From Mount Bachelor to Cannon Beach, Oregon is home to several beautiful sites that draw people in. Not to mention the delicious restaurants, fantastic brewery scene, and vibrant culture. It’s no surprise around 4 million people call this state home. If you want to live in Oregon but don’t know what cities to consider, take a look at this list. We compiled 8 Oregon cities with the most significant population increase over five years from 2017 to 2021. Keep reading to see what made the list.
#1: Bend, OR
Taking the top spot on the list of fastest-growing cities in Oregon is Bend, OR. Best is best known for its craft breweries and outdoor activities. The city currently has a population of around 102,000, which is an increase of 8% from 2017.
It’s no surprise that many people are choosing to call this city home as there are a handful of great parks, including Drake Park, Riverbend Park, and Shevlin Park. While exploring Bend, locals can also find a bustling arts and entertainment scene with museums like High Desert Museum and Deschutes Historical Museum and entertainment venues such as Hayden Homes Amphitheater, Tower Theatre, and Volcanic Theatre Pub. If you decide to live in Bend, you can enjoy many excellent restaurants such as Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails, Spork, and Jackson’s Corner.
#2: Medford, OR
Situated inside Rogue Valley and best known for its proximity to the Rogue River, Medford, OR comes in at number two on our list. Medford saw a 6% increase in population to its current population of nearly 86,400 residents.
There are a lot of great things to do in Medford. Residents can enjoy a picnic at Bear Creek Park or Hawthorne Park Playground; savor a bite at Rooster’s Restaurant, Cicily’s Pastaria & Grill, or Jaspers Café; check out the arts and entertainment scene at The Children’s Museum of Southern Oregon and Medford Railroad Park; or enjoying a show at Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts.
#3: Albany, OR
Albany, OR, is well known for being the “rare metals capital of the world.” Albany saw a 6% increase in population and has a population of nearly 56,800. There’s so much to do for those living in Albany. If you are hungry and want to grab a delicious bite to eat, check out Simply Ramen, The Depot Restaurant, and Brick & Mortar Café. Then, be sure to take a walk through one of the numerous parks like Timber Linn Memorial Park, Bryant Park, and Kinder Park. Lastly, grab tickets to a show at Albany Civic Theater.
#4: Salem, OR
Oregon’s capital city, Salem, is surrounded by gardens, fields of flowers, vineyards, and green pastures. Oregon’s fourth fastest-growing city has a population of about 177,750, accounting for a 5% increase since 2017.
If you decide to move to Salem, plenty of activities will keep you and your family busy. You can explore Riverfront City Park, Minto-Brown Island Park, and Bush’s Pasture Park and try the local cuisine at Amadeus Restaurant, Wild Pear, and Word Of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro. If you love arts and entertainment, swing by Gilbert House Children’s Museum, Deepwood Museum & Gardens, Elsinore Theatre, and Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre. There is something for everyone in Salem.
#5: Tigard, OR
If you’re considering moving to a new city, look no further than Tigard, OR. The city is best known for its art-devoted community and quaint suburban feel. Tigard saw a 4% increase in population since 2017 and currently has around 55,800 residents.
If you’re curious about how to spend a day in Tigard, here’s an idea. You can enjoy the afternoon at Cook Park or Summerlake City Park, then eat a delicious meal at Banning’s Restaurant & Pie House, Pastini, or Taqueria La Fuente, and finish the evening by catching a show at the Broadway Rose Theatre Company.
#6: Eugene, OR
Coming in at sixth, Eugene, OR, which is best known for being the birthplace of Nike and home to The University of Oregon. Eugene currently has a population of around 175,100, which is a 3% increase.
There is plenty to do while living in Eugene. Here are just a few ideas: visit the University of Oregon campus and explore all that it has to offer, check out the many museums and art galleries in the area, take a hike or bike ride through one of the many scenic trails, visit the Oregon State Capitol Building, and explore the downtown area and all of the unique shops and restaurants.
#7: Corvallis, OR
Coming in at seventh is Corvallis, OR. Home to Oregon State University, the city is surrounded by vast mountain ranges and Willamette Valley’s charming wine country. Corvallis has a population of about 59,900, a 2% increase since 2017.
You may be wondering what there is to do in Corvallis, OR. You can spend an afternoon in many local parks, such as the Riverfront Commemorative Park and Willamette Park. Be sure to taste the local cuisine at Pastini, Koriander, and Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe, and afterward, you catch a show at Majestic Theatre or the LaSells Stewart Center.
#8: Gresham, OR
Coming in last on our list of fastest-growing cities in Oregon is Gresham, OR, which is best known for picturesque views of Mount Hood and Multnomah Falls. It saw an increase of 2% to its current population of nearly 113,100.
There are many things to do in Gresham, Oregon! Here are just a few ideas: Visit the Gresham Butte, take a scenic hike through the Gresham Badlands, visit the Gresham Historical Museum, explore the Gresham Japanese Garden, play a round of golf at one of the city’s five courses, go fishing or swimming at one of Gresham’s many lakes, or enjoy a meal or a pint at one of Gresham’s many breweries or restaurants.
Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during July 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during July 2022.