and access to Oregon’s public beaches, all
the way up and down the state. Oregon is
one of the few states whose beaches are
entirely open to the public.
EDUCATION AND MORE
Portland attracts an educated crowd —
90% of residents who are 25 and older
have at least a high school degree and
45.5% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Six school districts make up the city
of Portland, including Parkrose, David
Douglas, Centennial, Reynolds, Riverdale, and Portland Public. There are about
50,000 kids attending the Portland school
district, covering 90% of the city’s school-aged children — a better percentage than
most urban areas.
Portland State University (PSU) is based
on the southern edge of downtown. PSU is
Oregon’s largest university with an enrollment of over 28,000 students.
Oregon Health & Science University
(OHSU) is a respected institution for its
medical, nursing, and dental divisions. The
hillside campus includes two hospitals, and
can be reached by an aerial tram, which
was constructed in 2005 to better serve the
Portland is home to some of the region’s
top ranked hospitals and medical facilities.
OHSU is not only a top-rated medical
university, it’s also a trusted and respected
hospital, serving the residents of Portland.
It ranks number one in the city for general
medical and surgical care.
Providence Portland Medical Center is
another regionally ranked option with
medical and surgical services that almost
Other top-ranked hospitals in the region
include Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside
Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent
Medical Center, and Providence Portland
A TALE OF
PORTLAND & VANCOUVER
THE VANCOUVER ADVANTAGE
Just over the Columbia River lies a tempting alternative to Portland,
Oregon. While “Vancouver” might inspire visions of maple leaves and
hockey players for newcomers to the Pacific Northwest, this Vancouver is
indeed an American city, located in the state of Washington. The neighboring city offers metropolitan vibes on a smaller scale and a sensible
home base for many people who work in Portland, Oregon.
Vancouver, Washington was founded in 1829, making it 29 years older than
its Canadian counterpart. Located on the north bank of the Columbia
River, it’s part of Clark County, Washington and is the fifth largest city in
Vancouver was first inhabited by a variety of Native American tribes,
including the Chinook and Klickitat tribes, who gave the area the
nickname, “Skit-so-to-ho” and “Ala-si-kas”, or “The land of the mud turtles”.
When the Lewis and Clark expedition made their camp in Vancouver
in 1803, Meriwether Lewis wrote that Vancouver was, “the only desired
situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.”
COMMUTING TO OR FROM PORTLAND
Driving from downtown Vancouver to downtown Portland can take as
few as fifteen minutes, though the prevalence of commuters in Vancouver
creates some hectic rush hour traffic. Heavy delays on the Interstate Bridge
(I- 5) and the Glenn Jackson Bridge (I- 205) are common.
The C-TRAN bus system offers regular service between downtown Portland
Those who live and work in Vancouver have the luxury of an income-tax
free city. Unfortunately, if you live in Vancouver and work in Portland, you will
have to pay Oregon income tax, which is among the highest in the country.
Portland does have the benefit of being free of sales tax, inspiring many
Vancouver residents to save their shopping for The City of Bridges. That
being said, Vancouver offers some great shopping in its downtown area.
THE VANCOUVER VIEW
While clouds are prevalent in the region, a clear day in Vancouver offers
stunning views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mount St.
Helens. Those snow-capped peaks are a constant reminder of the exciting
outdoor options available to residents of both Vancouver and Portland.
THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES
Vancouver is home to a slightly older population with a middle class
income, while Portland is younger and more economically diverse. Being
a larger city, Portland offers a broader range of amenities, from bars and
restaurants, to doctor’s offices and churches, but Vancouver offers the
benefit of a small-town feel.