Is living in Oregon similar to living in Washington State?

The Pacific Northwest has a unique culture. The influence of Native American tribes has continued to preside over the region for centuries now. A large amount of rainfall each year gets a lot of people depressed, yet there are tons of beautiful tourist attractions and landmarks to view when the sun does peek its head out. 

People who live outside of the Pacific Northwest might get confused over the differences between living in the adjacent states of Washington and Oregon. Just because they border each other, it doesn’t mean they’re identical in lifestyle or other factors. We’ll try to cover as many topics as possible to decide how similar or different Washington and Oregon are. 

For example, Oregon car insurance is slightly more expensive than Washington State car insurance. The population of Washington is quite a bit higher than in Oregon, so people who want to live a more peaceful life without as many neighbors might choose Oregon. These are just a couple of things to consider when comparing the two areas. 

#1 – Cost of Living

The cost of living in the Pacific Northwest can vary depending on whether you live in Washington State or Oregon. Gas prices, housing, rental costs, taxes, and more are things to consider when compiling a cost-of-living expenses list for you and your family. 

Gas Prices

Gas prices in the two states are nearly identical right now. Estimates claim gas is just under $5 per gallon in both Washington and Oregon. As inflation starts to curb, you might see these prices go down a little bit. The bottom line is that gas prices are not going to be a determining factor in whether to live in Washington versus Oregon. 

Car Insurance

It’s estimated by Bankrate that the average cost of minimum car insurance coverage in Washington State is $1,313 per year, whereas the average annual cost in Oregon is $1,371. This isn’t a huge gap in coverage, so if you’re thinking about using insurance costs as a determining factor in where to live, there might be more important things to consider. 

No matter where you live, it’s always important to keep a clean driving record to reduce the cost of insurance. If you want to save even more money, you can purchase a drive-by-mile policy and only use your car when absolutely necessary. Washington State’s Seattle area has a very convenient light rail system that can be used instead of driving.

Housing Costs and Rental Costs

The median price of a house in Washington was over $590,000 in 2022. The median price of a house in Oregon was just under $510,000 in 2022. This means housing is slightly pricier in Washington, but this is to be expected. There are more large metropolitan areas in Washington, and homes in these areas tend to be a little more expensive

The average rent for an apartment in Oregon this year is just over $1,000 a month. The average rent for an apartment in Washington this year is over $1,700. This is a significantly more expensive rent for Washington. 

We can see if you’re trying to find affordable housing in the Pacific Northwest, you’d have better luck in Oregon than in Washington. 

#2 – Sports and Recreation

Both Washington and Oregon enjoy a rich history of sports, both at the recreational and professional levels. Youth soccer is one of the most popular activities in the Pacific Northwest, and this is echoed by the success and popularity of the professional teams in both Seattle and Portland. 

When people get into soccer from a young age, they might enjoy watching it as an adult. The Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers are important culturally in both major cities. These aren’t the only pro sports teams you can enjoy living in these states, though. There are several others that make sports fans’ lives worthwhile.

If you want to enjoy a weekend in Seattle, you might want to watch the Seattle Seahawks NFL football team in the fall, or the Seattle Mariners MLB baseball team in the summer. The Mariners just made the playoffs for the first time in two decades in the fall of 2022. The Seahawks have enjoyed many playoff appearances under the coaching of Pete Carroll. 

The one sport Oregon has that Washington is void of is NBA basketball. The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the NBA’s most successful teams in the regular season. Washington used to have the Seattle SuperSonics, but they moved in 2008. This means if you’re an NBA fan and you want to move where there’s basketball to watch, Oregon will be the better choice. 

#3 – LGBTQ+ and Racial Diversity

If you’re thinking about moving to either of these states, you might be interested in how racially and sexually diverse people are treated in both of them. You’ll be happy to know they’re both accepting states that are fairly welcoming of different types of people. 

As far as LGBTQ+ rights, both states allow for gay marriage, same-sex activity, and the right to legally change your gender. Washington has a long history of accepting same-sex activity, as it was legalized in 1976 compared to 2003 in Oregon. This is important as areas that have been accepted for longer might be the determining factor in where you live. 

As far as racial diversity, Washington is slightly more diverse than Oregon. 10% of Washington’s population is Asian American compared to 5% of Oregon’s. 4.5% of Washington is African American, whereas it’s at 2% for Oregon. If you want to live in a more racially diverse area, Washington has a slightly higher percentage of non-white residents. 

This might be due to the large Seattle metro area, which is much bigger than the Portland metro area. Enormous cities and their surrounding areas are sometimes more racially diverse than smaller cities. 

The Verdict on Washington Versus Oregon

Whether you want to book a trip to Oregon using a travel app, or you’re thinking about making Washington your permanent home, you can see there are tons of similarities between the two states. 


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