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The 20 Best Places to Live in Oregon


Some quick facts about Oregon: the unemployment rate at 4.0% is slightly above the US average of 3.9%; the cost of living is 24% higher than the US average; it spends $1604 less per public school student than the US average. So, the news isn’t overwhelmingly positive. On the bright side, job growth is showing signs of improvement (with an increase of 0.8% in the market) and the state is blessed with some truly beautiful natural surrounds. It’s also home to these 20 fine places of residence, all of which have been selected for our list of the best places to live in Oregon (thanks to the data supplied by Niche, Area Vibes, PDX Listed and other sources) based on their crime rate, average household income, education system and availability of the kind of shops, restaurants, bars and parks that can elevate a neighborhood from grim to grand.

20. Hosford-Abernethy

In at number 20 we have Hosford-Abernethy, a fine little neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, that ranks highly across most key factors. Of its 9,526 strong population, 54% own their own home (with the median home value sitting high above the national average at $461,217); most earn a median household income of $75,385 (compared to a national average of $55,322); 40% have a Bachelor’s degree (with another 28% holding a master’s degree or higher); and all enjoy the benefit of a low violent crime rate. The only thing stopping it ranking higher on our list is its number of property crimes, which ranks slightly higher than the national average.

19. Goose Hollow

In at number 19, we have Goose Hollow, another small neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, that offers an urban, residential environment to its 9689 residents. Along with a great range of shops, bars, restaurants and local amenities, its offers easy access to an excellent school system (the nearby Lincoln High School and Le Monde French Immersion Public Charter School both come particularly well recommended); a low crime rate, a well educated population (35% have a bachelors degree, while another 29% have a masters), and a great range of green, open spaces for its residents to enjoy.

18. South Portland

The diverse community of South Portland, Oregon, enjoys access to a range of local businesses, a highly rated school system, an above average median household income ($84,033 compared to the national average of $55,322), a crime rate far below the national average, and an urban atmosphere that lends itself to the requirements of its youthful demographic.

17. Alameda

Family-friendly Alameda in Portland makes an attractive draw to young families. Low crime coupled with a strong education system and excellent job opportunities make an ideal combination, while the range of green spaces, leisure facilities, and recreational pursuits provide plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy spending their disposal income (which, based on the median household income of $116,939, is considerable).

16. Beaumont-Wilshire

Beaumont-Wilshire, a small neighborhood in Portland, Oregon with a population of 8,456, offers a great range of recreational and leisure facilities for its young residents to enjoy. The calm, relaxed vibe has been described as the ideal environment to raise a family (which may explain why 38% of residents have young children). The local job market is booming, with the average resident enjoying a median household income of $114,914, while the incidence of violent crime is among the lowest in the city.

15. South Burlingame

It may be small (just 5,575 residents call it home), but South Burlingame packs a mighty punch. 74% of residents own their own home, lending the area a stable atmosphere ideal for raising young families (as 26% of the population do indeed do). The average household income is almost $40,000 above the national average at $93,426, while the crime rate is well below the average, with low rates of property crimes and almost no reported violent crimes.

14. Sylvan-Highlands

Tiny Sylvan-Highlands in Portland offers its 1,604 residents an excellent quality of life, with plenty of local amenities, recreational pursuits, and suburban shopping opportunities. The school system is rated excellent, with Lincoln High School and Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School scoring particularly highly. Most residents are very well educated, with 37% holding a bachelor’s degree and a further 31% holding a master’s degree or higher. Other highlights include a low crime rate (only 66.5 assaults have been reported against a national average of 282.7, while the rate of robbery’s, rapes and murders is 0), and a median household income of way above the national average at $158,889.

13. Hillside

Hillside in Multnomah County scores well against all the key criteria: 69% of residents own their own property (which typically have a value of $694,964); the median household income comes in far above the national average at $96,557, most residents are extremely well educated (44% hold a masters degree, 36% have a bachelors degree, and a further 13% have a college or associate’s degree); and the crime rate is low (only 20 violent crimes are reported annually, while the rate of property crimes is less than half the national average).

12. Laurelhurst

In at number 12, we have Laurelhurst, a small neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, that offers a peaceful environment for the 35% of local residents that are raising kids. Access to local shopping facilities and job opportunities is excellent, while the area is well served by an excellent school system (Grant High School and Franklin High School, in particular, come highly recommended). The median household income stands at a very respectable $97,622, while the standard of education among its 6135 residents is excellent: 39% hold a master’s degree, while another 36% hold a bachelor’s degree.

11. Sabin

If you want to live amongst the 7313 residents of Portland that call Sabin their home, you’ll need to have some serious savings to your name. The average house price in the area sits at $467,086, guaranteeing the 77% of residents that own their own home a tidy sum should they choose to move out of the area… although with some of the lowest crime rates in Oregon, excellent public amenities (including some first rate dining establishments), a job market that supports a very healthy average household income of $101,583, a well-educated citizenship (40% have a masters and another 31% have a bachelors), and an excellent school system, why they’d choose to do that is anyone’s guess.

10. Homestead

The bucolic sounding Homestead is set amongst plenty of green spaces and parks, giving local residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The booming local job market is reflected in the higher than average median household income of $84,629, while the variety of independent businesses, shops, restaurants and bars offers a great nightlife for the predominantly young population of 3319.

9. Grant Park

Up next is Grant Park, an urban neighborhood in Portland that offers an enormous assortment of restaurants, boutiques and local businesses offering all the delights local residents need to tempt them to part with some of their hefty $113,715 household income. Other key highlights include an exemplary school system, a growing local job market, an educated citizenship (71% of residents hold at least a masters), and very low incidences of violent crimes. In terms of homeownership, 77% of residents enjoy owning their own homes, which typically have a value of around $574,705.

8. Marshall Park

Some fun facts about Marshall Park: it has a population of 4,636; 86% of local residents own a home with a median value of $397,167; the urban atmosphere is supported by a wealth of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and nightspots; the average household income is $111,485; 34% of residents have a family, 36% have a bachelors degree, and 35% have a masters degree; there have been no reported incidences of violent crimes in the last year; it’s the 8th best place in Oregon to live.

7. Pearl

Despite its small size, Pearl offers more in the way of art museums, cultural events, farmer's markets, and music performances than areas twice its size. As a result, housing is at a premium, with most residents (68%, in fact) happier to part with the average $1350 it takes to rent a property than the $399,368 it takes to own one. The area tends to be populated largely by urban professionals, which may explain the buzzy, urban atmosphere. Still, there’s plenty to appeal to the handful of families that choose to make Pearl their home, including an excellent school system and low crime.

6. Northwest District

Described by visitors to Niche as a “charming, busy, full of life neighborhood”, Northwest District offers all the attractions of downtown Portland within easy walking distance. Residents tend to enjoy a good household income (the average stands at $75,617) thanks to an excellent local job market, while the local school system is rated excellent. If you’re looking for a place to have some engaging conversations with likeminded folk, Northwest District may be just the ticket: 42% of residents have a bachelor’s degree, while another 31% have a master's.

5. Bethany

Small, family-friendly, and green, tiny Bethany packs a punch far above its diminutive size. The suburban feel of the neighborhood makes it a popular choice for families, as does its access to some great local schools, and a generous assortment of parks, shopping, leisure, and recreational pursuits. The good local economy supports a median household income of over twice the national average at $121,149, while the proportion of residents who’ve enjoyed higher education is high: 33% have a bachelor’s degree, while 36% have studied to masters level. Crime is at an –time low for the area, with next to no incidences of either violent or property crimes reported in the last 12 months.

4. Southwest Hills

Southwest Hills’ 13,652 residents live in a district almost unbothered by crime (the number of assaults averages 7.2 (compared to the national average of 282.7); robbery comes in at 7.2 (compared to an average of 135.5), and there’ve been no reported murders or rapes within the past 12 months. Property crimes tend to be more frequent but still well below the national average (129 reports compared to an average of 500.1); have access to an excellent school system; a multitude of shopping and entertainment facilities; a median household income of $131,076; and a booming housing market that’s taken the average price of properties to $656,342.

3. Healy Heights

It’s “A”’s all the way for Healy Heights, a 1,398 strong neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. When it comes to the kind of things that go into measuring an area’s livability, Healy Heights is a top scorer: its median household income is nearly 3 times the national average at $149,458; its adult population is highly educated, with 45% holding a masters degree and another 34% holding a bachelors, while its younger population is well served by some excellent schools; its proximity to central Portland offers easy access to areas of both industry and recreation, while its crime rate is one of the lowest in Portland.

2. Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights is a diverse community that offers an excellent option for both families and singles. Superb local amenities provide plenty of places for the 3,009 residents to splash their cash (which, with the average household income coming in at $129,363, amounts to a strong local economy, to say the least), while the crime rate is low across the board. A booming housing market and a strong school system complete the positive outlook.

1. Eastmoreland

“It is one of the most gorgeous neighborhoods I have ever resided”, “The residents are friendly and family-oriented”, “Lots of great places within walking distance boutiques, great pubs, and excellent food,”…so say the reviews on Niche, painting quite the picture of what exactly makes Eastmoreland the very best place in Oregon to live. Combine these positive reviews with a median household income of $107,803, a low crime rate, and excellent public services, and the picture is complete.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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