The Story of Hillsboro
Take family farms, wineries and educational centers. Add high-tech headquarters and state-of-the-art health care. Stir. Enjoy.
There is something fortuitous about finding hometown pride alongside progressive values in a midsize town. It reinforces the fact that big cities and large institutions don’t necessarily produce greatness; people do.
Nestled in the Tualatin Valley between Portland and the Pacific Ocean, Hillsboro was founded in 1842 and incorporated in 1876. Its settler economy was first based on fruitful agricultural pursuits, supported by riverboat transportation on the Tualatin River, which helped it grow to about 5,000 people by 1950.
|Location:|| Latitude: N 45 31 23
Longitude: W 122 59 18
|Average Temp:||January 38.9°, July 67.7°|
|Hillsboro currently encompasses 16,125 acres / 25.19 sq. miles.|
|*Population Source: PSU College of Urban & Public Affairs|
The farming way of life is still honored in Hillsboro, though our “crops” continue to diversify. High-tech companies arrived in the 1980s, including Intel, and later SolarWorld. In addition, health care, retail sales—and yes, still agriculture, including vineyards and flower farms—are keys to Hillsboro’s economy.
Now Oregon’s fifth largest city with nearly 100,000 residents, Hillsboro enjoys award-winning urban planning, an affordable cost of living, a strong economic base and one of the state’s most diverse populations. It supports the state’s fourth largest school district, two higher-education campuses, over 1,500 acres of designated green spaces including the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve, and one of Oregon's largest 4th of July parades as well as other key annual events: the Latino Cultural Festival in April, Celebrate Hillsboro in July, and the Oregon International Air Show in August/September. Hillsboro is also home to the Portland metro area’s only professional baseball team—the Hillsboro Hops (Go Hops!).
On any given day, you’ll find community events from free concerts and art exhibits to local produce to sports competitions at one of the City’s 28 parks, Civic Center Plaza, Hillsboro Stadium, the county fairgrounds or another local gathering place. In historic downtown Hillsboro and at the award-winning Orenco Station neighborhood, residents enjoy great gathering spaces and farmers’ markets as well as easy access to public transportation.
The community-driven Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan builds on the success of the Hillsboro 2020 Vision and Action Plan, our original, award-winning plan which led to many community enhancements including the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza, Hondo Dog Park, the Walters Cultural Arts Center, community gardens, diverse housing options and family-friendly community events. The Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan is based on input and ideas from over 5,000 of our community members for the future of Hillsboro, and includes a vision of what people want Hillsboro to look like by the year 2035 and an action plan for getting us there.
Even as it evolves, Hillsboro is helping to grow Oregon’s future with its hometown values and agrarian roots. Its people, businesses, nonprofits and government take great pride in their town as they work side by side, giving as much attention to community and livability as to development and industrial growth. With a healthy patchwork of history, business opportunities, neighborhoods, education, recreation and culture, great things are growing in Hillsboro.
See "About Us" for more about Hillsboro's city government.
Watch our "That's Hillsboro" video: