While the cost of living in Portland is higher than the national average, it is still cheaper than in cities such as New York and some major European capitals. The 2023 Mercer Cost of Living Index ranks Portland 72nd out of 227 major cities worldwide, compared to neighbouring Seattle's 31st and Vancouver's 116th.

Newcomers to the city will find accommodation to be their biggest expense but, in general, most things in the city do come at a cost. Cooking at home and cycling or walking to work are just some of the ways that savvy savers could cut down on their costs.

Cost of accommodation in Portland

Although areas outside the city centre tend to be cheaper, rent in Portland is expensive no matter where you live. Utilities are also expensive, adding to the high living costs. The type of home expats choose to live in will also impact the costs. While the rent for certain homes may be expensive, the amenities and facilities available to the tenants may outweigh the costs involved. It is therefore advisable to familiarise oneself with all the pros and cons of a property and the neighbourhood before making a decision.

Cost of eating out in Portland

Eating out in Portland is typically expensive. As long as new arrivals are willing to spend, they'll find fine dining and medium-range restaurants all over the city. While cooking home-cooked meals is always the cheaper option, there are also plenty of budget-friendly restaurants and food trucks in the city to satisfy every craving.

Cost of transport in Portland

Public transport in Portland is much more affordable than buying and maintaining a car which, aside from the cost, is also rather unnecessary. In a city that it so well serviced by train and bus networks, it may be more cost-efficient to hire a car when needing one and use public transport to get around the city. Newcomers may find that they'd be able to get away with cycling or walking, depending on where in the city they live relative to schools and workplaces, and saving on transport costs altogether.

Cost of groceries in Portland

Groceries tend to be expensive in Portland. Residents can make the most of their budget by finding deals online, buying in bulk and shopping for sales in big-box stores.

Cost of education and schools in Portland

Public schools in Portland are state funded and are therefore free of charge for all students. The city is home to some of the top public schools in the state of Oregon, and newcomers can therefore be assured that their children will receive a good education if choosing this schooling option.

Private or international schools, on the other hand, are incredibly costly. Although these schools are excellent and offer first class facilities, as well as international curricula and languages, the fees involved are exorbitant and don't cover the costs of school uniforms and other extras. Newcomers must therefore take this into consideration when choosing a school.

Cost of living in Portland Chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Portland in December 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 1,760

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 1,430

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 3,200

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 2,500


Eggs (dozen)

USD 4.78

Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.01

Rice (1kg)

USD 5.85

Loaf of white bread

USD 3.36

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 12

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 10

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.44



Bottle of beer (local)


Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 75


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

USD 0.34

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

USD 43

Basic monthly utilities (includes electricity, water and refuse)

USD 153


Taxi rate per km

USD 1.55

Bus fare in the city centre 

USD 2.50

Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

USD 1.27