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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 116 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Oregon for 2022? 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.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Oregon For 2022
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $94,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 20.2% (2nd worst)
More on Warm Springs: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $167,100 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (6th worst)
More on Falls City: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $175,100 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.4% (3rd worst)
More on Tri-City: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $101,100 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (25th worst)
More on Vale: Data
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $210,500 (52nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (2worst)
More on Grand Ronde: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $247,800 (68th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (52nd worst)
More on La Pine: Data
Rank Last Year: 58 (Up 48)
Median Home Value: $228,000 (60th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.9% (8th worst)
More on Toledo: 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 2022
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 2016-2020 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 - 116 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:
- Maywood Park (Pop. 1,224)
- North Plains (Pop. 2,706)
- Sublimity (Pop. 2,794)
For more Oregon reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Oregon