Portlanders' animosity toward Californians—who are often blamed for moving here and jacking up the cost of living—may be slightly misplaced.
According to a new study by state economist Josh Lehner, people who move from California to Oregon are disproportionately moving to the Oregon Coast, as well as central and southern Oregon. Meaning: while most out-of-state migrants still land in Portland, a higher portion of people who move from California end up on the coast.
"On the flipside, the vast majority of non-West Coast migrants moved to the Portland region," Lehner says. "So if you're coming from Colorado, or New York, or Florida or wherever, there's a very high probability you're moving to Portland and not Eugene or Medford or a rural community."
The trend is most apparent in people ages 25-34. "This matters economically," Lehner said, "because the 20- and 30- something represent an influx of young, skilled labor for local businesses to hire and grow their operations."
It's unclear why the coast, central and southern Oregon are more attractive destinations for Californians than Portland. As Oregon's economy is growing, Lehner said, "migration patterns are a bit more spread out and two of the big three Portland area counties saw net out-migration to other Oregon counties."