Ask someone about Oregon, and they'll probably paint you a rosy picture of cheery, shorts-wearing hikers hustling up a mountain, munching on granola, and collecting banana peels for compost. Maybe that's because compared to many Midwestern locales, Oregon's lush forests, rushing rivers, and towering mountains really do seem like another world. Oregon offers a veritable bounty of nature, but the Beaver State also offers a strong economy supported by the 27th-biggest population in the country.
The state produces 95% of the country's hazelnuts, ranks third in the number of wineries, and historically has been one of the major timber-production and logging states. Additionally, Nike is headquartered in Beaverton, while Adidas has its American headquarters in Portland. As for education, Oregon is home to several known public and private colleges and universities, including University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and others. Between the economy, education opportunities, and access to nature, Oregon is a very appealing place to live, and the safety of its cities only adds to the draw.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
On the shores of the Pacific Ocean, located just a stone's throw from the California border, lies Brookings. It was originally established in 1908 and named after John E. Brookings, who was president of the aptly named Brookings Lumber and Box Company. Besides stunning coastal views, Brookings also boasts the safest crime statistics in the whole state, seeing only 7 reported violent crimes and 78 property crimes last year. In addition to keeping an eye out for any shenanigans, many locals work at South Coast Lumber, which has been making Doug Fir lumber for the Socomi Brand for more than 50 years.
Take the Columbia River east from Portland and you'll eventually run into Umatilla before crossing over into Washington. Named after the Umatilla Tribe, this scenic town became a hub during the gold rush of the late 1800s. These days, it's the second-safest city in the state, seeing only 17 violent crimes and 84 property crimes last year. Locals here love enjoying the outdoors, but when they're working, there's a good chance they're punching the clock at Boise Cascade (makers of wood chips), Oregon Rustic (pine furniture), or Gilroy Food (dehydrated onions).
Located adjacent to Dundee, Newberg can be found in the Portland metropolitan area. The city's motto is, “A Great Place to Grow!” and its flag features a red rose on a field of white, which gives it major style points. The city is also home to George Fox University, but its underrated claim to fame is its safety— Newberg experienced 0.92 violent crimes and 16.14 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. Its other claim to fame is being the home of President-to-be Herbert Hoover, who lived with his uncle and aunt while attending Pacific Academy. (The home where he lived has since been designated as the Hoover-Minthorn House museum.)
Named after Silver Creek, which flows through the city from Silver Falls, the town changed its name to Silverton in 1855. It's one of the safest cities in Oregon, seeing only 0.52 violent crimes and 20.82 property crimes per 1,000 people last year. And although Silverton isn't a huge city, it does boast several notable points of interest. It's home to Silver Falls State Park, which is the largest state park in the state, as well as the Oregon Garden. The only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in the Pacific Northwest is located here, as is Norman Rockwell's The Four Freedoms mural. Those looking for a safe place to live with access to nature and historical sites should feel right at home here.
5. HOOD RIVER
Located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Hood River is nicknamed the “Windsurfing Capital of the World.” Established in 1895, it's one of the safest cities in Oregon, last year tallying just 0.40 violent crimes and 24.09 property crimes per 1,000 people. Besides the fact that the town offers stunning views of Mt. Hood on the horizon, it has amassed many accolades from print magazines and media, being called the “coolest small town” and one of the “great riverfront towns” in the United States. Hood River is also home to Hood River Distillers, Full Sail Brewing Company, and more than a dozen wineries. So, basically, it's a great place to be.
The Top 40 Safest Cities in Oregon, 2017
31. North Bend
12. La Grande
13. Central Point
33. Eagle Point
24. Baker City
5. Hood River
19. The Dalles
39. Grants Pass
30. Klamath Falls
To identify the safest cities in Oregon, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.