The SafeWise team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Oregon’s 20 Safest Cities of 2023
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Oregon for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
Oregonians in our 2023 State of Safety report expressed a higher level of concern for their safety this survey year (45%) compared to last year (37%). However, they feel less concerned overall than their fellow Americans, which averaged 50%. But, despite this lack of concern, only 35% said they feel generally safe within their state (the sixth-lowest from the survey year).
Even though overall levels of concern are lower than the national average, residents of The Beaver State generally worry more about crime, gun violence, and package theft than their peers. 73% of the Oregonians we surveyed believe that crime is increasing.
Perceptions seem to match reality, with Oregon's violent and property crime rates increasing in the latest FBI data. All 20 of Oregon’s safest cities had violent crime rates below the state and national averages. As for property crime, only 16 cities came in lower.
In this report
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2023 Oregon crime rates
Violent crime in Oregon increased this year from 2.9 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.6. Property crime rose for the first time since 2012 from 26.6 per 1,000 last year to 28.2.
Within the Pacific region, Oregon has the second-lowest violent crime rate, just behind Washington (3.4) and ahead of Alaska (5.5). Oregon's rank for property crime rate is similar—it's the second-lowest in the region, behind Alaska (11.5). Two of the five states in this region didn't meet state reporting requirements this year: California and Hawaii.
Compared to the national average, Oregon has a lower violent crime rate (US 4.0) and a higher property crime rate (US 19.3). Among the 41 states that met reporting requirements this year, Oregon has the nineteenth-highest violent crime rate and the third-highest property crime rate.
Violent crime in Oregon: Fear vs. reality
53% of Oregonians were concerned about violent crime this year—more than double the 25% from previous survey year and just above the US average of 49%. But while the 20 safest cities in The Beaver State saw their share of violent crime, they accounted for less than 9% of crimes statewide.
- Oregon's violent crime rate increased by 23% this year and the total number of incidents reported in the safest cities went up by over 200.
- Rape was slighty more prevalent in Oregon (13%) than the national average (11%), with the safest cities coming in at 17%.
- Of the violent crimes committed, aggravated assault was the most common (69% of total) in Oregon with over 10,500 incidents reported.
- Murder in Oregon makes up a scant 1% of all violent crimes, about half of the national rate (US 2%). The 20 safest cities had an even lower number of murders (just under 1%) compared to the rest of the state.
Attitudes about personal safety in Oregon
- 34% of Oregonians use some form of personal protection (US 39%).
- The most common forms of property protection in Oregon this survey year were firearms (28%) and security cameras (39%).
- This is less than the national average for firearms (US 34%), but higher for security cameras (US 38%).
- 38% of respondents said they added or increased security measures in the last 12 months compared to the US average of 35%.
- 23% of survey respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their property safety (US 28%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Oregon
- 49% of Oregonians said they worry about about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 47%).
- More Oregon residents reported personal experience with gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (9%) than in the previous survey year (2%). Despite the increase, this is lower than the 12% US average.
- There were 6 mass shootings in Oregon in 2022—a decrease from 2021 (7 incidents).
- For every police officer killed or injured by a gun in Oregon in 2022, 13 suspects experienced the same.
- There were 10 self-defense shooting incidents in Oregon in 2022—down 1 from the year before.
Property crime in Oregon: Fear vs. reality
Oregon residents were more concerned with property crime than the average American, which aligns with the state’s higher property crime rate this year. Of our survey respondents, 53% said they were most concerned with property crime, with 57% most concerned with package theft in particular.
- 10% of property crimes in Oregon happened in the 20 safest cities.
- Overall, Oregon saw a higher rate of motor vehicle theft (17%) than most of the nation (US 14%).
- This year, burglary accounted for 12% of all property crime in Oregon compared to 14% nationwide.
- Larceny-theft accounted for 79% of property crime within the 20 safest cities and 71% within the state’s property crimes.
- The safest cities have some of the highest property crime rates among safest cities from any state, with 4 cities coming in above the national rate.
Attitudes about property security in Oregon
- 64% of Oregon residents use some form of property protection (US 76%).
- The top forms of property protection in Oregon were security cameras (29%) and firearms (28%). This is lower than the respective national averages for security cameras (US 38%) and firearms (US 30%).
- 23% of Oregonians say their property security has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (US 28%).
Attitudes about package theft in Oregon
- 28% of respondents in Oregon reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey—lower than the US average of 34%.
- 57% of participants expressed a high level of concern about package theft, which is just above the US average of 53%.
- The preferred methods of package protection in Oregon are leaving it in a safe spot (25%), verified delivery (21%), and video doorbells (20%).
- This is lower than the respective national averages for verified delivery (US 27%) and video doorbells (US 28%), but matches the US average for safe spots.
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A closer look at the safest cities in Oregon
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
- 46 cities met our criteria to be considered for ranking.
- West Linn tops our list for the fourth year in a row.
- 45% of the safest cities went up in rank compared to last year with Central Point and Cornelius showing the most improvement—each moved up 13 spots to land at 5 and 20 respectively.
- 4 cities maintained their rankings from last year: West Linn (1), Bend (8), St. Helens (11), and Forest Grove (15).
- The biggest ranking drops this year were Sherwood (7) and Dallas (19)—both dropped 5 spots.
- There are 5 new cities in the top 20 this year: Canby (6), Newburg-Dundee (10), Prineville (14), McMinnville (17), and Cornelius (20)
- 2 cities have populations over 100,000—a rarity among safest cities in any state—Hillsboro (population 113,053) and Bend (population 104,833).
Violent crime in Oregon's safest cities
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 2 incidents per 1,000 people—45% lower than the state rate (3.6).
- 18 of Oregon's safest cities reported violent crime rates of 3.0 or fewer—well below the national rate (4.0). West Linn had the lowest violent crime rate (0.7).
- 15 (75%) of the safest cities reported 0 murders this year with 18 (90%) reporting fewer than 100 violent crimes.
Property crime in Oregon's safest cities
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 17 incidents per 1,000 residents—40% lower than the state rate.
- Canby had the lowest property crime rate at 10.6, almost half the national rate (19.3).
- 4 cities reported fewer than 200 property crimes this year: Independence, Canby, St. Helens, and Prineville.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.
Related articles on SafeWise
Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.