As the City of Portland and its surrounding suburbs are set for a major population boom over the next 20 years, there is one city that stands to see most of this growth and that’s Hillsboro, Oregon. In just South Hillsboro alone, the city is readying for 8,000 new homes and 20,000 new residents.

So, what makes this city of nearly 100,000 so special and why are so many people choosing to head west of the big city of Portland and make Hillsboro their home?

Something Special Is Happening In Hillsboro

There’s something special happening just a few minutes outside of Oregon’s largest city of Portland. In arguably what is the economic center of the entire state, or at least, fast becoming this, Hillsboro is an example of what life could look like, when all things begin to work together.


Even the city’s website reads, “Innovation, high-tech and creative urban gathering places meet hometown values, green spaces and family friendly tradition.” With such a culture, which has long been in the making, over the years, Hillsboro has found itself on several “Top 100 Best Places To Live” lists.

With not only a goal to attract businesses and workers, the city hopes to provide an environment where every resident has both a voice and role in keeping Hillsboro a great place to live, work, and play.

From it’s widely popular Hillsboro Hops baseball team, the annual Oregon International Air Show to its rich agricultural history and support of culture and arts, there is no wonder that Hillsboro has fast become, the city that people love.

Hillsboro: The City People Love

There is more to simply being named to a Top 100 Best Places to Live list. What is the culture like in Hillsboro? If just walking down Main Street for but just a few moments at any number of the city’s community events is any indication, Hillsboro is indeed, the city people love.

Hillsboro: A Little History

Since its inception, Hillsboro has no doubt seen tremendous population and economic growth.

From three blocks to now 24 square miles, Hillsboro has grown to nearly one hundred thousand people living in the city and continues to be one of the economic centers of not only the entire state, but what happens in Hillsboro also fuels many people in all parts of the world.

The Pioneers Came West And Made A Home

As throngs traveled west to in hopes of carving out a new life and hope for their families, pioneers first reached the area in the 1840’s.

Originally, Hillsboro was named East Tualatin Plains, but by the 1850’s the city took on the name of Hillsborough after one of the pioneers, David Hill had arrived here via the Oregon Trail by wagon train to discover new life in what was then known as the Oregon Territory. Over time, the name was shortened to Hillsboro.

By 1870, the railroad had arrived making the Tualatin Valley, rich in timber and agricultural resources, and its short proximity to the river port city of Portland, Hillsboro and its surrounding neighbors would never be the same.

As you can see, the city has come a long way. Although, the city would never be the same with said population and economic growth, Hillsboro remains a special place to the nearly 100,000 people who call the city home, as well as the many more who visit each year.

What Makes Hillsboro Special?

Before we begin to list the many reasons as to what makes Hillsboro special, we asked Steve Callaway, current Hillsboro mayor, to describe for us the essence of what makes this city that people love, what it is today,

“Hillsboro is a place where our sense of community comes from the strength of our relationships and the richness of our diversity. We love to gather, congregate, and celebrate together.”

And that they do. Let’s take a look just a few (of many) reasons why the City of Hillsboro, is just so special.

Seven Reasons Why People Are Making Hillsboro Their Home

Shared Vision For The Future

A major component for what makes the City of Hillsboro so special is the shared vision for the future of the city. With the city’s 2035 Community Plan, citizens of walks of life our joining together to work towards shared goals and vision to make Hillsboro the premier city in not only the State of Oregon, but as well, the envy of all those who aspire their city to be as such, too.

Working together, what Hillsboro will look like in 2035 is a diverse and sustainable city known for its success in blending urban lifestyle, a world-class local economy, agricultural heritage, and a welcoming, family friendly community for an outstanding quality of life.

Vibrant Main Street

In September 2015, a new non-profit called Hillsboro Downtown Partnership was launched. In just its short existence, the non-profit has worked tirelessly in partnership with businesses both new and old in working together to revitalizing the downtown district and in-turn, transforming it into a destination for locals and visitors alike.

All of this along with community efforts such as the Hillsboro 20/20 Vision and Action Plan has made its mark in downtown Hillsboro by offering popular events such as the Farm to Table Dinner, Celebrate Hillsboro, Latino Cultural Festival, Harvest on Main Halloween, Hillsboro Art Walk, and many more. These of course along with the many fine downtown businesses combine to give Hillsboro a vibrant Main Street.

Local Farm Fresh

With Hillsboro’s agricultural roots, one theme that you see woven into the city’s DNA is the idea of agriculture meets business. With the city’s roots based in rich agricultural resources, access to local farm fresh is but a heartbeat away. The is more than apparent when experiencing Hillsboro’s Tuesday Night Market on Main Street which aims to provide local farmers and crafters another market venue for selling their goods.

Outdoor Recreation

Hillsboro is rich with outdoor recreation opportunities. With nearly 30 parks to choose from, a walk through the woods or a bench to sit and ponder while watching the sun sparkle off the water is always just a few minutes away. The Parks and Recreation Department is very busy year around hosting hundreds of events for people of all ages.

Hillsboro also offers the Gordon Faber Recreation Complex which plays host to the Hillsboro Hops professional baseball team as well as home to Portland State University‘s women’s soccer and softball teams and second home to the PSU football team.

Arts & Culture

One of the things that makes Hillsboro so special is its commitment to the arts and culture. With the city’s unique and diverse make-up, like a flower that blooms into the most vibrant of colors, so has the arts & culture scene within Hillsboro thanks to the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council, and the Hillsboro Public Art Program.

Commitment to Public Safety

In a recent local election, residents of Hillsboro overwhelming voted to continue support for fire, police and parks by 81% of the vote.

Access To Quality Education

Hillsboro has 35 schools currently operating making it the fourth largest school district in Oregon. With over 20,000 students attending k-12 schools in the city, more than half ride to school on a bus. As a matter of fact, school busses in Hillsboro travel a combined 13,000 miles each day taking students to and from their school. Uniquely, there are nearly 100 different countries of origin represented in Hillsboro’s student body.

The New Pioneers Are Still Making Hillsboro Their Home

As you can see, there are more than many reasons why people are flocking west of the big city of Portland and making not only Hillsboro a place where they work, but also a place where they live and raise their families.

It’s funny, as the pioneers came west in the 1800’s and made Hillsboro their home, the new pioneers in this technological era are still heading west and with this, still making Hillsboro their home today.

If you haven’t been to Hillsboro, come see the city people love, and end up calling home.