These Are The 10 Best Small Towns In Oregon


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

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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. Here are the 10 Best Small Towns in Oregon (in which to live):

  1. Rivergrove
  2. Adair Village
  3. Maywood Park
  4. Aurora
  5. Yachats
  6. Nehalem
  7. Barlow
  8. Joseph
  9. Detroit
  10. Adams

If you live in one of these small towns like Rivergrove, 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. Or feel free to check out the worst small towns in Oregon.

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How We Determined The Best Small Towns In Oregon

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 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)
  • High School Dropouts (Lower is better)
  • Crime Rates (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 68 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 68, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Oregon. Top of that list — Rivergrove.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 10 best small towns in Oregon. Or feel free to check out the best places overall to live in Oregon.

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1. Rivergrove


Population 2014: 267
Median Income: $107,917
Median Home Price: $536,300
Crime Per 100k: 1,212

2. Adair Village

Source: Google Maps

Population: 955
Median Income: $63,787
Median Home Price: $208,500
Crime Per 100k: 3,543

3. Maywood Park


Population 2014: 1,008
Median Income: $69,038
Median Home Price: $284,100
Crime Per 100k: 948

4. Aurora


Population 2014: 913
Median Income: $74,293
Median Home Price: $270,500
Crime Per 100k: 2,577

5. Yachats


Population 2014: 675
Median Income: $42,396
Median Home Price: $334,500
Crime Per 100k: 2,396

6. Nehalem


Population 2014: 212
Median Income: $48,125
Median Home Price: $259,300
Crime Per 100k: 3,253

7. Barlow


Population 2014: 302
Median Income: $55,909
Median Home Price: $275,000
Crime Per 100k: 3,455

8. Joseph


Population 2014: 1,000
Median Income: $37,824
Median Home Price: $164,900
Crime Per 100k: 1,329

9. Detroit


Population 2014: 146
Median Income: $40,781
Median Home Price: $270,800
Crime Per 100k: 3,238

10. Adams


Population 2014: 342
Median Income: $83,182
Median Home Price: $161,700
Crime Per 100k: 3,421

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 10 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. Seneca
  2. Huntington
  3. Spray

For more Oregon reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Oregon

City Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price Crime Per 100k
Rivergrove 1 267 $107,917 $536,300 1,212
Adair Village 2 955 $63,787 $208,500 3,543
Maywood Park 3 1,008 $69,038 $284,100 948
Aurora 4 913 $74,293 $270,500 2,577
Yachats 5 675 $42,396 $334,500 2,396
Nehalem 6 212 $48,125 $259,300 3,253
Barlow 7 302 $55,909 $275,000 3,455
Joseph 8 1,000 $37,824 $164,900 1,329
Detroit 9 146 $40,781 $270,800 3,238
Adams 10 342 $83,182 $161,700 3,421
Scotts Mills 11 400 $49,904 $229,200 3,596
Imbler 12 243 $45,000 $180,600 3,523
Elkton 13 195 $44,125 $193,800 3,582
Helix 14 183 $50,625 $146,100 4,099
Oakland 15 962 $44,943 $178,000 3,701
Gaston 16 713 $57,500 $196,400 2,990
Manzanita 17 407 $31,731 $427,100 1,838
Ukiah 18 135 $33,214 $204,500 3,621
Westfir 19 293 $41,875 $151,900 4,052
Dufur 20 448 $41,786 $157,800 3,763
Echo 21 730 $52,708 $115,700 4,020
Maupin 22 385 $39,922 $169,300 3,684
Scio 23 731 $26,000 $182,400 3,827
Lostine 24 284 $45,682 $120,000 4,247
Grass Valley 25 129 $37,917 $123,200 4,029
Lexington 26 239 $45,625 $101,900 3,768
Cove 27 598 $45,156 $164,800 3,426
Sodaville 28 473 $44,063 $165,000 4,116
Monroe 29 635 $36,328 $144,200 4,106
Garibaldi 30 736 $38,750 $195,400 3,419
Ione 31 323 $56,250 $107,600 3,801
Arlington 32 601 $56,685 $132,500 3,775
Canyon City 33 640 $41,500 $129,800 3,257
Weston 34 626 $50,650 $107,100 4,164
Dayville 35 173 $30,694 $164,600 3,979
Wheeler 36 280 $30,893 $232,700 3,430
Paisley 37 328 $32,143 $110,100 3,334
Waterloo 38 320 $48,750 $121,400 4,487
North Powder 39 467 $47,500 $105,900 4,398
Gates 40 675 $39,750 $201,000 3,659
Falls City 41 1,089 $36,083 $143,100 1,503
Wallowa 42 967 $36,389 $118,800 4,271
Mosier 43 545 $41,250 $49,600 4,689
Butte Falls 44 516 $39,267 $133,100 4,435
Prairie City 45 1,011 $31,574 $109,100 1,455
Glendale 46 854 $34,226 $121,300 4,461
Rufus 47 262 $25,556 $176,600 4,185
Mount Vernon 48 673 $34,321 $85,900 4,579
Idanha 49 239 $50,500 $153,400 4,293
Fossil 50 365 $33,500 $98,900 3,690
Wasco 51 543 $38,929 $96,200 4,194
Moro 52 300 $29,583 $122,800 4,262
Jordan Valley 53 149 $38,125 $82,300 4,254
Johnson City 54 657 $33,456 $19,800 4,850
Metolius 55 752 $37,411 $103,100 4,508
Merrill 56 805 $37,500 $110,500 4,518
Halfway 57 393 $27,500 $92,800 4,678
Powers 58 890 $28,750 $119,500 4,531
Long Creek 59 215 $25,833 $71,900 4,389
Adrian 60 87 $33,750 $82,500 4,667
Malin 61 712 $33,594 $96,900 4,766
Chiloquin 62 766 $34,141 $112,500 4,599
Haines 63 336 $39,464 $91,100 4,416
Monument 64 113 $33,250 $50,000 4,850
Bonanza 65 418 $35,179 $110,800 4,639
Spray 66 138 $32,639 $90,000 4,569
Huntington 67 454 $24,632 $64,300 4,850
Seneca 68 125 $28,500 $57,400 4,497

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