Fact or folklore: Northwest residents divided on belief in Sasquatch



​​​SEATTLE – Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, there’s no denying that the Northwest is home to folklore that preserves the possibility of 8-foot bipedal creatures roaming our Western forests. According to the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, many residents believe that Sasquatch is more than just a myth – one in three people in Washington and the Portland, Ore., area believe it’s possible the hairy hominids exist.

Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance surveyed Northwest residents about one of their region’s most prolific mysteries and found 33 percent believe it’s possible Sasquatch exists, and about one in 10 say they’ve actually seen one or know someone who has.

Portland-area residents are less convinced, though, than their Washington counterparts. More than half of Portlanders – 55 percent – doubt that the creature exists and 85 percent are certain they’ve never seen one themselves. Still, more than a quarter of those polled in Portland – 28 percent – embrace the possibility that Sasquatch is out there.

To the north, Washington residents continue to believe. PEMCO first asked them about Sasquatch in 2009, and more than one-third maintain their view that Sasquatch is real, while less than half think otherwise.

“People might wonder, ‘Why is an insurance company even bothering with something so silly?’ Is PEMCO pondering Sasquatch-protection coverage? No. Does it matter to our business if they exist? No. Is it a fun and whimsical topic for a survey? Absolutely! Especially here in the quirky Northwest where Sasquatch is part of our culture,” said PEMCO spokesperson Jon Osterberg.

When it comes to Sasquatch encounters, 14 percent of Washingtonians said they or someone they know has seen one, while just 9 percent of Portlanders count themselves as eyewitnesses.

Interestingly, younger people in Washington are more inclined to say they’ve seen a living Sasquatch – 22 percent of Sasquatch spotters are under 35 in Washington. In Portland, 12 percent of those under 35 have seen a Sasquatch or know somebody who has.

“As a local company, we like to celebrate Northwest folklore. Customers tell us they love our “Desperately Seeking Sasquatch” Northwest Profile, and now we know there are a few neighbors out there who relate to him,” said Osterberg.

To learn more about the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll and to view a summary of the results, visit www.pemco.com/poll, where the public is invited to participate in an informal version of the poll and see how their own responses compare with those collected by FBK Research of Seattle in April 2012.

About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll
PEMCO Insurance commissioned this independent survey that asked Washington and Oregon drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 629 respondents in Washington and 400 respondents in the Portland, Ore., metro area, yields an accuracy of +/- 4.0 percent and +/- 5.0 percent respectively 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, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat and umbrella insurance to Northwest residents. PEMCO Insurance is sold by community agents throughout the region and through PEMCO offices. For more information, visit www.pemco.com.