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Living in Oregon

The Pacific Northwest is every nature lover’s paradise. Most people would agree that it is among the most beautiful places to live in the United States. With scenic views, beautiful mountaintops, waterfalls, and other pristine natural locations, there are plenty of things to love about this part of the country.
In the Pacific Northwest, the state of Oregon is one of the top destinations for tourists, visitors, and even those relocating permanently for work or study. The state has several quirky cities that have been ranked among the coolest in the country. The Weather is great and there are a lot of things to do and see for everyone living in Oregon.
If you’re considering moving to Oregon, you probably have many questions on your mind like “what is the cost of living in Oregon” “is Oregon a good place to live”. Read on to find answers to these and other questions you might have about Oregon living.

What are the most expensive states to live in the US?

The United States is a big country and the cost of living tends to vary from state to state across the country. There are places where things are relatively cheaper. But in many states, you can expect to pay a higher price on everything from the food you eat to the utility bills and taxes you pay.
When you’re visiting or relocating anywhere, the cost of living is one of the most important things to consider as living in the most expensive state requires you to plan your expenses better.
As far as the cost of living goes, some of the most expensive states to live in the United States include New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, Alaska, New York, Massachusetts, California, and Hawaii.
The state of Oregon is also on the list of most expensive states to live in the US. This article will be focused on Oregon and its capital, Portland as well as other towns and cities in the state.

What is the Cost of living increase in 2022?

For the past decade, the cost of living in Oregon has been on a continuous rise. In Portland, Oregon’s biggest city, the cost of living has increased by about 22% from 2010 to date. The upward trend continued from the previous year (2021) to this year as well. Comparing 2022 to 2021 cost of living figures, there has been a general price increase of up to 3.9% from the previous year. The areas that saw the highest cost of living increase were transportation, housing, and food prices.

The state of Oregon

The State of Oregon is undoubtedly one of the coolest places to live or visit. It has an adventurous landscape that transits from coastline to lush forest to high deserts quite smoothly. In addition to being such a natural beauty, Oregon is also home to amazing people enjoying their small slice of urban goodness. Little wonder why the state ranks high among the fastest growing in the country.
In the past decade, the State’s population has increased by more than 10% thanks to its upbeat culture that attracts tourists and people relocating to live permanently in the State. If you’re a newcomer or you’re considering the possibility of staying in the Beaver State, you would probably want to know the things to expect before your move.

Where is Oregon located?

The State of Oregon is a West Coast State located in the Pacific Northwest. On a map of the United States, you will find it in the Midwestern part of the country. It borders the State of Washington up north and California down south. The State also shares a border with Nevada and Idaho. The state’s Eastern border is with the Pacific Ocean. The state’s border is formed by water bodies almost on all sides. The Columbia River forms most of the northern border while its boundary with Idaho is formed partly by the Snake River.

How many people live in Oregon in 2022?

According to recent statistics, the population of the state of Oregon in 2022 is estimated to be 4.35. The state is ranked 27th on the list of the most populous states in the country. It has a land area of 98,381 sq miles (254,806 sq km) which means it is the 9th largest state in terms of land area.
Oregon has a mixed population made of both American-born people as well as people of European descent. Hispanics make up about 1/10 of the State’s population and there are a small number of Asians and African Americans as well. Oregon is a rapidly growing state with a high influx of new residents in Portland and other major cities.

How big is Oregon?

Oregon has a relatively large land area. The state is ranked the 9th largest in the United States with a land area of 98,000 square miles. For context, Oregon is bigger than Washington in terms of land area but it is smaller in size compared to California.

What is Oregon known for?

The nickname of the State of Oregon is the Beaver State. The state has long been associated with North America’s largest rodent. At some point in the state’s history, the Beaver Fur trade formed a major part of its economy but this is no longer the case.
These days, Oregon is more popular for its natural beauty and outdoor life. The city hosts various lush forests, rocky coastlines, and vast desert land. This opens the door to several outdoor activities. This is another thing the city is famous for. There are plenty of opportunities for physical activities such as skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, or hiking.
Oregon also has an upbeat and relaxed culture. There are breweries everywhere as craft beers and local wines form a huge part of Oregon’s economy. Some of the other notable things about Oregon include:

  • Home to the deepest lake in the United State t
  • There are more ghost towns in Oregon than anywhere else in the country.
  • The Largest Cheese Factory in the World
  • The Nike company was born in Oregon h
  • Oregon has a reputation as an academic State. The state hosts two of the best colleges in the country.

What are the things to know about Cities in Oregon State?

The State of Oregon has more than 240 cities. Those who are looking for a tourist destination or a great place to live in Oregon will find that there are a lot of beautiful cities they can choose from. Of course, it’ll be a great idea to have an idea of the size, cost of living, and how safe an Oregonian city is before making a move.

Big Cities in Oregon

For those who love big city life, Oregon has several big cities. The State’s capital is Salem, but the largest city in the State in Portland. Most of the best cities in Oregon are situated between the two prominent mountain ranges in the state. Here are 5 of the biggest cities in Oregon.

1. Portland

About 47% of the people who live in Oregon reside in Portland, making it the largest city in the State. Portland also has a reputation as the cultural capital of all of the Pacific Northwest thanks to its rich art and culture. The city of roses as it is fondly called has many outdoor attractions, public parks, and gardens. Portland is often referred to as Silicone Forest because it hosts some tech companies like Intel, HP, Xerox, and Tektronix among others.

2. Salem

Salem is the second-largest city in Oregon and it is Oregon’s second major city. Located in the northwest region towards the center of the Willamette Valley, the city is just an hour's drive south of Portland.
Salem has a rich history and is quite diverse. It became the state capital in 1859 and has remained the capital since then. Salem is a thriving industrial city with ranching and agriculture as the main activities. It also hosts major companies like Amazon, Don Pancho, Kettle Foods, NORPAC, and so on.

3. Eugene

One could call Eugene the Academic capital of Oregon. It is home to the famous University of Oregon. With such a thriving young population, Oregon is a bustling city with lots of cultural attractions.
Outdoor living and exercising are central themes in Eugene. In addition to being the hometown of Nike, it also has its collegiate track and field legacy which is why it is often referred to as TrackTown. There are a lot of trails for hiking and biking all over the city.

4. Gresham

Although located in the suburbs of Portland (just 30 minutes east of Portland), Gresham is one of the biggest cities in Oregon. Incorporated in 1905, Gresham has been an active Agricultural community ever since. Many of the industries in Oregon are located in this rapidly growing city as well.
Gresham is also impressively located in proximity to some of the most iconic natural landmarks in the state such as the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, and Multnomah Falls making it a perfect location for those in love with outdoor life.

5. Hillsboro

The city of Hillsboro is located right at the center of Oregon’s Silicon Forest. In fact, the rapid growth and expansion of the City can be attributed to the arrival of the tech companies in the city in the 1980s.
Hillsboro is home to Intel’s largest campus. Other companies like Epson, Oracle, and Synopsys have headquarters here. Others like Adobe, OHSU, NetApp, and Umpqua have their data center in Hillsboro.
Other notable cities in Oregon include Bend, Beaverton, Springfield, Medford, Corvallis, and so on.

Where is the Safest City in Oregon?

Oregon is a relatively safe state to live in. Only a handful of theft and other violent crimes happen here but property crimes are quite common. In fact, the state has the seventh-highest rate for property crime but it has the twelfth lowest rate for violent crime in the entire country. Here are a few of the safest cities to live in Oregon.

1. McMinnville

McMinnville is a quiet little city located in Oregon’s wine country. The city hosts more than 200 wineries. The city has one of the lowest crime rates in Oregon thanks to the low rate of unemployment in the city.

2. Baker

With less than 10,000 residents, Baker City is a relatively small, charming city. The city rarely experiences violent crime and property crime. However, financial crime and hate crime may be an issue.

3. Hermiston

Hermiston is a thriving farming community popular for its large watermelon farms. The agricultural community is a sweet little town with a relatively low crime index. However, with a slightly high poverty level, Hermiston tends to experience property and financial crime.

4. Corvallis

The majority of the residents of Corvallis can be attributed to the nearby Oregon State University. Despite having a high cost of living, Corvallis is still a great destination that ranks high in terms of public safety.

5. Oregon City

Oregon City is the State of Oregon’s first capital. This simple town has a low cost of living and a low unemployment rate. These factors favor its public safety and financial safety compared to the other cities.

6. Hillsboro

Silicon Forest’s association with some of the biggest companies in the tech industries favors the city in terms of employment rate and general poverty level. Due to these factors, the crime rate in Hillsboro is quite low. While other forms of crime rarely happen, violent crimes are more common than in many other Oregon cities.

7. Tigard

Tigard is considered quite safe as far as financial crime and public safety statistics go. This suburb of Portland has very low crime rates compared to many other cities in Oregon.

8. Milwaukie

Milwaukie, Oregon is another suburb of Portland known to be quite peaceful. The city has very low unemployment and poverty rates.

9. Bend

The city of Bend, Oregon, scored high for both public safety and financial safety. Little wonder it is one of the top destinations for people moving to the Beaver State.

10. West Linn

West Linn is arguably the safest city in Oregon. It has a highly educated population and very low unemployment rates. These factors aid the city’s ranking in terms of public safety and financial safety.

Where are the worst places to live in Oregon

Oregon is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places to live in the US. There are several beautiful cities with great people everywhere. Even though there are many things to love about the state of Oregon, it’s not all perfect. Like every other state, many locations in Oregon are not so great to live in. Some of the worst places to live in Oregon include:

1. Madras

Crime is a major reason why Madras is such a terrible place to live in. It is the 12th most dangerous city in Oregon. In addition to being a dangerous place to live, Madras also has several economic issues. The unemployment rate in Madras is at an all-time high and the cost of living is high due to costly property value.

2. Ontario

Ontario, Oregon is a dangerous place to live in. Like Madras, the economy of Ontario isn’t all that great either. Ontario is also remotely located and with such a small population, residents often feel isolated. The only positive thing this location has going for it is the public education which is considered among the best in the State.

3. Prineville

Prineville is a safe place to live with decent scenery and a diverse community. The major problem with this location is the poor economic situation. Unemployment is at a high rate and income is very poor. Schools are also underfunded and the cost of living is high.

4. Klamath Falls

There is an abundance of outdoor activities and scenic views at Klamath falls. It is located between two beautiful lakes which is quite a pristine location. However, the weak economy of Klamath falls leads to a high crime rate that makes the city uninviting.

Is Oregon Expensive to live in?

One of the common questions people tend to ask when considering a move to Oregon is whether or not life in Oregon is expensive. Unfortunately, despite all the benefits of living in Oregon, one of the few drawbacks the state has is that it is one of the most expensive states to live in.
A recent ranking placed the state 5th on a list of 10 most expensive states to live in with an average cost of living that is 31.43 higher than the national average for most of the major cities.
Unsurprisingly, the state’s biggest city, Portland is the most expensive with an average cost of living that is about 17.7% higher than the national average . However, the state of Oregon has a high salary range which somewhat compensates for the high cost of living. The average salary for the state is about 13% higher than the national average. The state also doesn’t have local sales taxes although residents pay one of the highest state income taxes in the entire country.

Things to do in Oregon state

Oregon is a state for lovers of a laid-back but active lifestyle. The state is known for outdoor living and sporting activities like hiking, biking, mountain climbing, and skiing. For the adventurous, there are all sorts of terrains to explore. Oregon also has several interesting natural and historical landmarks making it a perfect getaway with a multitude of things to do and see. Here are some of the things you can do if you are living or vacationing in Oregon.

1. Visit the crater lake national park

This is a breathtaking park located in the Cascade Mountains, southwestern Oregon. The park has some of the best hiking trails in Oregon. You can take a drive around the edge of the crater or go camping in one of the camps around. There are other parks close by too such as the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Umpqua National Forest.

2. Visit The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Following the course of the famous Columbia River, you will find numerous waterfalls with stunning views. Some of the most notable ones include Multnomah Falls and Punchbowl Falls.

3. Spend a day at Oregon’s beautiful beaches

Oregon borders the pacific ocean which means there are numerous sandy beaches to explore. The beaches in Oregon are similar in some respect but each one has certain unique features that set them apart. Some of the most notable ones include Cannon Beach with the towering Haystack Rock, Nye Beach in Newport, Cape Kiwanda State Scenic Area in Pacific City, Seaside Beach, Lone Ranch Beach, and so on.

4. Take a stunning picture of Thor’s Well

Thor’s Well is one of the most breathtaking sinkholes in the world and thousands of visitors visit Oregon yearly to catch a picture of the big and powerful sinkhole that has been nicknamed the “drainpipe of the pacific.

5. Spend a day at the Washington Park

Washington Park in Portland is one of Oregon’s beautiful parks. There are a good number of fun spots within the park-like the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden. The Portland Zoo and the Portland Children's Museum are here as well which makes it perfect for those traveling with kids.

6. Catch one of the over 700 shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Talk about perpetual festivities, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland takes place for pretty much the entire year. You can catch a show at one of the performances in any of the beautiful Theaters at the festival.

7. Explore the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

You get about 40 miles of Dune Landscape to explore by foot or on an off-road vehicle. There are also several scenic attractions nearby like the National Recreation Area, the Heceta Head Lighthouse, Cape Perpetua, and so on.
Some of the other notable attractions in Oregon include:

  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Willamette National Forest
  • Oregon Coast Trail1
  • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene
  • Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
  • Terwilliger Hot Springs
  • John Day Fossil Beds
  • Cherry Fest
  • And many more

What is the Cost of living in Oregon

Although one of the most beautiful states in the United States, living in Oregon can be a little expensive so it makes sense to know the average cost of living to expect. From recent data, the average cost of living in Oregon is about $42,055 per year. Only States like Washington, Hawaii, New York, California, and Massachusetts rank higher in terms of average cost of living.

Average grocery bill

If you stay in Portland Oregon, you can expect to spend an average of $372.35 on groceries every month. This is slightly higher than the national average which is $341.40. It is important to note that Oregon does not have sales taxes which makes the prices of most items cheaper than in other states.

How much is gas in Oregon

The average utility bill per month for residents of Portland and other states in Oregon is about $188. This covers gas, heating, electricity, and garbage services. Internet costs add $66 per month.

Average water bill

An average single-family residence uses about 5 ccf of water per month. The average monthly charge for this is about $48.39 with the volume rate of $6.029 per ccf. The monthly water rate is reviewed on July 1 every year.

What You Need to Know Before Moving to Oregon?

Oregon is no doubt a beautiful State and you’re in for a treat if you move here. Oregon is particularly great if you’re a fan of outdoor life. It is also appealing to those who love a simple laid-back life. Many of the cities in the state are appealing whether you’re alone or moving in with family. Here are some of the things you should know about moving to Oregon.

Oregon is Big on Nature

With only 4.2 people living in the 10th largest state in the country, there’s plenty of space for natural scenery and beautiful landscape free from the pressure of urban development. The state has a widely diverse geography from mountains to beaches, forests, and even desert land. If you’re a fan of nature, you’ll surely like it here.

Oregon has lovely Weather

Oregon experiences a lot of rain. But overall, the weather is mild and the average rainfall isn’t far above the national average. Portland and other cities in Willamette valley get most of the rain. However, locations beyond the Cascade Range are significantly dryer. This area also tends to get colder during the winter month. For the rest of the state, winter is generally mild. Summer is mild in most places as well. Only a few summer days see a temperature of 100 degrees.

Oregon Is Great For People With Active Lifestyles

Oregon is great for those who want to live an active lifestyle. With all that outdoor space, there is plenty of room for activities like hiking, snow skiing, off-roading, bike riding, and camping. There are also numerous bodies of water around which makes activities like water skiing, fishing, water rafting, and windsurfing possible. In fact, Oregon is considered the windsurfing capital of the United States.

Oregon Is One Of The Most Environmentally Friendly Locations

If you’re passionate about the environment, then you’ll find Oregon quite a great place to live. The state is the greenest in the country and is in fact one of the most eco-friendly locations in the world. Most cities are serious about preserving nature, recycling, and energy efficiency. Oregonians are also vegan-friendly and they’re nature lovers.

Pros and Cons of Living in Oregon

Pros

  • Residents of Oregon don’t pay sales tax on the product they buy
  • Plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy
  • Oregon is Pro-Bicycle. There are several paths, tours, and trails for bikers all over the state
  • The weather is decent. Although the state gets a lot of rain, it is lower than most places and there are many sunny days
  • Oregon is one of the most eco-friendly states in the US.
  • The state has a rapidly developing economy and the average income rate is high.

Cons

  • The cost of living in Oregon is a high
  • Even without sales tax, the total tax burden is high
  • Average test scores for students are low
  • It rains a lot in Oregon
  • Potentials for earthquake and tsunamis