12 Pros & Cons Of Living In Oregon

Oregon is one of the most beautiful and diverse states in the United States.

The state offers a plethora of natural wonders, from the beaches of the Pacific Ocean to Crater Lake National Park. It is also home to a growing economy and a thriving tech industry.

However, like any other state, Oregon has its pros and cons. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of living in Oregon to help you decide whether it is the right place for you.

Pros of Living in Oregon

From breathtaking natural landscapes to flourishing industries, there are plenty of reasons why Oregon is a fantastic place to live, work, and play.

Scenic Beauty

Oregon is home to beautiful lakes, waterfalls, forests, valleys, and mountains, making it a perfect location for outdoor enthusiasts.

Mount Hood, Crater Lake National Park, the Columbia River Gorge, and Cannon Beach are some of Oregon’s most popular spots for tourists and locals.

Quality Healthcare

Oregon offers excellent healthcare options and opportunities for health-conscious individuals.

The state has many healthcare practitioners per capita, and there are several world-renowned medical centers in Portland, such as the Oregon Health and Sciences University.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

Oregon is a state that celebrates diversity and cultivates an inclusive environment.

It is home to a mix of cultures and unique communities, ranging from Native Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans to various groups of European descendants.

Growing Job Market

Oregon offers a thriving job market thanks to a diverse and expanding economy.

The state has several thriving industries, including technology, healthcare, renewable energy, and tourism.

These sectors provide employment opportunities and the flexibility to work in various fields.

Great Outdoor Activities

Oregon is an outdoor wonderland with abundant opportunities for recreation year-round.

Its landscapes provide excellent hiking, cycling, skiing, and water sports activities. Oregonians enjoy skiing, snowboarding, camping, fishing, rafting, and rock climbing.

No Sales Tax

Oregon is one of only five states in the United States that does not have a sales tax, making it an attractive destination for those who love to shop.

This also benefits small business owners as they can price their products competitively.

See: Safest Neighborhoods In Portland, Oregon

Cons of Living in Oregon

Living in Oregon can seem like an ideal dream come true for many, with stunning natural landscapes and cultural attractions that draw visitors worldwide.

However, the state is not without its challenges, and many people may find life in Oregon more difficult than they initially anticipated. Here are a few concerns: 

High cost of living

Oregon is more expensive across the board than other states in the region, such as Washington and Idaho.

This is partly due to the state’s relatively high taxes and regulatory environment and its thriving tourism industry.

Housing prices are quite high, with average home prices in the Portland area now exceeding $500,000.

Rent can also be steep, especially in desirable neighborhoods or near the city center.

Highest state income taxes

In the realm of state income taxes, Oregon stands out.

With rates peaking at over 9%, it’s among the steepest in the U.S.

If you’re in the higher income brackets, this can translate to a heftier tax bill than you’d face in many other states.

But it’s not just the rate that catches attention; Oregon’s tax system, with its nuances and intricacies, can be a puzzle for those new to the state.


Traffic can be a major headache for anyone living in Oregon, particularly in the Portland metro area.

With ever-increasing commuters, rush hour traffic can be brutal, and congestion on the roads is common outside of peak hours.

As the population continues to grow, this problem is only likely to worsen, making it difficult to get around the city or plan outings during peak times of the day.

Poor school system

Even though Oregon often shines with its progressive mindset, the state’s education system seems to lag behind.

This is especially evident in rural areas beyond Portland, where top-tier schools might feel out of reach.

Alarmingly, Oregon grapples with some of the nation’s lowest test scores and graduation rates.

This raises concerns about whether students are truly getting the education they deserve.

To add to the challenges, recent budget cuts have put schools in a tough spot, having to decide which programs stay and which go.

Grey weather

Oregon’s weather keeps you on your toes, especially during the fall and winter.

Sure, the summers can be lovely and warm, but for the rest of the year?

Expect a lot of gray skies, rain, and chilly days. It’s not ideal for those who live for sunny days and outdoor activities, and the state’s beauty might feel a bit muted.

On top of that, the gloomier months can trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affecting those prone to depression during the darker times of the year.

More: 13 Pros And Cons Of Living In Texas

Is Oregon a Good Place to Live?

Absolutely! Oregon is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers, offering a diverse and beautiful landscape.

The state’s greenery and beauty are second to none, making every outdoor activity feel like a journey into a natural wonderland.

The progressive pulse is felt predominantly in cities like Portland, Salem, Eugene, Bend, and Ashland.

With no sales tax, your shopping bags might feel a bit lighter.

On the topic of city life, Portland deserves a nod for its efficient public transport and cyclist-friendly roads, which make daily commutes a breeze.

But, as with most places, Oregon has its set of challenges. The frequent rain might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

There’s a growing concern about homelessness, especially along the west coast. If you’re eyeing the more progressive areas for a home, be prepared for a mismatch between housing prices and typical salaries.

And while the absence of sales tax is pleasant, the 10% income tax might catch you off guard. Depending on your profession, securing a job might require some persistence.

Yet, amidst these challenges, there’s a glowing recommendation for Oregon. It’s a wonderful place for families, offering a nurturing environment for both kids and adults.

And for those nearing retirement or already enjoying it, Oregon has several pockets that are not only beautiful but also tax-friendly.