Or Rose City or Rip City or Bridgetown or PDX or whatever you decided to call it. Either way, welcome to the little coastal city that could. The one that put oddly shaped doughnuts and massive bookstores on the map. The city with more craft breweries per capita than any other city on the planet. If you’re one of many transplants who’s decided to put down roots in Stumptown, here are several things you should know about the city that gave the world Gus Van Sant, Courtney Love, and Tonya Harding.
10 Fast Facts About Portland (as of September 2020)
- Population: 630,331 (4,724 people per square mile) with a population growth rate of 11.2% since 2010
- Median resident age: 36.4 (37.4 is the national average)
- Median home price: $419,600 (compared to the $231,200 national average)
- Median household income: $53,230
- Cost of living: 130.8 overall, based on a U.S. average of 100 according to this index; 113.1 is Oregon’s statewide average
- Climate: 43 inches of rain, 3 inches of snow, and 144 sunny days per year on average; average summer high is 81 degrees, average winter low is 36 degrees
- Unemployment rate: 3.5% (3.9% U.S. average); job growth over the next 10 years is projected at 42.4%, higher than the U.S. average of 33.5%
- Crime rate ranked on a scale of 1 to 100: Violent crime is 21.7 (22.7 national), while property crime is 72.3 (35.4 national)
- Schools: 238 total (148 public/90 private); average of 19 students per teacher
- Average commute time: 26.1 minutes (26.4 is the national average
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Portland
Portland was almost named Boston
And it all came down to a coin toss. Two of the city’s founders, Asa Lovejoy and Francis Pettygrove, couldn’t decide what to call the piece of land they’d recently come into. So they decided to flip a penny and name it after the winner’s hometown. Pettygrove, who hailed from Portland, Maine, won the toss over Boston, Massachusetts native Lovejoy.
We’re sitting on a volcano
Don’t get any ideas, 2020. It’s an inactive one. In fact, Portland is one of just four U.S. cities with a volcano inside city limits. (There’s another one in Bend.) Mount Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, sits smack dab in the middle of Portland—and has one of the city’s best parks sitting on top of it.
Speaking of parks …
While Portland’s aptly-named Forest Park is the largest forested park within city limits in the country, Portland is also home to the world’s smallest: Mill Ends Park. Originally intended as a spot for a light pole, the two-foot-in-diameter grassy circle near the Willamette was recognized as an official city park in 1976.
“Portlandia” is actually pretty accurate
Yes, we’re territorial about our brunch lines. Yes, we’ll chase rare pockets of sunlight around the city. You name it, we’ll pickle it and/or put a bird on it. And don’t listen to the Portland natives who tell you they’ve never watched the show. They totally have.
The Portland-Seattle rivalry is real
We’re not just talking about the Timbers–Sounders rivalry here. We’re not going to tell you Portland has the better coffee, beer, dining, neighborhoods, etc. But we’re not not going to say that, either. Once you realize life isn’t a venti no-foam three-pump sugar-free vanilla latte (extra hot!) and a giant spaceship on stilts, we think you’ll see the light.
While you figure out how to arrange your life and feng shui your new digs, you’re going to need a place to store your stuff. No matter where you land in Portland, chances are we’re right around the corner.