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Oregon, abbreviated OR or Ore., Is a state northwest of the United States,
located on the Pacific North of California and south of Washington, and in
addition borders Idaho in the east and Nevada in the southeast. Oregon has a
total area of approximately 254,800 km2 and has 4,142,776
inhabitants (US Census, 2017). Oregon became the 33rd state of the United States
on February 14, 1859. The capital is Salem, and the largest city is Portland.
The name is probably after the Algonquian name Ouragon river Columbia (of Wauregan,
'beautiful water, river'). Oregon is also known as The Beaver State,
the 'beaver state', due to the beaver's wide spread.
Nature and climate
Within the narrow coastal plain run two parallel mountain systems; Coast
Range and Cascade Range. The Coast Range consists of high ridge, mountains and
valleys, the highest peaks are in the north and south, and the mountains reach
their lowest point at Portland where the Columbia River breaks through. A
horizontal displacement along the mountain range (San Andreas fault) is still
active. To the south, the two mountain ranges meet in the Klamath Mountains. The
Cascade Range is rich in glaciers and lakes, including the famous Crater
Lake (National Park). The extinct volcano Mt. Hood furthest north reaches 3427 m
The land east of the Cascade Range mostly belongs to the Columbia Plateau,
which is low to the south of the Columbia River, but in the northeast reaches
2000–3000 meters above sea level. in the Blue Mountains and Wallowa
Mountains. The Southeast belongs to the drainless Great Basin. The Columbia
River forms the northern boundary and occupies the Willamette and Snake
River rivers, which form the northern part of the eastern boundary. The
Willamette Valley is very fertile.
Precipitation decreases from 1000–2500 mm in the west to less than 500 mm
east of the Cascade Mountains and in the southeast in several places to below
250 mm. Portland's average temperature is 19 °C in July and 4 °C in January. The
mountains are covered with yellow fur and Douglas fir. Eastern Oregon has steppe
vegetation and receives desertification in the southeast. About half of the
acreage is wooded and just under 10 per cent is cultivated.
Oregon has had a high population growth: 20.3 percent in the period
1990–2000, compared to approximately 13.2 percent nationwide. In the period
2000–2010, Oregon had 12 percent growth, compared to 9.7 percent throughout the
United States. 81% of the population lived in cities or urban areas in 2010.
Of the population, 87.1 percent are considered white - including 13.1
percent Hispanics - 2.2 percent black / African American, 1.8 percent
indigenous, and 4.7 percent Asian (U.S. Census, 2017). About 4 per cent of the
population is of Norwegian origin, 22.5 per cent have German ancestry, 14 per
cent English and 13 per cent have Irish ancestry. Oregon, like the other Pacific
States, has relatively more Japanese, Chinese and Filipinos than anywhere else
in the United States. In 2013, approximately 38,000 Indigenous people in
Oregon lived on five different reserves; far fewer than in the surrounding
The largest cities in Oregon are Portland with 647,805 inhabitants, the
capital city of Salem with 169,798 inhabitants and the university city
of Eugene with 168,916 inhabitants (US Census, 2017).
The state's largest church community is the Lutherans (47 percent) followed
by the Roman Catholic Church, Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians.
Oregon sends two senators and five representatives to
the Washington Congress in Washington. The state is traditionally known
as liberal and progressive, which introduced citizen initiative and referendum
as early as 1902, "recall"in 1908 - a procedure that allows citizens to dismiss
public officials within the expired term - and was in 1923 the first state who
introduced income tax. Oregon also has a high degree of municipal autonomy.
The most important trade route is the processing of agricultural and forestry
products. Oregon's most important agricultural area lies between the Cascade
Range and the Coast Range. The southwestern part has dry grazing land. The
northern areas are not suitable for agriculture, but some are used for grazing
cattle in open areas. Western Oregon has a multifaceted agriculture with large
milk production and fruit and vegetable cultivation. Salem, located in the
fertile Willamette Valley, is the center for food processing and forestry
products. In dry eastern Oregon, wheat cultivation and southeastern fat farming
are practiced. Over 600 km2 is the artificial water.
Forestry is more important than in any other state. About 50 percent of the
total area is forest, and most of it is commercially operated. 60 percent is
owned by the public. Also, fishing for salmon, halibut, mackerel, oysters
and sturgeon is a significant industry, with a focus in Astoria at the mouth of
the Columbia River.
Gold, silver and nickel ore is extracted. The industry is particularly
concentrated in the Willamettedalen Valley and is made up of timber and wood
processing industries (which is still important, although the number of wood
processing companies has dropped from 1300 to 300 in the period after World War
II), the food and metal industry.
In recent decades, the high-tech industry has become increasingly
important. These companies are concentrated in Portland and in the Willamett
Valley (Portland-Everett Corridor).
One of the state's biggest success stories in business is the world's largest
shoe manufacturer Nike, headquartered just outside Beaverton.
Oregon's coast was visited by Spaniards from the 16th to the 17th
centuries. The Lewis and Clarke expeditions (1804-1806) reached Oregon, and in
1843 the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri was opened. In the early
1800s, Oregon was a name for a much larger area that, from 1818, was
occupied jointly by the United States and Britain and in 1846 divided between
them along the 49 ° north latitude. At the same time, the US- Canada border
Oregon was organized as territory in 1848 and as a state in
1859. Washington was separated in 1853. The construction of
transcontinental railways in the late 1800s led to strong economic progress.