Press Releases

How Pacific Northwest are you? Even transplants identify with NW quirks

March 29, 2022 by PEMCO Insurance
Whether it’s the mountains calling, the coffee or the tech jobs, residents have been flocking to the Pacific Northwest in record numbers. According to a new poll from PEMCO Insurance, it may be because they feel right at home. While the PEMCO poll finds that as many as one in three residents in Seattle and Portland consider themselves a transplant, a vast majority say that they identify with a range of characteristics that are quintessentially

According to the latest poll, about one-third of Northwest residents (31%) say they’re a “transplant” to the region. Overall, three-quarters of Northwest residents say that to be considered a Pacific Northwest local, a person needs to have at least lived in the region for about half of their lifetime.

Regardless of whether people here are newcomers or long-time residents, the poll found that the majority of those currently living in the Northwest boast that their lifestyle closely aligns with stereotypical Northwest characteristics, like wearing casual clothes, spending time in the great outdoors and enjoying the rain. In fact, 83% of Seattle and Portland residents say they at least somewhat associate with the attributes of being a Pacific Northwesterner.

“As a transplant myself, I can say with confidence that there are certain quirks that come with the territory of living in the Northwest – and the great news is that our poll found that people here generally celebrate those PNW characteristics and welcome them with open arms,” said Derek Wing, spokesperson for PEMCO Insurance.  “Personally, I first felt like a Northwesterner when I regularly used the phrase, ‘the mountain’s out’ in Seattle.”

When it comes to which characteristics resonate with most Seattle and Portland metro area residents, the poll found that the most cited Northwest-y attribute is sporting casual, outdoorsy clothing. In Seattle, 78% say if given the choice, they’ll pick a puffy vest and jeans over a suit any day. In Portland, the same findings ring true, as 81% of Portlanders say their wardrobes lean towards casual, outdoor clothing.

Similarly, Northwest residents say that you’ll find them mostly outdoors, despite the rainy weather. The poll found that 66% of Pacific Northwest residents claim they participate in more outdoors activities than indoor ones when compared to their counterparts from other regions in the U.S.

Speaking of rainy weather, the poll also found that rain doesn’t hinder a true Northwesterner from getting outside and they don’t mind it either. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Northwest residents say they enjoy the stereotypical grey Northwest climate and 72% say they aren’t too bothered by the rain itself. And while many other regions of the country may whip out an umbrella when it starts to rain, you won’t find that behavior in the Northwest, as 62% of residents say they rarely or never use an umbrella when the skies open.

Even though there are certainly some characteristics Northwesterners agree are widespread across the region, others depend on the city residents call home. The poll found that when it comes to being friendly to newcomers, the Seattle Freeze may be a real thing. In Seattle, about two-thirds of residents (63%) agree at least somewhat that giving newcomers the cold shoulder is a typical Northwest trait.

In Portland, where the slogan, “keep Portland weird” can be seen on signs, building walls and tossed around casually by residents, the majority say that weirdness is welcomed. In fact, 82% of Portlanders say that being “weird” is at least somewhat of a typical Northwest trait, lending credibility to the common phrase.

For a complete summary of PEMCO’s proprietary poll results visit, where you’ll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in February 2022.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Mutual 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, 481 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 399 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% 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 Mutual Insurance

PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. We are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener environments; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more.

Share on social media

Comments on this post