Many of the issues facing Portland, such as homelessness and the recent 2020 unrest, have been widely publicized, but how much truth do these reports contain? The most recent crime reports from FBI statistics show that crime in Portland is 168% more than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime, with most incidents relating to property and personal theft.
- Northwest District
- Goose Hollow
- South Portland
- Southwest Hills
The safest neighborhood in Portland is the Northwest District. Northwest Portland is known for its craftsman-style houses and proximity to some of the best shopping and dining the city has to offer. Northwest District is one of the safer areas of Portland, with a crime rate that is 15% lower than the Oregon average. However, Northwest District is one of the more expensive areas in Portland, with a median home price of $598,786.
Goose Hollow is another one of the safest places to live in Portland. This neighborhood is located in southwest Portland, near the Tualatin Mountains and adjacent to Old Town/Chinatown and the Pearl District. Goose Hollow benefits from having a great location near many of the city’s attractions and hiking spots. While homelessness does exist in this neighborhood, it isn’t as bad as in other parts of the city. Goose Hollow has some of Portland’s most intriguing hillside neighborhoods.
Laurelhurst is also one of the safest neighborhoods in Portland. This neighborhood is famous for its vintage homes and relaxed atmosphere. Laurelhurst contains a natural park as well as a gilded equestrian statue of Joan of Arc serving as a WWI memorial. Laurelhurst is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has some of the best landscapes in Portland. Laurelhurst is one of Portland’s most expensive neighborhoods, with a median home price of $848,030.
Eastmoreland is a safe and hilly, tree-lined suburb in southeast Portland. Easily one of the most affluent parts of the city, many of the neighborhood’s homes follow a ranch and Tudor style. Eastmoreland has an abundance of parks and golf courses with hiking spots nearby. Eastmoreland is also home to Reed College, a private liberal arts school. As of 2023, the median home price in Eastmoreland is $882,274/
South Portland stretches between the Willamette River and West Hills and has a population of around 5,100. South Portland has some fantastic local views, including two historic bridges, the Marquam Bridge and the Sellwood Bridge. For those looking for a quiet, clean, and family-friendly atmosphere South Portland may be the perfect location. South Portland comprises many smaller and distinct neighborhoods, such as South Waterfront and Lair Hill. As of 2023, the median home price in South Portland is $460,663.
Southwest Hills is also one of the safest places to live in Portland. It is an extremely quaint and safe neighborhood located under the Tualatin Mountains with a population of 6,130. The total crime rate in Southwest Hills is 2,105 per 100,000, which is 29% lower than the Oregon average. Much of Southwest Hills lies outside of Portland’s city limits in Multnomah County, which has some of the best hiking trails the west coast has to offer. Southwest Hills is one of Portland’s most expensive neighborhoods, with a median home price of over $1 million.
Kerns is another safe Portland neighborhood. Kerns is a mixed-use, artistic community near downtown Portland with a population of 5,600. Kerns is a mixture of commercial buildings, condos, and rental housing. Kerns has a vibrant brewery and art scene, with many buildings featuring local murals and artwork. While Kerns does have some issues regarding property crime and drug activity, it is still safer than many other areas of Portland.
Another one of the safest neighborhoods in Portland is Irvington. This neighborhood is located in the Northeast section of Portland and has a population of around 9,000 people. Irvington is characterized by its large, stately mansion located on large plots of land. Irvington offers a quiet and serene suburban feel, making it perfect for families who still want to be close to downtown. Irvington’s crime rate is about average for Portland, with most crimes relating to property theft.
If you're looking for a safe place to live in Portland, Sabin is another great option. Sabin is located in the northeast section of Portland and has a population of 3,192. Sabin is a small community with lots of activity happening in and around the area. Sabin is surrounded by some of the city’s most popular areas, such as Alberta Arts, Irvington, and North Portland. Sabin is also close to Mississippi Ave near downtown, which is one of the most popular destinations in the city. Sabin is often described as an up-and-coming neighborhood that, aside from some property crime, is mostly safe.
Hillsdale is located in southwest Portland and has a population of 7,436. Hillsdale is a safe and highly walkable neighborhood with a busy downtown filled with restaurants and shops. Hillsdale is home to its own Farmer’s Market and a plethora of award-winning breweries and pubs. Hillsdale has a crime rate that is slightly lower than the Portland average. Most of Hillsdale’s crime relates to property theft and minor drug activity. Overall, Hillsdale is a great place for families and young people.
Overall, due to issues stemming from poverty and homelessness, Portland has a crime rate that is substantially higher than the national average. While Portland may be increasingly unsafe, there are still areas within and near the city that are safe and clean. However, many of these areas come with a high price tag and cost of living.