Welcome to Oregon
Your life in the Beaver State begins
Welcome to Oregon
Oregon, in the country’s Pacific Northwest, is a land of green forests, rugged mountains, quiet seashores, hipster culture, excellent wineries, and plenty of year-round opportunities for outdoor activities. Portland has its bicycles, coffee, farm-to-table restaurants, and microbreweries, but much of the state is covered in National Forests and Parks. For many Oregonians, the outdoors and outdoor activities are central parts of life.
In between the urban and the less-populated areas, there are vibrant communities — a balance of metropolitan cities, small towns, rural farming villages, and some of the best places to live in the country. Logging, fishing, and agriculture ones ruled the Beaver State economy, but today, Oregon’s manufacturing, service, and technology industries are leading the way. Job growth in Oregon is among the nation’s highest; however wage growth is below average.
Oregon Self-Storage Facts
Oregon in many ways has been at ground zero for the latest wave of self-storage construction taking place across the country. Portland has at times lead the nation in numbers of new self-storage projects as self-storage operators have sought to capitalize on the high amount of population growth in the metro region in recent years. A lack of development immediately after the last recession led to a shortage of self-storage units needed to serve the growing population. New development has led to lower rental rates for consumers, and more modern self-storage options with better amenities.
Below are some statistics that provide an overview of the self-storage industry in Oregon:
Oregon is home to more than 810 self-storage facilities
Oregon facilities offer more than 28.7 million square feet of storage space combined.
Oregon has 7.22 square feet of storage space for every man, woman, and child. That's more than the national average of 5.4 square feet per capita.
Reasons to Move to Oregon
If you're thinking about making the move, but aren't sure if Oregon is the right place for you, consider the following:
Coffee culture is everywhere. Coffee is a big deal in Oregon, with noted purveyors and cafes, including Stumptown, Oblique Coffee Roasters, Oui Presse, and others dot the Portland area. While the city is known as the birthplace of the “third wave” of coffee, it is also home to unique offerings that suggest the evolution of coffee consumption in the United States is still moving. Coffee lovers can experience unique Egyptian-style coffee at Tōv or what has been referred to as coffee with a “casually threatening atmosphere” in the allegedly-haunted Rimsky-Korsakoffee House.
Oregon is all about bicycling. Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the country, but the entire state is seemingly obsessed with cycling culture. With cities that embrace the outdoors, people all over the more populated areas of the state are likely to ride to work. And opportunities for longer treks in the picturesque Oregon countryside and forests abound.
Living in Oregon means loving the outdoors. In Oregon, the outdoors are enjoyed by more than just cyclists. Surfing is popular all along the Pacific coastline. Strong waves and Oregon’s unique weather combine for some of the best windsurfing opportunities in the world, too. The state’s five national parks offer history, activities, and nature appreciation.
Oregon is a breadbasket state. Some people mistake Oregon for a state filled with nothing but forests. It also has vast amounts of farming land. Its more than 35,00 farms produce a diverse range of products, including dairy, hops, potatoes, eggs, wine grapes, cherries, sweet corn, and more. Oregon is second only to California in agricultural production. Little-known fact: Oregon is the number one U.S. producer of Christmas trees, blackberries, hazelnuts, peppermint, and cranberries.
No state sales tax helps a slightly high cost of living. Oregon is sometimes referred to as a tax-unfriendly state, especially for retirees. The cost of living is also higher than the U.S. average. However, the state has no sales tax, which offers some financial relief. It can be a source of increased retail activity along the border with Washington, which has one of the highest sales taxes in the nation, and California.
Oregon’s Wine Country excels. Several areas of the Pacific Coast are noted for wine production, such as California’s Napa Valley and Washington’s Columbia Valley. Oregon has six wine-producing regions that are uniquely its own, including North and South Willamette Valley and Rogue Valley. It shares three regions with Washington, and one with Idaho.
Oregon cuisine is hip, fresh, and funky. Oregon’s status as the number two agricultural producer in the country has given rise to a vibrant farm-to-table movement in food. But, there is a unique spin on everything in Oregon. This is, after all, the birthplace of Voodoo Donuts with its delectable bacon-maple bars, and Pine State Biscuits’ famous monster chicken and biscuits.
Crater Lake is a collapsed volcano. In the south-central region of the state, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. This breathtaking lake was formed 7,700 years ago after a volcano erupted and collapsed. Today this area is a National Park, and the volcano is “just resting.”
Portlandia. Today, you cannot mention Oregon without discussing the hipster culture of Portland, as satirized in Portlandia, a critically-acclaimed comedy show that aired on the IFC channel from 2011 to 2018. Portland in real life may be a little less extreme, but fans of the show can see famous landmarks from the show like Burnside Skatepark and the In Other Words bookshop.
All the beaches in Oregon are public. We mentioned the outdoors and surfing, but if you want to see the devotion to public outdoor enjoyment, note that all beaches in Oregon are public land. While that might be a loss to wealthy residents looking for a seaside home, it's a huge plus for beachcombers and adventurers.
Moving to Oregon
Oregon is the 9th largest state by size, covering approximately 98,466 square miles. It’s slightly larger than the United Kingdom and features a diverse landscape from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Columbia Plateau that borders Washington, Idaho, and Nevada.
Although the land is diverse, the bulk of Oregon’s population is near its three largest cities in the central and northwest sections of the state, Portland, Salem, and Eugene. Oregon has a total population of 4.2 million. The combination of vast size and relatively small community means that Oregonians have a lot of room to move about, but population growth has been high over the past decade.
Oregon Economic Outlook
Oregon’s gross domestic product (GDP) is roughly $213.7 billion, a 3.4% increase over the past year. This growth is higher than the national average of 2.9% but is slightly less than the numbers generated by California and Washington. The economic outlook in Oregon is positive overall, with a rolling economy. The only concerns are that the growth will eventually plateau after running its course.
Unemployment in the Beaver State is low — with some predicting “full employment” soon — and wage growth was up 5% in 2018. And it’s no wonder, as numerous significant employers have set up shop in Oregon.
Who are Oregon's Largest Employers?
Places to live in Oregon
Most of the state’s economic activity is in Portland and nearby cities to the south of it. Here’s a quick look at the state’s three largest cities:
Portland boasts a population of 653,155, but the greater Portland metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.8 million. This metro area straddles the border with Washington to a degree, including those in Clark and Skamania Counties in Washington. The average salary in the city is $66,000, which is roughly on par with the national average. The cost of living in Portland is, however, 29% higher than the national average. The biggest employers in Portland include Nike, Intel, Oregon Health and Science University, Daimler Trucks North America, LLC, and Kaiser Permanente.
Located just about 45 miles away from Portland is Oregon’s second most populous city, Salem. The city of slightly more than 177,000 residents is also in Oregon’s Willamette Valley region. Major employers in the Salem area include T-Mobile US, Inc., Wells Fargo, Garmin AT, and Truitt Bros., Inc.
Further down south in a direct line from Portland and Salem lies Eugene, a city with approximately 175,000 residents. The city is home to the University of Oregon, PeaceHealth Medical Group, and a large lumber industry.