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Living in Portland, Oregon

If you’re thinking of moving somewhere with impressive natural beauty, unique culture, and friendly people, the city of Portland, Oregon should be on your list of considerations. The biggest city in Oregon is arguably one of the best places to live on the West Coast and in recent times, it has become a top destination for solo travelers, young professionals, and families. In this article, we will cover some of the things you need to know about this city in case you’re considering moving here .

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Portland City

The City of Portland is Oregon’s largest city. The city is also one of the largest cities in the Pacific Northwest. Portland, Oregon is known for its large expense of outdoor green space which provides room for various outdoor activities. Leisure parks are abundant as well as forest trails and mountain tops for hiking. Portland is also home to the silicon forest, a cluster of high-tech companies that occupy the city’s metro area. The entire city of Portland has a vibrant ambiance and there’s an abundance of opportunities for anyone relocating to the city.

Portland Oregon weather year-round

You’ve probably heard the rumor about Portland experiencing a lot of rain. While this is partly true, the weather in Portland is mild for most of the year. The “Portland Mist” is a real thing. There is consistent precipitation and gray clouds for many months during the year. However, you also get 144 sunny days with a clear sky. The average annual temperature in Portland Oregon is 71 degrees. The precipitation is also not unbearable. The city sees just 42.8inches of annual rainfall. This is just slightly above the national average. The summer months in Portland are not as scorching hot as in many other cities in the country.

How many people live in Portland?

Portland is the largest city in the State of Oregon. The City’s population is about 666,453. This also makes it the 26th largest city in the US. Portland’s population is on an upward trajectory and the city continues to grow at an annual rate of 0.59%. The city occupies a 145miles area which means the population density is about 4995 people for every square mile.

Is Portland expensive?

Yes. The cost of living in Portland is estimated to be 34% higher than the national average. Housing cost in this city is 84.3% higher than the national average. However, the cost of utilities is lower than the national average (about 12.8% cheaper). Recent data also suggest that the cost of living in Portland has continued to rise in the past few years.

What is the Median income in portland?

The median annual income of households in Portland is estimated to be $73,159. Generally, residents between the ages of 45-and 64 years of age earn more with a median income of $82,296 while those between the age of 25 to 44 earn a median income of $81,429.

What is the average salary in Portland Oregon?

The average salary Portland is estimated to be $76,800 per year. Calculated hourly, this pans out to be $19.43 per hour. The wage in Portland has been trending up in recent years. However, the cost of living has been on the increase as well.

Moving to Portland, Oregon

When you’re thinking of relocation options on the West Coast, Portland, Oregon is undoubtedly a great option to consider. People from all over the country move here because of the abundance of outdoor recreation, friendly vibes, great job opportunities, and the quirky culture. Of course, before you make such a move you have to weigh the economic and social implications of moving to Portland. So should I move to Portland? Here are the pros and cons you should consider.

Pros and cons of living in Portland Oregon

The city of Portland has an impressive location. It’s just an hour's drive to the mountains to the east and an hour's drive to the Ocean in the West from the city center. Of course, such a pristine location also has its downsides. Some of these include:

Portland Cons

  • It rains quite a bit in the City and the winter months are prolonged
  • The income tax on residents in Portland is quite high
  • The cost of living is on the high side.

Portland Pros

Portland is an adventurer's paradise. There are several outdoor activities to keep you occupied in Oregon and Portland is ideally situated to explore all the state has to offer.

  • The city of Portland has reliable public infrastructures, especially an effective transportation system.
  • Portland is green both figuratively and literally. The city has a lot of lush outdoor areas and the citizens are quite eco-conscious.
  • The summer weather in Portland is mild and friendly.
  • The culture in Portland promotes innovation and creativity.
  • Residents in Portland don’t have to pay sales tax.

Cost of living in Portland Oregon

In the past decade, Portland cost of living has been on an upward increase. It is estimated to be about 34% higher than the national average. Residents of this city spend more on housing than the average state in the US. They also spend more on groceries (up to 15% more), transportation (6%), and healthcare (7%). However, the utility cost is lower than the national average.

Average rent in Portland Oregon

The average cost of renting an apartment in Portland is $1,680. The average rents in Portland Oregon may vary depending on the location, size, and quality of the apartment you intend to rent. For a studio apartment, you can expect to spend about $1,478 on average on rent while a 1-bedroom apartment may cost up to $1,936. The average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Portland is about $3,179.

How much is the trash bill per month

In Portland, how much you pay for the monthly waste collection charge depends on the size of your garbage container. There are four container options including 20 gallons, 35 gallons, 60 gallons, and 95 gallons. These cost $29.85, $34.55, $39.05, and $45.30 respectively every month.

Price of gas in Portland Oregon

The State of Oregon has the seventh cheapest utility cost in the U.S. The average cost per month for natural gas is $77.16. This is less than the national average spent on gas for the entire country.

Average electric bill portland

The average cost of electricity per month in Portland, Oregon is $100.91. The average residential home in Portland spends about 10.72¢/kWh on electricity. This is higher than the average in Oregon, but up to 9.76% less than the national average cost of electricity in the country.

Oregon retirement taxes

As far as retirement tax is concerned, the state of Oregon is moderately tax-friendly. This state does not charge taxes on social security benefits. However, other tax incomes such as withdrawals from your retirement account may be taxed. There are also partial taxes on private and public pension income. The marginal state tax rate is about 9% but there are no sales taxes.

Portland water bill

The average single-family residence in Portland uses about 5ccf of water per month. This costs about $48.39 per month based on current rates. The residential water rates in Portland have increased by about 7.8% since the past year.

Median home price Portland Oregon

Based on data from Zillow, the median cost of buying a house in Portland, Oregon is about $557,948. This marked an increase of about 14.6% compared to the previous year. The median home price in Portland is significantly higher than the national average of $312,728.

Living in Portland, Oregon

Living in Portland is an opportunity to enjoy numerous urban amenities, plenty of outdoor adventure, and the chance to be part of the quirky culture that the friendly community of residents in the City is known for. Here are some of the things to note about life in the City.

Best places to live in Portland, Oregon

The entire city is divided into 5 main sections. We have the Southwest, Northwest, North, Northeast, and Southeast. A new section known as South Portland is already in development. The total number of neighborhoods in the city is about 95 in total. The Willamette River separates the eastern and western parts of the city. Some of the best neighborhoods to live in Portland include:

1. Pearl District

Pearl District is located in the heart of downtown Portland and it is favored for the amazing dining options and nightlife. This part of the city is also great for families with kids thanks to its proximity to various family-friendly activities.

2. Nob Hill

The Nob Hill area is also known as the Northwest District. This is a densely populated residential neighborhood. More than 14,000 residents occupy the 976-acres area. It has access to several urban amenities, numerous restaurants, and boutique shops.

3. West End

While West End is not an official neighborhood in Portland, the area between Southwest Morrison and West Burnside is among the most desirable places to live in Portland. It is an emerging community that is fast carving out a reputation as the fashion and design hub of portland.

4. Arlington Heights

If you’re moving to Oregon with family, Arlington Heights is one of the most family-friendly locations in the city. Located in the Tualatin Mountain range, the majority of the residents here are families occupying more than 300 single-family homes in the area.

5. Laurelhurst

Laurelhurst is a great place to buy a home in Portland. The majority of residents in this part of the city are homeowners. It is located just 10 minutes away from downtown Portland. It is a great family-friendly community with a park of its own.

Things to know before moving to portland

If you’re looking to join the hordes of people moving to Portland from various parts of the country, there are certain things you should know. Here are some notable facts about life in Portland and what to expect:

  • The unofficial Portland dress code is casual. You’ll find most residents in sports gear, tees, and ripped jeans. Pretty much everything flies and you don’t need to dress up on most days.
  • It rains a lot in Portland. You should prepare your mind for a lot of precipitation. However, in the summer months, the weather is mild and friendly. People spend their time in the park, biking or just lounging in a bar somewhere sipping craft beer.
  • Biking is a huge deal in Portland. It’s seen as part of the healthy lifestyle that Oregon is known for as well as a means of transportation. People bike all-year round even in the winter months.
  • Portland is called the City of Roses. The city hosts the International Rose Test Garden and there’s an annual Portland Rose festival.
  • Coffee, wine, and beer are everywhere. Portland has an active coffee culture with numerous coffee roasters and artisan cafes in the city. There are also many breweries and a growing wine industry.

Oregon vs California

Oregon and California are neighboring states on the West Coast of the United States. There are a lot of similarities between these states. It is common for residents of California to consider moving to Oregon for various reasons. In this section, we will compare both States in terms of their cost of living, taxes, and other factors.

Oregon taxes vs California

Residents of Portland pay less in terms of sales tax compared to California. By less, we mean they don’t pay sales tax at all. This means if you see a price tag on any item, that’s how much it’ll cost to get it. In California, the sales tax is about 7.5% of the cost price. If you’re moving to Oregon from California, you can expect to pay more in sales taxes. The income tax in Oregon is lower as well. It is only 9.9%. California’s income tax of 13.3% is the highest in the country.

Moving to Oregon from California

In recent years, many Californians have relocated to Oregon. In fact, the majority of new residents that came to Oregon between 2013 to 2017 were Californians. While there was movement the other way round too, data shows that more Californians moved to Oregon in the past few years. Here are a few things you should consider if you’re thinking of making such a move too.

San Francisco vs Portland

Although not the largest city in California, San Francisco is one of the largest and most popular cities in the State. It is common to compare these two locations when comparing relocation options from California to Oregon.
The city of San Francisco has a higher population compared to Portland. The population density is also higher which is expected because Portland has more outdoor space than San Francisco. Portland also enjoys better weather, a lower cost of living, and a higher employment rate compared to California.

Cost of living in Oregon vs California

Although Oregon is also considered expensive to live in, the cost of living in California is 19.3% higher than that of Oregon. Residents in California spend more on housing, groceries, utility, and other monthly expenses. The housing cost in California is 39.5% higher while transport is 11.5% more expensive. Californians are also likely to spend up to 11.8% more on monthly groceries than Oregonians. At the end of the day, even though the average California resident earns more, Oregonians will get to save more due to a lower cost of living.

Californians moving to Oregon

The City of California remains a dream location with millions of people moving in from all over the world every year. However, there is also a massive outflow of residents to other cities. One of the top relocation destinations in Oregon.
According to one survey, about 1/5th of residents in Oregon were born in neighboring California. This shows a large influx of California into the beaver state. Some of the reasons that could explain this influx include:

  • The cost of living in San Francisco and other locations in California is higher than the average cost of living in Oregon
  • Californians have to pay higher state income tax
  • Due to the high cost of living, there is a lot of poverty and homelessness in California
  • California suffers from severe disasters due to its location in a seismic zone
  • The crime rate in California is higher
  • It’ll cost more to start a business in California.