Portland, Oregon, a city renowned for its eclectic charm and diverse communities, offers a rich tapestry of neighbourhoods each boasting its unique allure. Known for its vibrant arts scene, lush green spaces, and a strong sense of community, Portland’s neighbourhoods provide a dynamic living experience.
This guide delves deep into the best neighbourhoods in Portland, exploring their distinct characteristics and lifestyle offerings. Whether you’re considering moving to Portland or just visiting, understanding what makes each neighbourhood special is key to appreciating this beautiful city. In recent years, Portland has seen a significant evolution in its neighbourhoods, with many areas undergoing revitalization and attracting new residents and businesses.
This transformation has only enhanced the city’s appeal, making it a sought-after destination for those looking for a blend of urban living and natural beauty. Each neighbourhood, with its unique vibe and offerings, contributes to the question of “is Portland, Oregon safe?” and what are the best neighbourhoods to live in Portland, Oregon.
Exploring the Best Neighborhoods in Portland, OR
Nob Hill, located in the Northwest District of Portland, is a neighbourhood known for its sophisticated yet trendy atmosphere. It’s adjacent to Downtown Portland and is easily accessible by bike or public transit. The area is particularly dense with a population of 25,677 people per square mile, making it more densely populated than 96.2% of neighbourhoods in the U.S.
This high density contributes to its walkability, with the area being one of the most walkable neighbourhoods in America. Nob Hill’s real estate is distinctive for its high concentration of apartment complexes and high-rise apartments, which make up 89.4% of the real estate in the area. Additionally, a significant proportion of the residences in Nob Hill are historic, with 59.6% of the residential real estate built from 1939 or earlier.
The neighbourhood is a hub for dining and entertainment. It offers a wide array of restaurants, ranging from breakfast spots like Pine State Biscuits to fine dining establishments serving French cuisine. The area is also notable for its numerous bars and happy hour deals. For shopping, NW 23rd Avenue in Nob Hill is a major attraction, with its shops housed in vintage craftsman homes, offering everything from hand-loomed knitwear to luxurious home wares. Despite the presence of national brands, local makers and boutiques still have a strong presence, contributing to the unique character of the neighbourhood.
Nob Hill is mostly a safe area, though it’s in the middle of the city where some crime happens now and then. The total number of crimes here is a bit higher than the US average (7% more), but much lower (86% less) than the average for the whole city.
When it comes to violent crimes, Nob Hill is much safer. It has 36% fewer violent crimes than the average in the US and 97% fewer than in the whole of Portland. For crimes like theft and vandalism, the rate is a bit higher than the US average (15% more), but still a lot lower (about 85% less) than Portland’s average.
So, it’s wise to lock your doors and stay alert, but the chances of things like theft happening are low, making it safer than most of Portland. The Portland Police Department, which has over 1,000 staff, including officers and civilian workers, looks after Nob Hill and the surrounding area.
Sellwood-Moreland, a neighbourhood in Southeast Portland, Oregon, is known for its picturesque setting and family-friendly atmosphere. With a population of around 1,183, it offers a blend of urban and suburban living. Most residents in this area choose to rent their homes. The neighbourhood is surrounded by Brooklyn to the north, Eastmoreland to the east, and Milwaukie to the south.
It’s well-connected to Southwest Portland by the Sellwood Bridge, which is the southernmost of Portland’s bridges. Sellwood-Moreland has a rich history, having originated as an independent city and part of the land claim of Reverend John Sellwood. It was later annexed by Portland in 1893.
The area is appreciated for its excellent public schools, vibrant nightlife, and ample outdoor activities. The community is diverse, with a mix of families, young professionals, and retirees, contributing to a welcoming and inclusive vibe. Despite its relatively small size, the neighborhood boasts a variety of amenities, including bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. The real estate market in Sellwood-Moreland is quite active, with a median home value of $377,900, which is higher than the national average. However, the area’s cost of living is also relatively high.
Residents enjoy a variety of dining options, including European-style cafes, sushi restaurants, and Italian cuisine. The neighbourhood is also home to several green spaces, like the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, offering excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and nature exploration. Sellwood-Moreland’s close-knit community, combined with its array of amenities and serene environment, makes it a desirable place to live in Portland.
The crime rate in Sellwood-Moreland, a neighborhood in Portland, is relatively moderate when compared to national standards. The total crime incidents reported last year were 449, leading to an overall crime rate of approximately 3,929 incidents per 100,000 people. This figure, while above the national average, is influenced by the area’s property crime rate, which stands at about 3,539 incidents per 100,000 people. Violent crimes are considerably lower, with around 390 incidents per 100,000 people. These statistics indicate that while the area experiences some crime, the rate, especially for violent crime, is not excessively high, making it a relatively safe neighborhood in the context of a larger urban area like Portland.
Irvington, a neighbourhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon, is distinguished by its historic significance and architectural beauty. Recognized as the largest historic district in Oregon and one of the largest in the United States, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Spanning a rectangular area from NE 7th Ave. to NE 26th Ave., and from NE Fremont St. to NE Broadway, Irvington is bordered by several other neighbourhoods, including King, Sabin, Alameda, Grant Park, Sullivan’s Gulch, and the Lloyd District.
The neighborhood’s layout and development were initially overseen by Ellis Hughes and the Irvington Investment Company, starting in the 1890s. It was planned as a self-contained middle to upper-class residential district, emphasizing the preservation of property values by restricting commercial activities.
The community of Irvington is known for its large, stately homes, often situated on multiple or oversized lots. These homes, characterized by varied architectural styles such as Queen Anne, Period Revival Bungalow/Craftsman, and Prairie School, are a significant draw for the area. Each spring, the Irvington Community Association showcases these homes through a popular home tour event, highlighting the neighbourhood’s architectural heritage and community spirit. Today, Irvington maintains its historic charm while embracing the vibrancy and amenities of modern urban living, including diverse dining options and local businesses
The crime rate in Irvington, a neighbourhood in Portland, Oregon, presents a mixed picture. According to the latest data, the overall rate of crime in Irvington is 65.38 incidents per 1,000 residents in a standard year, which is higher than the average U.S. neighbourhood. This places Irvington in the 19th percentile for safety, meaning that 81% of neighbourhoods are considered safer, and 19% are more dangerous. The north part of Irvington is generally perceived as the safest area.
In terms of specific types of crime, Irvington experiences a range of incidents. The rate of violent crime in the neighborhood is 2.690 incidents per 1,000 residents annually, earning a grade of D+ in comparison to other U.S. neighbourhoods. This includes various forms of violent crime such as assault, robbery, rape, and murder. On the other hand, property crime in Irvington, which encompasses theft, vehicle theft, burglary, and arson, is notably higher with a rate of 52.51 incidents per 1,000 residents, resulting in a D grade. While these figures suggest a heightened level of crime relative to many other areas, it’s important to consider the specific context and locations within the neighbourhood, as crime rates can vary significantly from one part to another..
Alameda, a neighbourhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon, has a unique and storied history that dates back to its development in the early 20th century. Originally platted in 1909, Alameda was marketed as an exclusive district with early restrictions that limited residency and dictated architectural standards. The neighbourhood’s name, derived from the Spanish word for a tree-lined promenade, reflects its picturesque streets and scenic environment.
Alameda’s development was propelled by the real estate boom following the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905. Over the years, it grew into a desirable residential area, characterized by a variety of architectural styles including Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Tudor Revival, and English Cottage. Today, Alameda is known for its stately homes, many of which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From a demographic perspective, the 2010 census reported approximately 5,037 residents living in the neighbourhood, with a significant majority being white. The area has maintained its historical value and appeal, even as demographic and economic shifts occurred in the broader Portland area. Alameda’s appeal extends to its small commercial district at the intersection of Northeast Twenty-fourth and Fremont, adding to the neighbourhood’s charm and convenience. The Alameda neighbourhood’s rich history, architectural diversity, and strong community ties make it one of Portland’s most interesting and appealing areas.
In terms of crime, the most recent data suggests that Alameda’s crime rates are 22% higher than the national average. However, it’s important to note that violent crimes in Alameda are actually 19% lower than the national average. Residents of Alameda have a 1 in 36 chance of becoming a victim of crime. Compared to other cities in Oregon, Alameda is safer than 81% of them. This suggests that while property crime might be higher, Alameda is generally a safe neighbourhood, particularly when it comes to violent crime.
Is Portland, Oregon Safe?
In 2023, Portland, Oregon, experienced a notable decrease in various crime rates compared to the previous year. The city recorded 73 homicides, which is 22 fewer than in 2022, marking a significant reduction. Additionally, non-fatal shootings decreased by 16%, and there was a 22% drop in overall shootings. Other crimes such as assault, car theft, and burglary also showed a decline.
Despite these improvements, Portland’s homicide rate in 2023 remains higher than the average before 2019, indicating that while there is progress, challenges still exist in public safety. The reduction in crime rates has been attributed to new partnerships between police and community groups, and city programs like Project Ceasefire, aimed at preventing gun violence. This information suggests a trend toward improved safety in Portland, albeit with ongoing efforts required to sustain this positive direction.
Moving To Portland, Or
Moving to Portland, Oregon, offers a blend of outdoor beauty, a vibrant culture, and a unique lifestyle. The city, located in Multnomah County, is Oregon’s most populous county and boasts about 620,000 residents. Known for its consistent rainfall, especially from November to April, Portland enjoys a mild winter and warm summer, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts with its lush landscapes and outdoor activities. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Columbia and Willamette rivers, and offers a plethora of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Portland’s cost of living is 24% higher than the national average, with housing costs notably higher than the national average. The median home price in Portland is around $543,308. Daily essentials like groceries and utilities are also slightly above the national average, with transportation costs 22% higher. However, the city’s public transportation system, TriMet, is highly effective, connecting various parts of the region and making it one of the most accessible cities in the United States. The city is also recognized for its bike-friendly infrastructure, promoting healthy and eco-friendly transportation options.
The city’s food scene is particularly remarkable, known for its reliance on high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Portland is home to numerous acclaimed restaurants and is a paradise for foodies. Additionally, the city’s cultural scene is vibrant, hosting numerous festivals and events throughout the year, and is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness.
Considering moving to Portland, it’s advisable to plan your budget carefully due to the high cost of living and to explore different neighbourhoods to find the right fit for your lifestyle. If you’re planning the move, considering hiring a local moving company like movers Portland can be beneficial. They can assist with the logistics of your move and also provide insights into which areas of Portland are safest and best suited to your needs and preferences.