Search
  • Lucian@going2paris.net

Oregon


Bandon, Oregon

June 22, 2021

I took the easy way out and left in the Wikipedia footnotes. ☹️

Oregon is a state. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The 42° north parallel delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.


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 1500s. As early as 1565, the Spanish began sending vessels northeast from the Philippines, 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 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 beeswaxand a lidded silver vase, likely connected to the 1707 wreck of the San Francisco Xavier.[9]


In 1843, an autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country, and the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state of the U.S. on February 14, 1859. Today, with 4 million people over 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largestand 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, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, 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.,[10] marked by volcanoes, abundant bodies of water, dense evergreen and mixed forests, as well as high deserts and semi-arid shrublands. At 11,249 feet (3,429 m), Mount Hood, a stratovolcano, is the state's highest point. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the calderasurrounding Crater Lake, 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 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of the Malheur National Forest.[11]





Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon's economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectric power. Oregon is also the top timber producer of the contiguous United States, and the timber industry dominated the state's economy in the 20th century.[12] 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. Sportswear company Nike, Inc., headquartered in Beaverton, is the state's largest public corporation with an annual revenue of $30.6 billion.[13]

Etymology

The earliest evidence of the name Oregonhas Spanish origins. The term "orejón" (meaning "big ear") comes from the historical chronicle Relación de la Alta y Baja California (1598)[14] written by the new Spaniard Rodrigo Montezuma and made reference to the Columbia Riverwhen the Spanish explorers penetrated into the actual 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. There are also two other sources with Spanish origins, such as the word oregano, referring to a plant that grows in the southern part of the region. It is possible that the American territory was named by the Spaniards, as there is a stream in Spaincalled the "Arroyo del Oregón" (which is located in the province of Ciudad Real); it is also possible that the "j" in the Spanish phrase "El Orejón" was later corrupted into a "g",[15] 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 term referred to the then-mythical River of the West (the Columbia River). By 1778, the spelling had shifted to Oregon.[16] Rogers wrote:

... from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon ...[17]

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 windson the lower Columbia River, or perhaps from firsthand French experience with the Chinook winds of the Great Plains. At the time, the River of the West was thought to rise in western Minnesota and flow west through the Great Plains.[18]

Joaquin Miller discussed in Sunsetmagazine, in 1904, how Oregon's name was derived:

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.[19]

Another account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names, 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 -sintbelow, so there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".


According to the Oregon Tourism Commission, present-day Oregonians /ˌɒrɪˈɡoʊniənz/[20] pronounce the state's name as "or-uh-gun, never or-ee-gone".[21] After being drafted by the Detroit Lions 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.[22][23] The stickers are sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore.[24]



Location of Paris, Oregon

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 as of 2015has more than four million residents.[25]


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 and the Paisley Caves in Lake County. Archaeologist Luther Cressman dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago,[26] and there is evidence supporting inhabitants in the region at least 15,000 years ago.[27] 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, the Willamette Valley region was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from then Lake Missoula, located in what would later become Montana. These massive floods occurred during the last glacial period and filled the valley with 300 to 400 feet (91 to 122 m) of water.[28]


By the 16th century, Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Chinook, Coquille (Ko-Kwell), Bannock, Chasta, Kalapuya, Klamath, Klickitat, Molalla, Nez Perce, Takelma, Killamuk, Neah-kah-nie, Umatilla, and Umpqua.[29][30][31][32]

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.[33] Sailing from Central America on the Golden Hind in 1579 in search of the Strait of Anian during his circumnavigation of the Earth, the English explorer and privateer Sir Francis Drake briefly anchored at South Cove, Cape Arago, just south of Coos Bay, before sailing for what is now California.[34][35] 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.[36][37] Exploration continued routinely in 1774, starting with the expedition of the frigate Santiago by Juan José Pérez Hernández, and the coast of Oregon became a valuable trade route to Asia. In 1778, British captain James Cook also explored the coast.[38]


French Canadians, Scots, Métis and other continental natives (e.g. Iroquois) trappers arrived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, soon to be followed by Catholic clergy. Some travelled as members of the Lewis and Clark and 1811 Astor expedition. Few stayed permanently such as Étienne Lussier, often referred 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 before heading South of the Columbia for better farmland as the fur trade declined. French Prairie by the Willamette River and French Settlement by the Umpqua River are known as early mixed ancestry settlements.


The Lewis and Clark Expedition travelled through northern Oregon also in search of the Northwest Passage. 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.[39]


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.[40] Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake River, he posted a claim to the region for Great Britain and the North West Company. Upon returning to Montreal, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.[41]


Also in 1811, New Yorker John Jacob Astorfinanced the establishment of Fort Astoriaat the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company;[42] this was the first permanent European settlement in Oregon.


In the War of 1812, the British 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 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 his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral, at which a probate government was proposed.[43]Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected supreme judge.[44] Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg, (halfway between Lee's mission and Oregon City), to discuss wolves 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 made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale.[45] 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.[46] He directed that some 200 Red River Colony settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclairexpedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District.


Starting in 1842–43, the Oregon Trailbrought many new American settlers to the Oregon Country. Oregon's boundaries were disputed for a time, contributing to tensions between England and the U.S., but the border was defined peacefully in the 1846 Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel.[47] The Oregon Territory was officially organized on August 13, 1848.[48]


Settlement increased with the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon.

StatehoodEdit

In December 1844, Oregon passed its Black Exclusion Law, which prohibited African Americans from entering the territory while simultaneously prohibiting slavery. 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 their bare back if they still did not leave. This process could be repeated every six months.[49] Slavery played a major part in Oregon's history and even influenced its path to statehood. The territory's request for statehood 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.[50]


Oregon was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859, though no one in Oregon knew it until March 15.[51] Founded as a refuge from disputes over slavery, Oregon had a "whites only" clause in its original state Constitution.[52][53] At the outbreak of the American Civil War, 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, wheat, and other agricultural markets, and the rapid growth of its cities.[54] Due to the abundance of timber and waterway access via the Willamette River, Portland became a major force in the lumber industry of the Pacific Northwest, and quickly became the state's largest city. It would earn the nickname "Stumptown",[55] 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.[56] In 1902, Oregon introduced direct legislation by the state's citizens through initiatives and referenda, known as the Oregon System.[57]


On May 5, 1945, six civilians were killed by a Japanese balloon bomb that exploded on Gearhart Mountain near Bly.[58][59] They remained the only people on American soil whose deaths were attributed to an enemy balloon bomb explosion during World War II. 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, 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 ships and aircraft carriers were constructed.[60]


During the 1970s, the Pacific Northwest was particularly affected by the 1973 oil crisis, with Oregon suffering a substantial shortage.[61]


In 1972, The Oregon Beverage Container Act of 1971,[62] 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[63] 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.[64]

GeographyEdit


Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west. With an area of 98,381 square miles (254,810 km2), Oregon is slightly larger than the United Kingdom. It is the ninth largest state in the United States.[65] Oregon's highest point is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11,249 feet (3,429 m), and its lowest point is the sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coast.[66] Oregon's mean elevation is 3,300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park, the state's only national park, is the site of the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet (592 m).[67] Oregon claims the D River as the shortest river in the world,[68] though the state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River.[69] Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland),[70]the smallest park in the world at 452 square inches (0.29 m2).


Oregon is split into eight geographical regions. In Western Oregon: Oregon Coast(west of the Coast Range), the Willamette Valley, Rogue Valley, Cascade Range and Klamath Mountains; and in Central and Eastern Oregon: the Columbia Plateau, the High Desert, and the Blue Mountains.


Oregon lies in two time zones. Most of Malheur County is in the Mountain Time Zone, while the rest of the state lies in the Pacific Time Zone.

Geology and terrain


Mount Hood is the highest peak in Oregon.


Western Oregon's mountainous regions, home to three of the most prominent mountain peaks of the United Statesincluding Mount Hood, were formed by the volcanic activity of the Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate that poses a continued threat of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the region. The most recent major activity was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.[71] Washington's Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, an event visible from northern Oregon and affecting some areas there.[72]


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 made parts of the river, such as Celilo Falls, 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 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.[73]

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,[74] 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.[74] Oregon is the top timber producer of the lower 48 states.[12][75]

  • Typical tree species include the Douglas fir (the state tree), as well as redwood, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, and hemlock.[76] Ponderosa pine are more common in the Blue Mountains in the eastern part of the state and firs are more common in the west.

Antilocapra americana(Pronghorn antelope)

  • 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,[77]bats, rabbits, pikas, mountain beavers, chipmunks, squirrels, yellow-bellied marmots, beavers (the state mammal), porcupines, coyotes, wolves, foxes[78]black bears, raccoons, badgers, skunks, antelopes, cougars, bobcats, lynxes, deer, elk, and moose.

  • Marine mammals include seals, sea lions, humpback whales, killer whales, gray whales, blue whales, sperm whales, pacific white-sided dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins.[79]

  • Notable birds include American widgeons, mallard ducks, great blue herons, bald eagles, golden eagles, western meadowlarks (the state bird), barn owls, great horned owls, rufous hummingbirds, pileated woodpeckers, wrens, towhees, sparrows, and buntings.[80]

Moose have not always inhabited the state but came to Oregon in the 1960s; the Wallowa Valley herd numbered about 60 as of 2013.[81] 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.[82] Although their existence in Oregon is unconfirmed, reports of grizzly bears 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 beneath the Malheur National Forest of eastern Oregon.[11]

Oregon has several National Park System sites, including Crater Lake National Parkin 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.[84] The state's western region (west of the Cascade Range) has an oceanic climate, populated by dense evergreen 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 of Western Oregon is high except during summer days, which are semi-dry to semi-humid; Eastern Oregon typically sees low humidity year-round.[85]

The state's southwestern portion, particularly the Rogue Valley, has a Mediterranean climate with drier and sunnier winters and hotter summers, similar to Northern California.[86]

Oregon's northeastern portion has a steppe climate, and its high terrain regions have a subarctic climate. Like Western Europe, Oregon, and the Pacific Northwestin 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, Ontario, Quebec and New England.[85]However, the state ranks fifth for coolest summer temperatures of any state in the country, after Maine, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska.[87]

The eastern two thirds of Oregon, which largely comprise high desert, have cold, snowy winters and very dry summers. Much of the east is semiarid to arid like the rest of the Great Basin, 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,[88] has considerably milder winters for its latitude and typically sees only light snowfall.[85]


Oregon's highest recorded temperature is 119 °F (48 °C) at Pendleton on August 10, 1898, and the lowest recorded temperature is −54 °F (−48 °C) at Senecaon February 10, 1933.[89]

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) through Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) and Salem (the capital) to Portland (Oregon's largest city).[90]


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.[91][better source needed] 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.[92]

Demographics


Population


The United States Census Bureau determined that the population of Oregon was 4,237,256 in 2020, based on the 2020 United States census, a 10.71% increase over the 2010 census.[4]

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%).[98] Oregon was also the top moving destination in 2013,[99] and the second-most popular destination in 2010 through 2012.[100][101]


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.[102]


The state's most populous ethnic group, non-Hispanic White, has declined from 95.8% in 1970 to 77.8% in 2012.[107][108]


As of 2011, 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.[109] Of the state's total population, 22.6% was under the age 18, and 77.4% were 18 or older.


The center of population of Oregon is located in Linn County, in the city of Lyons.[110] Around 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.[111]

As of 2009, Oregon's population comprised 361,393 foreign-born residents.[112] 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%).[112]


Roma gypsies first reached Oregon in the 1890s. There is a substantial Roma population Willamette Valley and around Portland.[113]


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.[115][116] According to a 2009 Gallup poll, Oregon was paired with Vermont as the two "least religious" states in the United States.[117]

In the same 2009 Gallup poll, 69% of Oregonians identified themselves as being Christian.[118] The largest Christian denominations in Oregon by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church with 398,738; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 147,965; and the Assemblies of God with 45,492.[119] Oregon also contains the largest community of Russian Old Believers to be found in the United States.[120] Judaism is the largest non-Christian religion in Oregon with more than 50,000 adherents, 47,000 of whom live in the Portland area.[121][122] Recently, new kosher food and Jewish educational offerings have led to a rapid increase in Portland's Orthodox Jewish population.[123] The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association is headquartered in Portland. There are an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 Muslims in Oregon, most of whom live in and around Portland.[124]

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.[125][126] Secular organizations include the Center for Inquiry (CFI), the Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP), and the United States Atheists (USA).


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.[135] The state's own projections forecast a total population of 5,425,408 in 2040.[136]

Economy

  • Total Employment (2016): 1,551,192

  • Number of employer establishments (2016): 114,551[137]

As of 2015, Oregon ranks as the 17th highest in median household income at $60,834.[5] 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.[138]


Oregon's unemployment rate was 5.5% in September 2016,[139] while the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.0% that month.[140] Oregon has the third largest amount of food stamp users in the nation (21% of the population).[141]

AgricultureEdit

Teenagers harvesting berries in Boring, 1946


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.[142] In 2016, the Willamette Valley region produced over 100 million pounds (45 kt) of blueberries.[143]

Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut 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, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries.[144] Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace and Burgundy. In 2014, 71 wineries opened in the state. The total is currently 676, which represents growth of 12% over 2013.[145]


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 27,000 acres (110 square kilometers) in southern Coos and northern Curry 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.[146]Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce cattle, sheep, dairy products, eggs and poultry.

Forestry and fisheries

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber-producing and logging states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn), 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.[147]


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's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana-Pacific's corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville, and the decline of former lumber company towns such as Gilchrist. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood lumber production; in 2011, 4,134 million board feet (9,760,000 m3) was produced in Oregon, compared with 3,685 million board feet (8,700,000 m3) in Washington, 1,914 million board feet (4,520,000 m3) in Georgia, and 1,708 million board feet (4,030,000 m3) in Mississippi.[148] The slowing of the timber and lumber industry has caused high unemployment rates in rural areas.[149]


Oregon has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years.[150] Because of the abundance of waterways in the state, it is also a major producer of hydroelectric energy.[151]

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, the Painted Hills, the Deschutes River, and the Oregon Caves. Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor also draw visitors year-round for skiing and other snow activities.[152]


Portland is home to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Portland Art Museum, and the Oregon Zoo, which is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River.[153] 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.[154][155]Oregon is home to many breweries, and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.[156]


The state's coastal region produces significant tourism as well.[157] The Oregon Coast Aquarium comprises 23 acres (9.3 ha) along Yaquina Bay in Newport, and was also home to Keiko the orca whale.[158] It has been noted as one of the top ten aquariums in North America.[159]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 are the largest system of sea caverns in the United States, and also attract many visitors.[160]

In Southern Oregon, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held in Ashland, is also a tourist draw, as is the Oregon Vortexand the Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site, a historic inn where Jack London wrote his 1913 novel Valley of the Moon.[161]


Oregon has also historically been a popular region for film shoots due to its diverse landscapes, as well as its proximity to Hollywood (see List of films shot in Oregon).[162] Movies filmed in Oregon include: Animal House, Free Willy, The General, The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Stand By Me. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series.[163] Additionally, several television shows have been filmed throughout the state including Portlandia, Grimm, Bates Motel, and Leverage.[164] The Oregon Film Museum is located in the old Clatsop County Jail in Astoria.

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'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,[165][166]operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro.[167]


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 Labsmade news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel. In 2010, biotechnology giant Genentechopened a $400 million facility in Hillsboroto expand its production capabilities.[168]Oregon is home to several large datacenters that take advantage of cheap power and a climate conducive to reducing cooling costs.