By Brandon Sawyer
Oregonians face a harder challenge than most Americans in making ends meet. The cost of living in 2010 for Portland and Eugene compared favorably to other West Coast cities such as Seattle and Los Angeles, but was higher than cities of land-locked Western states such as Denver and Las Vegas. Across the river, Vancouver had a lower cost of living than even Boise and Phoenix. Among components of the index, costs in Vancouver were largely the same as the two Oregon cities, but its housing cost value of 82.3 was significantly below Portland’s at 130.4 and Eugene’s at 131.9. Except for utilities, which measured 87.3 in Portland and 85.5 in Eugene, both cities’ index components — grocery, housing, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services — exceeded the national average of 100. Portland’s costliest components after housing were health care, transportation and grocery at 113.4, 105.8 and 105.8, respectively.