Welcome to the ultimate showdown of quirky cities – Portland vs. Austin! These two cities have been battling it out for years, both claiming to be the hippest and most livable place in the country. Both will also claim they came up with the “Keep Austin/Portland Weird” bumper sticker—we’re biased but it was Austin.
But which one truly reigns supreme? In this blog post, we’ll take a detailed look at the similarities, differences, and unique quirks of each city. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or a craft beer), and get ready to discover what makes Portland and Austin two of the most sought-after cities in the United States.
Portland vs. Austin Quick Stats
- Population Density: 5,045 people per square mile
- Median Household Income: $78,476
- Unemployment Rate: 4.20%
- Median Age: 37.5 years old
- Average Commute: 26.2 minutes
- Median Home Value: $525,443
- Population Density: 3,167 people per square mile
- Median Household Income: $78,965
- Unemployment Rate: 2.60%
- Median Age: 33.7 years old
- Average Commute: 24.1 minutes
- Median Home Value: $557,910
Cost of Living in Portland vs. Austin
When it comes to the cost of living, there are some notable differences between Portland and Austin. On average, Portland tends to be a bit more expensive than Austin, with higher costs for housing, transportation, and groceries. However, both cities offer a relatively affordable lifestyle compared to other major metropolitan areas in the country. Portland’s housing market is notoriously tight, with low vacancy rates and high demand for rental properties. On the flip side, Austin’s housing market is booming, with new construction popping up all over the city.
Portland vs. Austin Size & Location
Portland Geography & Population
Portland’s population size may not be as massive as other major US cities, but it certainly makes up for it with character and charm. With a population of just over 650,000, the city has managed to maintain a small-town feel while still offering all the amenities of a major urban center.
Surrounded by stunning geography, including the Willamette River, lush forests, and the iconic Mount Hood in the distance, Portland offers a unique blend of urban and natural beauty. However, this notoriously gloomy city experiences an average of 220 cloudy days per year, so it may not be a good fit for folks who thrive in the sunshine.
Austin Geography & Population
Austin’s population has steadily grown over the years, and it’s not hard to see why. With over 950,000 residents within city limits, Austin is a major cultural and economic hub in Texas.
The Colorado River runs right through the heart of the city, offering ample opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. And with the nearby Texas Hill Country just a short drive away, residents can escape the city for hiking, camping, and breathtaking views.
Portland vs. Austin Things to Do
Portland Culture & Entertainment
Portland is home to diverse music venues, theaters, museums, and art galleries catering to all tastes and preferences. Portland is also known for its numerous festivals and events, such as the Portland Rose Festival, the Portland International Film Festival, and the Waterfront Blues Festival, which attract visitors from around the world.
The city’s culture is characterized by a strong emphasis on sustainability and environmentalism, reflected in its locally sourced cuisine, craft breweries, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Austin Culture & Entertainment
Austin is considered the Live Music Capital of the world, with many iconic music festivals throughout the year like South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits. Its diverse music scene includes everything from country and blues to indie rock and hip hop.
Meanwhile, Austin’s food scene offers a mix of international and Texan cuisine, with food trucks serving up everything from tacos and barbecue to Thai and Mediterranean cuisine. Many restaurants also source their ingredients locally as part of the city’s farm-to-table movement.
Portland vs. Austin Industries & Local Economy
Portland is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Nike, Intel, and Precision Castparts. In addition to these large corporations, Portland also has a thriving technology sector, with many startups and smaller tech companies based in the city. Other notable industries in Portland include manufacturing, outdoor recreation, and renewable energy. The city’s economy is known for its emphasis on sustainability and environmentalism, with many businesses and industries incorporating environmentally-friendly practices into their operations.
Austin’s economy is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, with a strong focus on sustainability and social responsibility. Austin is a major hub for the tech industry, with many established and emerging tech companies located in the area, including Dell, IBM, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Additionally, Austin has a thriving startup scene, with many innovative and successful startups based in the city, such as Bumble, WP Engine, and BigCommerce.
How to Choose Between Portland and Austin
Both Portland and Austin offer residents unique lifestyles and cultures. But before renting a U-Haul and hit the road, it’s important to consider your priorities and preferences. If you’re interested in an eco-conscious lifestyle close to the mountains and don’t mind rainy weather, Portland is the place to be. On the other hand, if you’re interested in a vibrant music scene, outdoor activities, and warm weather, Austin could be your jam.
Life at Lakeside
If the Texas sun is calling your name, contact Lakeside at Tessera to find your dream home! With top schools, exclusive amenities, and beautiful home designs, Lakeside at Tessera is the perfect place to plant your roots and build your forever house.