The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon For 2022

We used data and science to determine which places in Oregon go easy on your wallet.

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When you think of affordable, does it take you back to your college days?

Eating ramen noodles by the gallons and checking the couch cushions for extra coinage are just a few of the survival strategies that made life more affordable, then. Yes, learning the value of the dollar is important, but you don’t want to stress about it daily when looking for a great place to live, good food, and low cost of living.

Well, you don’t have to look any further if you choose Oregon to plant your roots. The Beaver State is one of the most affordable in the country.

Most people think that Oregon cities are filled with a bunch of fancy vegan restaurants, snobby Portlanders, and a plethora of wealthy outdoor enthusiasts. While all this might be true for some Oregon cities, the hippies and health nuts of this Pacific Northwestern state would beg to differ. Oregon’s cities have a lot to offer to all income levels; and surprisingly, there are cities in millenial-land that are actually extremely affordable.

If you ask any Oregonian, they will say hands down that The Beaver State is the best state in the country. Heck, there’s a reason Oregon is the 26th most populous state in the US of A. And, yes, we think it has a little something to do with the great weather and mountains. But, to the economically savvy, to truly be the best, the state must have the nicest, most affordable places to call home. #TheMostBangForYourBuck

So, grab yourself a vegan spinach smoothie and some tree bark, and read on.

It’s simple economics, folks. The less you have to spend on bills and taxes, the more you will have to spend on things that matter: like your home, good food, and just overall good fun.

What does the cheapest city to live in Oregon look like? Well, after crunching data from the US Census in terms of median housing costs, median income, and overall cost of living, Hermiston is the cheapest place to live in Oregon.

If you care about home values, cost of living, and high quality of life, take a look at the list below to find the most affordable places in Oregon, where, yes, you can have it all.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Oregon and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon For 2022

A close neighbor of Umatilla, Hermiston ranks as the first least expensive city in Oregon.

Like Umatilla, Hermiston has plenty of outdoor recreation activities to keep you busy on a budget. As far as jobs, the city’s main industries are food processing and distribution, so if you’ve got experience in the field, it should be no sweat locking down a job in Hermiston. Hermiston has strong affordability numbers across the board, but really stands out in terms of inexpensive rent. At a median rent of $793, Hermiston residents pay less than half the average rent in Oregon and the pay the fifth smallest percentage of their income on rent statewide.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,512
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.6x (73rd cheapest)
More On Hermiston: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Hermiston, OR

We’re kicking off our tour of Oregon’s most affordable cities with Milton-Freewater, a city of 7,044 in Umatilla County, a place renowned for its wine.

Before you think Milton-Freewater has nothing going on besides drinking, keep in mind it’s also a naturally beautiful place to live. There are hiking trails and campgrounds at Harris Park, so you’ll always be able to get into the great outdoors with ease.

The overall cost of living in Milton-Freewater is 25% below the statewide average, but in terms of housing, it’s nearly half as expensive. Milton-Freewater enjoys the cheapest median rent and second cheapest median home prices in Oregon.

Your typical Milton-Freewater home sells for $131,800, while rent goes for around $586. And it’s not like things are cheap in Milton-Freewater just because the local economy is bad. On the contrary, Milton-Freewater has a low unemployment rate, and the median household income is $39,028.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,044
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.6x (44th cheapest)
More On Milton-Freewater: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Milton-Freewater, OR

Source: Wikipedia

Baker City ranks as the third least expensive city in Oregon, with the fifth cheapest homes on the market statewide. Homes in Baker City go for a median price of $161,800. Combine that with a median income of $46,607, and Baker City has the ninth best home price to income ratio in Oregon.

And if you always died playing the Oregon Trail computer game as a kid, you can pick up some tips on surviving at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,786
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.9x (64th cheapest)
More On Baker City: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Baker City, OR

Oregon might not be the cheapest state in America, but try telling that to the folks in Umatilla. Homes in Umatilla go for the fourth lowest prices in the state, and nowhere in Oregon will you pay a smaller percentage of your income on housing.

And you’ll get that quintessential Oregon outdoors-goodness at Hat Rock State Park, complete with trails, a pond for fishing, and resident eagles. Sounds like a good deal to me. The median home price in Umatilla is $158,200 and the median income is $48,677. Umatilla is also incredibly affordable for renters; with a median rent of $772/month, the city has the cheapest rent you’ll find anywhere on this list.

That doesn’t mean that Umatilla has skimped on safety though. In fact, it’s the second safest place in Oregon.

Umatilla is located in the northeastern part of Oregon, across the Columbia River from Washington.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,215
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.1x (47th cheapest)
More On Umatilla: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Umatilla, OR

Pendleton is yet another Umatilla County city to make the cut as one of the cheapest places to live in Oregon. Buying a home in Pendleton will set you back about $193,800, which on an income of $54,834 is no sweat at all. Pendleton also has the eighth best rent to income ratio in the state, so if you’re not ready to commit to a mortgage, Pendleton still has you covered.

Not to mention that if you’re a rodeo competitor, you’ll alway have a side gig ready for you at the Pendleton Round Up rodeo.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,685
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.4x (76th cheapest)
More On Pendleton: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Pendleton, OR

Source: Public domain

Located in the southwestern part of the state on Coos Bay, North Bend ranks as the sixth cheapest city in Oregon.

There are few places better for ATVing than North Bend’s Oregon Dunes, so definitely give that a go if you have the chance.

North Bend’s higher median income of $59,577 helps offset some slightly higher housing prices, with the median home going for $228,700 and a median rent of $857. All in all, it’s North Bend is one of the places you’ll pay the smallest percentage of your income on housing, regardless if you’re renting or buying.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,708
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 69.5x (69th cheapest)
More On North Bend: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

North Bend, OR

Located at the bottom of Marys Peak, the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range, right outside of Corvallis is Philomath. Residents of Philomath enjoy the mild climate of the Mid-Willamette Valley along with plenty of affordable things to do including climbing Marys Peak.

Rent in Philomath is cheaper than the statewide average, with a median price of $1,044. If you decide to move here long term, the median home price in Philomath is $264,900. The median income in Philomath is $77,938. Furthermore, crime is basically non-existent in town, so not is only Philomath cheap, it’s also one of the safest places in Oregon.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,143
Rank Last Year:
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.7x (9th cheapest)
More On Philomath: Real Estate | Crime Rate

Philomath, OR

Junction City is a city in Lane County, Oregon, United States. Its population was 5,392 at the 2010 census.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,140
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (19th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.5x (16th cheapest)
More On Junction City: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Junction City, OR

Source: Public domain

You’ll have a hard time believing that you’re living in one of the most expensive states in America if you call Creswell home. Homes in Creswell go for the second highest price on this list, with a median price tag of $240,600. However, because Creswell residents earn a median income of $72,305, the city is still safely in the top ten statewide in terms of home price to income ratio. Creswell does have the highest median rent on this list at $1,116, but it’s still quite reasonable for Oregon.

Creswell is located just south of Eugene.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,445
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.8x (cheapest)
More On Creswell: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Creswell, OR

Oregon might be one of the states with the highest rent in America, but apparently Ontario hasn’t gotten the memo. The median rent in Ontario is a measly $671, which is far below the national and statewide average. But that’s not really why Ontario is on this list. It’s because the city has the cheapest homes in Oregon, with a median price tag of $121,600. Taken with Ontario’s median income of $35,917, and the city is safely in the top ten in Oregon for home price to income ratio.

Ontario is located in eastern Oregon, about an hour northwest of Boise, Idaho.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,031
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.5x (74th cheapest)
More On Ontario: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Ontario, OR

Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon FAQs

What county in Oregon has the lowest cost of living?

The county in Oregon with the lowest cost of living is Clackamas County. The average living wage in Clackamas County is $100,740 according to MIT data. Clackamas County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively less expensive childcare and housing costs compared to Oregon as a whole. Childcare costs $16,564 a year in Clackamas County for two children compared to the Oregon average of $15,236. Housing costs, defined as a blend of the average rent and average mortgage payment, are $18,432 per year in Clackamas County compared to $15,603 on average in Oregon.

What is the cost of living in Oregon?

The cost of living in Oregon is 7.0% higher than the US average. According to MIT, the required living wage for a family of four with two working parents in Oregon is $96,003 vs the national average for a family of four with two working parents of $89,744. The median income of a Oregon household is $65,667.

What is the cheapest housing market in Oregon?

The cheapest housing market in Oregon is Ontario. The average home value in Ontario is $121,600, the lowest in the state. The average home value in Oregon is $336,700, almost 2.8 times higher than Ontario.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Beaver State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Oregon
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Oregon to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 78 places in Oregon that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Oregon according to the data is Hermiston. You can download the data here.

Summary: There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Oregon Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Oregon, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in Oregon for 2022.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Oregon according to the data:

  1. Corvallis
  2. Seaside
  3. Ashland

For more Oregon reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In Oregon

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Hermiston 4.0 17,512 2.8x 73.6x
2 Milton-Freewater 6.67 7,044 3.4x 66.6x
3 Baker City 7.67 9,786 3.5x 67.9x
4 Umatilla 9.67 7,215 3.2x 63.1x
5 Pendleton 10.0 16,685 3.5x 68.4x
6 North Bend 15.0 9,708 3.8x 69.5x
7 Philomath 16.0 5,143 3.4x 74.7x
8 Junction City 16.0 6,140 4.0x 75.5x
9 Creswell 16.67 5,445 3.3x 64.8x
10 Ontario 18.33 11,031 3.4x 53.5x
11 The Dalles 19.17 15,518 4.0x 65.0x
12 Sheridan 19.67 6,122 3.8x 59.7x
13 La Grande 24.0 13,380 4.0x 55.4x
14 Eagle Point 24.0 9,316 3.3x 57.4x
15 Coos Bay 24.33 16,326 4.1x 58.5x
16 Central Point 24.67 18,648 4.0x 67.9x
17 Cottage Grove 25.17 10,302 4.3x 61.7x
18 Sutherlin 25.33 8,060 3.7x 50.7x
19 Albany 25.33 54,442 3.9x 59.4x
20 Sweet Home 28.0 9,763 3.4x 46.5x
21 St. Helens 28.33 13,779 4.1x 59.3x
22 Sandy 29.67 11,319 3.9x 64.6x
23 Troutdale 30.0 16,433 4.1x 68.7x
24 Dallas 30.33 16,612 4.3x 63.1x
25 Scappoose 30.5 7,436 3.8x 59.9x
26 Stayton 31.33 8,199 4.3x 64.0x
27 Winston 32.67 5,444 4.1x 49.1x
28 Klamath Falls 33.0 21,509 4.4x 53.2x
29 Sherwood 33.33 19,745 4.0x 66.8x
30 Tillamook 33.33 5,308 4.4x 53.6x
31 Warrenton 34.67 5,635 4.3x 58.3x
32 Happy Valley 36.0 22,049 4.2x 73.7x
33 Roseburg 36.33 23,237 4.3x 51.3x
34 Independence 36.83 10,178 4.0x 47.9x
35 Keizer 37.67 39,408 4.3x 59.0x
36 Silverton 38.33 10,426 4.7x 67.9x
37 Redmond 39.33 31,359 4.3x 56.2x
38 West Linn 39.67 26,764 4.4x 74.8x
39 Lebanon 40.0 17,144 4.3x 44.1x
40 Springfield 40.33 62,729 4.5x 51.5x
41 Salem 41.0 171,806 4.5x 56.8x
42 Cornelius 41.33 12,767 4.1x 53.4x
43 Molalla 41.67 9,224 4.6x 61.4x
44 Woodburn 43.33 26,008 4.4x 49.0x
45 Canby 44.0 17,860 4.8x 64.0x
46 Prineville 44.67 10,429 4.7x 46.2x
47 Brookings 45.67 6,475 5.0x 61.9x
48 Veneta 46.17 5,010 4.5x 45.9x
49 Hillsboro 46.33 108,026 4.2x 55.2x
50 Oregon City 46.67 37,057 4.7x 61.7x
51 Newberg 46.67 23,676 4.5x 58.7x
52 Tualatin 46.67 27,601 4.8x 65.7x
53 Madras 47.33 6,934 5.2x 48.6x
54 Forest Grove 47.67 24,847 5.0x 60.3x
55 Tigard 48.33 54,149 5.0x 63.7x
56 Astoria 49.67 9,929 5.6x 58.9x
57 Florence 50.0 9,037 5.3x 51.5x
58 Mcminnville 52.0 34,466 5.3x 53.1x
59 Newport 52.67 10,767 5.6x 52.5x
60 Milwaukie 52.67 21,086 5.1x 57.3x
61 Lake Oswego 53.67 39,476 5.8x 66.3x
62 Grants Pass 54.33 37,938 5.6x 49.3x
63 Medford 54.33 82,098 5.3x 49.7x
64 Fairview 55.67 9,382 5.0x 49.3x
65 Lincoln City 57.0 9,007 5.6x 46.6x
66 Monmouth 57.33 10,411 5.5x 46.6x
67 Beaverton 57.33 98,567 5.2x 54.9x
68 Gladstone 58.0 12,316 4.9x 49.2x
69 Talent 58.67 6,553 6.2x 32.7x
70 Hood River 60.0 7,745 5.9x 55.8x
71 Eugene 61.83 170,457 5.8x 49.0x
72 Gresham 62.33 110,456 5.5x 47.2x
73 Portland 62.67 650,380 6.0x 55.2x
74 Wilsonville 67.67 24,413 6.1x 51.3x
75 Bend 67.67 97,032 6.1x 49.5x
76 Ashland 68.33 21,138 8.0x 52.9x
77 Seaside 68.67 6,811 7.6x 44.5x
78 Corvallis 69.67 58,612 6.5x 47.6x

How Is The Area In ?

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Oregon.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.