Lake Oswego is one of Oregon’s most beloved cities, and for good reason. It’s safe, walkable, full of natural beauty and great neighborhoods, and it’s in close proximity to Portland, the coast, and the mountains. What’s not to love?


If you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego and have questions about what it’s like to live there, we’ve got you covered. Moving to a new city and getting settled there is always easier and smoother when you’ve done your research and know a little about the place.


This article is designed to help you get acquainted with Lake Oswego and the benefits and potential drawbacks of living there. Here’s what we’ll cover:


  • A brief overview of the city of Lake Oswego
  • Important statistics, facts, and demographics
  • Notable neighborhoods to consider
  • Some of the pros and cons of living in Lake Oswego

About Lake Oswego, Oregon

outdoor with lots of tall green trees

Lake Oswego is an affluent city situated just south of Portland in the State of Oregon. On a map of the area, you can see that the city is located just to the west of the Willamette River and surrounds the 405-acre Oswego Lake. Known for its combination of upscale amenities, quiet neighborhoods, and natural beauty, Lake Oswego is primarily in Clackamas County, but has portions that extend into Multnomah and Washington counties.

Despite its proximity to Portland (about a 20-minute drive), Lake Oswego feels like a separate, smaller town with its own geographic and cultural identity. Lake Oswego’s downtown area features plenty of local boutiques, bars, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants, which all center around the lake. 


The whole area is super safe and very family-friendly. In fact, it’s known for its top-rated schools. There are plenty of city parks, trails, and recreational activities on the lake and river. The city also has its own Saturday Farmer’s Market and plenty of community events to choose from.

Key Statistics & Information

When you’re thinking of moving to a new place, it’s always helpful to know the basic facts and figures. Although you can never really judge a place by the numbers, it’s still good to take note of them.

view of lake oswego oregon with some ducks swimming around


Here are some of Lake Oswego’s key data to keep in mind:

    • Size: 11.35 square miles
    • Distance to Portland: 8-10 miles (about 20 minutes by car)
    • Population: 39,822 people
    • Population per square mile: 3,429 people
    • Median age: approximately 47 years
    • Female-to-male ratio: 100:95
    • Average number of individuals per household: 2.36
    • Median / average annual household income: $108,927 / $161,172, respectively
    • Average cost of living index: 160.1
    • Median rent-per-month and home sale price: $1,796 / $859,500 respectively
    • Crime index: 49
    • Climate: warm and temperate
    • Days of rain per year: 147
    • Average annual temperatures: low of 37° in January and high of 81° in July

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Lake Oswego Neighborhoods

peaceful and green suburban neighborhood in oregon

In total, there are 27 recognized neighborhoods in Lake Oswego. The city’s website offers a map of Lake Oswego’s neighborhoods, pictured below, which can help orient you to their locations in relation to one another, the lake, and the city center. 

While it’s worth noting that there isn’t a single “bad neighborhood” in the area, most lists of the “best” and most sought-after Lake Oswego neighborhoods include the following:

  • Bryant
  • Blue Heron
  • First Addition
  • Hallinan
  • Lake Grove
  • Lakewood
  • Mountain Park
  • Skylands
  • Westlake

The Pros & Cons of Living in Lake Oswego

Every town and city in the world has benefits and drawbacks. Below are some of the pros and cons of living in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Keep in mind that all of the pros and cons listed below are subjective, and you may have your own unique preferences when it comes to choosing a place to live. 

That said, here are some of the most common things residents praise Lake Oswego for, and some of the most frequent complaints:


The Pros

  • There are lots of amenities. From quaint local coffee shops to the public library, to the Saturday Farmer’s Market, to all the local trails and outdoor recreation opportunities, Lake Oswego is a city full of fun activities, community events, and places to explore.
  • It’s a great place to raise children. The Lake Oswego School District has some of the most highly rated K-12 schools in the state. Additionally, there are a variety of private schools in the area, and excellent colleges and universities in close proximity. There’s also an abundance of recreation opportunities designed specifically for kids and teens in the community, including water sports and summer camps!
  • Natural beauty is all around you. Lake Oswego is in super-close proximity to all the natural wonders of the PNW. It takes about an hour and a half, by car, to get to the beach, and the beautiful Columbia River Gorge is about 45 minutes away. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, where you’ll find skiing, snowboarding, and more is also about an hour and a half’s drive.
  • It’s super walkable and bikeable. The Portland area, in general, is known for being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Lake Oswego is no exception, with great bike lanes and lots of trails to explore on two wheels or as a runner or walker. Depending on your neighborhood, it’s typically pretty easy to get to all your favorite local spots without a car!

The Cons:

  • It’s an expensive place to live. The neighborhoods, amenities, and homes in and around the city are beautiful. Unfortunately, that means housing and other expenses are higher than other places. The cost of living in Lake Oswego is about 45% higher than the national average.
  • There’s not much diversity. Portland and the surrounding area, including Lake Oswego, consistently rank among the least diverse places in the U.S., despite its reputation for progressive politics. This includes studies that cover racial diversity as well as socio-economic, religious, cultural, and economic factors.
  • Get ready for lots of rain. The lush forests and natural beauty in the PNW don’t come without a cost, and that cost comes in the form of 147 days of rain per year. Although Lake Oswego doesn’t tend to get heavy downpours, light-to-medium rain is extremely common, with the exception of the summer months.

Moving Made Easy: West Coast Moving & Storage

african american man using tape to close a cardboard box for moving

Lake Oswego is a great place to live, work, retire, or raise a family. If you’ve decided to relocate to the beautiful PNW oasis of Lake Oswego or a nearby area, congratulations! While you focus on getting set up and planning your new life and adventures, let West Coast Moving & Storage handle the hard work. We’re here to simplify your move and make sure your relocation is as positive, smooth, and stress-free as possible. 

Contact us today with any questions and for a free consultation.