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Our Opinion: Planning to leave Oregon? No way

Oregonians are adept — especially in an election year — at identifying everything that's wrong with their state.

In the past few weeks here at Pamplin Media Group, we’ve had a parade of politicians come through our offices telling us what needs to be fixed in Oregon.

The economy is still abysmal. We can’t get a bridge built across the Columbia River. Cover Oregon was a disaster.

After a while, you begin to wonder why anyone would want to stay in such a loser state.

But then we get a timely reminder that despite all its faults — and we haven’t yet begun to exhaust that particular list — Oregon remains an enormously desirable place to be. This prompting came in the form of a recent Gallup poll in which people across the country were asked if given the chance to move from the state where they live, would they? The four states with the lowest desire to move away? Montana, Hawaii, Maine and, you guessed it, Oregon. Only 24 percent of those polled in the Beaver State said they would leave if they had the opportunity. That compares with roughly half the poll respondents in Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland who were ready to pick up stakes. Other states with restless or discontented populations included Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Lousiana and Mississippi.

Oregon’s attractiveness, however, isn’t just apparent to people already here.

In a migration study by United Van Lines early this year, more than 61 percent of all interstate moves made in Oregon were for people coming to live here — not people departing. According to UCLA economist Michael Stoll, the Oregon lifestyle is one of the main attractions.

“We’re seeing continued migration to the Pacific Northwest as young professionals and retirees are drawn to amenities, including public transit, green space and the local arts and entertainment scene,” Stoll says.

Of course, we all knew this. That’s why we live here … along with the fact that Oregonians enjoy reasonably priced housing options, outdoor recreation, stunning scenery, mild weather, and did we mention the Trail Blazers?

Apparently once people get settled here, they don’t want to leave the great food, microbrews, and, in the case of Portland, the bicycle-friendly vibe.

To be fair, not everyone loves it in Oregon. In January, a columnist for The Daily Beast, who touted herself as a happy ex-resident of Oregon and resident of New York City, pointed out how much it rains here and that unemployment continues to be a problem.

As far as we’re concerned, people who feel that way can stay in New York, Nevada or Mississippi. Come to think of it, maybe we should send them some of our complaining politicians as well.



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