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Mr. Beat compares and contrasts Washington state and Oregon.
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Photo Credit: Bruce Englehardt (SounderBruce)
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Which two cities in the world should Mr. Beat compare?
Washington and Oregon
Both of the bordering states in these United States like to talk a lot of trash about each other, but they have a lot in common
Both began as part of Oregon Territory, established by the United States in 1848 after originally being inhabited by Native Americans, the Russians, a even the British for a bit.
Both border the Pacific Ocean and are in the infamous Ring of Fire, an area where lots of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions tend to occur. Both are geographically diverse.
And yep, both have similar climates. West of the Cascades, the mountain range that runs north-south through both of the states, gets a lot of rain and the temperature is more moderate, whereas east of the Cascades is much drier with varied temperatures. That’s why you’ll get a picture like this, where you’re in the rainforest, and then drive east five hours and get a picture like this, where you’re basically in the freaking desert.
Both are known for wine.
Some of the best wine in the world is produced from the grapes grown in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, and Tri-Cities region of Washington. Speaking of alcohol, both states have a ton of craft beer breweries, although Oregon has more per capita than Washington.
Both states have a similar poverty rate and similar income levels, although Washington citizens definitely earn more, on average.
The cost of living is similar in both states, overall, which is higher than most of the rest of the country.
Both states’ biggest industries are healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, in that order, but you can’t mention the two states without their lumber production. They’ve got mad forests, there, I’m telling you.
A lot of people in both Oregon and Washington have lighter skin. Only 4% in Washington and 2% in Oregon consider themselves African American.
Around ⅕ of Oregon residents and Washington residents can trace their ancestry to Germany. Many of the earliest residents of European ancestry of both states came via the Oregon Trail, from the Midwest.
Marijuana is legal in both states, although the laws that regulate it are less strict in Oregon.
Both states lean to the left politically, and typically vote Democratic. Although the Cascades split both states politically, as east of them people tend to be more conservative.
Both states are not that religious. Less residents belong to churches in Oregon and Washington than nearly all other states.
Both border a foreign country. Washington borders Canada to the north and Oregon borders California to the south. Wait a sec…apparently California is also part of the United States. Scratch that, I’m sorry.
So what about their differences? I mean, there are a lot of differences when you nitpick, like the fact that Washington produces much more apples than any other state and Oregon produces more hazelnuts than any other state, but in general terms, there are few major differences.
Washington has a lot bigger population, despite being ⅔ the size of Oregon. Washington has around 7.3 million people, and Oregon just 4.1 million. So that’s why Washington gets 12 votes in the Electoral College and Oregon gets just 7. Washington’s population is also growing more quickly than Oregon’s.
Washington residents are smarter than Oregon residents. Ok, I joke here, obviously. However, more than 41% of Washington residents have a college degree, whereas just under 38% of Oregon residents have one.
Washington doesn’t have an income tax, Oregon has one of the highest income tax rates in the country. That’s quite misleading though, as Washington residents pay some of the highest sales tax rates in the country while Oregon residents pay some of the lowest.