Moving to California Vs Oregon 17 Pros and Cons

California Pros

1. Access to Nature

California has the most national parks out of any state in America. It is home to nine national parks including Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Sequoia National Park, Redwood National Park, Channel Islands National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park.

California has so much variety in its natural landscape. From desert to forest, mountains to beaches; there is so much to explore. There are so many different kinds of ways to recreate outdoors in California including hiking, camping, surfing, boating, off-roading, fishing, hunting, and even skiing! There truly is something for everyone.

2. Sunny Weather

Sometimes known as, “the Sunshine State”, California has mild winters and relatively temperate summers. In fact, California averages 260 days of sunshine each yearOpens in a new tab.!

Sunshine has been proven to be very healthyOpens in a new tab. and good for mental health, increasing energy, improving sleep, reducing stress, and even prolonging life expectancy; as well as several other factors which can’t be offered by any other type of weather. In addition to these beneficiaries, the consistent source of vitamin D also happens to be great for taking care of plants – so if a person is into gardening, this might be the perfect place to dig into.

Whether it be poolside, at the beach, at a lake, or simply playing out in the sun; not only can residents and visitors of the state get nice tans, but they can enjoy the benefits of sunlight. The average temperature varies by city; but generally speaking, the weather in California allows anyone to enjoy the outdoors year-round.

3. Job Opportunities

There is an array of companies that call California home for their headquarters. Big-name companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo, Apple, Twitter, Adobe, and Tesla employ massive numbers of people. Many organizations within this coastline state even made the Fortune 500 listOpens in a new tab. in 2020 – including Walmart, Amazon.com, AT&T, Costco Wholesale, Coca-Cola, and Nike. The biggest industries in CaliforniaOpens in a new tab. are agriculture, service industry, film, manufacturing, and technology.

True to the Hollywood ideology, California is the hub of dreamers. People from all over the world move there to make things happen. From the worlds of technology, film, acting, artistry, adventuring, competitive sports like surfing, fashion, entrepreneurship, and even YouTubers – there is a place for anyone to make a life for themselves.

4. A Lifestyle for Everyone

A perk of Californian living is that in certain areas, people seem to move at a slower pace and can appreciate leisure time. Coastal towns have the same rushed feelings as those of Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco. Workplaces tend to be more progressive and innovative as well. Many places are open to new ideas- so if a person has an idea, they might also have more opportunities to be heard and make changes in their environments.

Depending on the area one is attracted to, people in California can be accepting and friendly. Outsiders might feel like they stand out in other places, but in the Sunshine State, so many people are transplants that it is hard to say who is “a true Californian”. If finding a community and building a lifestyle that is more relaxed and greater emphasis is placed on work/life balance is a priority, California is a place to make it happen.

5. Access to International Airports

Flying in and out of California is convenient, and typically fairly simple. If a person travels frequently or is interested in traveling more, they should be happy to know that California has 12 international airports. One of these includes LAX; which is the second largest airport in AmericaOpens in a new tab..

People from all over the world come through these airports, and the opportunities they provide are limitless. One can travel stateside, or to almost any country right there from the coast. Living in California will significantly reduce costs, as LA is the hub of getting almost anywhere for the best prices.

Flying will also build mileage which can actually earn points towards discounted and even free flights in the future. Important and cool connections can be made with individuals one would never meet otherwise. Working with airlines teaches important and useful skills about human interactions, self-independence, managing stress, navigating new environments, stretching comfort zones, exploring, and trying new things.

It can be fun and help teach how to reduce anxiety.

California Cons

1. Wildfires

As can be seen on the news, the west coast has been increasingly susceptible to wildfiresOpens in a new tab., especially between late summer and early fall. In the past two decades, these fires have become more intense and destructive, making them a real concern for residents.

Residents are used to preparing for disasterOpens in a new tab. by creating a defensible space around and reinforcing their homes, preparing emergency plans and kits, and staying informed about evacuations.

2. High Taxes

California has a high state income taxOpens in a new tab. of up to 13.3% which is one of the highest in the country. This truly can make it difficult to make ends meet, especially if one does not do their research beforehand. California does have high demands in terms of public needs, but the two biggest spending points are education and health careOpens in a new tab.. If this is a concern, California is not the best option for an individual to call home.

3. Driving in Traffic

California has some of the worst traffic out there, and it’s reported that commuters spend about 103 hours each yearOpens in a new tab. sitting in traffic. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many began working from home, but that did not eliminate the issue, nor provide solace for a permanent solution.

California currently has the highest average gas prices in the countryOpens in a new tab., and this has been a consistent trendOpens in a new tab. within the nation. Unfortunately, gas prices aren’t going down anytime soon. Because California is such a large state, it is near impossible to get around without a car everything is so spread out– not to mention the many hills, beating sun; as well as general safety precautions pedestrians, need to take when out and about.

Especially if living in a large city, gas rates will be high, and traffic density will be thick because of the high population rates.

4. Poor Public Schools

While California has an exceptionally large school, system, it is not known for providing quality education. Overall, it ranks among the lowest on the NAEP which serves as the nation’s report card.

Many students are dropping out, the number of success rates in education is continuing to decrease, and public schools are even closing.

Poor education can lead to poor economics, further discrimination against people of color and other minorities, and an overall disheartening forecast.

One journal wrote thisOpens in a new tab.:

“According to a recent report, California now leads the country in illiteracy. In fact, 23.1 percent of Californians over age 15 cannot read this sentenceOpens in a new tab..”

Oregon Pros

1. Outdoor Life

Because of the abundant rainfall, Oregon is known for being especially green and lush with forests. With pristine sandy beaches, mountain-trimmed coastline, 10,000-foot peaks, and loads of crystal clear lakes, there is enough to keep any adventure-seeking person sightseeing for a lifetime! Oregon also offers more than 250 state parks and the notable National Park; Crater Lake.

2. Environmentally Friendly

Oregon is not only green because of the lush landscape, but also because of its environmentally conscious legislation. People, companies, and politicians in the area promote energy-efficient standards, recycling programs, and renewable energy.

Portland, Oregon has even been called “America’s number one environmentally friendly or ‘green’ city”! Many funds have been dedicated to helping the state go green and become more sustainable.

3. No Sales Tax

Oregon is one of five states in the country that does not have a sales tax, by living in this state, a person could save up to thousands of dollars a year on large purchases. Everything purchased in the state will be sold completely tax-free for both residents as well as visitors. Some may not place much value on this because of the high-income tax.

4. Fantastic Public Transit

Oregon has been praised over and over again for its public transit operations system. In fact, in 2019, an article Opens in a new tab.discussing a study revealed that Oregon had been ranked with the 10th best transit in the entire country.

Transportation within the state is very cheap and affordable; takes frequent, convenient stops; comes about every 15 minutes; and offers a variety of overall easy, convenient, affordable transportation for anyone who needs to get from point A to B.

Oregon Cons

1. Dismal Weather

The weather conditions within the state of Oregon can be quite dreary and even take someone into a state of depression. Oregon is seemingly in a consistent season of rainfall. The constant downfall does not permit much sunshine and leaves the environment cold and wet.

When asking residents things that make living there a bit harder, a common response is the cloudy skies.

In addition to the depressing weather conditions, the lush greenery contributes to allergies. Many complaints about reactions to the environment in this aspect can also be found in reviews from those who have lived within the state on websites and places like Quora.

2. Lack of Diversity

When it comes to diversity in culture and race, Oregon comes up rather short. In 2020, findings show that the entire state of Oregon consisted of an overall percentage of 71.8 of its inhabitants being white alone, and with more than half of each county’s residents being white as well – often with numbers higher than 80%.

Not only is this disappointing of the lack of missing representation and inclusion of the American people, but unfortunately racism and discrimination are also in action within the state. Reports show that within Oregon’s workforce, people of color face higher unemployment rates than other races.Opens in a new tab.

3. Homelessness

Homelessness is one of the most prevalent issues not only within Oregon but within the ratio of the state relative to the rest of the country. A diverse group of people becomes victims of this tragic lifestyle due to several factors such as the high property tax and home prices, mental illnesses, poor living situations, and other circumstances.

Regardless of the reasons, this epidemic is an ongoing issue leading to hunger, deaths, homeless camps, and all of the problems that accompany living without meeting basic needs.

According to research,

“…Oregon has a disproportionately large population of homeless people when compared to other states: while Oregon’s population represents 1.3% of the total U.S. population, Oregon’s homeless population represents 2.6% of the total U.S. homeless population.”

oregoncf.orgOpens in a new tab.

4. High Property Tax

Even though the state has zero sales tax, Oregon has very high property tax rates. Although the rainy state is much cheaper than California as far as many other costs of living and prices go, Oregon’s higher property tax rate is so high that it is even more expensive than California’s.

If documenting numbers, Oregon property taxes for 2022 have been reported to fall around 0.87%Opens in a new tab. on average – these are much higher than a large part of the other 50 states.

One report even ranked Oregon as the 28th highestOpens in a new tab. property taxing state in the country with a percentage of .97% for the year 2022!

Weighing Things Out

Ultimately, both California and Oregon have good and bad things to offer as can be seen from the list of pros and cons that have been curated (congratulations to anyone who made it through the whole thing.) It goes without saying that neither state is necessarily better or worse than the other, they simply cater to different types of individuals and lifestyles.

If one is thinking of moving to or visiting either place, California and Oregon have several commonalities, and there are a few things a person can expect to find regardless of which climate they choose. Each state is located on the West Coast and both have access to the Pacific Ocean. Seafood is prime, and nature is not hard to find. Both have exciting music scenes, variant cuisines, and predictable weather forecasting. While both can be expensive in different areas, they also offer different kinds of adventure.

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Ashley Wadas

A little bit about me: I'm Ashley, I studied English in college which meant writing a lot! I wouldn't say writing is my favorite thing to do, but I do like writing about places I've lived. I enjoy reading and word puzzles. :)

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