Portland's Weird National Rankings

Tattoos? Single ladies? Cigarettes? Stumptown's place on official and unofficial lists paint a bizarre portrait of the city.

By Cari Johnson December 2, 2013 Published in the December 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Everyone loves a good (or, for that matter, a bad) ranked list—the top 10 this, the worst 100 that. And when your hometown lands on such a list, you check it out. The topic may be dumb; the methodology may be random; the commercial agenda may be brazen. It doesn’t matter. You look.

To close out 2013, we scoured the year’s rankings, polls, and lists that placed Portland up high. We mashed them all together to see where we stand in others’ eyes. Survey says: 

Image: Nomad

Portland is reckoned a fine place for everyone, regardless of marital status: One of the Best 10 Cities for Single Women (Shape), the #10 City for Men (Men’s Health), and the #2 City for Families to Visit (Parents). Artsy loners have it good, too, with Portland named as one of 20 Great American Cities for Writers ( and #5 for the Top 10 Cities to Be a Moviemaker ( No wonder we hit #10 among the Fastest-Growing Cities in America (Forbes). 

We were not only ranked the Most Hipster City in America, but also secured the #5 spot for Best US Cities for Hippies (Estately blog, blog). We are the #5 Most Tattooed City in America (total, the #2 Most Vegan-Friendly City in 2013 (PETA), and of course the #1 Bike-Friendly City (Bicycling). In general, our fun-loving side seems to be alive and well: we’re also the #1 Beer Town in America (CNN Travel)! In heavier news, we also somehow scored #6 for Largest Penises by City (Condo-mania). When’s the parade?

Image: Nomad

Snubbing our impeccable taste for raingear, GQ included PDX among its 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America (albeit, at no. 36). Oregon as a whole finished #1 for selling cigarettes to kids (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). We are also some of the worst drivers, as we ranked a sad, swerving 154th out of 200 on Allstate’s ranking of America’s Best Drivers. Another ranking named Portland the #12 Worst US City to Raise Your Kids (USDA—maybe they meant goats?). And we got tabbed America’s 11th Snobbiest City (Travel + Leisure). Snobby? Nous

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