Economy of Oregon State

June 29, 2010US State Economiesby EconomyWatch


Oregon is the ninth-largest state in the US (255,026 km²), in terms of area, but only the 26th in terms of GDP at $158 billion in 2007 (a 4.4% growth rate, one of the fastest in the US last year), and 27th in terms of population at 3.747 million.

Oregon is a state located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It is directly south of Washington State, directly north of California and a portion of Nevada, and directly west of Idaho. Its western edge is the Pacific Ocean.

The capital of Oregon is Salem. Other notable cities are Portland, Eugene, Springfield, Bend, Medford, La Grande, and Pendelton. Oregon became a state on Valentine’s Day of 1859, making it the 33rd of the Union.

Most of the urban areas are west of the Cascade Mountains, which divides the state from north to south. The Cascades lie in the West of the state, not far from the coast. Some notable mountains in the Oregon Cascades are Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Crater Lake. All are volcanoes.

The economy of Oregon is broad and varied. It spans agriculture, logging, and technology.

Oregon Demography And Social Indicators

Almost all Oregonians east of the Cascades are Caucasian, with some Hispanics. The urban areas west of the Cascades are more racially-diverse.

Following is a breakdown of racial percentages in Oregon:92.95% are Caucasian, 2.38% are black, 2.44% are American Indian or Alaskan Native, 4.25% are Asian, and 0.50% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Business and Economy of Oregon

Oregon is known for being home to the following companies: Nike, Intel (Oregon’s largest employer), Columbia Sportswear, Oregon Scientific, and Mentor Graphics.

Mostly all of Oregon is fertile farm land, producing grapes, hazelnuts, cherries, potatoes, apples, alfalfa, hops, peppermint, wheat and more. Oregon is the largest producer of hazelnuts in the US.

Oregon is significant for its considerable wine production, ranking third in the US with more than 300 wineries. Most of these are west of the Cascades, as most of the climate is too cold to grow grapes east of the Cascades.

Oregon is also known for its large number of breweries. In fact, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the world.

The famous Tillamook cheese is from Tillamook, Oregon, as are Kettle Chips.

Oregon is notable for not having any sales tax, which makes it a popular shopping state.

Energy Production In Oregon

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the windiest places in the US, and is home to the aptly-named Stateline Wind Project, on the border of Oregon and Washington. This wind farm will have a capacity of 300 megawatts once it is finished. (Typical nuclear power plants in the US have capacities between 500 and 1300 megawatts). Currently, it is comprised of 186 turbines; another 279 are being installed.

The Columbia River is home to dams which produce hydroelectric power. This type of power amounts to more than 50% of the state’s power generation.

The remainder of the power generated in Oregon comes from natural gas-fired plants (one-third of the power), and coal-fired plants, supplying the rest.

East of Pendleton, large power transmission lines link Oregon’s grid to neighboring states Washington and California, facilitating substantial power transfers.

Oregon has potential to be a significant geothermal energy producer via the volcanic Cascade Mountains and geologically energetic areas of the south and west.

Tourist Attractions Of Oregon

  • Columbia River for windsurfing
  • Mount Hood for skiing
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Beaches, which offer excellent surfing, but in cold water
  • Hell’s Canyon
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Wineries
  • Breweries
  • National track and field meets in Eugene
  • Crater Lake
  • Wallowa Lake
  • Spout Springs ski area
  • Anthony Lakes Ski Resort

Colleges, Schools and Universities In Oregon

Oregon is home to seven public colleges and universities, 17 community colleges, and many other institutions:

  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland Community College
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Lane Community College
  • Mount Hood Community College
  • Clackamas Community College
  • Linn-Benton Community College
  • Southern Oregon University
  • Western Oregon University
  • Rouge Community College
  • Central Oregon Community College
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • University of Portland
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • George Fox University
  • Willamette University
  • Linfield College
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Pacific University
  • Blue Mountain Community College
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College
  • Treasure Valley Community College
  • Clatsop Community College
  • Art Institute of Portland
  • Concordia University
  • Reed College
  • Western Culinary Institute
  • Marylhust University
  • Umpqua Community College
  • Australasian College of Health Sciences USA
  • Pioneer Pacific College
  • Klamath Community College
  • Columbia Gorge Community College
  • Multnomah Bible College and Seminary
  • Corban College
  • Oregon Coast Community College
  • Western Seminary
  • Warner Pacific College
  • National College of Natural Medicine
  • Northwest Chrisian College
  • Western States Chiropractic College
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art
  • Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
  • Tillamook Bay Community College
  • Eugene Bible College
  • Mount Angel Seminary
  • Oregon College of Art & Craft
  • Birthingway College of Midwifery
  • Gutenberg College

Further Readings

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