Serving as the county seat of Washington County, Oregon, Hillsboro is situated in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of Portland's metropolitan area. The city's population is about 91,400, and Hillsboro is identified as the sixth-largest community in the state. An ethnically diverse area, Hillsboro's population is includes people of European, Asian, and Hispanic heritage.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Hillsboro sees little crime. In a recent year, only 192 violent crimes and 2,752 property crimes were reported to police. Both crime rates are much lower than the averages for the state or the nation as a whole. Possibly because it is such a safe town and offers pleasant, small-town atmosphere, the cost of living in Hillsboro is more than 3 percent higher than the national average.
Residents of Hillsboro seem particularly fond of the friendly atmosphere that is cultivated in the city, and many neighborhoods are family-oriented. Some of the popular distinct neighborhoods within the city are:
- City Center: This suburban area is filled with "urban sophisticates" and medium-sized single-family homes.
- North Plains: This neighborhood is mostly rural and accented by farms. Most houses contain three to four bedrooms, and the neighborhood is described as mostly quiet and artsy.
- Rockcreek: This is an urban area with medium-sized single-family homes and a reputation of being artsy and funky.
- Tualatin Valley Highway/21st Avenue: This area is also urban, but the homes are much smaller. Most of them contain only one or two bedrooms.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
There is no predominant class of workers in Hillsboro when it comes to white-collar or blue-collar occupations; rather, the city has a mix of both. A number of industries keep the economy running and functional:
- Technology: Microprocessor chip manufacturers and related suppliers are found in abundance in Hillsboro. Some of the most prominent companies in this industry are Intel and Lattice Semiconductor.
- Agriculture: In one year alone agriculture production for Hillsboro provided more than $214 million in revenue. The primary focus of this industry is the greenhouse/nursery industry.
- Health care: Notable medical facilities in Hillsboro include Tuality Community Hospital, Providence/St. Vincent Medical Center, and a variety of urgent care centers situated around the city.
- Education: There is a rich offering of educational occupations because more than 15,000 students are enrolled in the private and public school systems situated in Hillsboro.
As a point of interest, more people in Hillsboro work with computers and math than in 95 percent of other locations in the United States.
Hillsboro citizens value education, illustrated by the large population of adults who possess a bachelor's degree or higher. The number of degree-holding adults in Hillsboro is close to 30 percent, compared with the national average of just 14 percent.
The Hillsboro Public School District has an average of 21 students per classroom, as compared with the state's average of 19. The school district contains elementary, middle and high schools:
- Elementary Schools: There are more than 20 elementary schools found in Hillsboro's public school district, including three built for the 2008-2009 school year. Two more elementary schools are scheduled to open for the 2009-2010 school year. Some of these schools include Groner Elementary School, Eastwood Elementary School, Orenco Elementary School, Jackson Elementary School, and Tobias Elementary School.
- Middle Schools: Four middle schools are situated in Hillsboro. These schools include JB Thomas Middle School and JW Poynter Middle School.
- High Schools: Four high schools have been established in the city of Hillsboro. These schools are Hillsboro High School, Glencoe High School, Century High School and Liberty High School.
- Colleges/Universities: Hillsboro's higher education establishments include Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Institute of Technology Portland west campus, a Pacific University: Health Professions campus, and a University of Phoenix branch campus.
Private schools that located in the city include Faith Bible High School, Saint Matthew Catholic School, Tualatin Valley Junior Academy, Swallowtail School and Renaissance Alternative School.
Area visitors and residents can investigate a number of historic places in Hillsboro:
- Old Scotch Church: Traditionally referred to as the Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church, this structure dates to 1873 and features an eight-sided steeple that was added in 1878.
- Imbrie Farm: An Italian villa-style home, Imbrie Farm was constructed in 1866. Visitors can view the original home, a unique eight-sided barn, walnut trees that have been growing for more than 150 years, and a shed.
Hillsboro offers many attractions that the whole family can enjoy, including:
- Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals: Not only does this museum feature hundreds of unique attractions-including the largest opal-filled thunder egg in the world and the Alma Rose Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine in Alma, Colorado-but the facility itself is a historical site noted for its architectural structure, including the use of natural stone inside and out.
- Doing Time: Then and Now: This traveling historical exhibit is housed in the Washington County Sheriff's Office Justice Complex in Hillsboro. This exhibit explores the history of law enforcement in Washington County, and one of the historical highlights visitors can read about is the old Washington County Jail. This one-room, wooden jail, built in Hillsboro in 1853, was the first jail in Washington County and remained in use as a jail until 1870 and for housing and storage until 1953. The restored structure was moved and is currently managed by the Washington County Historical Society & Museum at its site in Portland.