From Oregon Investment Guide 2024

Oregon Welcomes Newcomers Galore

Ever wonder why so many Californians now call Oregon home?

Snowshoe guided tour in the Mt. Hood National Forest with Mt. Hood Outfitters.
Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon


he truest measure of a location’s quality of life can be found in the answer to the following question: How many people choose to leave someplace else and move there?

In the case of Oregon, it’s a lot. In fact, according to the Oregon Employment Department, 40,000 Californians move to Oregon annually. One out of every five Californians who flee the state chooses to make their new home in Oregon.

While more affordable housing and lower taxes are a big draw for Californians, so too is the Beaver State’s quality of life. Where else can you find Pacific Coast beaches, majestic mountains, picturesque rivers and valleys, and world-class biking, hiking and camping all within just a few hours’ drive in a single state?

That is just one reason Portland was named among the top 50 best places to live in America by U.S. News. Portland checks in this year at No. 36, thanks to the city’s attractive neighborhoods, youthful spirit, plethora of parks and recreational facilities, and top-line professional sports.

The Balch Hotel in Dufur, OregonThe Balch Hotel in Dufur, Oregon. Built in 1907 and protected under the National Register of Historic Places.
Photo courtesy of Travel Oregon

Beaverton, Gresham and Vancouver rank among the most attractive suburbs in the country, and the absence of a state sales tax stretches the dollar further.

Other highly rated places to live in Oregon, per Redfin, include Milwaukie, Eugene, Salem, Tigard, Bend, Medford and Oregon City. Bend is gaining in popularity because it has become well known as a top outdoor recreation destination and its average commute time is just 16 minutes. Plus, it boasts an historic downtown and a small-town vibe.


40,000 Californians each year relocate to Oregon.
— Source: Oregon Employment Department


Assets Beckon New Residents
The financial advice website known as SmartAsset recently did a deep dive on all things Oregon and identified these state features as assets worthy of value:

  • Oregon is a bicyclist’s haven, with thousands of miles of world-class trails and hundreds of miles of biker-friendly roads.
  • Oregon is a place where you can grow your own food or purchase it at an abundance of local farmer’s markets. A mild climate with all four seasons is a farmer’s dream.
  • If theater is your taste, you won’t find any better Shakespeare performances than what you can see in Oregon.
  • It’s a healthy state. Nike and Columbia Sportswear reign supreme in Oregon, which sports an outdoorsy ethos and a penchant for healthy lifestyles.
  • If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be right at home in this java wonderland. Roasting coffee is a statewide pastime.

Finally, if you need help planning a day trip or weekend getaway, your options are unlimited. From scenic drives along the Pacific Coast to hiking through the Columbia River Gorge, there is something for everyone in Oregon.

Wine enthusiasts will love visiting vineyards in Willamette Valley; and Crater Lake National Park must be seen to be believed. Foodies flock to Portland, while skiers and backpackers bow to Bend.

Whatever you’re seeking, Oregon has it.

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.


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