Cost of Living in Portland | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

Is Living in the City of Roses Expensive? True Cost of Living in Portland Oregon

When planning a relocation, it is crucial to preserve financial stability. If Stumptown is your city of choice, we compiled a summary of the cost of living in Portland for you. With it, you’ll be able to plan your budget to a higher level and ensure a smooth transition to a new home.

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Living in Portland is a big treat and valuable experience

Stumptown has gone a long way from the infamy of Shanghaiing, the reputation of the dangerous port, and the booming logging industry (hence the nickname). Nowadays, moving to Portland means life in a vibrant coastal city with many opportunities, both professional and personal. Some of the largest companies in the world have their headquarters there, and good employment can easily compensate for a somewhat more expensive outlook.

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What Can You Earn In Portland: What Is Considered a Good Salary?

Portland’s economy is growing, and that’s a piece of good news for everyone planning to move there. Its dry docks are among the busiest in the United States, the steel industry is thriving, and IT companies are many and robust. Stumptown hosts headquarters of companies such as Nike, Adidas, Intel, Dr. Martens, Precision Castparts, and Daimler Trucks North America.

With skill and a bit of luck, you can land a very well-paid job. According to the latest data provided by, senior software engineers get a salary in the range of 113,000 USD per year. They are followed by their junior colleagues, who earn around 82,000 USD annually. Next in terms of salary are mechanical engineers with 72,000 USD, while different kinds of managers can expect from 60,000 to 70,000 USD per year.

The biggest employers in town are Nike, Intel, Oregon Health and Science University, and Daimler Trucks.

How Taxes Affect the Cost of Living in Portland

Like it or not, each and every one of us has to pay their due to the IRS. Luckily, the great state of Oregon will be good for you in that regard. There is no sales tax. Compare that to neighboring Seattle, WA, where the sales tax rate is 10.1%, and the math is clear.
On the other hand, income tax starts at 5% and can go up to 9.9% for cream-of-the-crop earners. Capital gains are subject to income tax, as well.

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You can make the good salary you'll need to cover the costs of living in Portland, Oregon

Housing, Rent, and Utilities Index and Prices

If there is something we can’t do without, that’s a roof over our heads. Not surprisingly, housing will eat up a large portion of your paycheck. The housing index in Portland nearly doubles the United States average. Of course, if you wish to live in one of the best neighborhoods in Portland, it will be even more expensive. If you’re unsure about salary and affordable housing, hit the web and use an online calculator.

To buy a home in the city center, you’ll need to pay, on average, 400 USD per square foot, according to the data provided by On the other hand, the amount outside of the center would be in the region of 250 USD. If you decide to buy, the mortgage interest rate in 20 years period stands at 4.18$ per year.

Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city’s center stands about 1,600 USD while living in the apartment of the same kind outside of the center would require 1,200 USD. Larger apartments in and outside the center are leased for a rent of 2,920 USD and 1,990 USD, respectively.

On the other hand, the utility index is well below the national one. A single bill of 170 USD covers electricity, water, heating, cooling, and taking out the garbage. Reasonably fast Internet access costs around 70 USD.

Costs of Transportation

Stumptown often ends up on the lists of the cities with the best public transportation. You can use buses and trains, for which the ticket costs 2.5 bucks. The monthly pass stands at 100 dollars. The transportation index in the metro area is 130, which is somewhat higher than the national one.

If you prefer a car, you can ship your own via auto transport services, or buy a new one. Prices for new sedans go between 20,000 and 25,000 USD. Fuel is also much steeper than in some other United States cities, so you’ll need to cash out 3.50 bucks per gallon. If all that doesn’t sound suitable, you can always hop on a bicycle.

People Do Get Sick Sometimes – Health and Personal Care

In Stumptown, you won’t have to worry about how to find a new doctor when you move. However, the price of a basic examination is more than 150 dollars. A box of twelve antibiotics is around 25 dollars. Aspirin or some other paracetamol with enough doses to last a week goes for seven bucks.

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When people pay for home or rent and transportation, a large chunk of the earnings is gone, but what's left is more than enough to live

What You’ll Spend on Food and Consumer Goods

In terms of spending, groceries and household and consumer goods come right after housing. The overall grocery index in Stumptown is 103.7, slightly higher than the national one. Using numbeo’s data, let’s make a quick tour around the basic supermarket aisles in Portland:

  • Milk – 0.90 USD
  • A loaf of bread – 3.40 USD
  • Bottled water – 2.2 USD
  • Rice – 2.5 USD per pound
  • Eggs – 3.20 USD for a carton of 12
  • Cheese (local) – 8 USD per pound
  • Chicken meat – 6 USD per pound
  • Beef red meat – 8 USD per pound

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, average prices for a pounds are as follows:

  • Bananas – 0.8 USD
  • Apples – 2.7 USD
  • Oranges – 2 USD
  • Tomatoes – 2.3 USD
  • Potatoes – 1.2 USD
  • Onions – 1.3 USD
  • Lettuce – 1.9 USD per head

A bottle of wine can be acquired for around 15 bucks. The price of domestic beer, the pride and joy of Portland, is about 2.2 bucks per bottle, while imported beer can be bought for 4.2 dollars. Since we’re already in the guilty pleasure department, a pack of Marlboro cigarettes is 7.3 dollars.

There should be some clothes as well among other things on your new apartment shopping list. In Stumptown, you can get a pair of jeans for around 51 bucks, while a summer dress in a mid-level retail store stands at approximately 41 USD. The price of a pair of mid-range Nike sneakers is about 80 dollars, while leather business shoes cost 95 bucks. Of course, there are high-end stores too, but shopping in them is much more expensive.

On the side of household goods, a flat-screen TV can be bought for 290 dollars. A microwave would require around 155 USD.

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Moving to a new home in the Stumptown area means exciting novel tastes, so make use of the supermarket aisles

The Cost of Living in Portland Area If You Have Children

If you are moving with kids, you’d certainly want them to attend some of the best Portland schools. A year in an international primary school stands at 19,000 USD. Young children can be admitted to kindergarten or a preschool for around 1,200 dollars a month.

When it comes to museums in the city, most of them admit children free of charge. The good news is that entrance to the Oaks Amusement Park is also free. That is, except on the 4th of July and during the Oktoberfest when it is charged 6 USD.

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Moving to the Stumptown area and making a home there is the best thing if you have kids

Amenities and Leisure in the Area

Living in Portland will mean a lot of opportunities for culture. Museums are many and with different focuses. Regular ticket prices for adults are as follows:

  • Portland Art Museum – 20 USD
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – 15 USD
  • World Forestry Center – 8 USD
  • Oregon Historical Society Museum – 11 USD
  • Children’s Museum – 11 USD

Eating out is a staple of good city life, and Portland’s no different than other cities. A meal in an inexpensive diner will cost you around 14 bucks. A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant goes for around 55 dollars. Dining in one of the best restaurants in Portland can be a real hit on your pocket, but it’d be worth it.

A small bottle of water in a restaurant goes for 1.5 dollars, a bottle of Coke or Pepsi for 2 dollars, and cappuccino or some other coffee for 4.3 dollars. A meal in a fast-food chain goes for about 7.5 bucks. And when in Stumptown, don’t miss its celebrated food trucks. Whatever their prices are, you won’t be disappointed.

The ticket price for a cinema is around 12 dollars. Two tickets for the best seats in a theater for a high-end production will leave you 165 bucks lighter.

If you wish to live a healthy life, you’ll need to pay 45 dollars per month for a gym fee, while one hour on a tennis court would cost you around 21 USD.

How Much Does It Cost to Do Fun Stuff in Portland, Oregon

Stumptown isn’t very rich in its offering of high-end sports. It is the most populous American city with only one franchise in the Big Four leagues. That franchise are the Trail Blazers (the last time it won the title was back in 1977). The price for the cheapest seat in Moda Center is 11 bucks, while the average prices stand around 92 dollars.
There are also Portland Timbers, winner of the MLS Cup in 2015. Their tickets start at around 40 bucks and go up to 225 USD for the best seats.

If you can’t or don’t want to get a seat in the hall or stadium, you can go out and have a good time with other people in bars or pubsMaking friends in a new city is a lot easier over a pint of good craft beer. In a pub, 0.5 liters of domestic draught beer will cost you from 5 bucks upward, while you’d have to pay around 5 dollars for a small bottle of imported beer.

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Average price of beer is such that you won't have to spend your rent money on it, and the quality is great when you compare it to the rest of the United States

How Portland Fares When You Compare it With Other Cities in Oregon and Beyond

When you put everything on paper and compare the data, Stumptown is much more expensive than the next three biggest cities in Oregon: Salem, Eugene, and Gresham. But the higher overall expenses are compensated with many perks. It is, however, more affordable than Seattle, in neighboring Washington. Here are some numbers to back that up:

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If you like what you saw, perhaps it’s time to look for Portland movers with moving services and start preparing for a new life in Oregon. You’ll certainly like the people and the city, even though rain can be a real pain in the backside more often than not.

Steven Rogers

Apart from sharing Captain America's name, our freelance writer Steven is also a big fan of moving, history, and geography.

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