The 10 Safest Cities In Oregon For 2020

We used data and science to determine the places in Oregon where everyone sleeps safe and sound.

Editor's Note: This article has been update for 2020. This is our sixth time rankings the safest places to live in Oregon.
Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Hold a second.

Need to finish looking through these numbers while we get off our fixed gear, sip our craft brew, and scarf down our avocado toast.

Sounds like the Oregon dream to me.

And what's the occasion you might ask? Why we just determined the safest places in Oregon to call home for the sixth time. Yep, the sixth time. This was actually one of the very first articles we ever wrote on this site, so it brings back some good memories.

But enough about us, you're here to learn about the safest cities in Oregon and that's what we're going to do -- take a look at the property crime and violent crime rates of the biggest places to live around Oregon. And just like the total lack of sales tax in Oregon, the numbers you see here are directly from the FBI's crime data for 62 Oregon cities with a population of more than 5,000 without any unexpected changes at the cash register.

And we won't sugar coat the results. No fake news or added ingredients, just organic, grass fed data. And while other sites might think that they can give you good stuff, remember that we at HomeSnacks are the hipsters of ranking cities -- doing it since before it was cool. Just don't expect to see Portland on the list; while it's awesome and weird, it's the Portland suburbs that are safe.

Here are the 10 safest cities to live in Oregon for 2020:

  1. Lake Oswego (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Umatilla (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. West Linn (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Monmouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Molalla (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Newberg-Dundee (Homes For Sale)
  7. St. Helens (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. La Grande (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Independence (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Scappoose (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you're looking for a safe and sound place to call home in the Beaver state where you can leave your doors open at night and not worry, these places should top your wish list.

What's the safest place to live in Oregon? According to the most recent FBI data, Lake Oswego ranks as the safest place in Oregon on a property and violent crime rate basis -- for the second year in a row no less.

So buckle up your seat belt, look both ways, and follow along as we show you how we determined the safest cities in Oregon and than take a detailed drive through the top ten. And remember, you have to let someone else pump your gas in Oregon, or you'll be adding on to the crime statistics for your city.

For more reading on safe places to live in and around Oregon, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In Oregon For 2020

Lake Oswego, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 39,557
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 50 (1st safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,339 (4th safest)
More on Lake Oswego: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

A suburb of Portland, Lake Oswego is no stranger to our lists. In addition to moving up on our ranking of the safest places to live in Oregon to number one this year, it also ranked as the best place to live in Oregon for 2018.

But there's a slight catch to living a place this awesome -- cost. It's one of the richest cities in Oregon which translates to a median income close to $90,000 and median home prices around $500,000.

Another possible reason it has the second lowest violent crime rate in the state? Clackamas County is secretly how to Kris Kringle. I dunno, just saying.

Umatilla, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 7,162
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 55 (2nd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 893 (3rd safest)
More on Umatilla: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Jumping up several spots this year Umatilla boasts an incredibly low property crime rate. And interestingly, it's economy isn't nearly as strong as the others on this list, but it still manages to keep crime low.

At just a tick over 7,000 people, it could be that everyone in town is friends. And you'd never steal from your friends would you?

West Linn, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 26,934
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 89 (4th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 868 (2nd safest)
More on West Linn: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

West Linn is an affluent suburb of Portland that has a penchant for safety.

You don't have to worry about purse-snatchers in Mary S. Young Park, because West Linn has the second lowest rate of property crime in Oregon. And the city averaged only two violent crimes per month in 2018. Be warned, though; the city ranked as the third richest in Oregon in 2019, so you'll want to be making big bucks to enjoy the safe streets of West Linn.

Monmouth, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 10,457
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 124 (9th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,377 (5th safest)
More on Monmouth: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Monmouth is monumentally safe, at least when it comes to places to live in Oregon.

The city had a seventh place finish for both property and violent crimes which drove it up seven spots from last year. Is that a coincidence? Probably, but it would be more exciting if it was some higher level cause.

One of the first places not located right on border of the water or Washington state, Monmouth is part of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The thing to do in town to stay safe? Grab a glass of wine from one of the many vineyards.

Molalla, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 9,322
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 75 (3rd safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,952 (14th safest)
More on Molalla: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Molalla comes in as the fifth safest city in Oregon overall, with the third lowest rate of violent crime in the state. Molalla had five times less violent crime than the national average, which works out to about one violent crime every other month. So you don't need Batman watching over you when you're strolling through Feyrer Park.

Molalla is just 45 minutes south of Portland.

6. Newberg-Dundee
Newberg-Dundee, OR

Population: 27,122
Rank Last Year: -
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 154 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,452 (7th safest)
More on Newberg-Dundee: 

Living in Newberg-Dundee is pretty sweet if you like to pair your safety with a fine wine. What with Owen Roe, Rex Hill, and The Four Graces vineyards all calling Newberg-Dundee home, you can be sure that a wino will never have cause to complain here.

Newberg-Dundee experienced less than one violent crime a week in 2018 and had the seventh lowest rate of property crime in Oregon. So you can be fairly certain that nobody's going to swipe your Amazon packages from outside your door.

Newberg-Dundee is about 25 miles southwest of Portland.

St. Helens, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 13,800
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 152 (11th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,478 (8th safest)
More on St. Helens: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Oh thank heavens it's St. Helens!

The seventh safest city in Oregon, the city boasts significantly lower than average rates of violent crime and property crime for its size.

Located in the Northwest part of the state, it's literally movie level quality picturesque -- Hollywood uses the city frequently as the background of movies such as Twilight.

And all that fame hasn't gone to St. Helens' head, it has the humility of a saint you see.

La Grande, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 13,186
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 91 (5th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,002 (15th safest)
More on La Grande: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Isn't it grand to see La Grande on the ranking this year?

Much like St. Helens, La Grande moved up sixteen slots over the years thanks to a much improved violent crime rate.

La Grande lies east of the Blue Mountains and southeast of Pendleton. And while I used the name as a pun to start this off, it gets its name from the fact that it's a beautiful place to live. A beautiful safe place to live that is.

Independence, OR
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 10,280
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 126 (10th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,702 (10th safest)
More on Independence: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

A part of the Salem Metro Area, Independence jumped up 14 spots from last year's ranking to earn the title of ninth safest city in the state.

Independence had the tenth lowest lowest rate of both property and violent crime in Oregon in 2018. So when you're going for a walk along the Willamette River in Riverview Park, you can leave the mace at home.

Scappoose, OR
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 7,345
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 176 (19th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 844 (1st safest)
More on Scappoose: PhotosSearch Homes For Sale | Data | Detailed Crime Report

Another smallerish city, Scappoose breaks into the top ten safest for the second time this year and that's actually kind of a big deal for it. You see, Scappoose has been finishing just outside the top ten for years in our rankings.

It has ranked 11th for safest, 19th for best, and low 20s for richest last year. But today, it's Scappoose turn in the sun thanks to a big reduction in property crime for 2020. The city of some, would you believe, 7,000 people is located in what is essentially Washington State on the western side of Oregon.

How we calculated the safest cities in Oregon for 2020

Safest Cities in Oregon Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn't want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent report of crime (Published Sept 2019) in Oregon.

Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)
Best Places To Raise A Family In Oregon

For example, there were a total of 550 crimes committed in Lake Oswego which had a reported population of 39,557. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0139 which translates into a 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 5,000 people reported to the FBI in 2018, the last reporting year. This left us with a total of 62 of the biggest cities in Oregon to rank.

We ranked each city for each criteria from 1 to 62 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each places two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score "The Safest Place In Oregon" with any ties going to the bigger city. You can download the data here.

The safest city in Oregon, based on our criteria, is Lake Oswego. The most dangerous city in Oregon? Portland, where residents had a 1 in 16 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Note: This report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments, nor does it reflect the fact that people from out of town may come into a community and cause a crime. It simply looks at where crimes occurred most frequently, based on a city's population.

There You Have It - The Safest Cities In The Beaver State

Looking at the data, you can tell that Lake Oswego is as safe as they come, according to science and data.

But as most Oregon residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Oregon according to the data:

  1. Portland
  2. Lincoln City
  3. Ontario
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In Oregon For 2020?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k
1 Lake Oswego, OR 39,557 50 1,339
2 Umatilla, OR 7,162 55 893
3 West Linn, OR 26,934 89 868
4 Monmouth, OR 10,457 124 1,377
5 Molalla, OR 9,322 75 1,952
6 Newberg-Dundee, OR 27,122 154 1,452
7 St. Helens, OR 13,800 152 1,478
8 La Grande, OR 13,186 91 2,002
9 Independence, OR 10,280 126 1,702
10 Scappoose, OR 7,345 176 844
Download The Entire Oregon Ranking Data

How Is Your Town In ?

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In Oregon

Safest Cities in Oregon Breakdown

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.

Safest Cities By State

Enjoy The Snack?

About HomeSnacks

HomeSnacks is based in Durham, NC.

We aim to deliver bite-sized pieces of infotainment about where you live.

We use data, analytics, and a sense of humor to determine quality of life for places across the nation.

© Chasing Chains, LLC. All rights reserved.