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Oregon State Guide

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Oregon is a state located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Nicknamed the "Beaver State" Oregon is the ninth largest US state. Oregon is bordered on its east by Idaho, on its west by the Pacific Ocean, Washington on its north, California on its south and on its southeast by Nevada. The capital of Oregon is situated at Salem and Portland is Oregon's largest city. Oregon attained statehood and became 33rd state of US on February 14, 1859[1].

Oregon Fast Facts:

Nickname: Beaver State
State Flower: Oregon grape
State Tree: Douglas fir
State Animal: American Beaver
State Bird: Western Meadowlark
State Fish: Chinook Salmon
State Rock: Thunderegg
State Song: “Oregon, My Oregon”
State Gemstone: Sunstone
Seashell: Oregon hairy triton
State Fruit: Pear

History of Oregon

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Oregon witnessed exploration by the Spanish and French explorers. In the 80s Britainseal and the US both claimed ownership of Oregon. The dispute increased into the threat of war and finally resolved in 1846 by the split of the region and joint occupation by the US and Britain. Joint occupation ended with the signing of the Oregon Treaty in 1846, when Britain and the U.S. split the disputed region equally.

In the 1830s many groups of pioneers traveled to the state on the famous Oregon Trail many of these emigrants were missionaries to convert natives to Christianity. Starting in 1842–1843, the Oregon Trail brought many new settlers to the region. The US began joint settlement of the area with the United Kingdom. The border between the United States and British North America was set as the Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.

During the 1880s the proliferation of railroads assisted in marketing of the lumber and wheat as well as the rapid growth of the state. According to 1844 territorial statute slavery was outlawed. Between 1861 and 1951 interracial marriage was prohibited by law. On 14 February, 1859, Oregon was officially admitted to the union as a state.

During the 90s the state saw rapid industrial expansion following the construction of the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River in 1933–1937. In 1902 a system of direct legislation by the state’s citizens by way of initiative and referendum was approved which is known as the Oregon System. In 1908 Oregon empowered its citizens to recall public officials by ballot initiative. In 1911 Oregon became the first US state to hold primary elections. Oregon abolished death penalty in 1964 which got reinstated in 1978. In 1991 Barbara Roberts got elected as the first woman governor.

Oregon History Timeline

1543: Spanish explorer Bartolome Ferrello traveled along Oregon.
1765: Maj. Robert Rogers first used the name "Ouragon".
1792: Capt. Robert Gray named Columbia River.
1819: southern boundary of Oregon set following treaty with Spain.
1847: Cayuse Indian War took place and with that Whitman massacre.
1848: Establishment of Oregon Territory.
1859: Oregon became 33rd state of US.
1869: Union and Central Pacific Railroads connected.
1911: Oregon first US state to hold primary elections.
1960: Maurine Neuberger elected first woman Oregon senator.
1964: Death penalty abolished.
1978: Death penalty reinstated.
1984: Voters ratified Oregon lottery.
1991: Barbara Roberts elected the first woman governor.
2004: FBI takes into custody Attorney Brandon Mayfield in connection with March terror attacks in Madrid.

Geography of Oregon

Oregon is a state located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States covering a total land area of 95,997 square miles, making it the 9th largest US state[2]. Oregon is bordered on its east by Idaho, on its west by the Pacific Ocean, Washington on its north, California on its south and on its southeast by Nevada. The highest point in Oregon is Mount Hood (11,239 ft) while the lowest point is Pacific Ocean (0 ft).

Oregon Geography Fast Facts

  • Area: 95,997 square miles
  • Latitude: 42oN to 46o 15'N
  • Longitude: 116o 45'W to 12o 30'W
  • Highest point: Mount Hood (11,239 ft.)
  • Lowest point: Pacific Ocean (0 ft.)
  • Central Point: Crook County
  • Major Cities: Portland, Salem, Eugene, Gresham

Topography of Oregon

The geography of Oregon is divided into six major areas-- the Coast Range, the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia Plateau, the Willamette Lowland, the Klamath Mountains, the Basin and Range Region.

The Coast Range, at the state's western edge, rises in the southern portion to between 3,000 and 4,000 feet and geography in the state's northern part, between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above sea level.

The Cascade Mountains parallel the Coast Range about 75 miles to the east and to within 50 to 75 miles of the California border where the two ranges merge which form rugged broad mountain chain known as the Rogue River Mountains. Situated here is Mount Hood, the highest point in the state at an elevation of 11,245 feet. The Blue Mountains extend from the northeast corner southwestward to the valleys of the John Day and the Deschutes Rivers in central Oregon.

The Willamette Lowlands comprise of narrow strip of land to the east of the Coast Range along the Willamette River. In the southwest corner of Oregon are the Klamath Mountains which remain covered by dense forests. The Columbia Plateau covers most of eastern Oregon and extends into Idaho and Washington. With a maximum depth of 7,900 feet the Hell's Canyon is the deepest gorge in America. The Basin and Range Region covers a section of southeastern Oregon. The Basin and Range Region are high basins with a few steep mountains and much of the region is semi desert.

Oregon's most significant rivers are the Columbia and Snake. The Columbia is the biggest and the most important river. The river originates in Canada then flows south through Washington to Oregon and forms most of the natural northern border between the two states. The Columbia is the 3rd-largest river in the US, with a mean flow rate of 250,134 cu ft per second. The Snake River rises in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming and flows all the way to the Columbia River in Washington. Other rivers of note include the Deschutes, Owyhee, John Day, Rogue and Willamette. Oregon has 19 natural lakes. The largest lake is Upper Klamath Lake (58,922 acres).

Climate of Oregon

The state of Oregon experiences mild and varied climate. The climate in the state is dominated by the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Range. Summers in the state remains sunny and dry while the coldest month remains January. The average annual rainfall in Oregon varies from less than eight inches in drier Plateau Regions to as much as 200 inches at points long the upper west slopes of the coast Range.

The state’s heaviest snowfalls occur in the high Cascades. There is a rare occurrence of devastating weather elements such as cloudbursts, hailstorms or tornadoes in Oregon. Hailstorms occur each year, but are generally light and cover very small areas.

Forests in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Forestry is responsible to protect, manage and promote stewardship of forests in Oregon to enhance economic, environmental and community sustainability. The department manages about 821,000 acres of forest lands. About half of the 61 million acre land base in Oregon is forestland. The state forest lands are managed under adopted forest management plans to provide environmental, economic and social benefits to Oregonians. The federal government is the largest owner of forestland, with 59 percent while private ownership forestaccounts for 35 percent.

Contact Details
Oregon Department of Forestry
Salem Headquarters
2600 State Street, Salem, OR 97310
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: 503-945-7357
Fax: 503-945-7376
Website: http://www.oregon.gov/odf/pages/state_forests/state_forests.aspx

State forests of Oregon are:

Learn more about Oregon State Forest

Demographics of Oregon

Oregon had an estimated population 3,970,239 as of 2014 estimation by the U.S Census Bureau, which reflected an increase of 3.63% since the year 2010. The population density of the state was 39.9 persons per square mile. The center of population of Oregon is situated in Linn County, in the city of Lyons. The largest ancestry groups in Oregon include German, English, Irish, Scandinavian and American.

Major racial ethnic groups in Oregon

  • White alone: 88.1%
  • Black or African American: 2.0%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 1.8%
  • Asian: 4.1%
  • Native Hawaiian & other Pacific Islander: 0.4%
  • Two or More Races: 3.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 3.5%

Oregon population quick facts [3]

Population, 2014: 3,970,239
Population, 2013: 3,928,068
Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014: 3.6%
Population, 2010: 3,831,074
Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013: 5.9%
Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013: 21.8%
Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013: 15.5%
Female persons, percent, 2013: 50.5%

Economy of Oregon

The economy of Oregon is supported by agriculture, industries and service sector. Among the industries mining, manufacturing and service industry are major economic contributors. As regards to employment in Oregon in January 2015, 1,840.8 people were employed in Oregon while 123.7 remained unemployed and the unemployment rate was 6.3% [4].

Agriculture in Oregon

  • The top five agricultural products, in terms of revenue generated, are cattle and calves, greenhouse and nursery products, hay, dairy products and rye grass.

  • Beef cattle and milk are most valuable livestock products in Oregon. Other livestock products are chicken eggs and broilers.

  • Greenhouse and nursery products are most valuable agricultural sector in Oregon.

  • Oregon's second ranked crop is hay which generates 7% of the state's total agricultural receipts.

  • Oregon produces a valuable timber harvest.

  • Oregon produces large amount of vegetables and delivers a large potato crop.

Industry in Oregon

  • The leading manufactured products in Oregon are electronic equipment including oscilloscopes, calculators, computer video display monitors, microprocessors, printer components and communication microchips.

  • About 75% of the mining income of Oregon is generated by the mining of sand and gravel for roadbeds and stone.

  • The community, personal services group and business accounts for the greatest income in the services industry.

  • Wholesale trade and retail trade rank second in services. Wholesale trade includes foreign automobile imports, athletic shoes, wheat and forest product exports, sportswear) while retail trade include department stores, food stores.

Tourism in Oregon

Tourism also plays a predominant role in the economy of Oregon. Tourism and its related industries serve as one of the largest employers of the state. Some of the major tourist attractions in Oregon include are:

Education in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Education supervises and manages the education system of the state. The department also sets up rules and regulations with respect to public education in the state. The state of Oregon provides some excellent choices for higher education. Listed below are the top colleges and universities in Oregon.

Universities in Oregon

Private Colleges and Universities in Oregon

Transportation in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Transportation is responsible to provide safe, reliable and efficient transportation system throughout the state of Oregon. The department develops plans and programs relating to the system of highways, roads, bridges, railways and airways in Oregon.

The road transport in Oregon comprises of highways, state routes, public transit and bicycle and pedestrian routes. transportThe transport department is committed to provide safe, convenient and reliable road transportation in the state and also to provide easy connectivity to various cities and states.

Air transportation in Oregon is a predominant transport network serving the state. Air transportation in Oregon serves the state by providing efficient and easy connectivity. The Oregon Department of Aviation looks after safe operation of aviation in Oregon and the growth and economic development of airports.

The Rail Division is responsible to ensure a safe, efficient and reliable rail transportation system in Oregon. It looks after railroads, both passenger and freight. The division manages 150 miles of state-owned railroad right of way along the Astoria Line and the Oregon Electric Line. It also inspects track, railroad equipment, hazardous materials and operating practices.

Waterways play a pivotal role in the development of the state of Oregon. The sea ports in Oregon serve as national, state and international transportation gateways. Oregon ports provide recreational, economic and commercial services to the people in Oregon.

Learn more about Oregon Transportation

Healthcare in Oregon

The Oregon Public Health Division is responsible to look after the healthcare conditions and improving the living standards of the people of Oregon. The health division aims at to promote lifelong health for all people in Oregon. The healthcaremission of the health division is to promote the health of the people and to prevent the leading causes of death, disease and injury in Oregon. Hospitals in Oregon provide quality health care to all Oregonians. Oregon hospitals provide emergency, inpatient, outpatient care and diagnostic every day. The hospitals in Oregon are well equipped with state of art technology and provide committed services to the patients. The topmost hospitals in Oregon known for giving outstanding services to the people of the state are Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Legacy Health, St. Charles Health System, Oregon Health & Science University, Salem Health among others.

Learn more about Oregon Healthcare

Government of Oregon

The State Constitution of Oregon is the guardian of the Government of Oregon as the government is structured and established by the State Constitution of Oregon. The State Constitution of Oregon divides the powers of the government into three distinct branches—the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

The executive branch in Oregon is a well functioning body of the state government. The chief executive power of the State is vested in the Governor. Several state government departments work under the executive branch.

The legislative power of the state of Oregon is vested in a Legislative Assembly which consists of a Senate and a SenateHouse of Representatives. The Oregon State Senate consists of thirty members whose senators are chosen by the electors of the respective counties or districts for the term of four years. The Oregon House of Representatives consist of sixty elected members whose representatives are chosen by the electors of the respective counties or districts for the term of two years.

The judicial power in Oregon is vested in one Supreme Court and in such other courts as may be created by law. The judges of the supreme and other courts are elected for a term of six years. The judiciary of Oregon consists primarily of four different courts-- The Oregon Supreme Court, The Oregon Tax Court, The Oregon Court of Appeals and The Oregon circuit courts.

Learn more about Oregon Government

Oregon Taxation

The Oregon Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and the collection of taxes and fees. Tax laws include entire laws and taxes on corporation tax, excise tax, tobacco tax, personal tax, business tax and other services. Oregon does not have a general sales tax.

Oregon Tax Programs

Oregon Interesting Facts

  • Oregon's state flag is the only state flag to carry two separate designs.

  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States.

  • Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut, i.e., Hazelnut.

  • Oregon's state birthday is on Valentine's Day (February 14).

  • Navy blue and gold are the official state colors of Oregon.

  • Swallowtail Butterfly is Oregon’s State Insect.

  • The state beverage of Oregon is milk.

  • The state motto of Oregon is "Alis volat Propriis" (She flies with her own wings)

  • Florence is known as the rhododendron capital of Oregon.


  1. Oregon statehood
  2. Oregon area
  3. Oregon population
  4. Oregon employment
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