Washington and Oregon lead the nation in cost of living increase, report finds

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pacific Northwest has long been called a nature lover’s paradise, but does all that green come at a price? 

Using data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis last month, a recent report found that Oregon and Washington’s residents saw the largest percentage increase in the cost of living within the past 10 years. 

The Filterbuy report found that the cost of living within the Portland metro area went up 22% from 2010 to 2020. 

The report noted that a major difference in these trends is the locations where the cost of living prices are increasing.

“Over the last decade, many of the places where the cost of living grew the most were economically prosperous states that have seen growth in high-paying jobs and attracted more residents to their major metros, like Washington (Seattle), Oregon (Portland), and Massachusetts (Boston),” it stated.

The cost of housing rose by over 25% from 2010 to 2020, and was the largest national contributing factor to increased cost of living, according to the analysis. 

The research found the cost of food and beverage rose by over 20%, and transportation prices were up by 5% nationally, over the past 10 years. But the study also showed apparel and energy costs actually decreased since 2010. 

The analysis reviewed cities with more than 100,000 residents and categorized research by city size.

Among the “large metros with the biggest increase in living costs,” the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranked No. 1, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro in Colorado came in at No. 2, and the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro region ranked No. 3.

According to the report, among the small and midsized metros with the largest rise in living costs, Albany-Lebanon ranked No. 1, with a 23.2% increase. Bend was No. 4 with a 22.5% rise, and Salem and Eugene-Springfield were listed at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, as they both had an 18.7% rise in living costs.

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