Portland is the largest city in Oregon. It is the seat of Multnomah County, but there are also small parts of the city in Washington and Clackamas counties.
It is situated in the Willamette Valley, near the convergence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers, at the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains.
The estimated population of Portland city in 2017 was 647,805. It is the twenty sixth largest city in the U.S. and the second most populous in the Pacific Northwest.
More than two million people live in the Portland metropolitan area, approximately 60% of Oregon’s population.
It is one of the US West Coast's major ports, something which has a big influence on the city’s style.
Portland is noted at this time for being one of the US’s fastest growing cities.
The city’s housing market has seen some dramatic highs and lows over the last couple of decades, but home prices are currently looking to be steadier.
Nickname(s): "Rose City"
Population: 647,805 (2017 estimated)
Land: 133 sq. miles
Urban: 145 sq. miles
Metro: 6,684 sq. miles
Portland has become known for its liberal political values, gaining it status as a stronghold of counterculture. It is not a particularly diverse city, ethnically speaking, but the Vietnamese and Pacific Islander communities are significant. It has been identified as one of the most environmentally-aware cities in the world, due to great walkability, extensive public transportation choices, and an enthusiasm for farm-to-table food preparation.
Portland’s climate tends to be characterized by warm, dry summers and cool and rainy winters. This is very good for the growth of roses, and the place has long had the nickname the “City of Roses.” Sport is followed passionately—running is a very popular activity and the city has the Trail Blazers in the NBA.
As Portland is known for its very progressive and environmentally-friendly attitude, it often attracts tourists who think the same way. Also, the port has historically had a reputation for its adult-oriented clubs, and it currently boasts the highest number of these per capita in the U.S.
The city has diverse tourist attractions such as parks, galleries and many museums. Forest Park is one of the largest city parks. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is particularly noteworthy, while the Portland Art Museum is the oldest on the West Coast. One of the longest-running amusement parks in the country, the Oaks Amusement Park can be found in the southeastern Sellwood district. One can also enjoy the views from the top of the Portland Observatory, which dates from 1807.
Officially, Portland has 95 recognized neighborhoods. The city can also be divided into five sectors: Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, North and Northeast:
The Northwest sector includes Arlington Heights, which overlooks the city and has the International Rose Test Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden and the Hoyt Arboretum. The Goose Hollow neighborhood is centrally located and is a calmer, less expensive alternative to Downtown. The neighborhood known as the Northwest District is also here, offering interesting residential accommodation and well-known commercial opportunities—upscale shops on NW 23rd Ave and restaurants on NW 21st Ave.
Within the southwest portion of Portland is the South Portland neighborhood, near the center of town, which has several sub-districts including South Waterfront, a former industrial area which is now one of the country’s largest urban renovation sites. There are several predominantly residential districts in this sector of town, such as Bridlemile, Homestead, and Mapplewood. Hillsdale hosts a farmer's market, while Far Southwest is further out and houses Portland Community College’s Sylvania campus.
The southeast region has many residential neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, Laurelhurst, Richmond, and Sellwood-Moorland. Woodstock is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, with houses dating from the 1880s at its northern end. Sunnyside has a strong sense of identity and has been called the city's "uncontested champion of eco-consciousness.” Kerns has parks to enjoy, including Everett Community Garden, Buckman Field, and Oregon Park, and also some popular restaurants on 28th Avenue.
The north area of Portland has the Bridgeton neighborhood with its detached houses and rowhouses and there are even houseboats here. The Kenton neighbourhood has its own commercial district, a statue of mythological lumberjack Paul Bunyan, and many buildings with interestingly decorated concrete facades. St. Johns has historically been blue collar, and Cathedral Park is a neighborhood at the eastern end of St. Johns Bridge. There is also Hayden Island which is in the middle of the Columbia River.
The northeast sector of the city has seen quite a lot of gentrification in recent times, changing the demographics in neighborhoods such as King and Boise that were traditionally more ethnically mixed than other Portland districts. Alameda is a neighborhood built on high ground and it commands good views. Concordia is host to Concordia University and also most of the very vibrant and trendy Alberta Arts District. The almost-20-acre Grant Park is found in the neighborhood of that name.
A few years ago home prices in Portland were growing faster than in any other U.S. city, and apartment rental costs in the Portland metropolitan area became comparable to those in other major cities such as Boston, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego. Towards the end of 2018, growth of median home values had slowed—representing a modicum of stability which some analysts welcomed— but they were predicted to rise faster in the following year.
Some of the Portland metropolitan area’s hottest neighborhoods recently have been Forest Grove in the far west, North Hillsboro in the Northwest, Sherwood in the southwest, and Downtown Portland. Portland neighborhoods that are still considered affordable include Montavilla in the southeast, St. Johns in the north, and Cully, which is next to Concordia in the northeast.
Property sales figures source: the RMLS™, January 2019.
Portland Public Schools is the largest of the city’s six public school districts, managing 85 schools. Located in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, David Douglas High School has the highest intake of students of all the city’s public schools. Some of the other high schools here are Cleveland, Benson, Jefferson, Parkrose and Roosevelt. The Northwest Academy, Portland Lutheran School and Trinity Academy are some of the many private schools in the city.
After Oregon State University, which is based in Corvallis, Portland State University has the second largest acceptance rate of any university in Oregon, with a student body of approximately 30,000. The city is also the home of Oregon Health and Science University and Portland Community College.
The Portland job market at the beginning of 2019 was considered to be hot and it is predicted that the city will continue to thrive. The unemployment rate here was 3.1% in May 2018, which is below both the state and the national averages. Portland’s sales tax rate is 0.0%, but by way of compensation Oregon’s income tax rates are levied in a range from 5% to a rather high 9.9%.
The fastest growing business sectors in Portland are retail trade and professional and technical services. Educational services, health care, hospitality, and food production also help boost the local economy. There are two Fortune 500 companies here: Nike and Precision Castparts Corp. Economic growth may be slowing a little, but the prospects for Portland still look healthy.