These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Oregon For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in OR are the pits.

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Most Americans have never been to Oregon. However, as the people who live there know, Oregon is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Oregon has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Beaver State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 117 of Oregon’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Oregon where you’d never want to live:

  1. Mitchell
  2. Idanha
  3. Chiloquin
  4. Sumpter
  5. Mission
  6. Mount Vernon
  7. North Powder
  8. Days Creek
  9. Powers
  10. Malin

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Oregon has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Oregon or the worst places to live in Oregon.

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How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Oregon, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (The lower the worse)
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
  • Education (Number of high school dropouts)
  • High Crime

We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 117 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

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1. Mitchell


Population: 108
Median Income: $29,250
Median Home Value: $84,400

2. Idanha


Population: 165
Median Income: $29,083
Median Home Value: $93,800

3. Chiloquin


Population: 844
Median Income: $29,539
Median Home Value: $82,200

4. Sumpter


Population: 198
Median Income: $19,063
Median Home Value: $138,200

5. Mission


Population: 932
Median Income: $26,765
Median Home Value: $150,000

6. Mount Vernon


Population: 601
Median Income: $33,098
Median Home Value: $79,600

7. North Powder


Population: 537
Median Income: $29,643
Median Home Value: $112,500

8. Days Creek


Population: 238
Median Income: $30,000
Median Home Value: $158,300

9. Powers


Population: 875
Median Income: $25,156
Median Home Value: $106,000

10. Malin


Population: 828
Median Income: $33,594
Median Home Value: $99,700

There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Oregon

If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Beaver State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Oregon, according to science.

  1. Best: Rivergrove
  2. 2nd Best: St. Paul
  3. 3rd Best: Cloverdale

For more reading, check out:

  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Oregon
  • These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Oregon
  • These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Oregon
  • Ranking Of The 100 Worst Small Towns In Oregon

    City Rank Population Home Price
    Mitchell 1 108 $84,400
    Idanha 2 165 $93,800
    Chiloquin 3 844 $82,200
    Sumpter 4 198 $138,200
    Mission 5 932 $150,000
    Mount Vernon 6 601 $79,600
    North Powder 7 537 $112,500
    Days Creek 8 238 $158,300
    Powers 9 875 $106,000
    Malin 10 828 $99,700
    Prospect 11 482 $139,900
    Spray 12 165 $79,000
    Ukiah 13 243 $100,000
    Wasco 14 381 $129,700
    Merrill 15 818 $107,400
    Pacific City 16 972 $224,100
    Halfway 17 302 $143,800
    Harper 18 112 $101,800
    Falls City 19 939 $132,900
    Rufus 20 212 $115,200
    Grass Valley 21 149 $116,700
    Pine Grove 22 105 $115,600
    Seneca 23 180 $67,900
    Butte Falls 24 386 $120,000
    Moro 25 380 $118,000
    Haines 26 480 $99,600
    Arlington 27 571 $106,900
    Glendale 28 775 $114,600
    Fossil 29 403 $89,500
    Johnson City 30 547 $22,000
    Tutuilla 31 461 $181,300
    Selma 32 643 $228,100
    Wallowa 33 680 $118,900
    Bonanza 34 509 $111,600
    Annex 35 262 $122,300
    Gopher Flats 36 351 $170,800
    Mosier 37 596 $34,100
    Prairie City 38 868 $116,800
    Adrian 39 233 $81,000
    Holley 40 328 $248,800
    Westfir 41 288 $136,400
    South Lebanon 42 901 $148,400
    Gates 43 447 $125,000
    Jordan Valley 44 134 $88,800
    Winchester Bay 45 294 $168,100
    Richland 46 174 $120,500
    Oakland 47 737 $122,000
    Huntington 48 314 $72,700
    Barlow 49 171 $205,600
    Condon 50 556 $93,300
    Garibaldi 51 820 $158,900
    Monroe 52 653 $156,700
    Maupin 53 628 $151,700
    Echo 54 751 $111,100
    Glasgow 55 688 $293,600
    Gardiner 56 190 $166,100
    Crawfordsville 57 340 $217,300
    Paisley 58 372 $85,000
    Ione 59 276 $114,600
    Elkton 60 210 $237,500
    Weston 61 751 $104,300
    Tygh Valley 62 254 $137,500
    Wheeler 63 422 $247,500
    Lostine 64 399 $158,900
    Alsea 65 283 $167,200
    Yachats 66 648 $346,500
    Joseph 67 981 $198,800
    Lacomb 68 814 $292,200
    Pine Hollow 69 486 $178,400
    Adams 70 353 $146,300
    Jeffers Gardens 71 299 $131,300
    Halsey 72 935 $144,700
    Brogan 73 199 $223,300
    Canyon City 74 805 $117,800
    Umapine 75 347 $272,200
    Lexington 76 188 $80,700
    Dayville 77 133 $105,600
    Gaston 78 558 $193,000
    Kirkpatrick 79 136 $212,500
    Waterloo 80 242 $151,400
    Cove 81 726 $193,800
    Melrose 82 790 $229,400
    Summerville 83 111 $131,300
    Manzanita 84 332 $455,000
    Imbler 85 336 $190,900
    Nesika Beach 86 497 $189,400
    Ruch 87 683 $320,000
    Scio 88 768 $170,400
    Netarts 89 878 $253,600
    Labish Village 90 218 $89,500
    Foots Creek 91 589 $286,100
    Lookingglass 92 909 $278,200
    Sodaville 93 395 $157,500
    Seventh Mountain 94 285 $527,800
    Scotts Mills 95 416 $238,100
    Cape Meares 96 121 $275,000
    Mehama 97 148 $255,000
    Dillard 98 450 $95,300
    Parkdale 99 528 $351,400
    Nehalem 100 323 $196,600

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    10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In Oregon For 2018

    1. Getting ready to build a new home right between #8 Long Creek and #4 Monument. Can’t wait to get the heck away from city folks.

    2. I have lived in Portland for 15 years, but am from eastern Oregon. Having experience living in both rural and metropolitan areas, I can tell you that there are a lot of things that I miss about eastern Oregon, not the least of which is the wonderful, down-to-earth, people that live there. Most live there by choice to get away from the rat race in metro living. You can breathe fresh air, drive without the jerk behind you tailgating and cussing you out, enjoy the beautiful expanse of wilderness, and you can actually see the stars at nighttime… hmmmm, sounds to me like eastern Oregon is a terrible place to live 😉 Don’t ever move there! LOL

        1. Oh you guys are making it sound great. I live in the city with my family. We have had it. Im tired of it. I am trying to figure out what to do for work out there. I want a tiny house out there. Thanks for the extra info. Geez it sounds swell. Lol.

    3. LOL, I grew up in a small farming community. I have never lived in any of these towns but I have for some obscure reason visited or driving through them and I would never ever consider raising a family or retiring in any of the towns. Education, medical, and crime rate, etc. etc. just to name a few.

    4. I’ve spent almost all of my summers and nearly as many winter vacations in Seneca, 33 years now. It’s one of my favorite places in this whole country, and I’ve visited almost every state. Seneca is ridiculously beautiful and the people are friendly.

    5. Uh, I think some of the numbers are messed up. Both Joseph and Prairie City have quite a few more people living there than “1”…

      Normally I am a staunch defender of small towns in Eastern Oregon (which you have to understand mostly doesn’t have the per capita to qualify as rural, so it’s still technically considered “frontier”). However, I’d have to agree with most of the list here. But, between these towns there are also some real gems. (but I won’t spill the beans)

    6. Ukiah’s $204,500 medium home price is the value of all of the houses there. The town is filled with older double wide trailers. Someone is feeding you BS.

    7. Hahahahaha …. wait … HAHAHAHAHAHA …. Hey Bud of the Tapman. Try this for some real online info-tainment: ‘Ultimate Top 10 Best Worst Websites Ever’, by a person posing as a team of unqualified experts trying to convince unsuspecting online readers that their so called facts based on ‘data crunching’ numbers and ‘what kind of science bud?’ adds up to any truth, but really is just YOUR baseless opinion meant for info-taining. It’ll be redundant to list ‘RoadSnacks’ ten times, but eventually you’ll get the point bud and online readers will actually have some real quality info-tainment to snack on and enjoy.

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