The 17 Best Places to Live in Oregon

The people of Oregon, which is popularly known as Beaver State, simply love it there. And, why not? This incredibly beautiful state is blessed with pristine beaches, awe-inspiring mountain peaks, vast deserts, majestic waterfalls, dense rainforests, and fascinating rock formations. In other words, you can ski and surf here on the same day! It’s one of the greenest states in the United States of America.

It is extremely safe with low crime rates and has some of the best schools. Also, guess what? Its residents do not have to pay sales tax either. While all its cities and towns are great and unique in their own way, if you want to know about the best places to live in Oregon, you have come to the right place. We have enlisted the most popular places to live in the state.  

Lake Oswego 

Lake Oswego is ranked among the best cities to live in Oregon. Located in Clackamas County, eight miles south of Portland, it extends into two other counties as well – Multnomah and Washington. With a population of 39,127, its moderate cost of living makes it irresistible to many people. You can also find many natural attractions across the city, apart from parks and open spaces, including the George Rogers Park and Millennium Plaza Park.  

Right in the centre of the city is Lake Oswego, after which it is named. With a population of just 38,700, this is a great place to reside in. It also has a low crime rate, which makes it a safe option. You will also be astounded by the unemployment rate which stands at just 3.2%.  

Lakewood Bay Oswego Lake.jpg
By Esprqii CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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West Linn 

Staying at West Linn will offer you both – the pleasures and comforts of urban living and the peace and solace of nature. Counted among the best places to live in the state, located south of Portland, West Linn has a suburban vibe, which makes it apt for families. Its population is 26,656. Its main attractions are a low crime rate and an excellent education system with some great schools. In fact, West Linn is home to two National Blue Ribbon Schools, which are educational institutions recognized by the US government for their exemplary performances.  

Staying in the place is not very cheap and the cost of living is quite high. However, you can provide a good education for your children and also assure their safety in the city. The unemployment rate in West Linn is approximately 4.1%. And, last but not the least, it has a host of excellent coffee shops and parks as well.  

West Linn City Hall - Oregon.jpg
By Tesint, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Corvallis, which has a population of approximately 60,000 people, is one of the best cities in Oregon to live in and the 10th largest in the state. The importance of good education is highly emphasized here. Evidence? Well, it is home to the famous Oregon State University, which is immensely popular among students across the world. The place also has some great schools. As a result, you can soak in that vibrant college-town ambiance and vibe in this neighborhood. Job opportunities are good in the area. Travelling is also easy, as the average commute time is just 16 minutes.  

When it comes to the safety and security of the residents, the city is actually above average and ranks quite high with a relatively low crime rate. Another interesting fact about Corvallis is that it features extensive vineyards and wineries, which are spread across the Willamette Valley. The place is also known for its scenic hikes. Those who are less enterprising can explore the boutiques in the area or enjoy a hearty farm-to-table meal.  

Downtown Corvallis Oregon

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When it comes to the most popular places to live in Oregon, Tualatin, which is located in the outskirts of Portland, needs a special mention. To be precise, this is one of the best towns to live in Oregon, with a population of 27,000 residents. There are many reasons why it is so popular with people. To begin with, it boasts of all facilities and services. Secondly, its average crime rate is quite low, which makes it a safe place to stay with your loved ones.  

If you have children in your family, Tualatin is the place to be in. It has an excellent school system, including a National Blue Ribbon School. Research has shown that, on an average, Tualatin spends more money on students than any other school district in the state. Its high schools also have the highest graduation rates in the state.  

Naturally, the town’s unemployment rate is very less, too — a mere 4.5%. For those people who are interested in exploring the past, Tualatin has an interesting connection with the Ice Age. Visitors can take a look at these and other prehistoric artifacts at the city’s heritage center.   

Tualatin Commons daytime.JPG
By M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Tigard lies to the southwest of Portland by just nine miles and is located in Washington County. The city is home to approximately 53,000 people. With each passing year, it is becoming a coveted destination for those looking for a permanent place of residence. Apart from housing, it also has quality services in avenues like health and utilities. The average cost of living in this neighborhood is also moderate.  

The almost nil crime rate of the place is another important factor when it comes to buying a property in the region. If you need more reasons to settle down here, all you need to do is walk downtown; you will find various interesting activities there. You can shop till you drop and also enjoy the vibrant nightlife. Tigard’s unemployment rate is 3.7%. Portland is quite close too; you just have to drive for 9-10 minutes. A great city to move into, what say you? 

Bull Mountain Road in Tigard Oregon.JPG
By M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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The Beaver State has some great options, and Sherwood is definitely one of the good places in Oregon to live in. With a population of less than 20,000, this city is a favorite with people for various reasons. Its advantages are too many and so high that the little drawbacks just don’t stand ground. This neighborhood has one of the lowest crime and unemployment rates in Oregon. In addition, its high schools are some of the best ones. 

Be it housing and accommodation, jobs, or various amenities, it ranks high among the various cities in the state. While home prices are low, the standard of living is quite high here. Its only drawback is the long commute to Portland. There are many parks in the city, which make it a great delight for people living with their families. Along with your children, you can also bring your pet along. That’s not all; the town also boasts of a high graduation rate and good schools.  

Sherwood, Oregon townhomes.JPG
By M.O. Stevens, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Bend is one of the best areas to live in Oregon, though the average rates of accommodation are extremely high here. The largest city of Central Oregon, it is also among America’s fastest-growing ones in the mid-size category with a population of 90,500 people.  

The place is home to the Cascades campus of Oregon State University. A majority of students stay back after graduation, too, as there are good career options. In fact, Bend’s employment market is predicted to grow further in the next 10 years, bringing unemployment rates further down. Now, isn’t that an amazing news for the people who live or want to live here? 

This is a great place for adventure junkies with options such as hiking and skiing. Meanwhile, others can indulge in some of the many fun outdoor activities that the place offers or visit the breweries in the neighborhood. You can also enjoy rowing in the blue waters of the Deschutes River. A great place to call home, no doubt.  

Places to Live in Oregon: Bend, Oregon

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Scappoose, located in the state’s Columbia County, gets its name from a stream. Located very close to Portland, its average population is not very high (7,100), and the place is blessed with nature’s bounty — thick forests, the Columbia River, and stunning views of the Cascade Mountains. The crime rate in Scappoose is also very low. 

The city offers great delights for those who love the outdoors — biking trails, museums, parks, and fountains. Also, do not forget to visit the West Coast Shoe Factory while here. It is definitely one of the best places in Oregon to live if you are looking for a place to settle down.  

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The fifth-largest city in the state, Hillsboro lies around 18 miles west of Portland and has an average population of 104,700 people. Located in the Tualatin Valley, it is the hub for many technology companies. So, it goes without saying that career opportunities are plenty in this city, and unemployment rates are very low. Also, if you are single and looking for a place to live in Oregon, there is no better alternative than Hillsboro.  

The average age of residents here is about 34 years – it is a place for youngsters. So, along with a good career, you might even meet your dream partner in this haven for singles. The population of Hillsboro is slightly more when compared to other towns and cities in the state and stands at approximately 1,07,000. The crime rate here is very low, and the cost of living, too, is not very high. 

Aerial View of Hillsboro, Oregon.JPG
By Amos Meron, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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If you want to experience the best of the green state’s hospitality, you have to visit the Pacific Northwest city of Canby. With an average population of 17,500 residents, the city’s motto is to be the ‘Home of the Good Earth’. Most people here love gardening and are attached to anything that is green. Thus, the place is also known as ‘Oregon’s Garden Spot’.  

Residents take pride in growing vegetables and colorful flowers. The cost of living is not too high, and if you search patiently and diligently, you might even be able to acquire a great property at the best rates. Canby is also one of the safest cities in Oregon, with a lower crime rate.  

2017-05-07 Shops - Canby, Oregon.jpg
By Kingofthedead, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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With a population of just over 17,000 people, Pendleton is among the top places in Oregon to live with your family. The city has an interesting history and is also the cultural center of Eastern Oregon. If you are interested in exploring Pendleton’s past, you can stop by the cultural museum. Visitors can also enjoy the world-famous Pendleton Round-Up, go on an underground tour or even try the bronze art trail. Every person will find something that piques his/her interest in Pendleton – be it golfing, playing slots, learning about the native tribes, or drinking craft beer.  

The place is also known for fine woolens and leather items. All in all, it offers modern facilities and great amenities for comfortable and luxurious living. If you are planning to live in an average neighborhood in Pendleton, you can manage with a moderate income.   

Pendleton, Oregon.jpg
By Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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You can definitely give Eugene a try when you are looking for the best places to live in Oregon. The neighborhood has a thriving art culture and is also home to a few reputed educational institutions, including the University of Oregon and some excellent schools. If you enjoy the outdoors, then Eugene is definitely your destination; it is a paradise for people who love kayaking, jogging, hiking and cycling. Multiple campuses lend a young and vibrant energy to the place.  

There is an abundance of job opportunities here – both in the university as well as in government service. Did you know that Nike’s origin was also in Eugene, though it is headquartered in Beaverton? This is the reason the city is also called the ‘Running Capital of the World’. Many marathons and athletic competitions are hosted here. There are jogging trails that are almost 42 miles long. Last but not the least, don’t forget to explore the Eugene Ale Trail, where the best craft breweries of the area are available. Eugene has an average crime rate. 

Quackenbush Building (Eugene, Oregon).jpg
By Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Undoubtedly one of the best places to live in the state, Salem is also its capital. One of the biggest attractions of this city is its highly affordable real-estate market. Due to this and great employment opportunities, it is estimated that by 2035, the city will have a population of around 60,000 people. In addition, the below average crime rate is a positive point. 

Job opportunities are mainly in the government sector along with the agriculture, manufacturing, and distribution sectors. There are various outdoor activities which you can enjoy here. You can stroll downtown the Willamette River or explore the historical landmarks or museums in Salem. While here, do not forget to treat yourself to some delicious wine and craft beer.  

Oregon State Capitol

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Located in southern Oregon, Ashland is seen by many as one of the best places to live in the state. It is considered a cultural hotspot as a variety of cultural activities are held here from time to time. This city is famous for two things – Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and Southern Oregon University (SOU). The economy of Ashland mainly thrives on art galleries, restaurants, and retail stores. The place attracts retired people as well as young professionals, who enjoy its young but also peaceful vibe.  

Other attractions in Ashland include Lithia Park, which surrounds Ashland Creek. The park has beautiful duck ponds, rose gardens, and trails. North Mountain Park, which has themed gardens and a nature center, also attracts people to Ashland. There is ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum for kids, where they can experiment and even build in Da Vinci’s garage space. 

By Demi, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Central Point 

If you are looking for the best places to live in Oregon, Central Point can be a good option. It is located in Jackson County, and on an average, its population is not more than 20,000. Medford and Central Point share the southern border and the latter is a part of the Medford Metropolitan Area. Every year in July, the city hosts the Jackson County Fair, which is attended by many local as well as international travelers and tourists.  

Amenities and transport systems are excellent in the city, along with good housing as well. The city manufactures some of the best cheeses in the world and when it comes to agriculture, Central Point is known for its pears and wine. It is also one of the safest cities in the state, with an impressively low crime rate.  

Conro Fiero House in Central Point Oregon.jpg
By NoeHill, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Located in Marion County, Oregon, Woodburn lies between Salem and Portland, towards the northern end of the Willamette Valley. All the major cities in the north and south are connected to this place via Interstate 5. Railway freight lines are also seen to connect many places.  

The place has a population of approximately 26,000 residents. The areas where this city outshines others include jobs, amenities, housing, and diversity. Its crime rates are not alarming, either. The cost of living is slightly higher when compared to the national average.   

Old Woodburn City Hall - Woodburn Oregon.jpg
By Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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Beaverton is located at a distance of seven miles west of downtown Portland. This city lies in the Tualatin River Valley in Washington County. Its population stands at about 97,861 with an unemployment rate of 4.7%. Affordability in the city is pretty tough, but other factors like diversity, education, housing, jobs and amenities are excellent.  

Not many states in the United States of America or not many cities and towns in Oregon have such impressive statistics. The city’s crime rate is way below the national average, and that’s definitely a positive point, particularly when you are living with your family.  

Uwajimaya in Beaverton, Oregon.jpg
By Kingofthedead, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are many more wonderful towns and cities in Oregon that are amazing and the best places to settle in. Before making a final decision regarding any particular city, make sure that you do a thorough research on the area and study various factors related to it. Only after you are completely satisfied should you start moving your base.