Worst Small Towns In Oregon For 2020


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

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Oregon.

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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 109 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:

These are the worst small towns in Oregon for 2020:

  1. Warm Springs
  2. Burns (Photos)
  3. Bunker Hill
  4. Nyssa (Photos)
  5. Harbor
  6. Tri-City
  7. Oakridge (Photos)
  8. Powers
  9. Myrtle Point (Photos)
  10. Vale

So what is the worst small town to call home in oregon for 2020? According to the most recent census data, Warm Springs is the worst small town to live in Oregon.

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.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Oregon For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,311
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $115,600 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 25.6% (3rd worst)
More on Warm Springs:  Data

Burns, OR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,756
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $65,900 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.0% (5th worst)
More on Burns:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,986
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $118,700 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (7th worst)
More on Bunker Hill:  Data

Nyssa, OR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,175
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $94,400 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (19th worst)
More on Nyssa:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,044
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $144,800 (33rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.6% (4th worst)
More on Harbor:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 4,090
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $144,200 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (8th worst)
More on Tri-City:  Data

Oakridge, OR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,261
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $100,700 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (9th worst)
More on Oakridge:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,048
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $90,000 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (48th worst)
More on Powers:  Data

Myrtle Point, OR

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,506
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $143,100 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (17th worst)
More on Myrtle Point:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,016
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $92,100 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (27th worst)
More on Vale:  Data

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 determined the worst small towns to live in Oregon for 2020

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2014-2018 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 109 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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. North Plains (Pop. 2,427)
  2. Banks (Pop. 1,811)
  3. Adair Village (Pop. 1,189)

For more Oregon reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Oregon

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Warm Springs 3,311 25.6% $115,600
2 Burns 2,756 22.0% $65,900
3 Bunker Hill 1,986 14.7% $118,700
4 Nyssa 3,175 12.0% $94,400
5 Harbor 2,044 22.6% $144,800
6 Tri-City 4,090 14.5% $144,200
7 Oakridge 3,261 14.4% $100,700
8 Powers 1,048 8.5% $90,000
9 Myrtle Point 2,506 13.0% $143,100
10 Vale 2,016 10.4% $92,100
11 Rose Lodge 1,359 7.1% $105,600
12 Falls City 1,162 12.9% $138,300
13 Riddle 1,331 14.8% $101,600
14 Cave Junction 2,323 7.4% $143,100
15 Boardman 3,340 4.7% $122,800
16 Canyonville 1,787 9.7% $125,800
17 Lakeview 2,765 7.1% $113,200
18 Siletz 1,497 8.9% $119,300
19 La Pine 2,188 6.3% $180,600
20 Irrigon 2,095 7.2% $98,000
21 Stanfield 2,751 11.6% $109,300
22 Reedsport 4,072 5.7% $131,600
23 Grand Ronde 1,745 10.2% $204,100
24 Clatskanie 1,668 13.5% $171,100
25 John Day 2,251 9.2% $115,400
26 Rockaway Beach 1,213 9.0% $182,300
27 Elgin 1,382 7.8% $120,600
28 Barview 2,066 14.2% $141,300
29 Harrisburg 3,741 9.0% $146,500
30 Yoncalla 1,121 9.3% $125,600
31 Rainier 2,109 9.9% $172,800
32 Metolius 1,038 8.3% $85,700
33 Mill City 1,691 11.1% $164,300
34 Willamina 2,412 13.1% $149,200
35 Culver 1,838 10.4% $152,600
36 Pilot Rock 1,445 7.9% $116,500
37 Myrtle Creek 3,435 8.5% $155,300
38 Coquille 3,856 14.3% $140,000
39 Shady Cove 3,041 6.5% $153,800
40 Gold Beach 2,208 5.7% $219,500
41 Veneta 4,891 3.6% $200,800
42 Wood Village 4,036 2.2% $137,700
43 Gervais 2,666 12.0% $162,300
44 Enterprise 1,990 7.4% $161,400
45 Cascade Locks 1,109 11.8% $200,000
46 Redwood 2,707 10.9% $259,400
47 Lincoln Beach 1,810 14.2% $251,800
48 Chenoweth 2,053 3.4% $172,300
49 Gold Hill 1,343 9.1% $171,000
50 Aumsville 4,058 9.8% $154,600
51 Waldport 2,043 8.9% $212,700
52 Toledo 3,540 5.8% $199,200
53 Hubbard 3,399 7.1% $215,300
54 Mount Angel 3,502 1.4% $199,400
55 Bandon 3,072 1.9% $216,600
56 Hines 1,451 11.7% $116,100
57 Phoenix 4,536 8.7% $173,800
58 Mulino 2,413 13.8% $401,600
59 Odell 2,194 4.4% $222,500
60 New Hope 1,317 5.2% $336,800
61 Jefferson 3,270 8.5% $190,300
62 Terrebonne 1,626 9.8% $215,200
63 Heppner 1,093 7.2% $102,100
64 Brownsville 1,867 3.7% $186,400
65 Amity 1,782 10.9% $171,600
66 Rogue River 2,563 3.8% $183,100
67 Three Rivers 3,593 5.2% $247,700
68 Dayton 2,643 7.7% $190,700
69 Depoe Bay 1,772 9.6% $283,500
70 Sisters 2,555 4.7% $300,400
71 Bay City 1,514 5.1% $220,900
72 Island City 1,028 2.0% $171,300
73 Union 2,066 3.9% $138,500
74 Vernonia 1,851 3.7% $174,200
75 Athena 1,323 8.1% $132,800
76 Tangent 1,137 7.1% $206,400
77 Joseph 1,005 3.8% $216,900
78 Lakeside 1,766 2.6% $179,300
79 Cannon Beach 1,489 1.4% $498,100
80 Lyons 1,141 8.3% $193,500
81 Donald 1,287 8.3% $166,700
82 Mount Hood Village 4,587 4.7% $293,300
83 Lafayette 4,105 2.8% $222,600
84 Warren 2,053 5.8% $350,400
85 Gearhart 1,531 3.4% $331,700
86 Turner 2,284 9.0% $246,800
87 Philomath 4,702 4.6% $229,900
88 Columbia City 2,065 10.1% $264,000
89 Coburg 1,144 8.0% $288,400
90 Estacada 3,270 1.4% $266,600
91 Carlton 2,032 10.0% $252,800
92 Lowell 1,173 0.8% $191,700
93 Dunes City 1,178 1.3% $337,600
94 King City 3,807 2.9% $251,100
95 Sunriver 1,302 0.0% $517,900
96 Millersburg 1,646 4.0% $304,100
97 Stafford 1,807 5.8% $884,100
98 Metzger 3,477 1.1% $333,300
99 Aurora 1,254 6.0% $339,500
100 Beavercreek 4,322 3.5% $432,500

How Is The Area In ?

12 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Oregon, 2020

  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.

  8. Infotainment is a new word for me, but still, in articles like this, I’d appreciate a little honesty.

    #5 is Falls City, and while it might be a raging shithole (Sorry Falls City people, you had to hear it from me) the picture of some downtown area in what you would suppose is Falls City is actually from Snow Hill, Maryland. I don’t know what level of inept you have to be to fake a pic, but there it is.

    Maybe the author was too afraid to visit the area? (Wise choice!)

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