Oregon Facing Mass Exodus; Residents Are Leaving These Cities


Oregon is renowned for its vibrant culture, progressive politics, and stunning natural surroundings. However, there has also been a notable exodus of people from the state in recent years, primarily from Portland, the main city. Which cities are people fleeing to, and why are they departing in such large numbers?

Portland Exodus Cost Multnomah County $1 Billion

Since 2020, Portland, the biggest and most populated city in Oregon, has seen a decrease in both its population and its income. A recent analysis of tax data by the nonpartisan Economic Innovation Group indicates that between 2020 and 2021, migration out of Multnomah County—which includes Portland—caused an adjusted gross income decline of $1.1 billion. The local economy will suffer greatly from this, as income taxes fund public services, the housing market, and retail sales.

Portland lost some of its wealthiest and most productive citizens, according to the data, which also revealed that those who left the city had disproportionately high earnings. Those that left had an average income of $112,000, while those who stayed had an average income of $74,000. Multnomah County’s tax base may be impacted by this, since the county’s 2020 preschool and homeless services taxes rely heavily on high incomes.

Although there are many other reasons why people leave Portland, the high expense of living, increased crime, political upheaval, and the move to remote work brought on by the epidemic are some of the typical ones. A lack of openness and accountability was cited by some people as their reason for being unsatisfied with the city’s administration and governance.

Other Oregon Cities Also Losing Residents

There are other Oregonian cities than Portland that are seeing a decrease in population. The following are some additional Oregon cities where a large number of individuals are moving away, according to data on change-of-address requests from the US Postal Service:

Eugene, the state’s second-largest city, is a center for the arts and culture and is home to the University of Oregon. Its low jobless rate, high cost of living, and lack of economic diversification are its other problems. Eugene lost 2,400 households, or 1.6% of its total population, between 2020 and 2021.

Salem: Situated in the Willamette Valley, Salem is the capital city of Oregon and provides a range of both urban and rural facilities. But it also faces challenges from a high poverty rate, a low median income, and a dearth of reasonably priced homes. Salem lost 1,900 households, or 1.3% of its total population, between 2020 and 2021.

Bend: Due to its proximity to mountains, rivers, and forests, Bend is a well-liked vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts. It does, however, also confront a housing dilemma since there is a severe shortage of available dwellings. Bend is one of the most expensive real estate areas in the state, with a median home price of nearly $600,000. Bend lost 1,100 households, or 1.2% of its total population, between 2020 and 2021.

Where Are Oregonians Moving To?

Some other states are increasing population while Oregon is losing its share. These are the top 10 states that Oregonians are relocating to, per USPS data:

Idaho: Due to its similar natural surroundings, more conservative political climate, and cheaper cost of living, Idaho is the most sought-after destination for Oregonians. Idaho saw a 4.4% increase in population, or 7,800 households, from Oregon between 2020 and 2021.

Texas: Due to its robust economy, low tax rate, and diversified culture, Texas is the second most preferred destination for Oregonians. Texas saw a gain of 6,300 families, or 0.2% of its total population, from Oregon between 2020 and 2021.

Arizona: Because it has a pleasant temperature, a retiree-friendly lifestyle, and a developing tech industry, Arizona is the third most popular destination for Oregonians. Arizona gained 5,900 households from Oregon between 2020 and 2021, or 0.8% of its total population.

Washington: Owing to its high-tech economy, lack of income tax, and comparable physical and cultural proximity, Washington is the fourth most favored destination among Oregonians. Washington added 5,800 households, or 0.8% of its total population, from Oregon between 2020 and 2021.

Florida: Due to its sunny weather, affordable cost of living, and thriving tourism industry, Florida is the sixth most popular destination for Oregonians. Oregon sent 4,900 households to Florida between 2020 and 2021, making up 0.2% of the state’s total population.

Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Tennessee are the additional states that made the list of the top 10.


There is a significant exodus of citizens from Oregon, as many are moving out of the state for a variety of reasons. Portland is the most affected city, having lost over $1 billion in revenue as a result of out-migration. Population decreases are also being seen in Bend, Salem, Eugene, and other Oregon communities. The primary travel destinations for residents of Oregon are Florida, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Washington, and Texas, each of which has unique benefits and opportunities. The nation’s and Oregon’s political, social, and economic environments may be significantly impacted by the migratory trend.

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