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Oregon () is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, United States * '' Our ...
in the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (sometimes Cascadia, or simply abbreviated as PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though ...
region of the
Western United States The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. As American settlement in the U.S. expanded westward, the meaning of the term ''the Wes ...
. The
Columbia River The Columbia River ( Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia ...
delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the
Snake River The Snake River is a major river of the greater Pacific Northwest region in the United States. At long, it is the largest tributary of the Columbia River, in turn, the largest North American river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. The Snake ...
delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The 42° north parallel delineates the southern boundary with
California California is a state in the Western United States, located along the Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the most populous U.S. state and the 3rd largest by area. It is also the m ...
and
Nevada Nevada ( ; ) is a state in the Western region of the United States. It is bordered by Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast, and Utah to the east. Nevada is the 7th-most extensive, ...
. Oregon has been home to many indigenous nations for thousands of years. The first European traders, explorers, and settlers began exploring what is now Oregon's Pacific coast in the early-mid 16th century. As early as 1564, the Spanish began sending vessels northeast from the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
, riding the Kuroshio Current in a sweeping circular route across the northern part of the Pacific. In 1592, Juan de Fuca undertook detailed mapping and studies of ocean currents in the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon coast as well as the
strait A strait is an oceanic landform connecting two seas or two other large areas of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Most commonly, it is a narrow ocean chann ...
now bearing his name. Spanish ships – 250 in as many years – would typically not land before reaching Cape Mendocino in California, but some landed or wrecked in what is now Oregon. Nehalem tales recount strangers and the discovery of items like chunks of
beeswax Beeswax (''cera alba'') is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus ''Apis''. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive worke ...
and a lidded silver vase, likely connected to the 1707 wreck of the ''San Francisco Xavier''. In 1843, an autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country, and the
Oregon Territory The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. ...
was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state of the U.S. on February 14, 1859. Today, with 4 million people over , Oregon is the ninth largest and 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second-most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The
Portland metropolitan area The Portland metropolitan area is a metro area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered on the principal city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identifies it as the Portland–Vancouver–Hillsbor ...
, which also includes the city of
Vancouver, Washington Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, located in Clark County. Incorporated in 1857, Vancouver has a population of 190,915 as of the 2020 census, making it the fourth-largest city in Wa ...
, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168. Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the U.S., marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid
shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity. It m ...
s. At ,
Mount Hood Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about east-southeast of Port ...
, a
stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava and tephra. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile with a summit crater and per ...
, is the state's highest point. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the
caldera A caldera ( ) is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms shortly after the emptying of a magma chamber in a volcano eruption. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the rock above the magma chamber is ...
surrounding
Crater Lake Crater Lake ( Klamath: ''Giiwas'') is a volcanic crater lake in south-central Oregon in the western United States. It is the main feature of Crater Lake National Park and is famous for its deep blue color and water clarity. The lake partly fil ...
, the deepest lake in the United States. The state is also home to the single largest organism in the world, '' Armillaria ostoyae'', a fungus that runs beneath of the Malheur National Forest. Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and
hydroelectric Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity generated from hydropower (water power). Hydropower supplies one sixth of the world's electricity, almost 4500 TWh in 2020, which is more than all other renewable sources combined an ...
power. Oregon is also the top
lumber Lumber is wood that has been processed into dimensional lumber, including Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks or boards, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as fini ...
producer of the contiguous United States, with the lumber industry dominating the state's economy during the 20th century. Technology is another one of Oregon's major economic forces, beginning in the 1970s with the establishment of the Silicon Forest and the expansion of Tektronix and
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is one of the developers of the x86 serie ...
. Sportswear company Nike, Inc., headquartered in Beaverton, is the state's largest public corporation with an annual revenue of $30.6 billion.


Etymology

The origin of the state's name is a mystery. The earliest evidence of the name ''Oregon'' has Spanish origins. The term "orejón" (meaning "big ear") comes from the historical chronicle ''Relación de la Alta y Baja California'' (1598), written by Rodrigo Montezuma of
New Spain New Spain, officially the Viceroyalty of New Spain ( es, Virreinato de Nueva España, ), or Kingdom of New Spain, was an integral territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, established by Habsburg Spain during the Spanish colonization of the Amer ...
; it made reference to the
Columbia River The Columbia River ( Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia ...
when the Spanish explorers penetrated into the North American territory that became part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This chronicle is the first topographical and linguistic source with respect to the place name ''Oregon''. Another possible source is the Spanish word ''
oregano Oregano (, ; ''Origanum vulgare'') is a species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. It was native to the Mediterranean region, but widely naturalised elsewhere in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Oregano is a woody perennial p ...
'', which refers to a plant that grows in the southern part of the region. It is also possible that the American territory was named by the Spaniards, as there is a stream in
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = '' Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , ...
called the "Arroyo del Oregón" (which is located in the province of Ciudad Real), or that the "j" in the Spanish phrase "El Orejón" was later corrupted into a "g", and in context might refer to the 'earful' of the massive Columbia River at its mouth. Another early use of the name, spelled ''Ouragon'', was by Major Robert Rogers in a 1765 petition to the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain (officially Great Britain) was a sovereign country in Western Europe from 1 May 1707 to the end of 31 December 1800. The state was created by the 1706 Treaty of Union and ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, whi ...
. The term referred to the then-mythical River of the West (the Columbia River). By 1778, the spelling had shifted to ''Oregon''. Rogers wrote:
...from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon...
One theory is that the name comes from the French word ''ouragan'' ("windstorm" or "hurricane"), which was applied to the River of the West based on Native American tales of powerful
Chinook wind Chinook winds, or simply Chinooks, are two types of prevailing warm, generally westerly winds in western North America: Coastal Chinooks and interior Chinooks. The coastal Chinooks are persistent seasonal, wet, southwesterly winds blowing in from ...
s on the lower Columbia River, or perhaps from first-hand French experience with the Chinook winds of the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland in North America. It is located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, much of it covered in prairie, steppe, ...
. At the time, the River of the West was thought to rise in western Minnesota and flow west through the Great Plains.
Joaquin Miller Cincinnatus Heine Miller (; September 8, 1837 – February 17, 1913), better known by his pen name Joaquin Miller (), was an American poet, author, and frontiersman. He is nicknamed the "Poet of the Sierras" after the Sierra Nevada, about which h ...
wrote in ''Sunset'' magazine in 1904:
The name, Oregon, is rounded down phonetically, from ''Ouve água''—Oragua, Or-a-gon, Oregon—given probably by the same Portuguese navigator that named the Farallones after his first officer, and it literally, in a large way, means cascades: "Hear the waters." You should steam up the Columbia and hear and feel the waters falling out of the clouds of Mount Hood to understand entirely the full meaning of the name ''Ouve a água'', Oregon.
Another account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book ''
Oregon Geographic Names ''Oregon Geographic Names'' is a compilation of the origin and meaning of place names in the U.S. state of Oregon, published by the Oregon Historical Society. The book was originally published in 1928. It was compiled and edited by Lewis A. McAr ...
'', was advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in '' American Speech''. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 18th century, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the ''-sint'' below, so there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon". According to the Oregon Tourism Commission, present-day Oregonians pronounce the state's name as "or-uh-gun, never or-ee-gone". After being drafted by the
Detroit Lions The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the National Football Conference (NFC) North Division. The team play their home games at Ford ...
in 2002, former Oregon Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington distributed "Orygun" stickers to members of the media as a reminder of how to pronounce the name of his home state. The stickers are sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore.


History

Humans have inhabited the area that is now Oregon for at least 15,000 years. In recorded history, mentions of the land date to as early as the 16th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European powers—and later the United States—quarreled over possession of the region until 1846, when the U.S. and Great Britain finalized division of the region. Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859, and has more than four million residents.


Earliest inhabitants

While there is considerable evidence that Paleo-Indians inhabited the region, the oldest evidence of habitation in Oregon was found at
Fort Rock Cave Fort Rock Cave was the site of the earliest evidence of human habitation in the US state of Oregon before the excavation of Paisley Caves. Fort Rock Cave featured numerous well-preserved sagebrush sandals, ranging from 9,000 to 13,000 years old ...
and the
Paisley Caves The Paisley Caves or the Paisley Five Mile Point Caves complex is a system of eight caves in an arid, desolate region of south-central Oregon, United States north of the present-day city of Paisley, Oregon. The caves are located in the Summer Lak ...
in Lake County. Archaeologist Luther Cressman dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago, and there is evidence supporting inhabitants in the region at least 15,000 years ago. By 8000 BC there were settlements throughout the state, with populations concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries. During the
prehistoric period Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the beginning of recorded history with the invention of writing systems. The use of ...
, the Willamette Valley region was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from then Lake Missoula, located in what would later become
Montana Montana () is a state in the Mountain West division of the Western United States. It is bordered by Idaho to the west, North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, Wyoming to the south, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Colu ...
. These massive floods occurred during the last glacial period and filled the valley with of water. By the 16th century, Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Chinook, Coquille ( Ko-Kwell), Bannock,
Chasta The Shastan peoples are a group of linguistically related indigenous peoples from the Klamath Mountains. They traditionally inhabited portions of several regional waterways, including the Klamath, Salmon, Sacramento and McCloud rivers. Shastan ...
, Kalapuya, Klamath, Klickitat, Molalla, Nez Perce,
Takelma The Takelma (also Dagelma) are a Native American people who originally lived in the Rogue Valley of interior southwestern Oregon. Most of their villages were sited along the Rogue River. The name ''Takelma'' means "(Those) Along the River". His ...
, Killamuk, Neah-kah-nie, Umatilla, and Umpqua.


European and pioneer settlement

The first Europeans to visit Oregon were Spanish explorers led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who sighted southern Oregon off the Pacific coast in 1543. Sailing from Central America on the ''
Golden Hind ''Golden Hind'' was a galleon captained by Francis Drake in his circumnavigation of the world between 1577 and 1580. She was originally known as ''Pelican,'' but Drake renamed her mid-voyage in 1578, in honour of his patron, Sir Christopher Ha ...
'' in 1579 in search of the Strait of Anian during his circumnavigation of the Earth, the English explorer and privateer Sir
Francis Drake Sir Francis Drake ( – 28 January 1596) was an English explorer, sea captain, privateer, slave trader, naval officer, and politician. Drake is best known for his circumnavigation of the world in a single expedition, from 1577 to 1580 ( ...
briefly anchored at South Cove, Cape Arago, just south of
Coos Bay Coos Bay is an estuary where the Coos River enters the Pacific Ocean, the estuary is approximately 12 miles long and up to two miles wide. It is the largest estuary completely within Oregon state lines. The Coos Bay watershed covers an area of abo ...
, before sailing for what is now California. Martín de Aguilar, continuing separately from Sebastián Vizcaíno's scouting of California, reached as far north as Cape Blanco and possibly to Coos Bay in 1603. Exploration continued routinely in 1774, starting with the expedition of the frigate ''Santiago'' by
Juan José Pérez Hernández Juan José Pérez Hernández (born Joan Perés c. 1725 – November 3, 1775), often simply Juan Pérez, was an 18th-century Spanish explorer. He was the first known European to sight, examine, name, and record the islands near present-day Br ...
, and the coast of Oregon became a valuable trade route to Asia. In 1778, British captain
James Cook James Cook (7 November 1728 Old Style date: 27 October – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy, famous for his three voyages between 1768 and 1779 in the Pacific Ocean and ...
also explored the coast.
French Canadians French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ), or Franco-Canadians (french: Franco-Canadiens), refers to either an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to Fre ...
, Scots,
Métis The Métis ( ; Canadian ) are Indigenous peoples who inhabit Canada's three Prairie Provinces, as well as parts of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and the Northern United States. They have a shared history and culture which derives ...
and other continental natives (e.g.
Iroquois The Iroquois ( or ), officially the Haudenosaunee ( meaning "people of the longhouse"), are an Iroquoian-speaking confederacy of First Nations peoples in northeast North America/ Turtle Island. They were known during the colonial years to ...
) trappers arrived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, soon to be followed by Catholic clergy. Some traveled as members of the Lewis and Clark and 1811 Astor expedition. Few stayed permanently such as Étienne Lussier, often referred to as the first "European" farmer in the state of Oregon. Evidence of the French Canadian presence can be found in numerous names of French origin such as Malheur Lake, Malheur River, Grande Ronde, Deschutes rivers and the city of La Grande. Furthermore, many of the early pioneers first came out West with the North West Company and the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada. The company's namesake business div ...
before heading South of the Columbia for better farmland as the fur trade declined.
French Prairie French Prairie is located in Marion County, Oregon, United States, in the Willamette Valley between the Willamette River and the Pudding River, north of Salem. It was named for some of the earliest settlers of that part of the Oregon Country, ...
by the
Willamette River The Willamette River ( ) is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States. Flowing northward ...
and French Settlement by the
Umpqua River The Umpqua River ( ) on the Pacific coast of Oregon in the United States is approximately long. One of the principal rivers of the Oregon Coast and known for bass and shad, the river drains an expansive network of valleys in the mountains west ...
are known as early mixed ancestry settlements. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through northern Oregon also in search of the
Northwest Passage The Northwest Passage (NWP) is the Sea lane, sea route between the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archi ...
. They built their winter fort in 1805–06 at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River, staying at the encampment from December until March. British explorer David Thompson also conducted overland exploration. In 1811, while working for the North West Company, Thompson became the first European to navigate the entire Columbia River. Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake River, he posted a claim to the region for
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world. It is d ...
and the North West Company. Upon returning to
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada and most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as '' Ville-Marie'', or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple- ...
, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area. Also in 1811, New Yorker
John Jacob Astor John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob Astor; July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) was a German-American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul, and investor who made his fortune mainly in a fur trade monopoly, by smuggling opium into China, and ...
financed the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his
Pacific Fur Company The Pacific Fur Company (PFC) was an American fur trade venture wholly owned and funded by John Jacob Astor that functioned from 1810 to 1813. It was based in the Pacific Northwest, an area contested over the decades between the United Kingdom of ...
; this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon. In the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States of America and its indigenous allies against the United Kingdom and its allies in British North America, with limited participation by Spain in Florida. It beg ...
, the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
gained control of all Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. By the 1820s and 1830s, the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada. The company's namesake business div ...
dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built-in 1825 by the district's chief factor, John McLoughlin, across the Columbia from present-day Portland). In 1841, the expert trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died leaving considerable wealth and no apparent heir, and no system to
probate Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the sta ...
his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral, at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected supreme judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg, (halfway between Lee's mission and Oregon City), to discuss
wolves The wolf (''Canis lupus''; : wolves), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. More than thirty subspecies of ''Canis lupus'' have been recognized, and gray wolves, as popularly u ...
and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an
executive committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to a deliberative assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more ...
made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before annexation by the government of the United States. It was succeeded by a Second Executive Committee, made up of Peter G. Stewart, Osborne Russell, and William J. Bailey, and this committee was itself succeeded by George Abernethy, who was the first and only Governor of Oregon under the provisional government. Also in 1841, Sir George Simpson, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, reversed the Hudson's Bay Company's long-standing policy of discouraging settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. He directed that some 200 Red River Colony settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclair expedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District. Starting in 1842–43, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to the Oregon Country. Oregon's boundaries were disputed for a time, contributing to tensions between the U.K. and the U.S., but the border was defined peacefully in the 1846
Oregon Treaty The Oregon Treaty is a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United States that was signed on June 15, 1846, in Washington, D.C. The treaty brought an end to the Oregon boundary dispute by settling competing American and British claims to ...
. The border between the United States and
British North America British North America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire in North America from 1783 onwards. English colonisation of North America began in the 16th century in Newfoundland, then further south at Roanoke and Jamestown, ...
was set at the 49th parallel. The
Oregon Territory The Territory of Oregon was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from August 14, 1848, until February 14, 1859, when the southwestern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Oregon. ...
was officially organized on August 13, 1848. Settlement increased with the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon.


Statehood

In December 1844, Oregon passed its Black Exclusion Law, which prohibited African Americans from entering the territory while simultaneously prohibiting
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave—someone forbidden to quit one's service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as property. Slavery typically involves slaves being made to perf ...
. Slave owners who brought their slaves with them were given three years before they were forced to free them. Any African Americans in the region after the law was passed were forced to leave, and those who did not comply were arrested and beaten. They received no less than twenty and no more than thirty-nine stripes across the back if they still did not leave. This process could be repeated every six months. Slavery played a major part in Oregon's history and even influenced its path to statehood. The territory's request for
statehood A state is a centralized political organization that imposes and enforces rules over a population within a territory. There is no undisputed definition of a state. One widely used definition comes from the German sociologist Max Weber: a "stat ...
was delayed several times, as members of Congress argued among themselves whether the territory should be admitted as a "free" or "slave" state. Eventually politicians from the South agreed to allow Oregon to enter as a "free" state, in exchange for opening slavery to the southwest United States. Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859, though no one in Oregon knew it until March 15. Founded as a refuge from disputes over slavery, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its original state Constitution. At the outbreak of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union ("the North") and the Confederacy ("the South"), the latter formed by states ...
, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east to aid the Union. Volunteer cavalry recruited in California were sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865.


Post-Reconstruction

Beginning in the 1880s, the growth of railroads expanded the state's
lumber Lumber is wood that has been processed into dimensional lumber, including Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks or boards, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as fini ...
,
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain that is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum'' ; the most widely grown is common wheat (''T. aestivum''). The archaeologi ...
, and other agricultural markets, and the rapid growth of its cities. Due to the abundance of timber and waterway access via the
Willamette River The Willamette River ( ) is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States. Flowing northward ...
, Portland became a major force in the lumber industry of the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (sometimes Cascadia, or simply abbreviated as PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though ...
, and quickly became the state's largest city. It would earn the nickname "Stumptown", and would later become recognized as one of the most dangerous port cities in the United States due to racketeering and illegal activities at the turn of the 20th century. In 1902, Oregon introduced direct legislation by the state's citizens through initiatives and
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative. This may result in the adoption of ...
s, known as the Oregon System. On May 5, 1945, six civilians were killed by a Japanese balloon bomb that exploded on Gearhart Mountain near Bly. They remained the only people on American soil whose deaths were attributed to an enemy balloon bomb explosion during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing ...
. The bombing site is now located in the Mitchell Recreation Area. Industrial expansion began in earnest following the 1933–37 construction of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
Hydroelectric power Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity generated from hydropower (water power). Hydropower supplies one sixth of the world's electricity, almost 4500 TWh in 2020, which is more than all other renewable sources combined an ...
, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the U.S. building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions. Portland, in particular, experienced a population boom between 1900 and 1930, tripling in size; the arrival of World War II also provided the northwest region of the state with an industrial boom, where
Liberty ship Liberty ships were a class of cargo ship built in the United States during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program. Though British in concept, the design was adopted by the United States for its simple, low-cost construction. Ma ...
s and aircraft carriers were constructed. During the 1970s, the Pacific Northwest was particularly affected by the
1973 oil crisis The 1973 oil crisis or first oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations that had su ...
, with Oregon suffering a substantial shortage. In 1972, The Oregon Beverage Container Act of 1971, popularly called the Bottle Bill, became the first law of its kind in the United States. The Bottle Bill system in Oregon was created to control litter. In practice, the system promotes recycling, not reusing, and the collected containers are generally destroyed and made into new containers. Ten states currently have similar laws. In 1994, Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize physician-assisted suicide through the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. A measure to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon was approved on November 4, 2014, making Oregon only the second state at the time to have legalized gay marriage, physician-assisted suicide, and recreational marijuana.


Geography

Oregon is north to south at longest distance, and east to west. With an area of , Oregon is slightly larger than the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and ...
. It is the ninth largest state in the United States. Oregon's highest point is the summit of
Mount Hood Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about east-southeast of Port ...
, at , and its lowest point is the sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast. Oregon's mean elevation is . Crater Lake National Park, the state's only national park, is the site of the deepest lake in the United States at . Oregon claims the D River as the shortest river in the world, though the state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River. Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland), the smallest park in the world at . Oregon is split into eight geographical regions. In Western Oregon: Oregon Coast (west of the Coast Range), the
Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley ( ) is a long valley in Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The Willamette River flows the entire length of the valley and is surrounded by mountains on three sides: the Cascade Range to the east ...
, Rogue Valley,
Cascade Range The Cascade Range or Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, ...
and Klamath Mountains; and in Central and Eastern Oregon: the
Columbia Plateau The Columbia Plateau is a geologic and geographic region that lies across parts of the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. It is a wide flood basalt plateau between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains, cut through by the C ...
, the High Desert, and the Blue Mountains. Oregon lies in two
time zone A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it ...
s. Most of Malheur County is in the
Mountain Time Zone The Mountain Time Zone of North America keeps time by subtracting seven hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when standard time ( UTC−07:00) is in effect, and by subtracting six hours during daylight saving time ( UTC−06:00). The cl ...
, while the rest of the state lies in the
Pacific Time Zone The Pacific Time Zone (PT) is a time zone encompassing parts of western Canada, the western United States, and western Mexico. Places in this zone observe standard time by subtracting eight hours from Coordinated Universal Time ( UTC−08:00). ...
.


Geology and terrain

Western Oregon's mountainous regions, home to three of the most prominent mountain peaks of the United States including
Mount Hood Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about east-southeast of Port ...
, were formed by the volcanic activity of the Juan de Fuca Plate, a
tectonic plate Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin, tectonicus, from the grc, τεκτονικός, lit=pertaining to building) is the generally accepted scientific theory that considers the Earth's lithosphere to comprise a number of large te ...
that poses a continued threat of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the region. The most recent major activity was the
1700 Cascadia earthquake The 1700 Cascadia earthquake occurred along the Cascadia subduction zone on January 26, 1700, with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.7–9.2. The megathrust earthquake involved the Juan de Fuca Plate from mid-Vancouver Island, south along the ...
. Washington's Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, an event visible from northern Oregon and affecting some areas there. The Columbia River, which forms much of Oregon's northern border, also played a major role in the region's geological evolution, as well as its economic and cultural development. The Columbia is one of North America's largest rivers, and one of two rivers to cut through the Cascades (the Klamath River in southern Oregon is the other). About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded much of Oregon during the Missoula Floods; the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley is largely the result. Plentiful
salmon Salmon () is the common name for several commercially important species of euryhaline ray-finned fish from the family Salmonidae, which are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic (genus ''Salmo'') and North Pacific (genus ''Oncorhynchus ...
made parts of the river, such as
Celilo Falls Celilo Falls (Wyam, meaning "echo of falling water" or "sound of water upon the rocks," in several native languages) was a tribal fishing area on the Columbia River, just east of the Cascade Mountains, on what is today the border between the U. ...
, hubs of economic activity for thousands of years. Today, Oregon's landscape varies from rain forest in the Coast Range to barren desert in the southeast, which still meets the technical definition of a frontier. Oregon's
geographical center In geography, the centroid of the two-dimensional shape of a region of the Earth's surface (projected radially to sea level or onto a geoid surface) is known as its geographic centre or geographical centre or (less commonly) gravitational centre. I ...
is further west than any of the other 48 contiguous states (although the westernmost point of the lower 48 states is in Washington). Central Oregon's geographical features range from high desert and volcanic rock formations resulting from lava beds. The Oregon Badlands Wilderness is in this region of the state.


Flora and fauna

Typical of a western state, Oregon is home to a unique and diverse array of wildlife. Roughly 60 percent of the state is covered in forest, while the areas west of the Cascades are more densely populated by forest, making up around 80 percent of the landscape. Some 60 percent of Oregon's forests are within federal land. Oregon is the top timber producer of the lower 48 states. * Typical tree species include the
Douglas fir The Douglas fir (''Pseudotsuga menziesii'') is an evergreen conifer species in the pine family, Pinaceae. It is native to western North America and is also known as Douglas-fir, Douglas spruce, Oregon pine, and Columbian pine. There are three ...
(the state tree), as well as redwood,
ponderosa pine ''Pinus ponderosa'', commonly known as the ponderosa pine, bull pine, blackjack pine, western yellow-pine, or filipinus pine is a very large pine tree species of variable habitat native to mountainous regions of western North America. It is the ...
, western red cedar, and
hemlock Hemlock may refer to: Plants *''Conium maculatum'', a poisonous herbaceous plant **more broadly, other species in the genus ''Conium''; not to be confused with the related water hemlock and hemlock water-dropwort *''Tsuga'', a genus of conifer ...
. Ponderosa pine are more common in the Blue Mountains in the eastern part of the state and firs are more common in the west. * Many species of mammals live in the state, which include opossums, shrews, moles, little pocket mice, great basin pocket mice, dark kangaroo mouse, California kangaroo rat, chisel-toothed kangaroo rat, ord's kangaroo rat, bats, rabbits, pikas, mountain beavers,
chipmunk Chipmunks are small, striped rodents of the family Sciuridae. Chipmunks are found in North America, with the exception of the Siberian chipmunk which is found primarily in Asia. Taxonomy and systematics Chipmunks may be classified either as a ...
s, squirrels, yellow-bellied marmots, beavers (the state mammal),
porcupine Porcupines are large rodents with coats of sharp spines, or quills, that protect them against predation. The term covers two families of animals: the Old World porcupines of family Hystricidae, and the New World porcupines of family, Erethizont ...
s,
coyote The coyote (''Canis latrans'') is a species of canine native to North America. It is smaller than its close relative, the wolf, and slightly smaller than the closely related eastern wolf and red wolf. It fills much of the same ecological nich ...
s,
wolves The wolf (''Canis lupus''; : wolves), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. More than thirty subspecies of ''Canis lupus'' have been recognized, and gray wolves, as popularly u ...
, foxes black bears, raccoons, badgers, skunks,
antelopes The term antelope is used to refer to many species of even-toed ruminant that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelope comprise a wastebasket taxon defined as any of numerous Old World grazing and browsing hoofed mammal ...
,
cougar The cougar (''Puma concolor'') is a large cat native to the Americas. Its range spans from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes in South America and is the most widespread of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. ...
s,
bobcat The bobcat (''Lynx rufus''), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America. It ranges from southern Canada through most of the contiguous United States to Oaxaca in Mexico. It is listed as Least Concern on the IU ...
s,
lynx A lynx is a type of wild cat. Lynx may also refer to: Astronomy * Lynx (constellation) * Lynx (Chinese astronomy) * Lynx X-ray Observatory, a NASA-funded mission concept for a next-generation X-ray space observatory Places Canada * Lynx, On ...
es, deer, elk, and moose. * Marine mammals include seals,
sea lion Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear flaps, long foreflippers, the ability to walk on all fours, short and thick hair, and a big chest and belly. Together with the fur seals, they make up the family Otariidae, eared seals ...
s,
humpback whale The humpback whale (''Megaptera novaeangliae'') is a species of baleen whale. It is a rorqual (a member of the family Balaenopteridae) and is the only species in the genus ''Megaptera''. Adults range in length from and weigh up to . The hump ...
s, killer whales,
gray whale The gray whale (''Eschrichtius robustus''), also known as the grey whale,Britannica Micro.: v. IV, p. 693. gray back whale, Pacific gray whale, Korean gray whale, or California gray whale, is a baleen whale that migrates between feeding and bree ...
s,
blue whale The blue whale (''Balaenoptera musculus'') is a marine mammal and a baleen whale. Reaching a maximum confirmed length of and weighing up to , it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. The blue whale's long and slender body can b ...
s,
sperm whale The sperm whale or cachalot (''Physeter macrocephalus'') is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of the genus '' Physeter'' and one of three extant species in the sperm whale fam ...
s, pacific white-sided
dolphin A dolphin is an aquatic mammal within the infraorder Cetacea. Dolphin species belong to the families Delphinidae (the oceanic dolphins), Platanistidae (the Indian river dolphins), Iniidae (the New World river dolphins), Pontoporiidae (the ...
s, and
bottlenose dolphin Bottlenose dolphins are aquatic mammals in the genus ''Tursiops.'' They are common, cosmopolitan members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Molecular studies show the genus definitively contains two species: the commo ...
s. * Notable birds include American widgeons,
mallard duck The mallard () or wild duck (''Anas platyrhynchos'') is a dabbling duck that breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Eurasia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argen ...
s, great blue herons,
bald eagle The bald eagle (''Haliaeetus leucocephalus'') is a bird of prey found in North America. A sea eagle, it has two known subspecies and forms a species pair with the white-tailed eagle (''Haliaeetus albicilla''), which occupies the same niche a ...
s,
golden eagle The golden eagle (''Aquila chrysaetos'') is a bird of prey living in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most widely distributed species of eagle. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. They are one of the best-known birds o ...
s, western meadowlarks (the state bird), barn owls,
great horned owl The great horned owl (''Bubo virginianus''), also known as the tiger owl (originally derived from early naturalists' description as the "winged tiger" or "tiger of the air"), or the hoot owl, is a large owl native to the Americas. It is an extre ...
s, rufous hummingbirds, pileated woodpeckers, wrens, towhees, sparrows, and buntings.
Moose The moose (in North America) or elk (in Eurasia) (''Alces alces'') is a member of the New World deer subfamily and is the only species in the genus ''Alces''. It is the largest and heaviest extant species in the deer family. Most adult ma ...
have not always inhabited the state but came to Oregon in the 1960s; the Wallowa Valley herd numbered about 60 . Gray wolves were extirpated from Oregon around 1930 but have since found their way back; most reside in northeast Oregon, with two packs living in the south-central part. Although their existence in Oregon is unconfirmed, reports of
grizzly bear The grizzly bear (''Ursus arctos horribilis''), also known as the North American brown bear or simply grizzly, is a population or subspecies of the brown bear inhabiting North America. In addition to the mainland grizzly (''Ursus arctos horr ...
s still turn up, and it is probable some still move into eastern Oregon from Idaho. Oregon is home to what is considered the largest single organism in the world, an '' Armillaria solidipes''
fungus A fungus ( : fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and molds, as well as the more familiar mushrooms. These organisms are classified as a kingdom, separately fro ...
beneath the Malheur National Forest of eastern Oregon. Oregon has several National Park System sites, including Crater Lake National Park in the southern part of the Cascades, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument east of the Cascades, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park on the north coast, and Oregon Caves National Monument near the south coast.


Climate

Most of Oregon has a generally mild climate, though there is significant variation given the variety of landscapes across the state. The state's western region (west of the
Cascade Range The Cascade Range or Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, ...
) has an
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring cool summers and mild winters ...
, populated by dense
evergreen In botany, an evergreen is a plant which has foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season. This also pertains to plants that retain their foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, whi ...
mixed forests. Western Oregon's climate is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean; the western third of Oregon is very wet in the winter, moderately to very wet during the spring and fall, and dry during the summer. The
relative humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapor present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation, dew, or fog to be present. Humidity depe ...
of Western Oregon is high except during summer days, which are semi-dry to semi-humid; Eastern Oregon typically sees low humidity year-round. The state's southwestern portion, particularly the Rogue Valley, has a
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate (also called a dry summer temperate climate ''Cs'') is a temperate climate sub-type, generally characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, fairly wet winters; these weather conditions are typically experienced in the ...
with drier and sunnier winters and hotter summers, similar to
Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, its main population centers incl ...
. Oregon's northeastern portion has a steppe climate, and its high terrain regions have a
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate with long, cold (often very cold) winters, and short, warm to cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, ge ...
. Like
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest in general, is considered warm for its latitude, and the state has far milder winters at a given elevation than comparable latitudes elsewhere in North America, such as the
Upper Midwest The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the Midwest. Although the exact boundaries are not uniformly agreed-upon, the region is defined as referri ...
,
Ontario Ontario ( ; ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.Ontario is located in the geographic eastern half of Canada, but it has historically and politically been considered to be part of Central Canada. Located in Central Cana ...
,
Quebec Quebec ( ; )According to the Canadian government, ''Québec'' (with the acute accent) is the official name in Canadian French and ''Quebec'' (without the accent) is the province's official name in Canadian English is one of the thirteen p ...
and
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. It is bordered by the state of New York (state), New York to the west and by the Can ...
. However, the state ranks fifth for coolest summer temperatures of any state in the country, after Maine, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska. The eastern two thirds of Oregon, which largely comprise high
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
, have cold, snowy winters and very dry summers. Much of the east is semiarid to arid like the rest of the
Great Basin The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds, those with no outlets, in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and Baja California. It is noted fo ...
, though the Blue Mountains are wet enough to support extensive forests. Most of Oregon receives significant snowfall, but the Willamette Valley, where 60 percent of the population lives, has considerably milder winters for its latitude and typically sees only light snowfall. Oregon's highest recorded temperature is at Pendleton on August 10, 1898, and the lowest recorded temperature is at Seneca on February 10, 1933.


Cities and towns

Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene in the south (home of the
University of Oregon The University of Oregon (UO, U of O or Oregon) is a public research university in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1876, the institution is well known for its strong ties to the sports apparel and marketing firm Nike, Inc, and its co-founder, bill ...
) through Corvallis (home of
Oregon State University Oregon State University (OSU) is a public land-grant, research university in Corvallis, Oregon. OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doctoral degrees. It has the 10th largest engineering co ...
) and Salem (the capital) to Portland (Oregon's largest city). Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of the Rockies in what is now the United States. Oregon City, at the end of the Oregon Trail, was the Oregon Territory's first incorporated city, and was its first capital from 1848 until 1852, when the capital was moved to Salem. Bend, near the geographic center of the state, is one of the ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. In southern Oregon, Medford is a rapidly growing metro area and is home to the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, the state's third-busiest airport. To the south, near the California border, is the city of Ashland. Eastern Oregon is sparsely populated, but is home to Hermiston, which with a population of 18,000 is the largest and fastest-growing city in the region.


Demographics


Population

The 2020 U.S. census determined that the population of Oregon was 4,237,256 in 2020, a 10.71% increase over the 2010 census. Oregon was the nation's "Top Moving Destination" in 2014, with two families moving into the state for every one moving out (66.4% to 33.6%). Oregon was also the top moving destination in 2013, and the second-most popular destination in 2010 through 2012. As of the 2010 census, the population of Oregon was 3,831,074. The gender makeup of the state was 49.5% male and 50.5% female. 22.6% of the population were under the age of 18; 63.5% were between the ages of 18 and 64; and 12.5% were 65 years of age or older. According to the 2020 census, 13.9% of Oregon's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race) and 71.7% Non-Hispanic White, 2.0%
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an Race and ethnicity in the United States, ethnic group consisting of Americans with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa. The term "African American ...
, 1.5% Native American, 4.6% Asian, 1.5%
Pacific Islander Pacific Islanders, Pasifika, Pasefika, or rarely Pacificers are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. As an ethnic/ racial term, it is used to describe the original peoples—inhabitants and diasporas—of any of the three major subregions of Oc ...
, 10.5% one or more races. According to the 2016
American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS) is a demographics survey program conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. It regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census, such as ancestry, citizenship, educati ...
, 12.4% of Oregon's population were of Hispanic or Latino origin (of any race): Mexican (10.4%), Puerto Rican (0.3%), Cuban (0.1%), and other Hispanic or Latino origin (1.5%). The five largest ancestry groups for White Oregonians were: German (19.1%),
Irish Irish may refer to: Common meanings * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ***Éire, Irish language name for the isle ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit ...
(11.7%),
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national i ...
(11.3%),
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the "United States" or "America" ** Americans, citizens and nationals of the United States of America ** American ancestry, p ...
(5.3%), and Norwegian (3.8%). The state's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic White, has declined from 95.8% in 1970 to 77.8% in 2012. This decreased further to 71.7% in the 2020 census. , 38.7% of Oregon's children under one year of age belonged to minority groups, meaning they had at least one parent who was not a non-Hispanic White. Of the state's total population, 22.6% was under the age 18, and 77.4% were 18 or older. The
center of population In demographics, the center of population (or population center) of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population. There are several ways of defining such a "center point", leading to different geogr ...
of Oregon is located in Linn County, in the city of
Lyons Lyon,, ; Occitan: ''Lion'', hist. ''Lionés'' also spelled in English as Lyons, is the third-largest city and second-largest metropolitan area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, to the northwest of th ...
. Around 60% of Oregon's population resides within the
Portland metropolitan area The Portland metropolitan area is a metro area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington centered on the principal city of Portland, Oregon. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identifies it as the Portland–Vancouver–Hillsbor ...
. , Oregon's population comprised 361,393 foreign-born residents. Of the foreign-born residents, the three largest groups are originally from countries in: Latin America (47.8%), Asia (27.4%), and Europe (16.5%). The Roma first reached Oregon in the 1890s. There is a substantial Roma population in Willamette Valley and around Portland.


Religious and secular communities

Oregon has frequently been cited by statistical agencies for having a smaller percentage of religious communities than other U.S. states. According to a 2009 Gallup poll, Oregon was paired with
Vermont Vermont () is a U.S. state, state in the northeast New England region of the United States. Vermont is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York (state), New York to the west, and the Provin ...
as the two "least religious" states in the United States. In the same 2009 Gallup poll, 69% of Oregonians identified themselves as being Christian. The largest Christian denominations in Oregon by number of adherents in 2010 were the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
with 398,738;
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Christian church that considers itself to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The ch ...
with 147,965; and the Assemblies of God with 45,492. Oregon also contains the largest community of Russian
Old Believers Old Believers or Old Ritualists, ''starovery'' or ''staroobryadtsy'' are Eastern Orthodox Christians who maintain the liturgical and ritual practices of the Russian Orthodox Church as they were before the reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow be ...
to be found in the United States. Judaism is the largest non-Christian religion in Oregon with more than 50,000 adherents, 47,000 of whom live in the Portland area. Recently, new kosher food and Jewish educational offerings have led to a rapid increase in Portland's Orthodox Jewish population. The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association is headquartered in Portland. There are an estimated 6,000 to 10,000
Muslims Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam, a monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abra ...
in Oregon, most of whom live in and around Portland. Most of the remainder of the population had no religious affiliation; the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) placed Oregon as tied with Nevada in fifth place of U.S. states having the highest percentage of residents identifying themselves as "non-religious", at 24 percent. Secular organizations include the
Center for Inquiry The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a US nonprofit organization that works to mitigate belief in pseudoscience and the paranormal, as well as to fight the influence of religion in government. History The Center for Inquiry was established in 19 ...
(CFI), the Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP), and the United States Atheists (USA). During much of the 1990s, a group of conservative Christians formed the Oregon Citizens Alliance, and unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation to prevent "gay sensitivity training" in public schools and legal benefits for homosexual couples. * Since 2016, data for births of
White Hispanic White Latin Americans, or European Latin Americans, are Latin Americans who are considered white, typically due to European descent. Latin American countries have often tolerated intermarriage between different ethnic groups since the beginning ...
origin are not collected, but included in one ''Hispanic'' group; persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. * Births in table do not sum to 100% because Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race.


Future projections

Projections from the U.S. Census Bureau show Oregon's population increasing to 4,833,918 by 2030, an increase of 41.3% compared to the state's population of 3,421,399 in 2000. The state's own projections forecast a total population of 5,425,408 in 2040.


Economy

* Total Employment (2016): 1,551,192 * Number of employer establishments (2016): 114,551 , Oregon ranks as the 17th highest in median household income at $60,834. The gross domestic product (GDP) of Oregon in 2013 was $219.6 billion, a 2.7% increase from 2012; Oregon is the 25th wealthiest state by GDP. In 2003, Oregon was 28th in the U.S. by GDP. The state's per capita personal income (PCPI) in 2013 was $39,848, a 1.5% increase from 2012. Oregon ranks 33rd in the U.S. by PCPI, compared to 31st in 2003. The national PCPI in 2013 was $44,765. Oregon's unemployment rate was 5.5% in September 2016, while the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.0% that month. Oregon has the third largest amount of food stamp users in the nation (21% of the population).


Agriculture

Oregon's diverse landscapes provide ideal environments for various types of farming. Land in the Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods, which deposited lake sediment from Glacial Lake Missoula in western Montana onto the valley floor.McNab, W. Henry; Avers, Peter E (July 1994)
''Ecological Subregions of the United States''. Chapter 24.
U.S. Forest Service and Dept. of Agriculture.
In 2016, the Willamette Valley region produced over of
blueberries Blueberries are a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. They are classified in the section ''Cyanococcus'' within the genus ''Vaccinium''. ''Vaccinium'' also includes cranberries, b ...
. The industry is governed and represented by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut ('' Corylus avellana'') ​growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced to before
Prohibition Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacture, storage (whether in barrels or in bottles), transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of alcoholic be ...
, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries. Due to regional similarities in climate and
soil Soil, also commonly referred to as earth or dirt, is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Some scientific definitions distinguish ''dirt'' from ''soil'' by restricting the former t ...
, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of
Alsace Alsace (, ; ; Low Alemannic German/ gsw-FR, Elsàss ; german: Elsass ; la, Alsatia) is a cultural region and a territorial collectivity in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. In 2020, it had ...
and
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and former Regions of France, administrative region and province of east-central France. The province was once home to the Duke of Burgundy, Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11 ...
. In 2014, 71 wineries opened in the state. The total is currently 676, which represents growth of 12% over 2013. In the southern Oregon coast, commercially cultivated cranberries account for about 7 percent of U.S. production, and the cranberry ranks 23rd among Oregon's top 50 agricultural commodities. Cranberry cultivation in Oregon uses about in southern Coos and northern
Curry A curry is a dish with a sauce seasoned with spices, mainly associated with South Asian cuisine. In southern India, leaves from the curry tree may be included. There are many varieties of curry. The choice of spices for each dish in tradit ...
counties, centered around the coastal city of Bandon. In the northeastern region of the state, particularly around Pendleton, both irrigated and dry land wheat is grown. Oregon
farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer mig ...
s and ranchers also produce
cattle Cattle (''Bos taurus'') are large, domesticated, cloven-hooved, herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus ''Bos''. Adult females are referred to as cows and adult mal ...
,
sheep Sheep or domestic sheep (''Ovis aries'') are domesticated, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Although the term ''sheep'' can apply to other species in the genus ''Ovis'', in everyday usage it almost always refers to domesticated s ...
, dairy products, eggs and
poultry Poultry () are domesticated birds kept by humans for their eggs, their meat or their feathers. These birds are most typically members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails, a ...
. Caneberries (''Rubus'') are farmed here. Stamen blight (''Hapalosphaeria deformans'') is significant here and throughout the PNW. Here it especially hinders commercial
dewberries The dewberries are a group of species in the genus ''Rubus'', section ''Rubus'', closely related to the blackberries. They are small trailing (rather than upright or high-arching) brambles with aggregate fruits, reminiscent of the raspberry, ...
. was first discovered in the 1990s on the California Central Coast and was quickly found here as well. ''P. ramorum'' is of economic concern due to its infestation of ''Rubus'' and ''
Vaccinium ''Vaccinium'' is a common and widespread genus of shrubs or dwarf shrubs in the heath family (Ericaceae). The fruits of many species are eaten by humans and some are of commercial importance, including the cranberry, blueberry, bilberry (whor ...
'' spp. (including
cranberry Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus ''Oxycoccus'' of the genus ''Vaccinium''. In Britain, cranberry may refer to the native species '' Vaccinium oxycoccos'', while in North America, cranberry ...
and
blueberry Blueberries are a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. They are classified in the section ''Cyanococcus'' within the genus ''Vaccinium''. ''Vaccinium'' also includes cranberries, b ...
). es grown in the
Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley ( ) is a long valley in Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The Willamette River flows the entire length of the valley and is surrounded by mountains on three sides: the Cascade Range to the east ...
are mostly sold directly and do not enter the more distant markets. OSU Extension recommends
peach The peach (''Prunus persica'') is a deciduous tree first domesticated and cultivated in Zhejiang province of Eastern China. It bears edible juicy fruits with various characteristics, most called peaches and others (the glossy-skinned, non-fu ...
and nectarine cultivars for Willamette: For peaches Springcrest, Gemfree, Early Redhaven, Harbelle, Sunhaven, Redhaven, Harken, Redtop, July Elberta, Fairhaven, Canadian Harmony, Earlihale, Suncrest, Loring, Glohaven,
Veteran A veteran () is a person who has significant experience (and is usually adept and esteemed) and expertise in a particular occupation or field. A military veteran is a person who is no longer serving in a military. A military veteran that h ...
, Biscoe, and Improved Elberta. For nectarines Juneglo, Harko, Redgold, and Fantasia. An ('' Agrilus planipennis'') infestation has been sighted in Forest Grove, the first for Western North America. On June 30, 2022, an off-duty invasion biologist noticed an infested tree and the Emerald Ash Borer Readiness and Response Plan for Oregon finalized in March of the previous year was quickly enacted by state departments. The public is asked to report sightings to the state Department of Agriculture.


Forestry and fisheries

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major
timber Lumber is wood that has been processed into dimensional lumber, including beams and planks or boards, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as finishing (floors, wall panels, w ...
-producing and logging states, but forest fires (such as the
Tillamook Burn The Tillamook Burn was a series of forest fires in the Northern Oregon Coast Range of Oregon in the United States that destroyed a total area of of old growth timber in what is now known as the Tillamook State Forest. There were four wildfi ...
), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the timber produced. Between 1989 and 2011, the amount of timber harvested from federal lands in Oregon dropped about 90%, although harvest levels on private land have remained relatively constant. Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry in the state. The effects of this decline have included
Weyerhaeuser Weyerhaeuser () is an American timberland company which owns nearly of timberlands in the U.S., and manages an additional of timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. The company also manufactures wood products. It operates as a real e ...
's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana-Pacific's corporate headquarters from Portland to
Nashville Nashville is the capital city of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the seat of Davidson County. With a population of 689,447 at the 2020 U.S. census, Nashville is the most populous city in the state, 21st most-populous city in the U.S., and ...
, and the decline of former lumber
company town A company town is a place where practically all stores and housing are owned by the one company that is also the main employer. Company towns are often planned with a suite of amenities such as stores, houses of worship, schools, markets and re ...
s such as Gilchrist. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in
softwood Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood Softwood is wood from gymnosperm trees such as conifers. The term is opposed to hardwood, which is the wood from angiosperm trees. The main differences between hardwoods and softwoods is that the s ...
lumber production; in 2011, was produced in Oregon, compared with in Washington, in
Georgia Georgia most commonly refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), a state in the Southeast United States Georgia may also refer to: Places Historical states and entities * Related to th ...
, and in
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Miss ...
. The slowing of the timber and lumber industry has caused high unemployment rates in rural areas. Oregon has one of the largest
salmon Salmon () is the common name for several commercially important species of euryhaline ray-finned fish from the family Salmonidae, which are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic (genus ''Salmo'') and North Pacific (genus ''Oncorhynchus ...
-fishing industries in the world, although ocean
fisheries Fishery can mean either the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish and other aquatic life; or more commonly, the site where such enterprise takes place ( a.k.a. fishing ground). Commercial fisheries include wild fisheries and fish farms, b ...
have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Because of the abundance of waterways in the state, it is also a major producer of hydroelectric energy.


Tourism and entertainment

Tourism is also a strong industry in the state. Tourism is centered on the state's natural features – mountains, forests, waterfalls, rivers, beaches and lakes, including Crater Lake National Park,
Multnomah Falls Multnomah Falls is a waterfall located on Multnomah Creek in the Columbia River Gorge, east of Troutdale, between Corbett and Dodson, Oregon, United States. The waterfall is accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway and Interstate ...
, the Painted Hills, the Deschutes River, and the Oregon Caves. Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor also draw visitors year-round for
skiing Skiing is the use of skis to glide on snow. Variations of purpose include basic transport, a recreational activity, or a competitive winter sport. Many types of competitive skiing events are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (I ...
and other snow activities. Portland is home to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the
Portland Art Museum The Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, United States, was founded in 1892, making it one of the oldest art museums on the West Coast and seventh oldest in the US. Upon completion of the most recent renovations, the Portland Art Museum beca ...
, and the
Oregon Zoo The Oregon Zoo, originally the Portland Zoo and later the Washington Park Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington Park, Portland, Oregon, approximately southwest of downtown Portland. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi ...
, which is the oldest zoo west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system in North America, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota, it f ...
. The International Rose Test Garden is another prominent attraction in the city. Portland has also been named the best city in the world for street food by several publications, including the '' U.S. News & World Report'' and
CNN CNN (Cable News Network) is a multinational cable news channel headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and Reese Schonfeld as a 24-hour cable news channel, and presently owned by t ...
. Oregon is home to many breweries, and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world. The state's coastal region produces significant tourism as well. The
Oregon Coast Aquarium __NOTOC__ The Oregon Coast Aquarium is an aquarium in Newport in the U.S. state of Oregon. Opened in 1992, the facility sits on along Yaquina Bay near the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium was home to Keiko, the orca who starred in the movie ''Fre ...
comprises along Yaquina Bay in Newport, and was also home to Keiko the orca whale. It has been noted as one of the top ten aquariums in North America. Fort Clatsop in Warrenton features a replica of Lewis and Clark's encampment at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1805. The Sea Lion Caves in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region. It is the most populated city in Tuscany, with 383,083 inhabitants in 2016, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.Bilancio demografico a ...
are the largest system of sea caverns in the United States, and also attract many visitors. In Southern Oregon, the
Oregon Shakespeare Festival The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is a regional repertory theatre in Ashland, Oregon, United States, founded in 1935 by Angus L. Bowmer. The Festival now offers matinee and evening performances of a wide range of classic and contemporary pl ...
, held in Ashland, is also a tourist draw, as is the Oregon Vortex and the Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site, a historic inn where
Jack London John Griffith Chaney (January 12, 1876 – November 22, 1916), better known as Jack London, was an American novelist, journalist and activist. A pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines, he was one of the first American authors to ...
wrote his 1913 novel '' Valley of the Moon''. Oregon has also historically been a popular region for film shoots due to its diverse landscapes, as well as its proximity to Hollywood. Movies filmed in Oregon include: '' Animal House'', ''
Free Willy ''Free Willy'' is a 1993 American family drama film, directed by Simon Wincer, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner and Jennie Lew Tugend, written by Keith A. Walker and Corey Blechman from a story by Walker and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictur ...
'', '' The General'', ''
The Goonies ''The Goonies'' is a 1985 American adventure comedy film co-produced and directed by Richard Donner from a screenplay by Chris Columbus, based on a story by Steven Spielberg. In the film, kids who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astor ...
'', '' Kindergarten Cop'', '' One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'', and '' Stand By Me''. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of ''
The Simpsons ''The Simpsons'' is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa ...
'', has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series. Additionally, several television shows have been filmed throughout the state including '' Portlandia'', ''
Grimm Grimm may refer to: People * Grimm (surname) * Brothers Grimm, German linguists ** Jacob Grimm (1785–1863), German philologist, jurist and mythologist ** Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), German author, the younger of the Brothers Grimm * Christi ...
'', '' Bates Motel'', and '' Leverage''. The Oregon Film Museum is located in the old Clatsop County Jail in Astoria. Additionally, the last remaining Blockbuster store is located in Bend.


Technology

High technology industries located in Silicon Forest have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s.
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is one of the developers of the x86 serie ...
's creation and expansion of several facilities in eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started. Intel, the state's largest for-profit private employer, operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro. The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to establishment of the so-called Silicon Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 hit the region hard; many high technology employers reduced the number of their employees or went out of business. Open Source Development Labs made news in 2004 when they hired
Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds ( , ; born 28 December 1969) is a Finnish software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the lead developer of the Linux kernel, used by Linux distributions and other operating systems such as Android. He also ...
, developer of the
Linux kernel The Linux kernel is a free and open-source, monolithic, modular, multitasking, Unix-like operating system kernel. It was originally authored in 1991 by Linus Torvalds for his i386-based PC, and it was soon adopted as the kernel for the GNU o ...
. In 2010,
biotechnology Biotechnology is the integration of natural sciences and engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts thereof and molecular analogues for products and services. The term ''biotechnology'' was first used b ...
giant Genentech opened a $400 million facility in Hillsboro to expand its production capabilities. Oregon is home to several large datacenters that take advantage of cheap power and a climate conducive to reducing cooling costs.
Google Google LLC () is an American multinational technology company focusing on search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and consumer electroni ...
operates a large datacenter in The Dalles, and
Facebook Facebook is an online social media and social networking service owned by American company Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin ...
built a large datacenter near
Prineville Prineville is a city in and the seat of Crook County, Oregon, United States. It was named for the first merchant located in the present location, Barney Prine. The population was 9,253 at the 2010 census. History Prineville was founded in 18 ...
in 2010.
Amazon Amazon most often refers to: * Amazons, a tribe of female warriors in Greek mythology * Amazon rainforest, a rainforest covering most of the Amazon basin * Amazon River, in South America * Amazon (company), an American multinational technology c ...
opened a datacenter near Boardman in 2011, and a fulfillment center in Troutdale in 2018.


Corporate headquarters

Oregon is also the home of large corporations in other industries. The world headquarters of Nike is located near Beaverton. Medford is home to Harry and David, which sells gift items under several brands. Medford is also home to the national headquarters of Lithia Motors. Portland is home to one of the West's largest trade book publishing houses, Graphic Arts Center Publishing. Oregon is also home to Mentor Graphics Corporation, a world leader in
electronic design automation Electronic design automation (EDA), also referred to as electronic computer-aided design (ECAD), is a category of software tools for designing electronic systems such as integrated circuits and printed circuit boards. The tools work together ...
located in Wilsonville and employs roughly 4,500 people worldwide. Adidas Corporations American Headquarters is located in Portland and employs roughly 900 full-time workers at its Portland campus. Nike, located in Beaverton, employs roughly 5,000 full-time employees at its campus. Nike's Beaverton campus is continuously ranked as a top employer in the Portland area-along with competitor Adidas.
Intel Corporation Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is one of the developers of the x86 series ...
employs 22,000 in Oregon with the majority of these employees located at the company's Hillsboro campus located about 30 minutes west of Portland. Intel has been a top employer in Oregon since 1974. The U.S. Federal Government and Providence Health systems are respective contenders for top employers in Oregon with roughly 12,000 federal workers and 14,000 Providence Health workers. In 2015, a total of seven companies headquartered in Oregon landed in the Fortune 1000: Nike, at 106; Precision Castparts Corp. at 302; Lithia Motors at 482; StanCorp Financial Group at 804; Schnitzer Steel Industries at 853; The Greenbrier Companies at 948; and Columbia Sportswear at 982.


Taxes and budgets

Oregon's biennial state budget, $2.6 billion in 2017, comprises General Funds, Federal Funds, Lottery Funds, and Other Funds. Oregon is one of only five states that have no
sales tax A sales tax is a tax paid to a governing body for the sales of certain goods and services. Usually laws allow the seller to collect funds for the tax from the consumer at the point of purchase. When a tax on goods or services is paid to a gove ...
. Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the nine times they have been presented. The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 75–25% margin. The state also has a minimum corporate tax of only $150 a year, amounting to 5.6% of the General Fund in the 2005–07 biennium; data about which businesses pay the minimum is not available to the public. As a result, the state relies on
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, ...
and income taxes for its revenue. Oregon has the fifth highest personal income tax in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon ranked 41st out of the 50 states in taxes per capita in 2005 with an average amount paid of 1,791.45. A few local governments levy sales taxes on services: the city of Ashland, for example, collects a 5% sales tax on prepared food. The City of Portland imposes an Arts Education and Access Income Tax on residents over 18—a flat tax of $35 collected from individuals earning $1,000 or more per year and residing in a household with an annual income exceeding the federal poverty level. The tax funds Portland school teachers, and art focused non-profit organizations in Portland. The State of Oregon also allows transit district to levy an income tax on employers and the self-employed. The State currently collects the tax for
TriMet TriMet, formally known as the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, is a public agency that operates mass transit in a region that spans most of the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Oregon. Created in 1969 ...
and the Lane Transit District. Oregon is one of six states with a revenue limit. The " kicker law" stipulates that when income tax collections exceed state economists' estimates by two percent or more, any excess must be returned to taxpayers. Since the enactment of the law in 1979, refunds have been issued for seven of the eleven biennia. In 2000, Ballot Measure 86 converted the "kicker" law from statute to the Oregon Constitution, and changed some of its provisions. Federal payments to county governments that were granted to replace timber revenue when logging in National Forests was restricted in the 1990s, have been under threat of suspension for several years. This issue dominates the future revenue of rural counties, which have come to rely on the payments in providing essential services. 55% of state revenues are spent on public education, 23% on human services (child protective services, Medicaid, and senior services), 17% on public safety, and 5% on other services.


Healthcare

For health insurance, as of 2018 Cambia Health Solutions has the highest market share at 21%, followed by Providence Health. In the Portland region,
Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente (; KP), commonly known simply as Kaiser, is an American integrated managed care consortium, based in Oakland, California, United States, founded in 1945 by industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and physician Sidney Garfield. Kaiser ...
leads. Providence and Kaiser are vertically integrated delivery systems which operate hospitals and offer insurance plans. Aside from Providence and Kaiser, hospital systems which are primarily Oregon-based include Legacy Health mostly covering Portland, Samaritan Health Services with five hospitals in various areas across the state, and Tuality Healthcare in the western Portland metropolitan area. In Southern Oregon, Asante runs several hospitals, including Rogue Regional Medical Center. Some hospitals are operated by multi-state organizations such as PeaceHealth and
CommonSpirit Health CommonSpirit Health is the largest Catholic health system, and the second-largest nonprofit hospital chain, in the United States (as of 2019). It operates more than 700 care sites and 142 hospitals in 21 states. Founded in 2019 by the merger of ...
. Some hospitals such Salem Hospital operate independently of larger systems.
Oregon Health & Science University Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public research university focusing primarily on health sciences with a main campus, including two hospitals, in Portland, Oregon. The institution was founded in 1887 as the University of Oregon Medi ...
is a Portland-based medical school that operates two hospitals and clinics. The Oregon Health Plan is the state's Medicaid managed care plan, and it is known for innovations. The Portland area is a mature
managed care The term managed care or managed healthcare is used in the United States to describe a group of activities intended to reduce the cost of providing health care and providing American health insurance while improving the quality of that care ("man ...
and two-thirds of Medicare enrollees are in Medicare Advantage plans.


Education


Elementary, middle, and high school

In the 2013–2014 school year, the state had 567,000 students in public schools. There were 197 public school districts, served by 19 education service districts. In 2016, the largest school districts in the state were: Portland Public Schools, comprising 47,323 students; Salem-Keizer School District, comprising 40,565 students; Beaverton School District, comprising 39,625 students; Hillsboro School District, comprising 21,118 students; and North Clackamas School District, comprising 17,053 students. Approximately 90.5% of Oregon high school students graduate, improving on the national average of 88.3% as measured from the 2010 U.S. census.


Colleges and universities

Especially since the 1990 passage of Measure 5, which set limits on property tax levels, Oregon has struggled to fund higher education. Since then, Oregon has cut its higher education budget and now ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student. However, 2007 legislation funded the university system far beyond the governor's requested budget though still capping tuition increases at 3% per year. Oregon supports a total of seven public universities and one affiliate. It is home to three public research universities: The
University of Oregon The University of Oregon (UO, U of O or Oregon) is a public research university in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1876, the institution is well known for its strong ties to the sports apparel and marketing firm Nike, Inc, and its co-founder, bill ...
(UO) in Eugene and
Oregon State University Oregon State University (OSU) is a public land-grant, research university in Corvallis, Oregon. OSU offers more than 200 undergraduate-degree programs along with a variety of graduate and doctoral degrees. It has the 10th largest engineering co ...
(OSU) in Corvallis, both classified as research universities with very high research activity, and
Portland State University Portland State University (PSU) is a public research university in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1946 as a post-secondary educational institution for World War II veterans. It evolved into a four-year college over the following two decades ...
which is classified as a research university with high research activity. UO is the state's highest nationally ranked and most selective public university by '' U.S. News & World Report'' and ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. ''Forbes'' also rep ...
''. OSU is the state's only land-grant university, has the state's largest enrollment for fall 2014, and is the state's highest ranking university according to ''
Academic Ranking of World Universities The ''Academic Ranking of World Universities'' (''ARWU''), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, is one of the annual publications of world university rankings. The league table was originally compiled and issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong Universi ...
'', '' Washington Monthly'', and ''
QS World University Rankings ''QS World University Rankings'' is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The QS system comprises three parts: the global overall ranking, the subject rankings (which name the world's top universities for the ...
''. OSU receives more annual funding for research than all other public higher education institutions in Oregon combined. The state's urban Portland State University has Oregon's second largest enrollment. The state has three regional universities: Western Oregon University in
Monmouth Monmouth ( , ; cy, Trefynwy meaning "town on the Monnow") is a town and community in Wales. It is situated where the River Monnow joins the River Wye, from the Wales–England border. Monmouth is northeast of Cardiff, and west of London. ...
,
Southern Oregon University Southern Oregon University (SOU) is a public university in Ashland, Oregon. It was founded in 1872 as the Ashland Academy, has been in its current location since 1926, and was known by nine other names before assuming its current name in 1997.Kr ...
in Ashland, and
Eastern Oregon University Eastern Oregon University (EOU) (officially designated as Oregon’s Rural University) is a public university in La Grande, Oregon. It was formerly part of the Oregon University System, since dissolved. EOU was founded in 1929 as a teacher ...
in La Grande. The Oregon Institute of Technology has its campus in Klamath Falls. The quasi-public
Oregon Health & Science University Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is a public research university focusing primarily on health sciences with a main campus, including two hospitals, in Portland, Oregon. The institution was founded in 1887 as the University of Oregon Medi ...
(OHSU) includes medical, dental, and nursing schools, and graduate programs in biomedical sciences in Portland and a science and engineering school in Hillsboro. The state also supports 17 community colleges. Oregon is home to a wide variety of private colleges, the majority of which are located in the Portland area. The
University of Portland , mottoeng = The truth will set you free , established = 1901 , type = Private university , religious_affiliation = Catholic (Congregation of Holy Cross) , endowment = $218 million , president = Robert D. Kelly , students = 3,731 (fall 2 ...
and
Marylhurst University Marylhurst University was a private applied liberal arts and business university in Marylhurst, Oregon. It was among the oldest collegiate degree-granting institutions in Oregon, having awarded its first degree in 1897. Marylhurst was founded as S ...
are both Catholic universities located in or near Portland, affiliated with the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, respectively.
Reed College Reed College is a private liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1908, Reed is a residential college with a campus in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, with Tudor- Gothic style architecture, and a forested canyon nature preserve a ...
, a rigorous liberal arts college in Portland, was ranked by ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. ''Forbes'' also rep ...
'' as the 52nd best college in the country in 2015. Other private institutions in Portland include Lewis & Clark College; Multnomah University; Portland Bible College; Warner Pacific College; Cascade College; the National University of Natural Medicine; and Western Seminary, a theological graduate school. Pacific University is in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove. There are also private colleges further south in the Willamette Valley. McMinnville is home to Linfield College, while nearby Newberg is home to George Fox University. Salem is home to two private schools: Willamette University (the state's oldest, established during the provisional period) and Corban University. Also located near Salem is Mount Angel Seminary, one of America's largest Roman Catholic seminaries. The state's second medical school, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Northwest, is located in Lebanon. Eugene is home to three private colleges: Bushnell University, New Hope Christian College, and Gutenberg College.


Law and government

A writer in the Oregon Country book ''A Pacific Republic'', written in 1839, predicted the territory was to become an independent republic. Four years later, in 1843, settlers of the Willamette Valley voted in majority for a republic government. The Oregon Country functioned in this way until August 13, 1848, when Oregon was annexed by the United States and a territorial government was established. Oregon maintained a territorial government until February 14, 1859, when it was granted
statehood A state is a centralized political organization that imposes and enforces rules over a population within a territory. There is no undisputed definition of a state. One widely used definition comes from the German sociologist Max Weber: a "stat ...
. Oregon state government has a
separation of powers Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into branches, each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. The typic ...
similar to the
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-govern ...
. It has three branches: * a legislative branch (the
bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single gro ...
Oregon Legislative Assembly), * an
executive branch The Executive, also referred as the Executive branch or Executive power, is the term commonly used to describe that part of government which enforces the law, and has overall responsibility for the governance of a state. In political systems ba ...
which includes an "administrative department" and Oregon's governor serving as chief executive, and * a judicial branch, headed by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Governors in Oregon serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, but an unlimited number of total terms. Oregon has no
lieutenant governor A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction. Often a lieutenant governor is the deputy, or lieutenant, to or ranked under a governor — a "second-in-comm ...
; in case the office of governor is vacated, ArticleV, Section 8a of the Oregon Constitution specifies that the Secretary of State is first in line for succession. The other statewide officers are
Treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury of an organization. The significant core functions of a corporate treasurer include cash and liquidity management, risk management, and corporate finance. Government The treasury ...
,
Attorney General In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general or attorney-general (sometimes abbreviated AG or Atty.-Gen) is the main legal advisor to the government. The plural is attorneys general. In some jurisdictions, attorneys general also have exec ...
, Superintendent, and Labor Commissioner. The biennial Oregon Legislative Assembly consists of a thirty-member
Senate A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature. The name comes from the ancient Roman Senate (Latin: ''Senatus''), so-called as an assembly of the senior (Latin: ''senex'' meaning "th ...
and a sixty-member
House A house is a single-unit residential building. It may range in complexity from a rudimentary hut to a complex structure of wood, masonry, concrete or other material, outfitted with plumbing, electrical, and heating, ventilation, and air condi ...
. The state supreme court has seven elected justices, currently including the only two openly gay state supreme court justices in the nation. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice. The debate over whether to move to annual sessions is a long-standing battle in Oregon politics, but the voters have resisted the move from citizen legislators to professional lawmakers. Because Oregon's state budget is written in two-year increments and, there being no sales tax, state revenue is based largely on income taxes, it is often significantly over or under budget. Recent legislatures have had to be called into special sessions repeatedly to address revenue shortfalls resulting from economic downturns, bringing to a head the need for more frequent legislative sessions. Oregon Initiative 71, passed in 2010, mandates the legislature to begin meeting every year, for 160 days in odd-numbered years, and 35 days in even-numbered years. Oregonians have voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1988. In 2004 and 2006, Democrats won control of the State Senate, and then the House. Since the late 1990s, Oregon has been represented by four Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives. Since 2009, the state has had two Democratic U.S. senators,
Ron Wyden Ronald Lee Wyden (; born May 3, 1949) is an American politician and retired educator serving as the senior United States senator from Oregon, a seat he has held since 1996. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the United States House ...
and
Jeff Merkley Jeffrey Alan Merkley (born October 24, 1956) is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from Oregon since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley served as the 64th speaker of the Oregon House of Representativ ...
. Oregon voters have elected Democratic governors in every election since 1986, most recently electing
Kate Brown Katherine Brown (born June 21, 1960) is an American politician and attorney serving as the 38th governor of Oregon since 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, she served three terms as the state representative from the 13th district of the ...
over Republican Bud Pierce in a 2016 special election for a two-year term, and re-electing her for a full four-year term over Republican Knute Buehler in 2018. The base of Democratic support is largely concentrated in the urban centers of the Willamette Valley. The eastern two-thirds of the state beyond the Cascade Mountains typically votes Republican; in 2000 and
2004 2004 was designated as an International Year of Rice by the United Nations, and the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition (by UNESCO). Events January * January 3 – Flash Airlines Flight 60 ...
,
George W. Bush George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. A member of the Republican Party, Bush family, and son of the 41st president George H. W. Bush, h ...
carried every county east of the Cascades. However, the region's sparse population means the more populous counties in the Willamette Valley usually outweigh the eastern counties in statewide elections. In the 2002 general election, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure to increase the state minimum wage automatically each year according to inflationary changes, which are measured by the
consumer price index A consumer price index (CPI) is a price index, the price of a weighted average market basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households. Changes in measured CPI track changes in prices over time. Overview A CPI is a statistic ...
(CPI). In the 2004 general election, Oregon voters passed ballot measures banning same-sex marriage and restricting land use regulation. In the 2006 general election, voters restricted the use of
eminent domain Eminent domain (United States, Philippines), land acquisition (India, Malaysia, Singapore), compulsory purchase/acquisition (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom), resumption (Hong Kong, Uganda), resumption/compulsory acquisition (Austr ...
and extended the state's discount prescription drug coverage. In the 2020 general election, Oregon voters approved a ballot measure to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of street drugs such as cocaine and heroin, becoming the first state in the country to do so after the drugs were originally made illegal. The state also approved a ballot measure to create a legal means of administering psilocybin for medicinal use.


Federal representation

Like all U.S. states, Oregon is represented by two senators. Following the
1980 census The United States census of 1980, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 226,545,805, an increase of 11.4 percent over the 203,184,772 persons enumerated during the 1970 census. It was t ...
, Oregon had five congressional districts. After Oregon was admitted to the Union, it began with a single member in the House of Representatives ( La Fayette Grover, who served in the 35th United States Congress for less than a month). Congressional apportionment increased the size of the delegation following the censuses of
1890 Events January–March * January 1 ** The Kingdom of Italy establishes Eritrea as its colony, in the Horn of Africa. ** In Michigan, the wooden steamer ''Mackinaw'' burns in a fire on the Black River. * January 2 ** The steamship '' ...
,
1910 Events January * January 13 – The first public radio broadcast takes place; live performances of the operas '' Cavalleria rusticana'' and ''Pagliacci'' are sent out over the airwaves, from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York C ...
,
1940 A calendar from 1940 according to the Gregorian calendar, factoring in the dates of Easter and related holidays, cannot be used again until the year 5280. Events Below, the events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix. January * January ...
, and 1980. Following the 2020 census, Oregon gained a sixth congressional seat. It will be filled in the 2022 Congressional Elections. A detailed list of the past and present Congressional delegations from Oregon is available. The
United States District Court for the District of Oregon The United States District Court for the District of Oregon (in case citations, D. Ore. or D. Or.) is the federal district court whose jurisdiction comprises the state of Oregon. It was created in 1859 when the state was admitted to the Union ...
hears federal cases in the state. The court has courthouses in Portland, Eugene, Medford, and Pendleton. Also in Portland is the federal bankruptcy court, with a second branch in Eugene. Oregon (among other western states and territories) is in the 9th Court of Appeals. One of the court's meeting places is at the Pioneer Courthouse in downtown Portland, a National Historic Landmark built-in 1869.


Politics

Political opinions in Oregon are geographically split by the
Cascade Range The Cascade Range or Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, ...
, with western Oregon being more liberal and Eastern Oregon being
conservative Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the culture and civilization i ...
. In a 2008 analysis of the 2004 presidential election, a political analyst found that according to the application of a
Likert scale A Likert scale ( , commonly mispronounced as ) is a psychometric scale commonly involved in research that employs questionnaires. It is the most widely used approach to scaling responses in survey research, such that the term (or more fully the ...
, Oregon boasted both the most liberal Kerry voters and the most conservative Bush voters, making it the most politically polarized state in the country. While Republicans typically win more counties by running up huge margins in the east, the Democratic tilt of the more populated west is usually enough to swing the entire state Democratic. In 2008, for instance, Republican Senate incumbent Gordon H. Smith lost his bid for a third term, even though he carried all but eight counties. His Democratic challenger,
Jeff Merkley Jeffrey Alan Merkley (born October 24, 1956) is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from Oregon since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley served as the 64th speaker of the Oregon House of Representativ ...
, won Multnomah County by 142,000 votes, more than double the overall margin of victory. During Oregon's history, it has adopted many electoral reforms proposed during the
Progressive Era The Progressive Era (late 1890s – late 1910s) was a period of widespread social activism and political reform across the United States focused on defeating corruption, monopoly, waste and inefficiency. The main themes ended during Am ...
, through the efforts of William S. U'Ren and his Direct Legislation League. Under his leadership, the state overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 1902 that created the initiative and
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct vote by the electorate on a proposal, law, or political issue. This is in contrast to an issue being voted on by a representative. This may result in the adoption of ...
for citizens to introduce or approve proposed laws or amendments to the state constitution directly, making Oregon the first state to adopt such a system. Today, roughly half of U.S. states do so. In following years, the
primary election Primary elections, or direct primary are a voting process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party's candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election, local election, or by-election. Depending on the ...
to select
party A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, recreation, or as part of a festival or other commemoration or celebration of a special occasion. A party will often feature f ...
candidates was adopted in 1904, and in 1908 the Oregon Constitution was amended to include recall of public officials. More recent amendments include the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide law, called the Death with Dignity Act (which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in 2005 by the Bush administration in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court),
legalization Legalization is the process of removing a legal prohibition against something which is currently not legal. Legalization is a process often applied to what are regarded, by those working towards legalization, as victimless crimes, of which one ...
of
medical cannabis Medical cannabis, or medical marijuana (MMJ), is cannabis and cannabinoids that are prescribed by physicians for their patients. The use of cannabis as medicine has not been rigorously tested due to production and governmental restrictions ...
, and among the nation's strongest anti-urban sprawl and pro-environment laws. More recently, 2004's Measure 37 reflects a backlash against such land-use laws. However, a further ballot measure in 2007, Measure 49, curtailed many of the provisions of 37. Of the measures placed on the ballot since 1902, the people have passed 99 of the 288 initiatives and 25 of the 61 referendums on the ballot, though not all of them survived challenges in courts (see '' Pierce v. Society of Sisters'', for an example). During the same period, the legislature has referred 363 measures to the people, of which 206 have passed. Oregon pioneered the American use of postal voting, beginning with experimentation approved by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1981 and culminating with a 1998 ballot measure mandating that all counties conduct elections by mail. It remains one of just two states, the other being Washington, where voting by mail is the only method of voting. In 1994, Oregon adopted the Oregon Health Plan, which made health care available to most of its citizens without private health insurance. In the U.S. Electoral College, Oregon casts seven votes. Oregon has supported Democratic candidates in the last nine elections. Democratic incumbent
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the ...
won the state by a margin of twelve percentage points, with over 54% of the popular vote in 2012. In the 2016 election,
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton ( Rodham; born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, and former lawyer who served as the 67th United States Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, as a United States sena ...
won Oregon by 11 percentage points. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden won Oregon by 16 percentage points over his opponent,
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician, media personality, and businessman who served as the 45th president of the United States from 2017 to 2021. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pe ...
. In a 2020 study, Oregon was ranked as the easiest state for citizens to vote in.


Secession to Idaho

In 2022, a movement called "Greater Idaho" or "Move" (i.e., "move" the state border) had propositions running through eastern Oregon counties to petition the state legislature to permit a portion of the more-conservative eastern state to secede from Oregon to join Idaho.


Sports

Oregon is home to three major professional sports teams: the
Portland Trail Blazers The Portland Trail Blazers (colloquially known as the Blazers) are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Con ...
of the
NBA The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United S ...
, the
Portland Thorns FC The Portland Thorns FC is an American professional women's soccer team based in Portland, Oregon. Established in 2012, the team began play in 2013 in the then-eight-team National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), which receives support from the Uni ...
of the
NWSL The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league at the top of the United States league system. It is owned by the teams and, until 2020, was under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federatio ...
and the
Portland Timbers The Portland Timbers are an American professional men's Association football, soccer club based in Portland, Oregon. The Timbers compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member club of the league's Western Conference (MLS), Western Conference ...
of MLS."MLS awards team to Portland for 2011"
Portland Timbers, March 20, 2009.
Until 2011, the only major professional sports team in Oregon was the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the Blazers were one of the most successful teams in the NBA in terms of both win–loss record and attendance. In the early 21st century, the team's popularity declined due to personnel and financial issues, but revived after the departure of controversial players and the acquisition of new players such as Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, and still later
Damian Lillard Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr. (born July 15, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Weber State Wildcats and earne ...
. The Blazers play in the
Moda Center Moda Center, formerly known as the Rose Garden, is the primary indoor sports arena in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is used for basketball, ice hockey, rodeos, circuses, conventions, ice shows, concerts, and dramatic productions. The arena ...
in Portland's Lloyd District, which also is home to the
Portland Winterhawks The Portland Winterhawks are a junior ice hockey team based in Portland, Oregon, playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL), one of three leagues making up the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Prior to the 2021-22 season, the Winterhawks split thei ...
of the junior
Western Hockey League The Western Hockey League (WHL) is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitutes the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) as the highest level of junior h ...
. The Portland Timbers play at
Providence Park Providence Park (formerly Jeld-Wen Field; PGE Park; Civic Stadium; originally Multnomah Stadium; and from 1893 until the stadium was built, Multnomah Field) is an outdoor soccer venue located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. ...
, just west of downtown Portland. The Timbers have a strong following, with the team regularly selling out its games. The Timbers repurposed the formerly multi-use stadium into a soccer-specific stadium in fall 2010, increasing the seating in the process. The Timbers operate Portland Thorns FC, a women's soccer team that has played in the
National Women's Soccer League The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league at the top of the United States league system. It is owned by the teams and, until 2020, was under a management contract with the United States Soccer Federati ...
since the league's first season in 2013. The Thorns, who also play at Providence Park, have won two league championships, in the inaugural 2013 season and also in
2017 File:2017 Events Collage V2.png, From top left, clockwise: The War Against ISIS at the Battle of Mosul (2016-2017); aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing; The Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 ("Great American Eclipse"); North Korea tests a s ...
, and have been by far the NWSL's attendance leader in each of the league's seasons. Eugene and Hillsboro have minor-league baseball teams: the
Eugene Emeralds The Eugene Emeralds (nicknamed the Ems) are a Minor League Baseball team in the northwest United States, based in Eugene, Oregon. The Emeralds are members of the Northwest League and are affiliated with the San Francisco Giants. Eugene plays thei ...
and the Hillsboro Hops both play in the
High-A High-A (officially Class High-A, formerly known as Class A-Advanced, and sometimes abbreviated "A+" in writing) is the third-highest level of play in Minor League Baseball in the United States and Canada, below Triple-A and Double-A, and abov ...
High-A West. Portland has had minor-league baseball teams in the past, including the
Portland Beavers The Portland Beavers was the name of separate minor league baseball teams, which represented Portland, Oregon, in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The team was established in 1903, the first year of the PCL. Franchise history Many baseball teams ...
and Portland Rockies, who played most recently at Providence Park when it was known as PGE Park. Salem also previously had a Class A Short Season Northwest League team, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes that was not included in the 2021 Minor League Baseball reorganization. The Volcanoes ownership later formed the amateur Mavericks Independent Baseball League, which is fully based in Salem. The
Oregon State Beavers The Oregon State Beavers are the athletic teams that represent Oregon State University, located in Corvallis, Oregon. The Beavers compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I ( Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for c ...
and the University of Oregon Ducks football teams of the
Pac-12 Conference The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference, that operates in the Western United States, participating in 24 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division ...
meet annually in the
Oregon–Oregon State football rivalry The Oregon-Oregon State Football Game (Civil War) is an American college football rivalry game played annually in the state of Oregon between the Ducks of the University of Oregon in Eugene and the Beavers of Oregon State University in Corva ...
. Both schools have had recent success in other sports as well: Oregon State won back-to-back college baseball championships in 2006 and 2007, winning a third in 2018; and the University of Oregon won back-to-back NCAA men's cross country championships in 2007 and 2008.


Sister regions

*
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province on the southeastern coast of China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the east. Its capi ...
Province, *
Taiwan Province Taiwan Province (; PFS: ''Thòi-vàn-sén'' or ''Thòi-vân-sén'') is a nominal administrative division of the Republic of China (ROC). Its definition has remained part of the Constitution of the Republic of China, but the province is no lon ...
, Republic of China (Taiwan) *
Toyama Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of Honshu. Toyama Prefecture has a population of 1,044,588 (1 June 2019) and has a geographic area of 4,247.61 km2 (1,640.01 sq mi). Toyama Prefecture borders Ishikawa Prefecture to the we ...
, *
Jeollanam-do South Jeolla Province (; ''Jeollanam-do''; ), also known as Jeonnam, is a province of South Korea. South Jeolla has a population of 1,902,324 (2014) and has a geographic area of located in the Honam region at the southwestern tip of the Korean ...
Province, Republic of Korea (South Korea) *
Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi Kurdistan or Southern Kurdistan ( ku, باشووری کوردستان, Başûrê Kurdistanê) refers to the Kurdish-populated part of northern Iraq. It is considered one of the four parts of "Kurdistan" in Western Asia, which also inc ...
,


See also

* Outline of Oregon (organized list of topics about Oregon) * Index of Oregon-related articles * Bibliography of Oregon history * Tax Fairness Oregon * ''''


Notes


References

* * * * * Clucas, Richard A., Mark Henkels, and Brent Steel, eds. ''Oregon politics and government: progressives versus conservative populists'' (U of Nebraska Press, 2005)
online
* * * * * * * * *


External links

* *
Oregon Encyclopedia
'
Oregon State Databases
at the
American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with 49,727 members a ...


Government


State of Oregon

Oregon State Legislature

Oregon Constitution


Tourism and recreation


TravelOregon.com
an official website of the Oregon Tourism Commission
Oregon State Parks

Oregon State Facts
from the
United States Department of Agriculture The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food. It aims to meet the needs of comm ...


History and culture


Oregon Historical Society

Oregon Blue Book
the online version of the state's official directory and fact book


Maps and geology


Real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Oregon
from the
United States Geological Survey The United States Geological Survey (USGS), formerly simply known as the Geological Survey, is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, ...
* {{coord, 44, -121, dim:300000_region:US-OR_type:adm1st, name=State of Oregon, display=title 1859 establishments in the United States Geography of the Pacific Northwest States and territories established in 1859 States of the United States States of the West Coast of the United States U.S. states with multiple time zones Contiguous United States