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Northwest residents set a high bar for achieving 'local' status

Wednesday, May 9, 2018by  PEMCO Insurance

​What does it take to be considered a local to the Northwest? An affinity for chilly beaches? The ability to correctly pronounce Washington's city of Sequim or Portland's Couch Street? According to a new poll from PEMCO Insurance, many believe the right to call yourself a Northwest native is measured in the amount of time you've spent in the Upper Left corner of the USA.

The latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll found that nearly a quarter of residents in Washington and Oregon (23 percent) believe you must live in this region your entire life to be considered a local. Almost twice as many say the minimum requirement is at least three-quarters of your life spent in the Northwest, and just one-quarter said living here half your life is long enough to be considered a local.

Despite the high bar residents set for achieving local status, the poll revealed nearly three-quarters (72 percent) consider themselves to be local to the Northwest.

"There are proud locals wherever you go across the country, and that status seems to be especially revered here in the Northwest," said PEMCO Spokesperson Derek Wing. "And while most of our poll respondents believe they meet their own strict requirements to be considered a true local, it'll be interesting to see if attitudes change if we continue to see an influx of new people moving to the region."

While the region has experienced a recent surge in population growth, interestingly just 24 percent call themselves transplants. But the PEMCO poll found one thing that locals and transplants may have in common – most people surveyed said they weren't interested in moving away from the Northwest. Almost two-thirds of respondents (60 percent) say they aren't very likely or not likely at all to leave the region.

"With a healthy economy, easy access to nature, a delectable food scene and so many other great qualities, it's no wonder so many people love calling the Northwest home," Wing said.

For a complete summary of PEMCO's poll results, visit, where you'll find the responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in January 2018.


About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 600 respondents in Washington and 600 in Oregon, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range.

About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance is a true Northwest company providing auto, home, and boat insurance to our neighbors since 1949. Consistently ranked highest in customer satisfaction, people are the heart of our business. They can depend on us to anticipate and support their changing needs. PEMCO is committed to serving organizations that positively impact our local communities. We were started by a Seattle schoolteacher and stay true to our roots by focusing on nonprofits and organizations that support youth, education, and public safety. To learn more, visit

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