If you’re tired of the gloomy weather and the high house prices in Portland, then we’d say you’re not alone, as in the past decade people of the city have been moving out for various such reasons. One of the main reasons is also that the employment opportunities here are limited to only the construction and manufacturing industries. If you’re not interested in these industries, you’ll have a hard time finding a job.

Besides, the salaries of people in Portland are lower than the national average. So even if you do find a job, a job that pays well will be a tough one to crack. There’s also a lack of diversity, the homeless population is on the rise, the city is unsafe and unhygienic, and the traffic in Portland is one of the worst in the state. Whether these are any of the reasons for you or not, if you’re leaving Portland and need to know which cities you could move to, here’s a list.

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5 Best Places To Move From Portland, Oregon

Medford, Oregon

Portland has a lack of recreational activities, job opportunities, and even quality education as mentioned earlier. But its neighboring city, Medford is known to compensate for all of these things along with friendly neighbors and green spaces. Medford is one of the very few cities in Oregon that has an array of outdoor activities that are just a few minutes’ drive away. From mountain biking, hiking, and trekking, to fishing, hunting, water rafting, skiing, and much more, there’s something for everyone. You’ll thoroughly enjoy all of these activities in winter as there’s so much to do and explore.

Medford is Oregon’s regional hub for economic opportunities in the fields of healthcare, travel, and tourism. The city is also known for its education system and is home to St. Mary’s School which is the third-largest private school in the state. Other than that, Cascade Christian High School, Andrews Middle School, Medford High School, and Brooks School are some of the other renowned schools in the city. Medford is a clean city that has ample parks and green spaces for you to go and enjoy your free time amidst nature. All of these things combined make it one of the most appealing cities to move to for those leaving Portland.

Downsides: Medford is prone to wildfires. The dry weather in the city is potentially the cause of such fires as the high temperatures could rise as high as 110℉ during the summers. In times of such fires, many houses and the livelihood of people are at risk. Other than that, the traffic in the city is congested and you’d be spending a few extra minutes stuck in traffic. It’s an ongoing problem that needs to be corrected instantly. And even if that’s an issue you can deal with, you still would need to find a house that is affordable to rent out. The rentals in the city are expensive and the market is also highly competitive.

Population: 85,298

Median Home Value: $403,589

Monthly Rent: $1,295

Unemployment Rate: 4.3%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Ashland, Jacksonville, Talent, Central Point, Grants Pass, Phoenix, Good Hill, and Eagle Point

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Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is a lively, dynamic, and one of the best cities in Oregon that people from Portland are moving to. It’s known for its clean green spaces that are spaced out across the city. It’s also one of the cleanest cities in Oregon where people are friendly and you’ll have no issues socializing. The nightlife and outdoors here, also enable you to explore the city and help you in making new friends. The city has a laid-back vibe and you really get to enjoy the hippie culture here.

The employment opportunities in Eugene are immense. Thanks to the emerging education, government, manufacturing, retail, leisure, technology, and finance industries, the people here get to excel in their professional careers. The education in the city is excellent with some of the best public schools and universities in the state. You also have a population of people that are spaced out enough to let you enjoy the bliss of the city. The traffic in the city has been lowering in recent years, thanks to the improvement in the transportation system and the infrastructure.

Downsides: Though getting in control gradually, the traffic in the city is still a bit of an issue and you’d have to amount for the extra time that you’ll be spending during your commute. The cost of living in Eugene is also a bit higher than the national average. The rainfall in the city could also be an issue as it rains here a bit more than in the rest of the cities in Oregon. So if you hate the rain, you may not like living in Eugene. With more and more people relocating to the city in recent years, Eugene could also witness overpopulation and urban sprawl soon enough.

Population: 178,389

Median Home Value: $463,173

Monthly Rent: $1,610

Unemployment Rate: 4.2%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Lorane, South Hills West, Industrial Corridor, Fir Grove, Amazon, Spencer Creek, Alvadore, and Cal Young

See Also: Best Neighborhoods In Portland OR For Families

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Salem, Oregon

You can live in the capital city of Oregon with a lush green environment and breathe fresh air. This is one of the main reasons why Portlanders are moving to the beautiful city. It’s the agricultural epicenter and you’ll always find fresh farm produce like the orchards, fruits, and all kinds of vegetables available in its markets and stores. The city is also known for its beautiful rolling terrain. The vibe of the city is lowkey but even then you’ll really enjoy the culture of the city by the way it celebrates cinema, theater, and music in its local Elsinore Theater. Salem is a city that offers something to everyone living here.

The summertime in Salem is one of the best in Oregon as it’s mild and not the hottest and humid as compared to the other cities. The summer highs in the city don’t cross 81.6°F making it one of the cooler Oregon cities. Salem is also located in a spot that makes it closer to all other cities in the state. Getting in and around here becomes accessible and convenient for everyone living and visiting. You have the outdoor galore for adventure enthusiasts where you can engage in kayaking, camping, hiking, and even scuba diving.

Downside: When it comes to the real estate market, both renting and buying in Salem are not necessarily the cheapest. Finding an affordable living space in the city can be a very daunting task. Due to this, property crimes have also been on the rise. The property crime rate of Salem is on the higher end of the spectrum and is one of the biggest issues that the city is facing.

Population: 177, 694

Median Home Value: $440,925

Monthly Rent: $1,227

Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Sunnyside Road, Pratum, Rees Hill Road, North Howell, Commercial Street, Rosedale, Candelaria Boulevard, and Eola

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Seattle, Washington

If you know anything about Seattle, it’s that it has a booming IT industry that provides job opportunities and also contributes largely to its growing economy. But the positives of moving to Seattle aren’t just limited to that. It’s also a lively and very friendly city to live in, which has a dynamic nightlife along with many outdoor activities to engage in. The yearly average salary of an individual in Seattle is about $105,000, which is higher than the national average as well as the average of Portland. Top industries like engineering, IT, healthcare, higher education, technology, manufacturing, finance, and tourism are some of the fastest-paced and employment generating sectors in Seattle.

Seattle is bike-friendly, has a good walkability score, and the transportation system is also one of the best in the country. It also has no state income tax, which is very high in Portland. Additionally, the tall towers here are very unique to the city and the skyline is something you’ll not find in Portland. All of these things combined make Seattle a very appealing city to Portlanders. No wonder it’s one of the cities in the country that not just the people of Portland, but natives of many other cities too are choosing to move to.

Downsides: Seattle’s cost of living is way above the national average and that’s one of the biggest downsides of living here. Your basic utilities, food, and healthcare will all cost higher in Seattle than in Portland. The real estate market here is also on the more expensive side, which means buying or renting a house will be much more expensive and competitive. Not to forget the cloudy and gloomy weather of Seattle that lasts almost all year long.

Population: 787,998

Median Home Value: $932,386

Monthly Rent: $2,197

Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Ballard, Fremont, Magnolia, Broadview, University South, Arroyo Heights, Belltown, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, and North Queen Anne

See Also: 5 Best Neighborhoods in Portland OR for Singles and Young Professionals

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Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a metropolitan city in the state of Illinois that people from Portland, Oregon are fleeing to. It’s the third-largest city in the country and also has one of the leading economies in the state. Moving to Chicago opens up an array of opportunities for anyone seeking job opportunities, quality education, a wide range of neighborhoods, outdoors, and just a better quality of life. Most of which, people living in Portland lack anyway.

It has some of the biggest and best universities in the country, like DePaul University, which is the largest Catholic University in the country. The transportation in Chicago is extensive, inexpensive, accessible, and one of the best in the USA. The quality of life in the city is high as mentioned earlier but it’s also expensive. But given the opportunities, everything is worth it here. There’s a lot that Chicago offers to people and that attracts not just the people of Portland but from other neighboring cities too.

Downsides: The downsides to living in Chicago are that the crime in the city is localized and you need to stay away from certain neighborhoods within the city. The cost of living here is also on the rise which means that getting a house on rent or buying at an extremely affordable rate is not quite possible. Besides, the urban sprawl in most areas of the city is constantly expanding.

Population: 2,671,638

Median Home Value: $309,277

Monthly Rent:  $2,087

Unemployment Rate: 4.9%

Best Neighborhoods To Live In: Lincoln Park, River West, Hyde Park, and Logan Square

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Summing Up

Portland in Oregon is a city that has been losing its population due to various reasons that we just discussed. All of the cities mentioned above are the cities that the people of Portland have been moving to the most. Each of these cities has a better lifestyle and opportunities that are in some form, lacking in Portland. Some have lower costing houses, some have better quality education, while some are just relatively safer to raise a family. If you want to get out of Portland, and any of the cities mentioned above appeal to you, you can find comfort in the fact that they offer you a lifestyle that is better than that in Portland.

Related: Portland, OR: Surrounding Suburbs Guide

FAQs On 5 Best Places To Move From Portland Oregon

Where Are People From Portland Moving To?

People of Portland are moving to its neighboring cities of Salem, Eugene, Medford, Albany, and Lebanon. All of these are some of the best cities in Oregon but besides these, Seattle, NYC, Chicago, and Michigan are some other places that people of Portland are moving to.

Is Portland Oregon Losing Population?

In short terms, yes, Portland, Oregon is losing population for the first time in over a decade. The city has seen a significant loss in population due to many reasons. Limited job opportunities, lower salaries, and lack of diversity are some of the reasons. People from Portland have been moving to new neighboring cities and also relocating to cities outside of Oregon.

Are Housing Prices Going Down In Portland, Oregon?

Sadly, the housing prices are not going down in Portland, Oregon. The real estate in the city has only been going up which is why there has been a rising issue of property crimes and homelessness in the city.

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Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.