Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Portland (2023)

Every city has good and bad areas, no matter how relative they may be. The worst neighborhoods in Portland are therefore the parts of Portland that must be approached with caution.

The lack of economic opportunities, as well as undocumented gang related activities are just some of the reasons why this city has largely become run down and bedeviled with crime.

However, these are the places where extra caution must be taken when visiting Portland, Oregon.

Top 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Portland 2023

1. Centennial

Centennial is located in the east of Portland. Some of the nearby neighborhoods include Hazelwood, Glenfair, Pleasant Valley, and Powellhurst-Gilbert. This neighborhood is full of town houses and greenery; and there are also a few restaurants and bars, as well as a park in the area.

But do not be deceived; Centennial is a very rugged and brutal place in deed. This neighborhood has been recognized as the most feared in Portland, Oregon for sometime, and nothing has changed lately.

Centennial, Oregon is always in the news as the scene of one form of violence or the other. Interestingly, some of these incidences are not motivated by robbery. Nevertheless, robberies are quite frequent here, as well as other forms of crime.

2. Powellhurst

Powellhurst is a neighborhood located in the southernmost part of Portland. Settlement of this area began sometime in the 1800’s and it was initially an area full of cattle ranches. The rail line brought an economic boom, and the neighborhood thrived.

However, Powellhurst of today is a shadow of its former self; there is hardly any reasonable economic activity going on here, and the original residents and their descendants have largely moved away. Powellhurst has Portland’s biggest Asian population; the area called the Jade District is both a commercial and cultural center.

Powellhurst has quite a high rate of crime; including homicides, robberies, and other such heinous acts.

3. Mill Park

Mill Park is another city that is located in the outer Southeast section of Portland, Oregon. The neighborhood borders Hazelwood with which it shares similar traits. Mill Park has a population of about 9,057 people. One thing that this neighborhood has in abundance is parks; the major one is by the same name as the town, while other parks include Midland Park, Stark Street Island, and Floyd Light Park.

One of the problems of this neighborhood is the large homeless populations at the overpasses and bus stations. This is because there are just not enough economic opportunities in the neighborhood. Therefore, many people have no jobs, and they are unable to maintain roofs over their heads.

The homeless people are not the main problem with the neighborhood; what a visitor to this neighborhood has to be concerned about is crime. The city has a lot of gun related violence; resulting in injuries and deaths.

4. Sunderland

Sunderland is a neighborhood in the northeast area of Portland, Oregon. This neighborhood has the Columbia River to the north, and also has plenty of greenery. It does have a lot of potential; being an industrial area, and also close to the airport. There are some very nice Golf Courses, and they are usually busy especially on weekends.

However, the golf courses simply do not do enough for the economy; and as a result the area is largely run down. There is a lot of crime including murder going on here. Some of these murders include police officers as victims just as perpetrators.

5. Old Town/Chinatown

Old Town is the heart of the Chinese community in Portland, Oregon. There are plenty of good restaurants in the area; some of them serving exotic Asian dishes. There are also several fun spots to go to during the day in this neighborhood.

The problem is that Old Town becomes something different at night; there are several shootings happening in this neighborhood, and these homicides are quite frequent.

6. Lloyd District

Lloyd District is a located in the northeast area of Portland; it is close to downtown, and quite urban in setting. Lloyd District has quite a healthy population; and there are many businesses in the neighborhood. The Lloyd District is a fairly industrial area, and it is surrounded by similarly industrialized areas as well.

Lloyd District, in Portland is described as depressed, and casts a bit of a contrast against the more successful neighborhoods in the city, some of which are just nearby.

Lloyd District is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon; there is a lot of gun violence in the neighborhood.

7. St. Johns

St. Johns has been seeing some positive change over the last few years; it has seen several stores, restaurants, and entertainment centers spring up. There is also the beautiful St. Johns Park; which is a lovely place for residents to relax, and to relieve the stress. Young professionals are gradually moving in; they are attracted by the good housing prices.

However, there is the criminal activity to worry about; St Johns is a very rough neighborhood; there are too many shootings happening here. This is not a place for someone to settle down, or to think about raising a family. There are even standoffs with Police, and in July 2022 a suspect drove through a police vehicle after exchanging fire with police. He was never found.

8. Parkrose

Parkrose is located in the northeast of Portland. This neighborhood has the Columbia River in the north, and has a park, as well as many other interesting places within its borders. While the neighborhood looks calm and attractive; any visitor needs to stay sharp.

There are too many shootings happening in this neighborhood; victims include young people as well as the elderly. Sometimes the shootings arise from robberies, while other times, they seem random.

9. Bridgeton

Bridgeton is a lovely and well planned out neighborhood in the north of Portland. It is made up of detached houses, rowhouses, apartment and condominium complexes, and of course, houseboats in the waters around this neighborhood. There are about 1000 people living here.

Bridgeton is not the best place for any first time visitor to this city; it is quite rugged and rough.

10. Kenton

Kenton is located in the north of Portland. This neighborhood was initially developed as a company town for workers of the Swift Meat Packing Company. The town thrived, and development escalated. After years of neglect, it is starting to get a facelift, but the crime situation has not been properly addressed.

There are too many shootings going on in Kenton, some of them being gang related. Some of the victims of these shootings are as young as 22 years old, and women have also been frequently shot.



The worst neighborhoods in Portland have spiraled out of control when it comes to violence. It seems that the level of gang related activity in this city has not been really appreciated. The first step is to make research into the gangs in the area, and to find a way to address them.