There’s no denying that Portland, Oregon is a great place to live and work. For proof, look no further than U.S. News & World Reports “Best Places to Live” list from last year. In it, Portland is ranked the #9 Best Place to Live in 2021. Unfortunately, this beautiful city has become increasingly expensive. The cost of living in Portland, Oregon rose 22% in the last ten years. Below, we’ll explore a complete breakdown of the prices for various categories, like housing, healthcare, and food. We’ll also show you how Portland, Oregon stacks up to the rest of the country’s cost indices in 2022.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
NOTE: The cost indices we’ll use today are all based on the national average, which is represented by 100. So, for example, a cost index of 80/100 means that cost is 20% lower than the national average. A cost index of 120/100 would indicate that the particular cost is 20% higher than average. Also, just FYI, we round the numbers up or down to keep them whole.
Interested in our sources? We took data from the 2021 US Census, Best Places, and Nerd Wallet to estimate the most accurate costs of living. We know these numbers may not always match your personal experience, but we do our best to give you a ballpark of what you can expect. If you have a different opinion, feel free to share it in the comments.
Living in Portland, Oregon is Expensive
Portland is a moderately expensive city with an overall cost index of 131/100. You’ll be paying 31% more overall for your monthly bills here, which might be difficult for some families. That’s not to say that all costs here are 31% higher, far from it. As we’ll see, utilities are lower than the national average, as are healthcare costs. Unfortunately, those lower costs are negated by two higher costs, specifically housing and transportation. Still, compared to New York (187/100), Los Angeles (173/100), or even Bethesda, MD (189/100), Portland is cheaper.
Housing Costs Living in Portland, Oregon
Rent and home prices are 80% more than the U.S. average.
If there’s one cost that wrecks Portland’s affordability, it’s undoubtedly housing costs. With an index of 182/100, you’re going to be paying 80% more for your new Portland home. That’s a tough pill to swallow and, frankly, one of the reasons why there’s so much homelessness here. The median home cost in Portland is $537,000, about $245,000 more than the national average. Even worse, Portland is about $100,000 more than the Oregon average, which is $438,000. Apartment rentals here are higher also, although not nearly as high as mortgage prices. The median rent in our city is $1248., about $200 higher than the national average.
One way people save money is to rent a Portland, OR storage unit to store some of their things. That way, they can rent a smaller apartment or buy a smaller home. It’s not perfect, but it is a viable method to save money on their monthly bills. With housing prices this high, any chance to cut down on costs is welcome in Portland.
Where to Find Storage in Portland, Oregon
Transportation Costs Living in Portland, Oregon
Bus rides and gasoline is 30% more than the U.S. average.
You might have heard that traffic is a real bear here in Portland, OR, and it’s true. Adding to the problem is the fact that our transportation costs are quite high. With a score of 130/100, transportation costs will set you back 30% more than the average American city. That’s 30% more you’ll pay on things like gasoline, road taxes, fees, and more. You’ll also pay 30% more for car repairs and maintenance.
Miscellaneous Costs Living in Portland, Oregon
Micellaneous costs, like beer, are 13% more.
Miscellaneous goods are things that don’t fall into the other categories. New clothing, for example, electronics and vices like cigarettes and alcohol. All of those, and several others, will set you back an extra 13% in Portland, OR. Paying 13% more for beer probably won’t put a smile on your face anytime soon. However, when you consider Portland has no sales taxes, your smile just might come back.
Grocery Costs in Living in Portland, Oregon
Grocery runs will cost you just 4% more than average.
Feeding your family wholesome, nutritious food is essential, wherever you live, and Portland, OR, is no different. You’ll be glad to know Portland’s grocery costs are only slightly higher than the national average at 104/100. That’s not half bad; we think you’ll agree. Combine it with no sales taxes, and it’s much easier to swallow. Even better, Portland is a foodie’s paradise, so finding delicious food should be no problem.
Healthcare Costs Living in Portland, Oregon
Doctor’s visits are 14% lower than the national average.
The first of two costs lower than the national average, healthcare costs in Portland are 14% lower. If you’ve got a young family or you’re retired, that’s good news indeed. You’ll save 14% on prescriptions, doctor visits, and hospital stays, which can add up quickly.
Utility Costs Living in Portland, Oregon
Gas & water is 20% lower than the national average.
Our final cost index today is the most affordable, namely utilities. You’ll pay 20% less than the national average for heating, cooling, water, and other utilities when you live here. You’ll save even more because, frankly, you won’t need to use the AC all that often. (Summer in Portland never sees the sweltering heat of some other cities.)
Portland’s Costs Are Higher Than Average
While it may be beautiful, there’s no denying that Portland, OR, is an expensive city. Unfortunately, housing and transportation costs are the main culprits, as they’re much higher than the national average. Still, if you can afford it, Portland is a fantastic city for many different reasons.
If you’re moving here, we suggest you reserve a storage unit in Portland, OR, before arriving. That way, your movers can deliver your things directly into your storage unit. The upside? You can search for your new home or apartment at your own pace. Portland, OR storage units are also much cheaper than storing your things in a mover’s warehouse.
Do you have questions about self-storage in Portland, OR, or the cost of a storage unit? If so, please chat with us online for the answers you seek. Even better, drop by one of the 11 Northwest Self Storage facilities in Portland, OR, and meet the on-site manager. They’re friendly helpful and will show you the different size storage units in Portland we offer. Until then, best of luck with your moving plans! We’re sure that, once you arrive in Portland, you’ll be thrilled you came!