Essay

5 Dangerous Portland Neighborhoods

The natural beauty of Oregon surrounds the city of Portland. The scenery is dominated by snow-capped peaks on all sides. However, there is another aspect of the City of Roses that doesn’t seem to belong among the vast natural parks and meandering rivers. With a crime rate that ranks it among the most dangerous in the nation, Portland is both the most populous and dangerous city in Oregon.

Compared to the state as a whole, Portland has a higher crime rate—72 per 1,000 residents. Oregon has a crime rate of 32.78 per 1,000 residents. Oregon is listed by World Population Review as the tenth most hazardous city in the nation. Oregon’s crime rate, at 5.6 per 1,000 people nationwide, is higher than the national average.

The vast majority of crimes in Portland are property crimes. Between November 2022 and November 2023, 58,059 property crimes were registered. In contrast, 1,815 society crimes and 10,428 violent crimes were registered within that same time frame. But not all crimes are committed in Portland in the same ways. There are some neighborhoods with abnormally high rates of crime.

One of the most crucial things to think about before moving to the Portland region is your safety. In Portland, the odds of falling victim to violent crime are one in 134, but there are certain communities with considerably higher rates of violent crime. A family move is a major decision. Portland offers 94 distinct neighborhoods from which to select. In 2024, you’ll want to stay away from these five sketchy areas in Portland.

Check out the Portland Police Bureau’s infographic to view the crime statistics for every neighborhood in the city by clicking on it.

5. Bridgeton — Crime Rate 1,041/100k People

With less than a thousand residents, Bridgeton is one of Portland’s smallest neighborhoods. It is situated in the city’s north along the Columbia River. The neighborhood, which was once a bustling center for farming and fishing, is now plagued by severe crime, with rates 322 percent higher than the national average. The local rate of violent crime is 181% higher than the national average.

With 8,763 property offenses per 100,000 residents, Bridgeton’s property crime rate is significantly higher than that of the broader Portland area. The rate of violent crime in the neighborhood is higher than Portland’s general average. Portland has a violent crime rate of 751 per 100,000 people, compared to 1,041 in Bridgeton. The state of Oregon has an overall violent crime rate of 342 per 100,000 residents, but the communities of Bridgeton and Portland are more notable than the state.

A total of 185 reported offenses were recorded by the Portland Police Bureau from November 2022 and November 2023. In the neighborhood that year, there were 139 property offenses and 37 assaults. Bridgeton is the sixth least safe neighborhood, with a crime rate that is 39% greater than Portland’s.

4. Lents — Crime Rate 1,063/100k People

Lents, a neighborhood in east Portland, is a very diverse place. According to Niche, Lents is Portland’s ninth most diverse community. Lents ranks eighth among all Portland neighborhoods in terms of the percentage of its population that is foreign-born, according to the Portland Neighborhoods: 2020 Census Profiles study. Lents is split in two by Interstate 205, which runs through it and is referred to as the Crossroads of the Eastside.

Lents is a notoriously hazardous neighborhood, despite its positive reputation for multiculturalism. The region has violent crime at a rate 331 percent higher than the national average. Compared to the national average, violent crime is 181% higher and property crime is 358 percent higher. In Lents, there are 10,018 crimes committed for every 100,000 residents. There are 2,324 per 100,000 persons in the country on average.

Between November 2021 and November 2022, 2,001 reported crimes were recorded by the Portland Police Bureau. 5 homicides and 369 assaults occurred in the time frame. With 8,955 property crimes committed per 100,000 residents and 1,542 property-related offenses reported in the 2021–2022 year, property crime is very high in the area.

As the fourth most hazardous area in the city, Lents has a crime rate forty-two percent greater than Portland’s.

3. Powellhurst-Gilbert — Crime Rate 1,098/100k People

Powellhurst-Gilbert, another neighborhood recognized for its variety, came in even higher than Lents, making Niche the fourth most diverse community in Portland. Powellhurst-Gilbert placed in the bottom five variables for both food insecurity and poverty rate in the Portland Neighborhoods: 2020 Census Profiles study, despite its diversity ranking among the top five variables for characteristic profile.

Powellhurst-Gilbert, an East Portland neighborhood, has a crime rate that is 345 percent higher than the national average. Its rate of property crime is 373 percent higher than the national average, and its rate of violent crime is 197% higher. The neighborhood’s overall crime rate is 10,345 per 100,000 residents.

The Portland Police Bureau reports that from November 2021 to November 2022, there were 1,420 property offenses, 2 homicides, and 518 assaults. Powellhurst-Gilbert is the third most hazardous city in the city due to its crime rate, which is 46% higher than Portland’s.

2. Centennial — Crime Rate 1,117/100k People

The expansive Powell Butte natural Park natural reserve borders the Centennial area of East Portland to the south. Within Centennial’s boundaries are many Christian churches, an Ethiopian Orthodox church, a Chinese temple, and a Korean Buddhist temple. The neighborhood’s religious variety reflects its overall diversity. Nestled in the top spot for Portland’s most diverse neighborhood is Centennial, according to Niche.

Despite this distinction, Centennial is ranked as Portland’s second most hazardous neighborhood. Living in Centennial can be risky due to the city’s overall crime rate, which is 353 percent more than the national average, and its violent crime rate, which is 202 percent higher than the average.

With 1,117 violent crimes and 9,408 property crimes reported per 100,000 inhabitants, Centennial has a total crime rate of 10,526 per 100,000 people. The Portland Police Bureau recorded 396 assaults and seven homicides in the neighborhood between November 2021 and November 2022. throughout all, 1,839 offenses were registered throughout that year. With 1,357 recorded property offenses during that time, property crime is once again the most common type of crime.

As the second most hazardous area in the city, Centennial has a crime rate that is 49% greater than Portland’s.

1. Sunderland — Crime Rate 1,164/100k People

The majority of Sunderland’s 698 residents dwell along NE Marine Drive, which is primarily an industrial sector. The area is bordered to the north by the Columbia River, and to the east by Portland International Airport and Sunderland. The community’s hub is home to the Riverside Golf and Country Club.

Sunderland has a soaring total crime rate that is 372% more than the national average, despite its small population. The rate of violent crime is 215 percent greater than the national average, while the rate of property crime is 401 percent higher than the total for the United States.

With 1,164 violent crimes and 9,798 property crimes per 100,000 people, Sunderland has a total crime rate of 10,961 per 100,000 people. The likelihood of becoming a victim of crime in Sunderland is 55 percent higher than in Portland. It is a violent and drug-trafficking neighborhood, making it the most dangerous in Portland in 2024. When deciding a community to establish roots in, you might wish to consider other options.