Who We Are

Edited by Kasey Cordell and Randy Gragg September 20, 2012

In an era of Portlandia, New York Times adoration, and accelerated migration (Oregon gained 60,000 new residents last year), everyone seems to have their own idea of just what Portland is: a source-obsessed foodie mecca, an unchurched den of sin, a liberal land of beards and patchouli. Whether newcomers or natives, we’ve all heard the same epithets. But those are just perceptions. We wanted to reach beyond the labels and take a closer look—not at what others say we are, but at who we believe we are: What’s important to us? What motivates us? What do we fear? (On the latter, apparently questions about sex: several survey respondents dropped out when we asked about their bedroom behavior.) What you’ll find in the following pages aren’t the typical height-of-election-season poll questions. They’re direct, unflinching inquiries into our very psyche—providing a surprising and revealing look at just what it means to be a modern Portlander.

Methodology We contracted with DHM Research (Davis, Hibbitts, & Midghall), a veteran Portland research firm that has been conducting policy research and consultation through surveys, polls, and focus groups for more than three decades. DHM administered the online survey between July 9 and 13 to 400 tri-county residents, balancing for gender, ethnicity, location, age, income, marital status, education level, and length of time in Portland. DHM provided detailed analysis of the data and reviewed the results for accuracy before publication. The margin of error for such a sample size is +/- 5 percent. Some totals may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. 

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