Safest Cities Oregon - header

Oregon – A western Pacific state, Oregon is famous for its countryside and leisure opportunities as well as its timber industry. The state also has a worldwide reputation for its liberal lifestyle and laws. Geographically the state is highly varied with forests, rivers, coastlines, mountains and volcanoes. Oregon’s population tallies around 4.1 million. The population density is low and the state ranks 39th in the US.

State wealth historically was based around fishing, hydroelectricity and timber plus mining. More recently it has become known as a center for high-technology. Tourism and leisure are also significant industries. It ranks the 25th state in terms of GDP, however, around 21% of the population uses food stamps and in 2016, unemployment was above US averages. Household average income levels compare well to US overall averages. Household income at $60,000 and per capita at $32,000 are both at - or close to - national averages.

2.50 Average violent crime per 1,000
31.41 Average property crime per 1,000

Oregon’s crimes statistics are impressive:

  • It’s the 32nd safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • Violent crime is recorded at a ratio 0.72 with 2.5 crimes per 1,000 versus a national average of 3.47 making it the 15th safest state for violent crime
  • Property crime levels are 31.41 per 1,000 compared to the national average of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.72.

The top 5 safest areas include:

  1. Lake Oswego
  2. Canby
  3. Sherwood
  4. Monmouth
  5. Beaverton

Safest Cities in Oregon, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Lake Oswego154520.38211.496
2Canby282261.57112.680
3Sherwood162280.82211.709
4Monmouth131331.26412.935
5Beaverton1721,7601.73917.796
6Milwaukie324751.52122.584
7Silverton182181.77621.507
8Hillsboro2682,1442.49519.957
9Hermiston474822.70527.738
10Dallas473352.91020.740
11Forest Grove624322.52917.618
12Bend1541,9601.64220.899
13Central Point494772.64525.749
14Tigard1011,4291.92327.207
15Lebanon456212.67436.907
16Corvallis751,4401.30325.010
17Cottage Grove305202.94651.071
18Tualatin408521.44030.668
19Keizer798262.00520.966
20Klamath Falls1066954.72530.977
21Grants Pass1031,6272.70542.724
22McMinnville509041.42325.737
23Redmond829332.74531.235
24Eugene6516,2763.86837.288
25Ashland417831.87135.740
26Salem6417,1953.78042.432
27Woodburn868573.32733.155
28Gresham3863,7133.43233.014
29Springfield1692,4662.71239.571
30Roseburg531,2782.35556.787
31Portland3,34936,8675.15756.770
32Medford3764,9364.54259.619
33Coos Bay601,2443.67076.100

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Oregon, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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