Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Oregon

It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest is one of the most sought-out locations to live in the United States. With its combination of mountains, forests, coastlines, and lakes, this unique and breathtaking region is simply unmatched. Oregon is a true getaway for just about anybody.

So if you’re thinking about moving to Oregon, then you’re well on the way to a fantastic life ahead. You’ve also come to the right place: This guide will walk you through what you need to know about moving to Oregon, including the climate, education system, taxes, and much more. 

Oregon Climate

When moving to Oregon, get ready for some wet and cloudy weather. Most of the population lives in Western Oregon, which includes Portland, Oregon, and the Willamette Valley. This area of the state has a rainy season that lasts from late September until early summer.

Oregon State Relocation Guide

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The summers are dry and sunny, with sparse rainfall in July and August. With blue skies and low humidity, Oregonians get to enjoy beautiful weather all season long.

In the winter, the weather differs depending on where you live. It rarely snows in the western half of the state because it’s not cold enough – temperatures on the coast range between 43°F and 61°F. Further inland, they rarely dip below freezing.

Where temperatures in the western part of the state are impacted by the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Eastern Oregon has an arid, desert-like climate. It can get very hot in the summer, and in the winter months, you can expect some snowfall.

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Overall, Eastern Oregon does not experience nearly as much precipitation as the coastal half. Many parts only experience five to 25 inches, while the coast sees an average of 60 to 180 inches. 

Oregon Taxes

According to taxfoundation.org, Oregon’s tax burden ranks 11th in the country.

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Oregon has a relatively high individual income tax rate, with the low end starting at 4.75% and the high end topping out at 9.9%. More than 90% of the state’s income tax is spent on three key areas: education, health, human services, and public safety.

The state corporate income tax rate can reach 7.6%, which is a little higher than the national median. There is no state sales tax, which makes buying everyday goods more affordable.

Additionally, when you move to Oregon, you may save on property taxes. The average rate is 0.90% in the state. This is far lower than in many states in the Midwest and Northeast that have tax rates above 1.5%. 

Oregon Cost of Living

Due to the highly-sought out coastal and mountainside living, Oregon has one of the highest cost of living rates in the country. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,296, while the average home cost is $468,954.

In turn, the average salary is $55,349, or $26.61 per hour. The 75th to 90th-percentile of workers earn an average of $84,000 every year, while the lower percentile workers earn around $27,000 per year. 

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The unemployment in Oregon is below the national average at 4.9%, but there is room for strong economic growth. Over the past couple of years, more than 46,000 jobs were added, which increased the job rate by 2.5%.

Although a few years ago, in 2018, the unemployment rate was down almost a full percent, experts say that the unemployment grew as of late due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the highest-paying industries in Oregon are sales, finance, technology, and manufacturing. Although these industries pay well, there has been little growth over the past decade. If you’re moving to Oregon and aren’t already employed, it may be worth looking into the fastest-growing jobs in Oregon, such as:

  • Health Claims Examiner
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Web Developer
  • Operations Analyst
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Industrial Mechanic

Oregon Healthcare

Some states have specific healthcare regulations and laws, but Oregon does not and therefore automatically defaults to federal law. In compliance with the Affordable Care Act, Oregon residents are required to have health insurance.

Nearly 94% of Oregonians are covered by health insurance. The state also offers special savings for enrolled tribal members and Alaska natives who buy coverage through the Marketplace and enroll in a zero-cost sharing plan. Overall, Oregon ranks 17th in healthcare in the United States.

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Aside from Medicaid, Medicare, or the Affordable Care Act, Oregon residents can choose from eight major health insurance companies:

  • HS – BridgeSpan Health Company
  • HS – Kaiser Permanente
  • HS – PacificSource Health Plans
  • HS – Providence Health Plan
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the NW
  • PacificSource Health Plans
  • Providence Health Plan
  • Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Oregon Education

Oregon’s overall state ranking in education is #35 according to U.S. News and #46 according to ReportCard on American Education. Even so, it’s useful to know that there are many counties within the Portland metropolitan area with top-rated school systems.

The Lake Oswego School District, for example, has a 93.1% graduation rate with an enrollment of 7,000 students each year. Additionally, over 70% of the students in the Sherwood School District meet or exceed expectations in mathematics and language arts.

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Oregon is also home to several colleges and universities. Some of the top universities and colleges in Oregon are:

  • Reed College (Portland)
  • Lewis & Clark College (Portland)
  • University of Portland (Portland)
  • University of Oregon (Eugene)
  • Oregon State University (Corvallis)
  • Willamette University (Salem)

Notable Highlights 

There are a few things you should know if you’re planning a move to Oregon. You can’t pump your own gas. Oregon is one of two states that have made this illegal.

Second, if you don’t own a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, you should buy one. From Crater Lake to Columbia River Gorge, there are countless opportunities for propelling yourself on the water while enjoying the best of the Pacific Northwest.

And third, the coffee culture is as amazing as you’ve heard it to be. Oregonians take their cold brew very seriously, and you’ll never get tired of trying out new coffee experiences as a resident.

Oregon is also a treat for history buffs. As the name implies, the state of Oregon was the final destination of the Oregon Trail in the early 19th century. Starting in 1836, thousands of emigrants trekked from Missouri to the Oregon Territory.

The Oregon Trail route became the most used of all routes during the United States’ westward expansion.

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Oregon is also home to the most ghost towns in the United States. Usually, ghost towns, which are deserted or abandoned cities, are born because the economy that once supported them has failed or ended. There are more than 200 ghost towns across the state, and they are very appealing tourist attractions.

While public transportation is enough in some cities, you’ll definitely want to have your car here when you move. From camping trips to historical sites, Oregon is filled with potential road-trip destinations. If you’re flying from out of state, you can ship your vehicle ahead of time so it’s ready when you arrive.

Best Places to Live in Oregon

Locals may use “Oregon” and “Portland” as interchangeable terms, but the fact is that there’s a whole lot more to Oregon than its largest and most populous city.

It’s good to have a basic idea of the bustling city life in Portland, as well as where to find some of the top-rated suburban neighborhoods. Here are some of the locals’ favorite neighborhoods and cities in and around Portland. 

Healy Heights

Sitting at the top of Niche’s list of top-rated neighborhoods in Portland, Healy Heights is in the city’s southwest section with a population of around 1,182 people.

The public schools in the area are highly rated, making this neighborhood perfect for young and growing families. With a suburban feel yet close to downtown, residents get to enjoy plenty of shopping, dining, and parks.


Eastmoreland is a neighborhood in southeast Portland with 6,700 people. It is one of the safest and most family-friendly neighborhoods in the Portland area, making it perfect for families and retirees alike. It is home to many parks like the Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden, Eastmoreland Playground Park, and Berkeley Park. 


Bethany is a community located within the Portland metropolitan area and conveniently sits just north of Route 26. Although technically unincorporated, Bethany is home to more than 26,000 residents. It maintains a small-town feel with four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

It is conveniently located just 25 minutes away from Portland and provides plenty to do for families of all ages and sizes, whether you like to spend the weekends hiking or exploring the local farmers’ markets.  


Tualatin is a growing city of 26,000 residents located in Washington County. Although it has its own set of things to do and plenty of history, it is considered a southwestern suburb of Portland.

Tualatin offers that urban-suburban mix with highly-rated schools and proximity to excellent dining and shopping. There are more than 200 acres of parks on the outskirts of Tualatin, making it perfect for the outdoor adventurist. 

Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego is a city of 35,000 located in Clackamas County. It sits just 8 miles south of Portland. It surrounds the 405-acre Oswego Lake and was historically the hub of the state’s iron industry.

In recent decades, it has developed into a bustling suburb of Portland. Because of its location on the lake, Lake Oswego is known for its endless natural beauty. Residents also get to enjoy excellent schools and a tight-knit community. 


Hillsboro is Oregon’s fifth-largest city with nearly 92,000 residents. It is situated in the Tualatin Valley on the west side of the Portland metropolitan area. It is nicknamed Silicon Forest and is the unofficial home to plenty of technology and software companies, like Intel.

In addition to the high-tech industry, Hillsboro is also home to several wineries and major employers in healthcare, retail, and agriculture.


Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the US. You honestly can’t go wrong if you want to move to Oregon.

But even with the exciting prospect of starting anew, the actual move can be stressful. This is why it’s best to make the process easier and plan ahead.

One of the best ways to prepare is to decide the method of transportation for your car. If you’re flying cross-country or moving from out of state, having your car transported gives you one less thing to worry about.

That’s where Guardian Auto Transport comes in. We can easily ship your car to Oregon or any other state. As one of the nation’s leading car shipping companies, Guardian will pick up your car, keep you updated throughout its entire transportation journey, and drop it off at your door within just a few days.  

The best part? Your instant quote is free and accurate down to the last penny. Get your free, instant quote today.

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