At first glance, Oregon may look like a state of impractical, out-of-touch extremes, with the hipster, politically correct sensibility of “Portlandia” at one end, and the ultra right-wing standoff at Malheur Wildlife Refuge on the other. Neither of these extremes gives the impression that Oregon has a good handle on the nitty-gritty of business.
Yet somewhere in there, the state has become “the best-performing economy in the nation,” according to Bloomberg’s Economic Evaluation of States, which incorporates data about employment, personal income, home prices, mortgage delinquency, and more.
For instance, personal income in the state was up 4.35% for the nine months ending on Sep. 30, 2015, while Oregon home prices rose more than 9% during the same period. In both cases, Oregon was among the top three states in the country. Oregon has even been a great place for investors, ranking among the top five states in terms of equity growth for companies based there. (It also landed a Top 10 spot on MONEY’s annual list of the country’s Best Places to Live.)
By no small coincidence, recently two moving companies separately named Oregon as the top relocation destination in the country, with 64% to 69% of moves involving the state heading in the inbound (as opposed to outbound) direction.
Perhaps also no coincidence: Portland is widely regarded as America’s best beer city, and Oregon is second in the nation in terms of most craft breweries per capita. Meanwhile, Oregon recently made recreational marijuana sales legal.