The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in Oregon for 2020. See if your city made the list.
Oregon’s 20 Safest Cities of 2020
If you call Oregon home, you probably worry less about safety on a daily basis than most of the country. And if you live in one of The Beaver State’s safest cities, you enjoy the lowest crime rates in the state.
See the full list of Oregon’s 20 safest cities of 2020.
Our 2020 State of Safety survey revealed that 43% of Oregonians feel high concern about their safety every day. That’s slightly below the national average of 46%.
Oregon’s violent crime rate is lower than the national average—2.9 incidents per 1,000 people versus 3.7. The state doesn’t do as well when it comes to property crime, though. Property crime in Oregon happens at a rate of 28.9 incidents per 1,000, compared to 22.0 nationwide.
When it comes to how often people experience crime in the Beaver State, those trends are flipped. Oregon reported higher experience with violent crime than the national average (14% versus 12%), but the state came in lower than the national average in regard to experience with property crime (21% versus 26%).
Violent Crime in Oregon: Fear vs. Reality
Physical assault by a stranger is the top violent crime concern in Oregon, but people think it’s more likely that they’d fall victim to a mass shooting.
- 42% named physical assault by a stranger as the most worrisome violent crime, compared to 40% nationwide.
- Aggravated assault was the most prevalent violent crime reported by the safest cities, accounting for 57% of all violent crimes reported. Statewide, aggravated assault makes up 62% of all violent crime.
- 20% said they think the violent crime that’s most likely to happen to them is a mass shooting. That’s just below the national average of 23% that feel the same way.
- Between 2014 and 2019, there have been 7 mass shootings in Oregon, resulting in 15 dead and 31 injured. Nationwide, there were 2,087 mass shooting incidents during the same time period.
Property Crime in Oregon: Fear vs. Reality
Burglary is the most concerning property crime in Oregon, but people feel it’s more likely that someone will break into their car.
- 61% expressed highest concern about someone breaking in to their home when no one’s at home, versus 62% nationally.
- Burglary accounted for 11% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 13% of all violent crime in Oregon.
- 43% said they think the most likely property crime to happen is a vehicle break-in, compared to 36% nationwide.
- Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Oregon, totalling 73% of the state’s property crimes and 81% of the property crimes reported by the safest cities.
- Only 17% of Oregon respondents have a home security system, versus 24% across the US.
- 31% use a dog or other guard animal to protect their property—just under the national average of 33%.
- 35% don’t use any form of protection or security, versus 29% nationwide.
A Closer Look at Oregon’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- West Linn is one of four new cities this year, and it tops the list. The other newbies are La Grande, St. Helens, and Newberg-Dundee.
- Five cities (25%) improved their ranking year over year, with Independence jumping 19 places to round out the top five.
- Eight cities (40%) dropped in rank this year, including Lake Oswego which slipped from number one last year to number two.
- Every city on the list beat both state (2.9) and national (3.7) violent crime rates and every city limited violent crime to fewer than three incidents per 1,000.
- Lake Oswego had the lowest violent crime rate with 0.5 incidents per 1,000.
- Nineteen cities (95%) did better than the state’s property crime rate (28.9), and 70% beat the national rate (22.0).
- West Linn had the lowest property crime rate at 8.7 incidents per 1,000.
Property crime is higher in Oregon than the rest of the country, and only two cities reported fewer than 200 total property crimes: Monmouth with 144 and Independence with 175.
How We Determined the Safest Cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.
To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.
Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2018.
|2020 Ranking||City||Population||Violent Crime (per 1,000)||Property Crime (per 1,000)|
Find the Safest Cities in Each State
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States”
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety”
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder”
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool”
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports”
Mass Shooting Definition
SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”