Portland, Maine vs. Portland, Oregon: What Are The Differences?

Portland, Oregon, USA downtown
Sean Pavone/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Micky Moran

Published: December 14, 2023

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Portland is a beautiful place with lush trees, access to an ocean, and many recreational activities. Do you know which Portland that sentence describes? This city is found in multiple states, and they share quite a few similarities. However, if you need to differentiate one from the other, here are a few ways that they stand out. Take a look at the ways that this city in Oregon separates itself from Maine’s location.

Comparing Portland, Maine vs. Portland, Oregon

Size69.44 square miles145 square miles
2022 Population68,424635,067
Tourism$8.6 billion$5.2 billion
ClimateHumid continentalModerate
Local wildlifeMoose, black bear, white-tailed deer, beaver, wild turkey, mudpuppy salamandersBlack-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, elk, black bears
Local plant lifeWildflowers, ferns, white ash trees, red maple trees, white pine treesDouglas fir, blue elderberry, white oak, Pacific dogwood, vine maple
Popular historical siteWadsworth-Longfellow HouseSkidmore Fountain
Violent crime rate (per 100,000 people)82.9302.5
Median home sold price$549,200$525,000
Average annual household income$66,109$78,476  

Differences Between Portland, Maine vs. Portland, Oregon

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Location

Portland’s Oregon and Maine locations are more than just a difference in state. By visiting each one, you would have to go to opposite ends of the entire United States. These cities are over 3,000 miles apart! If you visit the Oregon coast, you can dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean, but driving to the Maine location puts you near the Atlantic Ocean. While the city in Maine was originally founded in 1786, Oregon’s founding of Portland happened 65 years later in 1851.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Size And Population

Oregon’s sizeable 145-square-mile city has to have enough housing to accommodate over 600,000 people.

The size difference between these two cities is another clear difference. In Maine, the city only spans 69 square miles and is part of a peninsula. It has a 62-foot elevation, and most of the area is flat (apart from the West Hills area). The 2022 population was 68,424 residents.

In Oregon, the city is over 3 times as large, even though the population is more than 9 times its counterpart. The total size is 145 square miles with 635,067 residents.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Tourism

steel bridge over water with cityscape and skyline in portland

Both cities have an incredible tourism industry, earning them millions of dollars annually.

Maine’s tourism accounts for $8.6 billion in the city’s funds, which is primarily because of the local art and culinary world. It is also incredibly popular for its well-preserved architecture from the 19th century and proximity to Boston. It also puts tourists a short drive away from several popular cities in New Hampshire.

Tourists who visit Oregon’s Portland bring in $5.2 million to the local economy as they explore the local landscapes and popular parks. Much of the downtown area provides access to shopping and entertainment.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Climate

Since these cities are on different sides of the country, they also have drastically different climates. In Maine, Portland has a humid continental climate. During the winters, expect to see snow with an average of 69 inches a year in the city. During the summer, the weather becomes warm, but the heat doesn’t last long; temperatures start dipping below 70 degrees again by August.

Oregon’s city is much more moderate compared to a warmer Mediterranean climate because the winters stay rainy but cool. The summers don’t have much rain, but they stay relatively warm in the 70s and 80s.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Local Wildlife

Black-tailed deer

Both states have deer, but black-tailed deer are more common in Oregon’s city than in Maine.

Since both of these areas have vastly different landscapes and climates, the mammals within their forests vary greatly. In Maine, there is a significant moose and black bear population because they need climates that stay colder for longer. They need access to streams and ponds, which Maine has in abundance. This city also has many wild turkeys and beavers running free, but one of the most unique animals is the mudpuppy salamander. They need rivers and lakes as well, relying on this habitat through the summer.

Oregon’s black-tailed deer are fairly prominent, but the majority of its forests offer a home for raccoons, squirrels, and skunks. You might see a few black bears near their rivers and other bodies of water, but the elk population continues to grow substantially.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Local Plant Life

The red maple tree was spread branch gracefully in autumn.

While Maine’s city commonly grows red maple trees (above), you are likelier to see vine maple trees in Oregon.

Both states offer ample space for wild plants to grow, but the varied climates mean that these species don’t usually intermingle. Maine has an abundance of wildflowers that thrive in the humid subtropical climate, requiring full sun to flourish. The landscape is decorated with white ash, pine, and red maple trees.

Douglas fir offers the robust structure needed for Oregon’s Portland. With white oak, Pacific dogwood, and vine maple trees, the well-drained soil in Oregon is a must.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Historical Sites

The Portland Observatory is one of the historical sites of Maine, which was built in 1807.

There is no shortage of historical places between these two cities. One of the most notable places to visit in Mane is the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, which was built in 1785. It even predates the city by 47 years before its incorporation. Many older buildings from the 18th century are still in this city, including the only home that dates back to before the Revolutionary War – the Tate House. You can also visit the Portland Observatory, which is over 200 years old.

Oregon’s historical places are a little different. Skidmore Fountain is one of the more popular sites to visit. Officials consider it the oldest representation of public art, dedicated to the memory of a wealthy druggist of the 1880s. There’s also the Benson Bubblers, a drinking fountain installation that dates back to 1912.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Violent Crime Rates

The extreme difference in violent crime rates is another way to separate these two Portland locations. With its drastically smaller population, it should come as no surprise that the Maine community only experiences 82.9 crimes per 100,000 people.

Oregon’s city has substantially more violent crimes, at 302.5 crimes for every 100,000 people. Since their population is over 600,000 people, that means nearly 2,000 violent crimes occur annually.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Median Home Sold Price

Though there is a slight difference in the median price of any home sold in either city, Maine and Oregon are fairly close in the cost of a house. While Maine’s location costs $549,200 for a house, the average sold price for one in Oregon’s Portland is just $20,000 less.

Portland (ME) vs. Portland (OR): Median Household Income

Despite having a higher median cost for a home, Maine’s Portland has a lower salary with an average income of $66,109 annually. There is only a 2.8% unemployment rate, which is less than 20% of the national average. In Oregon’s city, the annual household income is a little higher at $78,476 to accommodate the higher cost of living.

Bonus: There’s A Portland In Texas!

Portland is a city in three different states, including Texas, which is a suburb of Corpus Christi (above).

The Texas city is also situated across the country, placing it close to another body of water – the Gulf of Mexico. The city has a total population of 20,536, and it receives many tourists for its birdwatching and windsurfing opportunities. Visiting this city gives you direct access to Corpus Christi Bay as one of its suburbs, and its founding in 1870 makes it one of San Patricio County’s oldest cities.

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About the Author

Micky Moran is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering mammals, travel, marine life, and geography. He has been writing and researching animals and nature for over 5 years. A resident of Arizona, he enjoys spending time with family, going on adventures across the United States with his wife and kids by his side.

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