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Cheapest Places to Live in Oregon, 2021

By: Emily Kho
August 11, 2021

If you want to make a big move, there are a few things to know before moving to Oregon. For starters, it’s essential to get a good idea of what the cost of living in Oregon is going to be.

When you combine the rich history with the breathtaking landscape and incredible weather, it’s no wonder Oregon offers such a high quality of life, making it a popular destination to call home for many. Thankfully, some of the best places to live in Oregon remain relatively affordable and some of the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

Here’s a closer look at some of our top picks when it comes to the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

Note: The data provided below comes from our rent estimates. These numbers expand beyond what’s listed on our platform. For further information, learn about our methodology.

Eugene

  • Population: 172,622
  • Median 2-Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,216
  • Median Household Income: $50,962
  • Walk Score: 45
  • Transit Score: 36
  • Bike Score: 72

Located at the southern end of the Willamette Valley in Eugene, Oregon’s third-most populated city. Situated near the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, Eugene is just shy of 50 miles east of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast.

Eugene is most famously known as home to the University of Oregon and the origins of the Nike corporation. With great weather year-round and beautiful nature to enjoy, outdoor activities are widely popular in this city. In addition to walking, running, and cycling, Eugene is known for rafting and kayaking due to the easy access to rivers nearby.

Since the temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit and exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s no wonder outdoor entertainment is so wildly popular here. But, outside of collegiate and other physical activities, Eugene is also heavily influenced by the arts, including its education. As a result, Eugene received the nickname A Great City for the Arts and Outdoors.

There are countless cultural events hosted annually in Eugene, including the Eugene Celebration in late summer/early fall, the Lane County Fair in July, and the KLCC Microbrew Festival in February. There are also many museums in this booming arts city, including favorites like the Studio West Glassblowing Studio and Gallery, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Learn all about the best neighborhoods in Eugene and the average rent prices before deciding on what area is best suited for you. Then, check out the apartments available for rent now in Eugene.

Salem

  • Population: 174,365
  • Median 2-Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,296
  • Median Household Income: $55,920
  • Walk Score: 42
  • Transit Score: 31
  • Bike Score: 62

The capital of Oregon is Salem, which is also the second most populated city in the state. The Willamette River runs north through this city, just an hour’s drive away from Portland. Historically, Salem was nicknamed the Cherry City because of its deep roots in agriculture, especially in the cherry-growing industry.

Salem is split into eleven distinct neighborhoods, with the most popular being the Central Area, Northgate, and West Salem. You can learn all about the best neighborhoods in Salem before deciding on your final landing spot.

The central location of Salem makes it an excellent place to call home for those who enjoy local farmer’s markets and local produce available all year-round. Unlike the city, where farmer’s markets are likely to be a seasonal event, you can access tons of different local events throughout the year. Salem’s most famous farmer’s markets include the Salem Community Markets, the E.Z. Orchards Farm Market, and the Salem Public Market.

Salem is also home to countless community festivals, offering fun for all ages and available all year round. The most popular events include the Oregon State Fair, the Mount Angels Oktoberfest, the Woodburn Tulip Festival, and the Saint Paul Rodeo.

If you’re looking for a more rural style of living, Salem is an excellent place for you to consider calling your new home. Learn about the Salem's average rent prices. Then, check out the apartments available for rent now in Salem.

Portland

  • Population: 654,741
  • Median 2-Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,398
  • Median Household Income: $71,005
  • Walk Score: 67
  • Transit Score: 52
  • Bike Score: 82

Portland is known as one of the most popular cities in Oregon and is the largest and most populated in the state. Portland is also the sixth most populated state on the West Coast and 25th in the nation. The city is split into over 90 distinct neighborhoods, including the most popular, like the Pearl District, Nob Hill, Arlington Heights, and Laurelhurst.

Learn all about the best neighborhoods in Portland before deciding on your final landing spot.

The City of Roses was given to Portland after the Portland Rose Society was founded in 1889. Together, they began planting over 20 miles worth of streets in Portland with roses.

But roses aren’t all the city is known for. Portland has at least 279 parks and natural areas. The most popular parks in Portland include Forest Park, the largest urban park in the country, Mt. Tabor Park, with views of Hawthorne from an extinguished volcano cone, and Tanner Springs Park, the urban wetland meets massive art installation.

While Portland is home to individuals and families of all ages, it has been ranked as one of the top 15 best cities for millennials in the United States. As such, you can expect lots of handmade crafted items, vintage clothes, and indoor and outdoor plants. In general, you can anticipate a very laid-back and casual vibe here, despite it being a major metropolitan area.

Get a better understanding of the cost of living in Portland and average rent prices before moving to Portland. Then, check out the thousands of apartments available for rent now in Portland.

Gresham

  • Population: 109,381
  • Median 2-Bedroom Apartment Rent: $1,447
  • Median Household Income: $54,084
  • Walk Score: 45
  • Transit Score: 40
  • Bike Score: 65

Gresham is located in Multnomah County, just east of Portland. Gresham is a Greater Portland Metropolitan area suburb but got its roots in history through farming as early as the mid-1800s. The city was incorporated in 1905 when the economy relied heavily on vegetables, grapes, and berries.

There are 19 constituent neighborhoods in Gresham, including some of the more popular areas like Gresham-Northeast, Rockwood, Gresham-Centennial, Powell Valley, and Gresham-North Central. Learn all about the best neighborhoods in Gresham before deciding on your final landing spot.

For history buffs, Gresham is home to multiple sites that have been named in the National Register of Historic Places. The most famous historic sites include the Jacob Zimmerman House, the Louise Home Hospital and Residence Hall, and the Hamlin-Johnson House. If museums are more your scene, check out the Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, the Gresham Pioneer Museum, or the Gresham History Museum.

Not surprisingly, Gresham is also known for its beautiful landscape and park system. While living in Gresham, you must make time to spend in the Oxbow Regional Park, Gresham Japanese Garden, and Hogan Butte Nature Park. To help enjoy the great outdoors, you can partake in boat tours, parasailing, paragliding, or even fishing charters. There are also six major bicycle and pedestrian trails in the city, including the Springwater Corridor and the 40-Mile Loop.

Learn about the average rent prices in Greshman. Then, check out the hundreds of apartments available for rent now in Gresham.

Final Thoughts - Where Should I Move to In Oregon?

No matter what you are looking for in Oregon, whether it be in the rural region of Salem or the metropolitan area of Portland, there’s something there for everyone. Thankfully, some of the best places to live in Oregon are also the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

So, if you are interested in moving to Oregon, the Beaver State, now might be a good time to start your research. First, find out more information about the cost of living in Oregon. Next, register with Apartment List today and start checking out the thousands of available apartments to rent in Oregon!

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EMILY KHO
Emily is a professionally trained SEO writer who covers a wide range of topics but specializes in business and hospitality content. With over a decade of professional writing experience in the hospitality industry, Emily comes from a strong background in the field backed with a BS from the world-renowned William F. Read More
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