Portland, Oregon’s wholesome reputation as an unusual and liberal west coast, easy-going, family-friendly city to live in took some dings during the summer 2020 George Floyd protests. Nationally televised broadcasts of the summer-long protests tamped down its popularity and tourism, and made it look like a dangerous place to live.  

Things have calmed down so we can ask objectively, how safe is Portland to live in? We’ll explore Portland’s safety compared to other large national cities and share the latest (2023) city data of safest neighborhoods and least safe neighborhoods based on actual police reporting. 

If you search online for crime stats in any U.S. city, you’ll see that most pages come from real estate agencies (with a ‘move here’ sales agenda). We’re not selling real estate, we’re Bellhop Movers. Yes, we offer moving services in Portland (plus Beaverton and Gresham). And lots of other cities nationwide. We’re just telling it straight, ‘just the facts,’ so you can decide where to move, and maybe with us someday. We’d love to help with an affordable, easy move – across town or the country. 

How safe is Portland compared to other cities? 

We humans love to compare. When it comes to crime in different cities we do so, even though the FBI says not to “because there are many factors that cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place.” (Including reporting). 

OK, you’ve been warned, so what do the results say? 

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Portland is a safe city compared to others in the top 100 largest cities using comparable FBI reported data from 2019. Where the wheels come off is Motor Vehicle Theft: the city is ranked a dismal 4th. This problem continues as reported by the NYTimes in 2022. (In fairness this is also a problem in Seattle where I live. TikTok challenges users to steal certain models of Hyundai vehicles, which are then used in other crimes). 

  • 15th for overall crime 
  • 69th for aggravated assault 
  • 62nd  for robbery 
  • 4th for Motor Vehicle Theft 

Shoplifting, theft from cars and vandalism accounted for about one-third of all police filings. 

The ‘more good news’ headline is that Portland crime rates in 2023 were down from 2022.  Homicides dropped 23% from 2022 to 2023. Gun violence has dropped (1,023 reported), 300 less than the year before. There’s also been a drop in crimes like vandalism and carjacking (down 25%).  

Portland does not have a big city vibe. If you need that energy head south or east of the Mississippi. It is expensive with a cost of living, 24% higher than the national average. (You could live across the Columbia in Vancouver, WA, not pay a state income tax as an alternative and have a lower cost of living – +4%.) So, if you’re still interested, let’s dig in and find you a safe neighborhood.  

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Top 10 Safest Neighborhoods in Portland in 2024 

Portland has 95 officially recognized neighborhoods divided into six sections: North Portland, Northeast Portland, Northwest Portland, South Portland, Southeast Portland (home of Reed College), and Southwest Portland. The Willamette River winds through, and its many bridges add to urban living and rush-hour drive times. Vancouver, Washington just across the Columbia River also offers real estate options too. 

Here are the top 10 safest as reported from over 60,000 police reports in 2023. We ran the comparisons to make it easier for you. We’ve focused on assaults (both aggravated and simple). If you choose to look yourself, you can look at each neighborhood using a graphic map offered by the police.  

Our Top 10 Safest Neighborhoods List is based on the LOWEST number of ‘Assault Offenses’ over the twelve-month 2023 period. (These are crimes against people, versus property). Violent crime rates are much lower also. See our details about these neighborhoods that follow. 

  1. Marshall Park: 1 incident  
  1. Markham: 2 incidents  
  1. Healy Heights: 2 incidents  
  1. Northwest Industrial: 3 incidents  
  1. Northwest Heights: 3 incidents  
  1. Arlington Heights: 4 incidents  
  1. Arnold Creek: 4 incidents  
  1. Ardenwald: 5 incidents  
  1. Eastmoreland: 5 incidents  
  1. Forest Park: 6 incidents 

Homes in these 10 safest neighborhoods cost more than the city average of $524,780. Retirees, young families, and young professionals can feel safe in these areas. Walkability and biking score well too. 

What about Hillsdale, Multnomah, and Nob Hill?! 

Crime rates kept these family friendly areas off our list. You should look at them too as choice places. 

Hillsdale is a wildly popular neighborhood we need to mention in the southeast, a sought-after destination for young families and young professionals. Crime stats keep Hillsdale from being on our top 10 list of safe neighborhoods. Hillsdale registered 37 assaults and 67 auto thefts during the same period. Should you still consider Hillsdale? We say yes; add Hillsdale to the list. Home prices average a pricier $677,500 in Hillsdale. 

Multnomah is as well-known as Hillsdale. Located in the southeast Multnomah is home to the same young families, professionals, and retirees who see no reason to leave. In 2023 Multnomah reported 53 assaults and 55 car thefts. Multnomah should be on your go-see list with the average Multnomah home price of $549,000. 

Nob Hill is a popular section in the Northwest, filled with colorful Victorians, close to the Pearl District. Nob Hill is famous for its touristy vibes and inclusive feel. Unfortunately for safe ratings, crime rates in Nob Hill are not separately reported. 

Top 10 worse neighborhoods for assaults 

In addition to high rates of assault, these sections have high property crime rates and higher violent crime rates. 

  1. Downtown Portland: 815 incidents  
  1. Hazelwood: 673 incidents  
  1. Powellhurst-Gilbert: 480 incidents  
  1. Centennial: 387 incidents  
  1. Old Town/Chinatown: 383 incidents  
  1. Lents: 331 incidents  
  1. Northwest: 275 incidents  
  1. Pearl District: 237 incidents  
  1. St Johns: 231 incidents  
  1. Cully: 228 incidents  

Top 10 worse neighborhoods for motor vehicle (auto) theft 

The Northwest and Downtown parts of Portland have the dubious distinction of having higher rates of auto theft per 1,000 residents. In fairness most downtown centers of major cities have higher per capita crime rate (less safe) due to the daytime tourist and office workers influx. Hazelwood is about 2x larger in population than downtown. 

  1. Hazelwood – 407 
  1. Northwest – 325 
  1. Lents – 319 
  1. Downtown – 295 
  1. Centennial – 253 
  1. Powellhurst-Gilbert – 240 
  1. St Johns – 205 
  1. Parkrose – 175 
  1. Cully – 172 
  1. Overlook – 169 

The Top 10 safest neighborhoods in Portland in 2024

For each safe neighborhood we show a Zillow average home value. Portland’s average home value is $524,780 for your comparison. Homes in the southwest, west and northwest ssections of the city include many of the safest and are higher priced. Portland is a very green city with huge, forested parks in every desirable neighborhood so get walking or biking. There are plenty of outdoor activities and folks don’t mind the rain. Property crime rates and violent crime rates are similarly low. 

Marshall Park 

Marshall Park (zip code of 97219) is a small 1,200-person community in the southwest, bordering the Marshall Park, a wonderful park donated to the city in 1948 offering lush landscapes and serene walking trails. It’s very, very safe with great bikability. The airport is about 30 minutes by car. Local eateries include Marco’s Café, Tastebud for handmade bagels, and GiGi’s Café promising breakfast and brunch.  

Homes in Marshall Park 

The average home price in Marshall Park is $692,000 according to Zillow with $1,500 for an apartment. 

Schools in Marshall Park 

Noteworthy schools include Maplewood Elementary and Jackson Middle School. 


Markham, (97219 ZIP code), lies just west of Marshall Park, sharing its peaceful vibes coupled with urban conveniences. Markham’s walkable streets further enhance its appeal. April Hill Park offers residents a lush escape, while eateries such as Fat City Café with famous cinnamon rolls, TikTok Restaurant and Bar, and JoLa Cafe cater to diverse palates. 

Homes in Markham 

Housing in Markham strikes a balance between luxury and affordability, with the average home price of $584,000. Apartments average $1,400. 

Schools in Markham 

Stephenson Elementary, Jackson Middle School, and Wilson High School provide top-tier educational opportunities.  

Healy Heights 

Healy Heights, (97239 ZIP code), offers panoramic views and a tight-knit community atmosphere. With Council Crest Park as a backdrop, there is plenty to do for nature lovers. Dining spots like Chart House, a high-end chain eatery serving seafood & steak, Elephants on Corbett, and Corbett Fish House provide great views with the meals. 

Homes in Healy Heights 

Real estate in Healy Heights is affordably ‘average’ for Portland at $524,780 on Zillow. Rental prices for apartments average at about $1,600. 

Schools in Healy Heights 

Local schools include Ainsworth Elementary, West Sylvan Middle School, and Lincoln High School among the top-rated.  

Northwest Industrial 

The Northwest Industrial area, (97210 ZIP code), stands out for its unique blend of an industrial area being reimagined for residential comfort along the river. Dining establishments like Breakside Brewery, The Loyal Legion, and St. Jack offering French fare make it a dining destination too.  

Homes in Northwest Industrial 

Recent developments offer a modern mix of homes and condos and costs reflect the newer building in this rezoned area. Homes average $763,358 on Zillow. 

Schools in Northwest Industrial 

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Schools include CLASS Academy and Chapman Elementary School. 

Northwest Heights 

Northwest Heights (97229 ZIP code) west of Portland and north of Beaverton has nature and views with Forest Park providing plenty of space for outdoor activities. Dining options such as Skyline Restaurant, Bethany Public House with pizzas and burgers, and Cedar Mill Taqueria offer residents a taste of local and international cuisines. 

Homes in Northwest Heights 

In Northwest Heights, the average home prices is $924,027 on Zillow. Apartments for rent average at $1,800. 

Schools in Northwest Heights 

Highly rated neighborhood schools include Forest Park Elementary, West Sylvan Middle School, and Lincoln High School. 

Arlington Heights 

Arlington Heights (97201 ZIP code) has a blend of historical charm and modern living anchored by Washington Park, one of Portland’s premier green spaces. This park contains the Hoyt Arboretum for endangered species plus a bamboo garden to . The  Culinary choices include the high-end chain Elephants Delicatessen, nationally rated Caffe Mingo offering Italian fare, and Blue Star Donuts, providing a mix of casual and gourmet dining options. 

Homes in Arlington Heights 

This high-end neighborhood has home prices that reflect its desirability –  average home prices of $974,421. Average rentals start at $2,000. 

Schools in Arlington Heights 

Ainsworth Elementary, West Sylvan Middle, and Lincoln High School are great local choices. 

Arnold Creek 

Arnold Creek (97219 ZIP code) is known for its quiet environment and strong community feel with access to local Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Dining favorites include Oswego Grill, relaxed Babica Hen Café for house-made breakfast & lunch fare, and Zeppo Italian Kitchen. 

Homes in Arnold Creek 

Homes in Arnold Creek average $766,217. Apartment rentals average at $1,500. 

Schools in Arnold Creek 

The neighborhood is served by highly rated schools such as Stephenson Elementary, Jackson Middle School, and Wilson High School. 


A sought-after southeast neighborhood with a suburban vibe popular with professionals and young families. It’s got a great mix of restaurants, bars, and shopping. 

Homes in Ardenwald 

Homes average $569,000. Apartments about $1,800. 

Schools in Ardenwald 

Schools in Ardenwald include Richmond Elementary School, Emerson School, and Le Monde French Immersion Public Charter School. 


Eastmoreland (97202 ZIP code), is a southeast neighborhood rich in history and natural beauty. The public Eastmoreland Golf Course and Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden were some of the first developments as early Portland residents moved to the suburbs in the 1900s. Dining spots like long-running, family-owned Reedville Café and Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille are great choices. 

Homes in Eastmoreland 

The average home price in Eastmoreland is $850,604. 

Schools in Eastmoreland 

Duniway Elementary, Sellwood Middle School, and Cleveland High School are among the top educational choices in the area, further enhancing Eastmoreland’s family-friendly reputation.  

Forest Park 

The neighborhood of Forest Park is named after the city’s largest urban forest with over 80 miles of trails. Eateries like burger joint Skyline Restaurant, St. Honoré Bakery, and Urban Steel Kitchen + Bar provide fuel for the day. 

Housing in Forest Park 

Forest Park’s close-in location, green nature setting, and lively entertainment choices keep homes in demand. Average price is $692,619. Recent loft and apartment developments reflect a trend towards upscale urban living, with rental prices averaging around $1,700.  

Ready to move to Portland? 

There you have the best neighborhoods in Portland. We hope this summary was helpful and comforting. Portland is a great choice with great attractions for both young families and professionals.  

If you’re ready to go, Bellhop would like to help with your move. Please check out our affordable prices and easy-going way of doing business. Our Portland movers are ready to help. You can get a free quote  before you commit, even on a long-distance move to Portland.

Still undecided about Portland? We’ve prepared more content that could help. Enjoy! 

The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Portland (Updated for 2023) 

The Best Suburbs in Portland (2023 Edition) 

Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Portland (Updated for 2023) 

Where Are the Best Schools in Portland, Oregon? 

Is Moving to Oregon Right for You? (A 2023 Guide) 

Warren Sly