Well, well, well. You asked and I delivered my friends. Here’s a quick list of the largest cities in Oregon, based on population and land area.
Not sure why I received so many requests for this post, but alas — I’m happy to oblige. As a lifelong Oregonian, it was fun to roundup the most populous cities in Oregon because it served to expand my knowledge of the state.
I will have you know, dear reader, that I was able to guess 8 of the 10 most populous cities in Oregon! Which was pretty cool, but goes to show that even after living in a state for 30+ years, you’re still bound to be surprised.
Without further ado, let’s cover this list of the largest cities in Oregon. Hope you enjoy!
Largest Cities in Oregon (By Population)
#10. Corvallis (60K)
Home to Oregon State University, Corvallis is a bustling college town. Vibrant and fun, the city is divided by the Willamette River, which swells with locals during the hot summer months.
With an enrollment of roughly 27,500 students, the university accounts for this being one of the most populous cities in Oregon.
But you don’t have to be a college student to enjoy the perks of Corvallis. I spend a lot of time in this area because it’s a great base for exploring Willamette Valley.
Corvallis has a marine west coast climate, with Mediterranean characteristics (which makes this area prime for vineyards). Temperatures are pretty mild year-round, but the winters are notoriously wet and gray.
I’ve spent many long summer days exploring the charming downtown core before driving off to a nearby winery to catch up with old friends.
In terms of jobs, the largest employer in town is Oregon State University followed by Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. So if you work in the education or medical fields, you may want to explore Corvallis and see if it’s a good place to live in Oregon for you personally.
You May Enjoy Reading: The 10 Most Beautiful Wineries in Willamette Valley
#9. Springfield (62K)
Springfield, Oregon is the inspiration for the town in the Simpsons. After years of speculation, the creator of the show — Portland’s own, Matt Groening! — finally spilled the beans. In his own words:
“Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon,” Groening, 58, told The Smithsonian. “The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown.”
Is Springfield one of the most populous cities in Oregon because of its tie to the Simpsons? Doubtful. This charming town can attract folks on its own merits.
Beautiful surroundings, ample outdoor recreational opportunities and kind locals keep folks content for years on end. No wonder this is one of the largest cities in Oregon.
#8. Medford (86K)
Tucked neatly into the picturesque rolling hills of southern Oregon, Medford is often considered one of the prettiest cities in Oregon. And damn, it’s not hard to see why.
Just a stone’s throw from the California border and less than 80 miles from the coast, Medford offers respite and easy daily living for those that don’t shy away from being self-sufficient (there’s a lot of farms around here).
Once you visit, you’ll quickly see why 86,000 folks choose to call this city home (and contribute to it being the 8th largest city in Oregon by population!).
Medford seems to be most lively in the summer months when the nearby town of Ashland attracts visitors for the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The area also swarms with Oregonians during the summer months, everyone eager to spend a weekend at the breathtaking nearby wineries.
While in the area, I suggest popping over to Crater Lake National Park for the day. Boasting striking shades of deep blue water, this is one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon and warrants a detour.
#7. Bend (100K)
Home to 100,000 residents, Bend is one of the largest cities in Oregon based on population. The city was a hidden gem 15-20 years ago but it didn’t take long for word to get out. Bend is so popular, in fact, that it was recently listed as the fastest growing medium-sized city in the country.
Home prices have skyrocketed, which folks moving from all over the country to get their hiking boots soiled on the epic trails full of ponderoas pine forests and panoramic viewpoints.
I’m a sucker for this part of the state and have spent my fair share of springs and summers exploring the area. I’ve created a handful of thorough guides to Bend and will share them below.
Helpful Bend, Oregon Guides:
#6. Beaverton (100K)
Beaverton is one of the most populous cities in Oregon because it houses the world headquarters of Nike. Nike employs more than 11,000 people at the Beaverton campus! This means that most of the folks at the Beaverton Costco are likely Nike employees (I swear, finding a parking spot at that location requires a miracle).
Alas, the city is charming, I’ll give them that. The area was used for farming not that long ago, but as with most places, folks from Portland started moving to the outskirts of town for larger homes and lawns. Today the area is full of tech companies and offers ample employment opportunities.
#5. Hillsboro (106K)
Located 20 miles west of Portland, Hillsboro offers quick access to the city when needed, although let’s get real — that traffic is a bear. Regardless, this city is home to ample job opportunities, amenities and parks, making it one of the largest cities in Oregon by population.
Hillsboro was pretty small (and largely overlooked) until the late 1980s when major tech companies moved to town, like Intel and Oracle.
Now the area is ripe with biomedical, telecom, banks and data centers. The area’s tech industry is so well known in fact, that the corridor between Hillsboro and Beaverton is referred to as the Silicon Forest.
#4. Gresham (114K)
A cozy little city serving as a conduit between Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, Gresham is the 4th most populous city in Oregon.
Considered a suburb of the Greater Portland Metro Area, the city has seen a large influx of new residents over the past 5-10 years. Folks make the move because of the city’s proximity to Portland’s downtown core and the more affordable housing market.
However, to call housing affordable in Gresham (or any part of Oregon, really) would be an odd statement on my end. Housing prices have skyrocketed across the state and — with median home prices clocking in at $435k — Gresham is no exception.
#3. Salem (175K)
Those researching the largest cities in Oregon won’t be surprised to see Salem on the list.
Salem is the state’s capital, so it’s only fitting that it would be one of Oregon’s largest cities based on population. Home to 175,000 residents, many of the folks in this area are government employees.
As such, this large Oregon city has amassed a reputation as being rather sleepy. However, Salem is slowly shedding its sleepy vibe and attracting new residents annually (the population has grown by 13% over the past 10 years).
So yeah, good job opportunities, city amenities and easy access to the forests, mountains and the striking Oregon coast. It’s not hard to see why Salem is considered one of the best places to live in Oregon.
#2. Eugene (176K)
A vibrant college town full of charm and beauty, Eugene is the 2nd-most populous city in Oregon. Beating out Salem by a mere 1,000 residents, this Oregon city greets new residents year after year (college towns, eh?).
The best part about living in Eugene, one of the largest cities in Oregon, is the access to outdoor recreation. You’ll be spoiled for choice with epic nature and ample hiking trails. Well, that and the stunning wineries peppered outside of town.
And when you find yourself getting the city itch? Well, Portland is a mere 2-hour drive away, making it an easy weekend destination.
#1. Portland (650K)
Portland is the most populous city in Oregon. Best known for it’s quirky vibe, top-notch cuisine, moody weather and access to breathtaking nature, living in Portland feels like a privilege most days. The city is going through growing pains for sure, but it’s still an easy place to love.
I’ve lived in Portland for 30+ years and still find myself happy here. Like most places, the city isn’t for everyone, but I can’t imagine being this content elsewhere. The food scene alone makes it impossible to leave!
Most of my spring weekends are spent at the wineries in Willamette Valley, summers are reserved for hiking the breathtaking Columbia Gorge and fall is spent apple-picking in Hood River.
Turns out I’m not the only one that thinks Portland is a gem. The city is home to 650K residents, which makes it the largest city in Oregon by population and land mass.
I can wax poetic about the City of Roses until I’m blue in the face, but your time is more precious than that. So instead, allow me to share my favorite guides to Portland.
List of the largest cities in Oregon by land area
If you’re trying to figure out the largest cities in Oregon based on land size, the list below may prove helpful.
- Portland (145 square miles)
- Salem (48.5 square miles)
- Eugene (43.75 square miles)
- Bend (33.27 square miles)
- Medford (23.74 square miles)
- Hillsboro (24.25 square miles)
- Gresham (23.43 square miles)
- Kalamath Falls (20.66 square miles)
- Beaverton (18.73 square miles)
- Albany (17.75 square miles)
List of the Most Populous Cities Oregon (Post Overview)
In sum, here’s a list of the most populous cities in Oregon based on population. Hope you enjoyed!
Map of largest Oregon cities
What do you think?