These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Oregon

We used science and data to determine which places in Oregon are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Oregon?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Oregon – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Oregon cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the Beaver State:

  1. Milton-Freewater (Photos)
  2. Madras (Photos)
  3. Sheridan (Photos)
  4. Ontario (Photos)
  5. Woodburn (Photos)
  6. Umatilla (Photos)
  7. Klamath Falls (Photos)
  8. Gresham (Photos)
  9. Monmouth (Photos)
  10. Springfield (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Bethany is the happiest place in Oregon.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.


How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Oregon

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Oregon, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Oregon with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 110 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Oregon’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.


1. Milton-Freewater

Milton-Freewater, Oregon

Source: Google Maps

Population: 7,094
People Who Own Their Home: 47.17%
Married Adults: 40.57%

2. Madras

Madras, Oregon

Source: Google Maps

Population: 6,419
People Who Own Their Home: 37.61%
Married Adults: 36.51%

3. Sheridan

Sheridan, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,081
People Who Own Their Home: 52.69%
Married Adults: 38.95%

4. Ontario

Ontario, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,148
People Who Own Their Home: 47.23%
Married Adults: 42.61%

5. Woodburn

Woodburn, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,282
People Who Own Their Home: 51.68%
Married Adults: 48.7%

6. Umatilla

Umatilla, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,998
People Who Own Their Home: 47.29%
Married Adults: 29.67%

7. Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,165
People Who Own Their Home: 41.23%
Married Adults: 43.37%

8. Gresham

Gresham, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 108,250
People Who Own Their Home: 49.75%
Married Adults: 45.03%

9. Monmouth

Monmouth, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,769
People Who Own Their Home: 45.7%
Married Adults: 32.53%

10. Springfield

Springfield, Oregon

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,882
People Who Own Their Home: 49.52%
Married Adults: 41.74%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Oregon reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Oregon

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Milton-Freewater 1 47.17%
Madras 2 37.61%
Sheridan 3 52.69%
Ontario 4 47.23%
Woodburn 5 51.68%
Umatilla 6 47.29%
Klamath Falls 7 41.23%
Gresham 8 49.75%
Monmouth 9 45.7%
Springfield 10 49.52%
Independence 11 52.84%
Prineville 12 49.5%
Toledo 13 40.53%
Jennings Lodge 14 52.91%
White City 15 64.82%
Cottage Grove 16 52.1%
Four Corners 17 53.32%
Hayesville 18 46.59%
Redmond 19 49.79%
Portland 20 49.74%
Eugene 21 46.05%
Medford 22 47.11%
Grants Pass 23 45.83%
Seaside 24 29.7%
Lincoln City 25 29.53%
Salem 26 50.38%
Coos Bay 27 48.06%
Corvallis 28 39.63%
Three Rivers 29 45.17%
Ashland 30 49.73%
Roseburg 31 49.93%
Junction City 32 54.78%
Roseburg North 33 61.7%
Stayton 34 49.09%
Mcminnville 35 51.56%
La Grande 36 47.09%
Sweet Home 37 56.68%
Beaverton 38 45.13%
Dayton 39 65.11%
Lebanon 40 51.29%
Phoenix 41 64.47%
Astoria 42 43.0%
Talent 43 56.46%
Cornelius 44 72.65%
Eagle Point 45 55.06%
Albany 46 54.88%
Wilsonville 47 44.56%
Hood River 48 41.83%
Forest Grove 49 55.79%
Newberg 50 56.8%
Lafayette 51 71.46%
Dallas 52 59.17%
Milwaukie 53 55.28%
Gladstone 54 53.19%
Hillsboro 55 50.03%
Brookings 56 44.15%
Oak Grove 57 55.33%
Sutherlin 58 58.63%
Boardman 59 56.5%
Winston 60 55.88%
Fairview 61 49.53%
North Bend 62 53.07%
Troutdale 63 61.34%
Warrenton 64 48.94%
Newport 65 42.17%
Hermiston 66 53.43%
Silverton 67 59.32%
Oregon City 68 62.29%
Green 69 74.65%
Aloha 70 61.8%
Bend 71 52.19%
Hubbard 72 74.17%
Tualatin 73 53.45%
Keizer 74 58.27%
Scappoose 75 68.19%
Lakeview 76 51.67%
King City 77 75.38%
Molalla 78 68.92%
Jefferson 79 66.92%
Pendleton 80 51.62%
Florence 81 51.41%
Garden Home-Whitford 82 61.33%
Baker City 83 53.45%
Tigard 84 57.79%
Canby 85 65.33%
Altamont 86 65.62%
Harrisburg 87 66.67%
The Dalles 88 56.36%
West Slope 89 51.42%
Deschutes River Woods 90 69.72%
Central Point 91 57.47%
Cedar Hills 92 60.9%
Sandy 93 57.08%
Oak Hills 94 55.8%
Raleigh Hills 95 53.59%
Damascus 96 85.17%
Columbia City 97 76.41%
Oatfield 98 74.19%
Lake Oswego 99 62.76%
Jacksonville 100 68.54%
Bull Mountain 101 80.21%
Beavercreek 102 89.25%
West Linn 103 73.1%
Happy Valley 104 80.36%
Sherwood 105 73.21%
Rockcreek 106 62.94%
West Haven-Sylvan 107 57.82%
Cedar Mill 108 72.46%
Stafford 109 73.63%
Bethany 110 75.19%

11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Oregon

  1. Monmouth does not need to be on this list. Monmouth is a beautiful town with a lot to offer..but it is in fact a college town. The numbers are going to be drastically lower in the categories your looking for because of that. I’ve lived in Monmouth\ independence my entire life and you will not find a better town in Oregon. The people are friendly, the crime rate is much lower than the other towns listed, it’s a cute little town and is townies are happy as clams with it.

  2. Survey comes out of Durham, NC .That tells me alot about this worthless article! I lived in Eugene, Bend, Lakeview, La Grande and Clay Creek (Oregon coastal mountains) I have friends in Springfield, Portland and Yachats. All these areas are fantastic places and I enjoyed living there very much. I would take any of Oregon’s towns over where I live now. Had to move to So Cal for work but my heart is still in Oregon. The people there are happy, mellow and friendly! More than I can say for the jerks I deal with in So Cal although my desert city of Hesperia is rural and pretty nice. In my opinion this article is stupid and I had to chime in! By the way GO DUCKS!

  3. Sheridan is right where it should be, #3, though I would have put it at #1. I lived there for 6 years. If your looking for meth users and the thievery that comes with it Sheridan is the place to go. Management and operations at the city hall is a pathetic joke and are unfriendly and uncooperative, especially if you rent. If you don’t want your things stolen rent a storage unit NOT located in Sheridan or bolt it down and strip the bolt heads (Did I mention the thieves?). At one time Sheridan was a nice place, then the lumber mills shutdown and anyone with money left. The people left are either commuters who aren’t interested, welfare families and single pregnant teenage girls (with and without previous children), teenage boys with no jobs and no opportunities and it has one of the worst public school systems in the state. While located in a very beautiful spot tucked away in the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley, it’s dying. Sheridan’s one saving grace is the Sheridan Japanese School, an excellent, top notch 4-12 charter school that is very challenging and relatively selective public charter school. Unfortunately, school district resents the school, probably for blowing them out of the water when it comes to academic excellence and the Japanese School gets treated like the ugly step child, when the school district should be using the Japanese School as a benchmark to overcome their own woeful deficiencies.

  4. just cause a person dont have a collage degree isn’t married or doesn’t own their home does not mean they are miserable because of it

  5. Just because you have a miserable life in Sheridan does not make the town an awful place. Like any other town on Earth Sheridan has its good and bad. Your bad experience with the city hall and the other people in our community isn’t typical by any means! What is typical is that in any community there are trash talkiing know it alls like Hinge here who seem to know the problems but refuse to to take action to better or community! If you don’t like to town Hinge Weilher then you know the roads out of town because the town folk of Sheridan don’t want or need people such as yourself! You could very easily point out what you think is wrong but have you looked at what was right and beautiful? No? Bet its because you are in fact just a MISERABLE person. Do us all a big favor and keep your big fat mud flaps closed and or leave!

  6. How come Salem is not number one with any doubt????????? Lived there for 8 years. Complete hell hole. Even the homeless people have their own special hell called UGM. Ran by religious right wing bigots. Back in Portland now and I would NEVER go the 44 miles south to Salem again

  7. I think there is an error is saying the list is based on cities of 2000 people or more. Based on the number of missing towns, including my hometown, my guess is that you meant 4000.

  8. Lmao I think this list is accurate. Just because you chose to see only the good things does not mean bad doesn’t exist. Calm down u defensive animals

  9. I can see where Salem would be on this list. It’s sad that the city can’t take care of the homeless situation. Nice they are building a new police station and renovating North Salem High School but, can’t come up with a viable solution for the homeless like converting shipping containers into shelters on one of the many empty lots around town, getting mental health ect., to that population.

  10. an unfair survey, what they used for data is stupid…Not everyone has to go to college to be successful and there are many wealthy farmers In Oregon. living in Oregon is like being on vacation every day. unless you live in Portland or Eugene ..Most places in Oregon experience light traffic and travel times…and in every town on this list near 50% of the population own their own homes or farms…oh wait they for got to tell you about the farmers… I am pretty sure whoever wrote this hasn’t even lived in Oregon…so they shouldn’t be judging it… ask the people in those town how they feel about their homes

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