The 10 Best Counties To Live In Oregon For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Oregon have the most for people looking to make the move to Oregon.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in Oregon.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Oregon a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in Oregon.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Beaver State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of Oregon, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 36 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Beaver State for 2021.

Washington County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Oregon. And you might want to avoid Malheur County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move Oregon, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Oregon and the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

The Best Counties To Live In Oregon For 2021

1. Washington County

Beaverton, OR

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Portland

Population: 589,481
Median Income: $82,215 (best)
Median Home Price: $386,600.0 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 436.7% (3rd best)
More on Washington County: PhotosData

2. Clackamas County

Canby, OR

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Portland

Population: 410,463
Median Income: $80,484 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $395,100.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 451.3% (5th best)
More on Clackamas County: PhotosData

3. Yamhill County

Dayton, OR

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: McMinnville

Population: 104,831
Median Income: $63,902 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $295,900.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 408.0% (2nd best)
More on Yamhill County: PhotosData

4. Columbia County

Columbia City, OR

Biggest Place: St. Helens

Population: 51,375
Median Income: $62,257 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $264,900.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 627.0% (18th best)
More on Columbia County: PhotosData

5. Deschutes County

Bend, OR

Biggest Place: Bend

Population: 186,251
Median Income: $67,043 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $364,600.0 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 539.6% (12th best)
More on Deschutes County: PhotosData

6. Benton County

Albany, OR

Biggest Place: Corvallis

Population: 91,107
Median Income: $62,077 (9th best)
Median Home Price: $331,300.0 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 542.8% (13th best)
More on Benton County: PhotosData

7. Polk County

Dallas, OR

Biggest Place: Salem

Population: 83,037
Median Income: $62,691 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $265,200.0 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 636.9% (19th best)
More on Polk County: PhotosData

8. Wallowa County

Biggest Place: Enterprise

Population: 7,004
Median Income: $51,224 (20th best)
Median Home Price: $239,100.0 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 473.4% (7th best)
More on Wallowa County: Data

9. Hood River County

Hood River, OR

Biggest Place: Hood River

Population: 23,209
Median Income: $65,679 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $373,600.0 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 362.2% (best)
More on Hood River County: PhotosData

10. Multnomah County

Fairview, OR

Biggest Place: Portland

Population: 804,606
Median Income: $69,176 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $386,200.0 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 493.2% (8th best)
More on Multnomah County: PhotosData

How do you determine which Oregon county is the best?

To give you the best county in Oregon, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Oregon across each of the criteria from one to 36, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In Oregon".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Beaver State.

Read on to see why Washington County is the best county, while Malheur County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Oregon.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In Oregon To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Oregon can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in Oregon according to the data:

  1. Malheur County
  2. Lake County
  3. Klamath County

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Oregon

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Washington County 1 589,481 $82,215 $386,600.0
Clackamas County 2 410,463 $80,484 $395,100.0
Yamhill County 3 104,831 $63,902 $295,900.0
Columbia County 4 51,375 $62,257 $264,900.0
Deschutes County 5 186,251 $67,043 $364,600.0
Benton County 6 91,107 $62,077 $331,300.0
Polk County 7 83,037 $62,691 $265,200.0
Wallowa County 8 7,004 $51,224 $239,100.0
Hood River County 9 23,209 $65,679 $373,600.0
Multnomah County 10 804,606 $69,176 $386,200.0
Union County 11 26,337 $52,171 $185,400.0
Clatsop County 12 39,102 $54,886 $283,900.0
Linn County 13 125,048 $55,893 $221,600.0
Tillamook County 14 26,389 $49,895 $254,300.0
Wasco County 15 26,130 $53,105 $212,900.0
Curry County 16 22,650 $48,440 $265,400.0
Jackson County 17 216,574 $53,412 $280,300.0
Crook County 18 23,011 $49,006 $246,100.0
Lane County 19 373,340 $52,426 $263,200.0
Harney County 20 7,267 $40,735 $121,300.0
Lincoln County 21 48,547 $47,882 $251,200.0
Sherman County 22 1,642 $51,071 $159,800.0
Marion County 23 339,641 $59,625 $247,100.0
Morrow County 24 11,303 $54,269 $138,100.0
Douglas County 25 109,114 $47,267 $199,200.0
Gilliam County 26 1,878 $47,500 $115,900.0
Umatilla County 27 77,129 $54,699 $170,900.0
Wheeler County 28 1,415 $40,926 $155,300.0
Josephine County 29 86,251 $45,616 $265,500.0
Baker County 30 16,019 $45,998 $173,100.0
Jefferson County 31 23,607 $53,277 $224,600.0
Coos County 32 63,686 $45,051 $198,100.0
Grant County 33 7,189 $44,712 $144,800.0
Klamath County 34 66,921 $46,491 $170,600.0
Lake County 35 7,837 $37,898 $146,800.0
Malheur County 36 30,412 $43,313 $135,900.0

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.

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