Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Best States to Live in the Northwest

The northwest United States is a place of beauty and ethereal mystery. From the rain drenched forests of Washington State to the old-west rodeo towns of Wyoming, visiting the northwest is a bit like entering a different world. Native Americans inhabited this area long before the present day decedents of today's Americans but their culture and influence remains strong. In a country filled with amazing places to call home, the northwest has some of the best states to live in and remains one of the best places to live in the nation. Come along as we journey through this region and learn more about what makes the northwest such a special corner of the the US.

The Best Northwest State to Live in

Washington State is commonly known as one of the best states to live in the northwest. It is a place of almost unnatural beauty, a world where a Sasquatch could (and might!) feel right at home. Washington’s gorgeous forests are teeming with wildlife, making this state a nature lover’s dream. It is no accident that Stephenie Meyer set her wildly popular Twilight series in these forests - the singular beauty and mystery present here lends itself to the thought that anything could live in this place. Washington has a population of nearly six and a half million and a per capita income exceeding $52,000 a year, ranking it tenth in the nation. Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom and Microsoft call this place home, leading to Washington’s consistent top 10 ranking on the list of “Richest States.” Washington does not have a personal income tax, and its resultant sales tax is one of the lowest in the nation. Washington’s current unemployment rate falls in line with the current national average, but a recent influx of well-paying jobs looks to better than trend in the near future. Washington remains one of the best states to live in this region, if not the entire country. Washington State is also the cheapest state to live in northwest. While bigger cities such as Seattle may not be inexpensive, Washington as a whole falls a full four points below the national cost of living index rate.

Best States to Retire to in the Northwest

Both Oregon and Wyoming rank high on the list of places to retire. Oregon has an abundance of natural beauty as well as outdoor activities which include hunting, fishing and hiking. With an unemployment rate slightly higher than the national average, Oregon may not be the best place to find a job, but it is an excellent place to spend the fabled “Golden Years.” The housing market, while rebounding, still offers houses at rock bottom prices and the entire state has a laid-back feel not found in the hustle and bustle states of the east. Portland and Eugene offer arts, culture and entertainment, while the smaller towns of southern Oregon offer peace and relaxation for retirees. Wyoming, with its stunning vistas and wide open spaces, also provides a wonderful environment for those who desire a quiet place to spend their time.

Honorable Mention: Idaho

An honorable mention in this region must go to Idaho. Home to the Rocky Mountains and Hells Canyon, the deepest natural gorge in the United States, Idaho is small enough to retain its hometown history while still large enough to offer important services and entertainment. Idaho was also a pioneer in the renewable energy movement, which it remains committed to today.

The northwest ranks high among this country’s best places to live. With an improving job market and millions of acres of natural beauty, this is the perfect place to raise a family or begin a new life. The northwest is rich in more ways than one.

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