NYC Vs. Portland, OR: A Tale of Two Unique Cities [2023]

Deciding where to relocate and narrowing your options to two major cities can be quite a task. New York and Portland are among the top choices for most people looking to move and explore new places. If they are comparable, however, is the big question.

Living in New York City is an extraordinary experience, and there are many advantages to living in this city. It is the land of vast opportunities, and many people live here to take advantage of and advance their careers. However, the cost of living is much more expensive compared to Portland, and New York City is 55.6% sunnier than Portland.

If you have narrowed down to these two cities and are considering relocating to either, this article will serve as a guide.

It features the similarities and differences between these two cities, making your decision a bit easier.

NYC VS Portland: Work Ethic

Portland is an easy-going and laid-back city.

Residents in Portland have a great work-life balance, unlike New York City, where people work overtime hours. 

That, however, does not mean that Portlanders lack a proper work ethic.

New Yorkers often work long hours and are always rushing to get to work.

Being a busy city, New York City has earned its name, “the city that never sleeps.”

This mean that you must work extra hard to keep up with the fast-paced culture and afford a comfortable lifestyle in New York.

NYC vs. Portland: Diversity and Ethnicity

New York is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. 

Its residents speak different languages daily, approximately 200 languages in total, thanks to the diversity.

You can be sure to meet people from different parts of the world from the moment you step foot in New York.

On the other hand, Portland is less diverse than New York. 

Portland’s population is made up of 66.6% whites, 10.5% Latino, 6.3% African American, 2.2% Vietnamese Americans, 1.7% Chinese, 0.6% Filipino, 0.4% Korean, 0.2% Hkong, and 0.1% Cambodians according to the last census.

New York is comprised of whites, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians in somewhat equal measure.

Whites are the majority in Portland, taking about 70% of the total population in the city.

NYC Vs. Portland: How Large is the Population? 

NYC has a population of 18,867,000, a much higher population than that of Portland, which is a 0.23% increase from 2021.

Portland is ranked the 25th most populated city in the United States, with a population of about 666,249 people.

The metro area population of New York City was 18,823,000 in 2021 and 18,804,000 in 2020.

That was a decline from 2019 by 0.01%.

On the other hand, Portland’s population has increased to 2.11% since the last census.

It contains a population density of 4,994 people per square mile.

NYC Vs. Portland: Is the Cost of Living Comparable in 2023?

The cost of living in New York is much higher than that of Portland by 51%.

New York is considered one of the most expensive cities to live in in the world, and it is ranked 2nd. 

It has the highest cost of living in the United States.

You will need a salary of about $26,894 in Portland to maintain a decent lifestyle and $67,046 in New York City.

Rent prices are much higher in New York than in Portland, so you can expect to pay top dollar for a small apartment in the city.

If you choose to live in Portland, you will enjoy zero sales tax.

You only pay the price of what is indicated at the store when shopping; no more, no less.

This factor has contributed so much to the standards of living in Oregon, ultimately lowering the cost of living.

NYC Vs. Portland: Main Mode of Transport

TriMet Train in Downtown Portland
TriMet train in Downtown Portland

Public transportation in New York is much more advanced and has more options than in Portland. 

New York City has the largest subway network in the world, making it easy to move around the city. 

The ferry systems, buses, and yellow taxis are convenient too, but you can catch the subway anytime.

On the other hand, the public transportation system in Portland is the main mode of transport and is exceptional in its operation.

The TriMet is a light rail system that can easily get you from point A to point B.

Walking and biking are common in both cities, and there are designated paths for the same.

In Portland, there are other means of transport, such as MAX light rail, street cars, buses, and WES commuter rail.

These transportation options can easily get you around the suburbs and downtown.

Due to the population influx in New York City and Portland, there are often traffic jams

In a year, the average resident in Portland spends about 89 hours in traffic and 92 hours in New York annually due to road congestion and traffic jams. 

This is why using the subway in New York is recommended, as it is much more convenient and saves you from sitting in countless hours of traffic.

But you have to be okay with the fact that the subway cannot get you to every part of the city, and you have to walk around a lot too.

NYC Vs. Portland: Housing Costs

New York’s housing is much more expensive and has high maintenance compared to Portland’s. 

If you are looking for an affordable place to live, then Portland might be the best place to relocate to.

Housing in Portland is cheaper than in New York.

The cost of living in New York has shot through the roof in the last decade due to hikes in housing prices.

In New York, you can expect to pay an average of $3,436 for a small apartment in the city, while in Portland, the average rent of the same is $1,746

Weather in NYC Vs Portland, Oregon

raining in Portland Oregon
Raining in Portland, Oregon

New York gets cool in the spring, extremely hot in the summer, and a little chilly in the fall.

As a first-timer in New York, the winter might be challenging for you to deal with, but over time you get used to the extremely cold weather.

Portland’s summers are warm and dry, and the climate is considered to be moderate, making it a more favorable place to live.

However, Portland rains throughout the year, especially from January through March hence the name “the grey city.”

If you dislike gloomy weather, Portland might not be the best place to live.

Summers in Portland hit about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to New York’s temperatures of up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like most cities, both New York and Portland go through all four seasons of the year. 

It snows for two and a half months, that is, from November to mid-February, but the winters in New York are a little more extreme than in Portland.

NYC Vs Portland, Oregon: Crime Rate

Due to the high population density, New York has a 28.3% violent crime rate, and Portland has a 21.7% rate. 

In terms of property crime, that is motor vehicle theft, arson, and burglary. 

New York has a 24.9% rate, much lower than that of Portland, ranked at 72.3%.

On this note, New York has a higher crime rate, but this is not as noticeable, considering the high population density. 

NYC Vs Portland: Tourism and Entertainment

Both Portland and New York have many tourist attraction sites to explore, and there is something to see or experience while in these cities.

New York has the best forms of entertainment for any traveler or someone looking to relocate.

The food scene in both cities is fantastic, with a wide range of world-class restaurants.

That said, New York is one of the most fun cities in the world, so you can be sure of a good time, despite the fast-paced lifestyle.

There are many museums and theaters in New York that you can explore and enjoy.

You and a couple of friends can grab pizza and beers one night and then go dancing at one of NYC’s many clubs another night.

On the other hand, Portland has a more outdoor vibe, thanks to the numerous hiking trails.

It is, therefore, a great city if you are an explorer looking to enjoy mother nature and meet like-minded people.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the lower cost of living and fewer traffic hours, Portland is the most favorable place to live. But, if you are after career opportunities and are up for busy city life, New York is your best bet. The transport system is advanced, and you can get around the neighborhood easily.

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