Study: Portland 12th most expensive city in country
Living in a large city often comes at a price — but Portland residents may be shelling out more than most.
As the cost of gas and rent continues to spike, along with the rise of inflation, a new report found Portland is now the 12th most expensive large city in the United States.
The Porch.com study examined data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis 2020 Regional Price Parities Report, which investigated the difference in cost-of-living throughout U.S. cities, in an effort to determine where residents get the most for their money.
"Taking into account the cost of consumer goods, services and housing, the overall cost of living in the Portland metropolitan area is 5.7% higher than the national average," stated the study. "Out of all large U.S. metros, Portland is the 12th least affordable place to live."
Of the 55 large U.S. cities surveyed, the study ranked the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area 44th in cost-of-living affordability.
The data showed Portland residents also pay much more for housing than most of the nation, with average costs at 30.5% above the national average.
The study showed some promising trends for Portland residents as well.
Despite data revealing Rose City residents pay 3.8% more for consumer goods than average for the rest of the country, the average personal income in Portland was reported to be $62,603 — a little more than $3,000 above the national average of $59,510.
Additionally, the report found Portlanders pay less in utility costs, with -9.3% when compared to how much the average American spends.
While the data used in this study was from 2020, the report cites new figures that suggest these trends have only increased since the report.
"Month-over-month and year-over-year price increases have been at historic highs through much of 2021 and into 2022," the study stated, "with categories like energy and vehicles seeing increases of more than 40% since the beginning of 2021."
As the study pointed out, rising consumer costs seen in Portland and other large metro regions are largely connected to the rise of inflation. The study's author, Lauren Thomas, explained the recent changes in inflation have continued to drive up prices within the past two years — which means Portland residents may have to get used to the financial strain.
"One common measure of inflation is the Consumer Price Index, calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures prices paid for a set of typical consumer expenses, including food, energy, transportation, apparel, shelter and more," Thomas said. "The year-over-year percentage change in the CPI has topped 5% in every month since June 2021 and reached 7.5% in January of 2022."
According to the study, there are several driving factors for the rise of inflation and subsequent price increases. Thomas said some of those include recent government stimulus checks and other financial recovery efforts, as well as wage increases driven by a tight labor market.
"With more money to spend, consumer demand has increased, but ongoing issues with global supply chains have made many physical goods scarce," Thomas explained. "The result has been price increases in nearly every category, which puts pressure on households' finances."
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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