Portland, known as “the City of Roses”, is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest city in the Pacific Northwest after Seattle.
The city isn’t known for its low prices and affordable standard of living, but people still manage to make enough for a living and are generally satisfied living here.
Pretty much as anywhere else, the cost of living depends on your cost of housing, where in the city you live, how you like to eat, transportation, etc.
Wages are higher in Portland than in other parts of Oregon, both by law and by necessity.
There are hundreds of excellent restaurants in Portland, for any palate or diet. Eating out is a bit more expensive in Portland than in most other cities of Oregon! You can eat street food for less than a dollar, of course, and you can also have a meal in a decent restaurant for around 15$. There’s always the option of fast food for a couple of dollars!
Low cost, high quality groceries mean you won’t have to pick between food or rent in Oregon. The people in Oregon usually hate Walmart and love unionized grocery stores. Expect everything you buy to cost you an extra 30% to 50% over the cost in cities in the rest of the country.
Portland is excellent for cycling, with a network of streets designed to be used by bicyclists. Apart from that, there’s the TriMet service that operates bus, streetcar, and MAX light rail throughout Portland. A 2.5 hour TriMet ticket costs 2.50$. All-day tickets are $5.00. TriMet tickets are valid for using MAX, bus, and streetcar. Since this service works well, you don’t really need a car.
Utilities are generally cheap in Oregon but in Portland they’re a bit more expensive. Of course, depending on the size of your apartment and the amount of electricity you spend, your bills could be higher or lower, but all in all – for an apartment of around 85m2, all basic utilities including electricity, gas, water, heating, cooling and garbage services, will cost you around 166$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
There are many available activities for anyone wanting to practice sports outside. You can go hiking along the Columbia River Gorge and see the many waterfalls that dot the trails. A membership in a gym or a fitness club will cost you around 41$. Cinema tickets are much cheaper, however, costing only about 12$ each.
CLOTHING & SHOES
When it comes to shopping, you’ll have many options. Like Washington Square, located on the south of Portland. It is the largest shopping mall in the state of Oregon, with just about everything you would expect to find. You can find quality jeans like Levi’s for only 45$, while a pair of quality running shoes of brands like Nike cost around 80$.
RENT PER MONTH
Rent prices are starting to go down slightly due to all the new apartments everywhere but, on average, they are through the roof. Be prepared to spend at least 1500$ a month in rent for a one-bedroom apartment. An apartment outside of the city center will be closer to 1100$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Portland, OR
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$15.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$5.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$1.61||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$0.84|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$3.04|
|Eggs (12)||$2.71||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$2.50|
|Gasoline||$0.87||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$166.05|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.13|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$61.58||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$41.12|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$14.36|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$12.00||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$46.75|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$35.18|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$78.70||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1546.93|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1135.75|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$2677.78|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Portland, OR?
Rent is definitely how the average person in Portland spends the biggest part of their salary, and the fact that rent takes the first place over food only means that rent in this city is truly shockingly high.
The next thing that draws the biggest bulk of money from the people of Portland is definitely food.
An average person living in Portland and having to feed his/her family, spends the biggest amount of their money in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Restaurants and transportation are also significant expenses for an average person living in Portland.
Portland, OR: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Portland was recently named the 9th most unaffordable city in the US.
This is not based only on the price of necessities like rent, food, health care and transportation, but also on the kind of income people in Portland earn as well.
Jobs are easy to find in Oregon. Both gig-economy and traditional employment is abundant.
Minimum wage in Portland is around 2000$ which is definitely high enough to be able to cover all of your costs.
The average monthly net salary is around 3600$ which is probably the highest salary in the country, and allows for residents of Portland to live without having to worry about their existence.
Cost of Living by City in United States
*Click the name of the city for more information.