Economic Conditions Statewide and in Communities

How do Oregonians rate economic conditions in their state and their communities? Are conditions getting better, worse, or staying the same?

Image: Silhouette of Oregon, surrounded by dollar bills

From March 5th through 10th, 2021, the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center conducted a statewide survey of Oregonians’ values and beliefs, including how they feel about current economic conditions statewide and in their communities. This online survey consisted of 601 Oregon residents ages 18+ and took approximately 15 minutes to complete. Responses were analyzed and categorized to allow for a better understanding of trends in Oregonians’ values and beliefs. The survey’s margin of error, for the full sample, ranges from ±2.4% to ±4.0% depending on how the response category percentages split for any given question. Findings will include a citation of the relevant question, which can be referenced in the annotated questionnaire and tabs at the bottom of the page.

Economic Conditions Statewide

  • Three in ten rate economic conditions in Oregon as excellent (3%) or good (27%). Seven in ten says conditions are only fair (46%) or poor (22%). This is an improvement from a September 2020 DHM Panel survey, when only two in ten rated conditions as excellent (2%) or good (19%). Oregonians making more than $100K per year are more likely to think conditions are excellent or good than those making less (42% vs. 28%) (Q1).
  • Oregonians are more likely to think economic conditions in the state are getting worse (34%) than better (22%), while a plurality (39%) feel conditions are staying about the same. However, this is an improvement from September 2020, when only 9% said conditions were getting better (a 13-point jump) and 46% said conditions were getting worse (Q2).

Economic Conditions in Communities

  • Oregonians’ ratings of the economic conditions in their community are nearly identical to their ratings of conditions statewide, with three in ten saying excellent (3%) or good (29%), and roughly seven in ten saying they are only fair (44%) or poor (21%). Again, perceptions of local economic conditions improve with higher incomes, with those making more than $100K per year almost twice as likely to say conditions are excellent or good than those making less than $50K (45% vs. 27%) (Q3).
  • Similar to their view of the trajectory of economic conditions statewide, Oregonians are more likely to think conditions in their community are getting worse (29%) than better (19%), and a plurality (47%) say things are staying about the same. The belief that conditions are getting better increases with higher income and education levels (Q4).

Demographic Trends

Identifying What Unites Us and Understanding What Divides Us

  • Oregonians of color and whites rate economic conditions as excellent/good in Oregon and in their communities at roughly equal levels (Oregon: 30% vs. 32%; communities: 32% vs. 35%). However, when it comes to the trajectory of those economic conditions, Oregonians of color are more likely than whites to say conditions are getting worse (Oregon: 33% vs. 39%; communities: 28% vs. 35%)(Q1-Q4).
  • For all these economic ratings, urban Oregonians provide higher positive scores than their rural counterparts. Urbanites are twice as likely to rate economic conditions in Oregon as excellent/good (36% vs. 18%) and are twice as likely to say conditions in Oregon are getting better (31% vs. 16%). Also, urbanites are three times more likely to say conditions in their community are getting better than rural residents (27% vs. 9%) (Q1-Q4).   

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