
23 Cannon Beach, OR 1,489 $49,205.0 $498,100.0
24 Lowell, OR 1,173 $57,083.0 $191,700.0
25 Turner, OR 2,284 $78,173.0 $246,800.0
26 Sisters, OR 2,555 $56,429.0 $300,400.0
27 Joseph, OR 1,005 $47,857.0 $216,900.0
28 Lafayette, OR 4,105 $63,832.0 $222,600.0
29 Carlton, OR 2,032 $64,306.0 $252,800.0
30 Estacada, OR 3,270 $60,893.0 $266,600.0
31 Columbia City, OR 2,065 $67,587.0 $264,000.0
32 Tangent, OR 1,137 $62,578.0 $206,400.0
33 Dayton, OR 2,643 $59,350.0 $190,700.0
34 Phoenix, OR 4,536 $34,318.0 $173,800.0
35 Union, OR 2,066 $53,594.0 $138,500.0
36 Odell, OR 2,194 $63,723.0 $222,500.0
37 Donald, OR 1,287 $67,054.0 $166,700.0
38 Bay City, OR 1,514 $50,769.0 $220,900.0
39 Lincoln Beach, OR 1,810 $40,841.0 $251,800.0
40 Athena, OR 1,323 $62,607.0 $132,800.0
41 Lakeside, OR 1,766 $50,354.0 $179,300.0
42 Mount Hood Village, OR 4,587 $62,591.0 $293,300.0
43 Toledo, OR 3,540 $57,975.0 $199,200.0
44 Jefferson, OR 3,270 $59,538.0 $190,300.0
45 Lyons, OR 1,141 $66,429.0 $193,500.0
46 Warren, OR 2,053 $64,960.0 $350,400.0
47 Bandon, OR 3,072 $32,014.0 $216,600.0
48 Mount Angel, OR 3,502 $47,250.0 $199,400.0
49 Hubbard, OR 3,399 $56,184.0 $215,300.0
50 Heppner, OR 1,093 $50,769.0 $102,100.0
51 Depoe Bay, OR 1,772 $54,241.0 $283,500.0
52 Hines, OR 1,451 $53,438.0 $116,100.0
53 Three Rivers, OR 3,593 $58,108.0 $247,700.0
54 Rogue River, OR 2,563 $37,614.0 $183,100.0
55 Gold Beach, OR 2,208 $35,625.0 $219,500.0
56 New Hope, OR 1,317 $42,138.0 $336,800.0
57 Enterprise, OR 1,990 $36,581.0 $161,400.0
58 Gold Hill, OR 1,343 $50,625.0 $171,000.0
59 Vernonia, OR 1,851 $52,500.0 $174,200.0
60 Chenoweth, OR 2,053 $54,741.0 $172,300.0
61 Waldport, OR 2,043 $46,367.0 $212,700.0
62 Mulino, OR 2,413 $82,829.0 $401,600.0
63 Aumsville, OR 4,058 $49,661.0 $154,600.0
64 Redwood, OR 2,707 $47,412.0 $259,400.0
65 Brownsville, OR 1,867 $48,654.0 $186,400.0
66 John Day, OR 2,251 $40,192.0 $115,400.0
67 Amity, OR 1,782 $58,750.0 $171,600.0
68 Cascade Locks, OR 1,109 $48,102.0 $200,000.0
69 Rockaway Beach, OR 1,213 $44,167.0 $182,300.0
70 Wood Village, OR 4,036 $54,563.0 $137,700.0
71 Lakeview, OR 2,765 $40,319.0 $113,200.0
72 Stanfield, OR 2,751 $57,837.0 $109,300.0
73 Harrisburg, OR 3,741 $42,022.0 $146,500.0
74 Veneta, OR 4,891 $44,858.0 $200,800.0
75 Barview, OR 2,066 $45,744.0 $141,300.0
76 Metolius, OR 1,038 $52,941.0 $85,700.0
77 Gervais, OR 2,666 $67,692.0 $162,300.0
78 Culver, OR 1,838 $48,158.0 $152,600.0
79 Myrtle Creek, OR 3,435 $46,172.0 $155,300.0
80 Shady Cove, OR 3,041 $39,609.0 $153,800.0
81 Merlin, OR 1,856 $59,861.0 $260,100.0
82 Pilot Rock, OR 1,445 $43,393.0 $116,500.0
83 Reedsport, OR 4,072 $36,121.0 $131,600.0
84 Mill City, OR 1,691 $40,673.0 $164,300.0
85 Harbor, OR 2,044 $28,646.0 $144,800.0
86 Canyonville, OR 1,787 $32,373.0 $125,800.0
87 Boardman, OR 3,340 $56,086.0 $122,800.0
88 Rainier, OR 2,109 $52,256.0 $172,800.0
89 Siletz, OR 1,497 $41,676.0 $119,300.0
90 Riddle, OR 1,331 $47,575.0 $101,600.0
91 Cave Junction, OR 2,323 $25,781.0 $143,100.0
92 Grand Ronde, OR 1,745 $45,256.0 $204,100.0
93 Irrigon, OR 2,095 $51,250.0 $98,000.0
94 Williams, OR 1,126 $36,550.0 $313,800.0
95 Glide, OR 1,235 $48,011.0 $196,100.0
96 Coquille, OR 3,856 $32,389.0 $140,000.0
97 La Pine, OR 2,188 $37,760.0 $180,600.0
98 Willamina, OR 2,412 $49,081.0 $149,200.0
99 Clatskanie, OR 1,668 $38,462.0 $171,100.0
100 Vale, OR 2,016 $37,216.0 $92,100.0

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.