Article Table Of Contents
Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Portland.
So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?
Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Portland 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Portland area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Portland proper, although Sherwood certainly tries.
Of course, not all suburbs of Portland are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..
We examined the 36 biggest suburbs of Portland to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in oregon lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Portland in terms of quality of life.
What's the worst suburb of Portland? St. Helens ranks as the worst suburb of Portland for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Portland that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Portland too.
Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.
For more Oregon reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Portland Suburbs To Live For 2021
We'll get the ball rolling with St. Helens, the absolute worst place to live around Portland according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, St. Helens beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Portland area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.
But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's St. Helens.
You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Portland for 2021
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2015-2019, this is the criteria we used:
- High unemployment rate
- Low median household incomes
- Low population density (no things to do)
- Low home values
- A lot of high school drop outs
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Portland.
Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 36 suburbs to evaluate around Portland.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 36 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".
Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.
And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near Portland." We're lookin' at you, St. Helens. You can download the data here.
Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.
The areas around Portland where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Portland with St. Helens casting itself ahead of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Portland aren't all bad. Sherwood takes the cake as the best place to live around Portland.
- Lake Oswego
- Happy Valley
For more Oregon reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Oregon
- Richest Cities In Oregon
- Safest Places In Oregon
- Worst Places To Live In Oregon
Detailed List Of The Worst Portland Suburbs