Differences Between Living in Eugene, OR, vs. Portland, OR

While many people have heard of Portland, Oregon, a town affectionately nicknamed “The City of Roses,” fewer have heard of Eugene, Oregon. Both cities are relatively large, although one is much bigger than the other. There are a lot of other significant differences between Eugene and Portland, also.

If you’re considering moving to this lovely part of the United States and wondering which city is best for you and your family, read on. We’ve got the 12 major differences between living in Eugene, Oregon, vs. living in Portland, Oregon, below for your perusal!

12 Major Differences Between Living in Eugene, OR, vs. Portland, OR

1. Portland is a Much Bigger City than Eugene

One of the most notable differences between Portland and Eugene, Oregon, is that the former has over 650,000 residents while the latter has much fewer at 170,000. That’s nearly half a million people more that you’ll find living their lives in Portland.

2. The Cost of Living in Eugene is Substantially Lower than in Portland

road through tunnel in the fall

Eugene is significantly less expensive than Portland. For example, Eugene’s cost of living index is 107.3/100, about 7% higher than the national average. However, the cost-of-living index in Portland is 132.4/100, over 30% higher than the national average. That works out to a 23% difference in the cost of living, which for many American families would be considered substantial.

3. Eugene Is Known for its Great Outdoors

While Eugene and Portland offer culture and outdoor activities, it can easily be said that Eugene offers far more opportunities for outdoor adventure. For example, Eugene is close to many of America’s best hiking and biking trails, snow skiing, boating, and other water sports, among other activities. For culture, however, Portland is the city to choose.

4. Portland is Known for its Culture

If culture, the arts, museums, and so forth float your boat, Portland is the city to choose. There’s the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Professional theater productions are held at the Portland Center Stage, and there’s also the Oregon Symphony if you’re into classical music. Portland also has one of the country’s best music scenes and hosts various cultural events throughout the year. Amazing parks and gardens and multi-cultural neighborhoods round out this culture-filled city.

5. The Commute Time in Eugene is Far Shorter than in Portland

With nearly half a million more residents than Eugene, Portland’s traffic is much more congested, and their commute time is much higher. (26 minutes compared to 17 minutes one way.) However, Portland does have a better public transportation system, including its light rail (MAX) streetcars. Public transportation in Eugene consists primarily of buses.

6. Eugene’s Job Market is More Limited than Portland’s

aerial photo of city in oregon

Due to their much smaller population, the job market in Eugene is substantially smaller than in Portland. Portland’s economy is stronger and more diverse, while Eugene’s is limited and focuses primarily on healthcare and education.

7. Eugene is Home to the Mighty Ducks of the University of Oregon

Although Portland has several colleges and universities, none are as celebrated as the University of Oregon. Their “mighty” Oregon Ducks are one of the nation’s most beloved mascots and a force to be reckoned with in college football and other college sports.

8. The Dining Scene in Portland is One of the County’s Finest

If you’re a foodie, you probably know that Portland is one of the most renowned American cities for its diverse culinary scene, a wide range of fantastic restaurants, many microbreweries, and many food trucks. Yes, Eugene does offer some good dining options, and you’ll find good beer and wine, but it’s less extensive than its sister city.

9. Portland has Higher Crime rates than Eugene (Due to its Larger Size)

aerial photo of city in oregon with sunrise

Population size plays a factor in the crime rates between Eugene and Portland. While violent crime is very similar between the two cities and close to the US average, property crime in Portland is nearly 25% higher than in Eugene. (72.3/100 compared to 57.8/100)

10. Winter in Portland is Colder and Wetter than in Eugene

Because they’re only about 110 miles apart, the weather and climate in Portland and Eugene are quite similar. Both experience cloudy, rainy winters, but Eugene generally has warmer summers and milder winters. Portland’s winters are wetter and colder, but summer is milder.

11. Eugene has a Stronger Sense of Community than Portland

Like many smaller cities, the sense of community in Eugene is stronger, with tight-knit communities and a focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Portland is more progressive and cosmopolitan, with a more diverse population and less of a community vibe.

12. Home Prices are Substantially Lower (but Still High) In Eugene

city in oregon at night on water with skyscrapers

With a median home price of $537,200, Portland is about $90,000 more than Eugene, with a median home price of $458,500. Renting an apartment is about 20% more affordable in Eugene, and the housing market in Eugene is more stable with less demand and competition. Sadly, neither city will win any awards for its affordable housing prices.

Let Northwest Self Storage Help you Store Your Belongings in Eugene or Portland, Oregon

Whether you live in Portland or Eugene, Oregon, you can count on Northwest Self Storage when you need to store your belongings safely and securely. Northwest has several self-storage facilities in Portland and Eugene, with the highest security and safety in the storage industry. That includes 24/7 video security cameras, well-lit parking lots, and on-site managers.

Eugene, Northwest has 5 storage facilities offering drive-up storage units, climate-controlled storage units, and moving supplies. There are 10 Northwest storage facilities in Portland, Oregon, all offering world-class storage features and benefits.

You can easily reserve a storage unit in Eugene, OR, or reserve a storage unit in Portland, OR, online. There’s no deposit necessary, no credit card needed. Whatever your decision is, we hope you enjoy your new home!

waterfall with green all around