The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2022


We analyzed over 350 places in Oregon to determine the cream of the crop.

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Oregon is best known for its forests, mountains, farms, and beaches.

The Beaver State also has some of the best cities to call home.

The love the residents have for their state is evident on every license plate. “We love Dreamers,” “Things Look Different Here,” and “Pacific Wonderland,” are just a few of the bold statements Oregonians boast about their state on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t be in love in with a state where you can ski and surf both in the same day.

Oregon has every type of city for every type of person. Hip millennial cities like Portland, hippie tree huggin’ cities like Bend, and coastal cities like Coos Bay are great places to find work, raise families, and just plain enjoy life.

And if that doesn’t seal the deal, check out our stories, Best States to Raise a Family and Best States to Retire: Oregon crushes the competition.

Whether you are an Oregon State Beaver fan, or an Oregon Ducks fan, or just a fan of Oregon’s 0% sales tax, there is a city in Oregon for you. How did we determine the best places to live in Oregon? Grab a chunk of Tillamook cheese and a Kriek from Cascade Brewing and read on.

Oregon cities are known for their quirky, avant-garde culture, iconic coffee shops, local flare, and farm to table restaurants. And, don’t get us started on their gold star recycling programs and cutting edge transportation.

Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down 74 of Oregon’s best places to live to just ten.

What city is the best place to live in Oregon for 2022? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Sherwood is the best place to live in Oregon if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

We also looked at facts like low unemployment rates, education, and available housing to individually analyze the cities. Below are the top ten best places to live in Oregon based on our calculations.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Oregon reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon For 2022

This Sherwood might not be protected by Robin Hood, but it does have one of the lowest crime rates in Oregon: and this, folks, is one of the reasons it’s the best place to live in The Beaver State. This, and so much more.

Sherwood scored low in only two categories on our SnackAbility scale–diversity and commute times. On the flipside, Sherwood’s high marks in jobs, housing, education, and amenities definitely make up for slightly longer commute times from one of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest to anywhere in the United States. We’re pretty sure when you strip down the numbers and realize that the median home price in Sherwood is only $426,400 and that the combined household income here is upwards of $107,537/year, an extra couple of minutes to PortlandPortland will feel like a walk in the park.

Speaking of parks, did we mention that this is one of the best places in Oregon for families? Yes, not only is Sherwood a short distance from the Pacific Coast, it has 15 parks inside its city limits–picture yourself biking Pioneer Park or taking the family dog to play at the Sherwood Dog Park. In terms of education, Sherwood has one of the highest graduation rates and one of the greatest percentages of students in the state who go to college.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,745
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $426,400
Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
More on Sherwood: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Sherwood, OR

Source: Public domain

If Oregon had a best city ‘Walk of Fame,” Lake Oswego would already have a spot front and center as this place in Clackamas County continues to be the #2 best place to live in Oregon year after year.

Lake Oswego’s multiple intriguing features such as a lake in the middle of the town (hence the name), its cost of living, and low crime rate, have made this place the envy of anyone who doesn’t currently live here–at least this is what the city’s 39,476 residents are saying…..

So, when we crunched the city’s SnackAbility numbers, we were not surprised to find that the people who live here make a combined household income of $114,444/year. And, folks, you will need this type of cash if you want to be able to afford the #2 highest median home price in the state. However, with the 24th lowest unemployment rate at 4.3% should put your mind and your wallet at ease. You will also sleep well at night knowing that Lake Oswego is one of the safest places in the state.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 39,476
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $659,400
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
More on Lake Oswego: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Lake Oswego, OR

Go ahead, check out the rest of Oregon, but the 3rd best place to live in the state, West Linn, knows that when you’re done traveling The Beaver State’s concrete rivers you will choose to settle down inside its city limits. How does West Linn know? Well, it has consistently been putting up some of the best numbers in the state for safety and education. In fact, it scored a perfect 10/10 on our Snackbility Scale.

West Linn is definitely not one of the cheapest places in the state, but economic trends tell us that if you want a place with a low crime rate (we’re talking 63% below the national average safe) and great schools (Bolton Middle School and West Linn High School are both National Blue Ribbon Schools) your cost of living is going to be quite a bit more. Like, the 2nd highest median home price in the state at $528,600 more. And, if keeping up with the “West Linn Joneses” is your shtick, just know that you’re going to have to make at least $119,415/year.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 26,764
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $528,600
Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
More on West Linn: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

West Linn, OR

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,143
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $264,900
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
More on Philomath: Real Estate | Crime Report

Philomath, OR

If it’s time to uproot your family with a little spring cleaning, start with a move to Oregon’s 5th best place to live, Tigard. To be honest, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see CNN call Tigard one of the best places to live in the United States with the consistent numbers it puts up year after year.

Why Tigard, you ask? Well, here’s the latest scoop. For one, it’s pretty safe in here. In fact, if it weren’t for a couple of larceny and property crimes Tigard’s crime rate would be one of the lowest on our list. In terms of Tigard’s cost of living, all major services–including health, groceries, and utilities are in line with the state average except for housing. Yes, Tigard has the 8th highest median home price in the state at $431,700 and the median income here is $86,757/year.

Tigard’s walkable downtown has unique shopping and an extensive list of things to keep you and your family safely entertained for days. So, explore Tigard’s downtown for some daytime fun and hit its nightlife circuit when you’re not busy padding your bank account.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 54,149
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $431,700
Unemployment Rate: 3.8%
More on Tigard: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Tigard, OR

Source: Public domain

Another Portland-burb, Milwaukie is the 6th best place to live in Oregon.

Located along the banks of the Willamette River, The Dogwood City of the West keeps cranking out the numbers in the right direction. Milwaukie is not only one of the safest places on our list with its low crime rate (there were only 342 crimes reported this past year and a large majority of them were property related), it meets and exceeds expectations for its overall cost of living. When we looked at the city’s median cost for things like health services, groceries, housing, and utilities, we found that Milwaukie’s numbers are right in line with the rest of the state. In fact, if you want to buy a home in Milwaukie you can get one for $357,100–it is the 16th best place to buy a home in Oregon. The 21,086 residents here also make a lot of money–we’re talking a median household income of $70,037/year.

Milwaukie also scored a 9/10 for amenities on our SnackAbility scale. Top attractions here include–but, are definitely NOT limited to– the year-round fun that can be found at the Kronberg Multi-Use Park. Just think of all the money you’ll save on gas by biking to work!

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,086
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 23)
Median Home Value: $357,100
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
More on Milwaukie: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Milwaukie, OR

Scappoose, your 7th best place to live in Oregon ranking is well deserved based on the numbers. In fact, the current crime rate is 60% less than the national average making the city one of the safest places in the state as well. The overall cost of living in Scappoose, however, is slightly higher than the state’s average, but the housing cost managed to slip under the national average. Surprisingly, it has the 28th best median home price in the state and the 7,436 residents make a decent median income at $79,375/year.

And all that money its residents are saving on housing costs, in turn, frees up money to invest into the economy as well as more money to experience the fun stuff that Scappoose has to offer. Like, hiking, biking, or kayaking the Scappoosse Bay River Trail or a weekend trying out new camping equipment along the Columbia River.

Hey Scappoose, keep your eye on the prize–you keep moving up the ranks like you are and maybe next year you’ll be number one.

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 7,436
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $304,500
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
More on Scappoose: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Scappoose, OR

Your ticket to Oregon’s 8th best place to live, Tualatin, is right here. This small town in The Beaver State consistently ranks high on many lists and this is why: one, the crime rate here is 10% below the state average. Simply put, there were only 790 crimes recorded at the time of this report. And, two, the cost of living in Tualatin also has a new look–the city’s main services like groceries and utilities are comparable to Oregon’s overall numbers. However, if you are looking to buy a home out of the gate, you will pay the 5th highest price in the state at $443,400.

Like many of the places that made our top ten list, Tualatin is also one of Oregon’s best places to raise a family. The city’s school district spends more money per student than most districts and it seems to be paying off as their Byrom Elementary School is a National Blue Ribbon School and their high school graduation rate is one of the highest in the state.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 27,601
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $443,400
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
More on Tualatin: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Tualatin, OR

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 98,567
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $400,500
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
More on Beaverton: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Beaverton, OR

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 18,648
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $289,400
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
More on Central Point: Real Estate | Crime Report | Cost Of Living

Central Point, OR

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Oregon

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Salem with a population of 171,806 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 5,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 74 cities, 107 towns, and 123 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Oregon have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Oregon

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Oregon across a number of criteria from one to 74, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Oregon”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Oregon? That would be Sherwood.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Oregon.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Sherwood at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Summary: The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Oregon

If you’re looking at areas in Oregon with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Sherwood made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Oregon for 2022.

Best Towns To Live In Oregon

  1. Banks (Pop. 1,688)
  2. Jacksonville (Pop. 2,845)
  3. King City (Pop. 3,599)
  4. Eagle Crest (Pop. 1,630)
  5. Stafford (Pop. 1,945)
  6. Sublimity (Pop. 2,845)
  7. North Plains (Pop. 2,072)
  8. Yamhill (Pop. 1,174)
  9. Durham (Pop. 1,417)
  10. Dundee (Pop. 3,203)

Best Small Towns To Live In Oregon

  1. Rivergrove (Pop. 438)
  2. Cloverdale (Pop. 297)
  3. Tetherow (Pop. 349)
  4. Tumalo (Pop. 602)
  5. St. Paul (Pop. 389)
  6. Black Butte Ranch (Pop. 343)
  7. Neskowin (Pop. 177)
  8. Riverside (Pop. 152)
  9. Bayside Gardens (Pop. 662)
  10. Adair Village (Pop. 933)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Oregon according to the data:

  1. Madras (Pop. 6,934)
  2. Sweet Home (Pop. 9,763)
  3. Ontario (Pop. 11,031)

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Oregon?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Sherwood 19,745 2.8% $426,400
2 Lake Oswego 39,476 4.3% $659,400
3 West Linn 26,764 5.1% $528,600
4 Philomath 5,143 2.9% $264,900
5 Tigard 54,149 3.8% $431,700
6 Milwaukie 21,086 4.5% $357,100
7 Scappoose 7,436 2.0% $304,500
8 Tualatin 27,601 4.6% $443,400
9 Beaverton 98,567 3.9% $400,500
10 Central Point 18,648 5.5% $289,400
11 Bend 97,032 4.4% $415,100
12 Eagle Point 9,316 4.5% $252,100
13 Hillsboro 108,026 5.0% $363,600
14 Gladstone 12,316 5.2% $337,000
15 Keizer 39,408 4.2% $279,900
16 Happy Valley 22,049 2.1% $526,900
17 Newberg 23,676 3.0% $341,400
18 Forest Grove 24,847 4.6% $346,400
19 Creswell 5,445 1.8% $240,600
20 Molalla 9,224 5.8% $316,100
21 Silverton 10,426 6.0% $324,300
22 Corvallis 58,612 6.9% $361,800
23 Ashland 21,138 5.0% $469,400
24 Talent 6,553 6.1% $222,900
25 Brookings 6,475 10.8% $333,400
26 Hood River 7,745 4.0% $385,900
27 Wilsonville 24,413 4.7% $441,800
28 Sandy 11,319 2.8% $319,300
29 Independence 10,178 6.4% $220,100
30 Troutdale 16,433 2.7% $335,500
31 Monmouth 10,411 3.4% $262,600
32 Dallas 16,612 5.8% $253,400
33 Portland 650,380 5.3% $438,500
34 Florence 9,037 5.5% $258,400
35 Canby 17,860 2.5% $357,700
36 Cornelius 12,767 3.1% $301,600
37 Seaside 6,811 3.9% $317,700
38 La Grande 13,380 8.0% $183,600
39 Albany 54,442 7.2% $244,000
40 Warrenton 5,635 2.2% $263,800
41 Winston 5,444 3.7% $184,700
42 Sutherlin 8,060 3.3% $169,300
43 Mcminnville 34,466 3.2% $282,000
44 Stayton 8,199 7.2% $278,000
45 St. Helens 13,779 5.9% $235,700
46 Fairview 9,382 4.6% $306,100
47 North Bend 9,708 8.1% $228,700
48 Pendleton 16,685 9.3% $193,800
49 Grants Pass 37,938 5.9% $260,400
50 Milton-Freewater 7,044 5.4% $131,800
51 Eugene 170,457 7.5% $304,500
52 Newport 10,767 6.7% $277,800
53 Sheridan 6,122 4.7% $203,400
54 Lebanon 17,144 9.0% $193,200
55 Astoria 9,929 5.1% $298,000
56 Gresham 110,456 5.7% $318,300
57 Redmond 31,359 7.7% $279,700
58 Medford 82,098 5.1% $278,100
59 Springfield 62,729 8.0% $226,300
60 Roseburg 23,237 5.0% $206,900
61 Woodburn 26,008 3.1% $230,500
62 Salem 171,806 6.2% $266,200
63 The Dalles 15,518 6.9% $216,100
64 Tillamook 5,308 4.0% $201,400
65 Hermiston 17,512 8.4% $164,800
66 Cottage Grove 10,302 7.9% $216,100
67 Umatilla 7,215 5.7% $158,200
68 Veneta 5,010 3.6% $220,100
69 Coos Bay 16,326 8.3% $200,900
70 Klamath Falls 21,509 8.3% $180,900
71 Prineville 10,429 8.1% $196,800
72 Madras 6,934 12.2% $201,900
73 Sweet Home 9,763 7.5% $156,000
74 Ontario 11,031 8.6% $121,600

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the best places to live in Oregon.

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.