Capital city Salem
Population 4,237,256 (2020)
Surface 255,026 kmĀ²
Governor Kate Brown (D)
Member of the US since 1859

A map of Oregon

Oregon is one of the fifty states of the United States. Oregon is located in the west of the country on the Pacific Ocean. It is bordered by Washington to the north, Idaho to the east, and California and Nevada to the south. Oregon is also known as The Beaver State. About 4.2 million people live in the state. Oregon’s capital is Salem, but the largest city is Portland. Originally, Oregon was part of the greater Oregon Territory, which covered the northwestern United States. Throughout history, this territory was divided until the present state of Oregon remained. Oregon joined in 1858 as the 33rd state. Oregon is located between the major states of Washington and California, which also affects the state’s economy. Oregon is a lot more rural in contrast to these two states. Oregon is known for its diverse nature and landscapes. Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the US, Crater Lake. The lake is about 600 meters deep. Oregon is known as a progressive and liberal state. For example, euthanasia and marijuana have been legalized in the state and it was also one of the first states to introduce same- sex marriage. Oregon today is a “blue state,” meaning the Democratic Party has a large following.


Mount Hood


Oregon is the ninth largest state in the United States in terms of area. It is about the same size as the United Kingdom. Oregon has a hilly to mountainous landscape. Much of the state is covered by forests and wildlife. On the coast is the Cascade Range, which runs from Washington to northern California. This separates a thin coastal strip from the rest of the state. In the center of the state is the Columbia Plateau, a flat area where most people live. The rest of the state is quite mountainous with a desert-like area in the southwest. The largest point in Oregon is Mount Hood at 3,429 meters. Crater National Park is Oregon’s well-known national park. Oregon has several rivers, including the Columbia in the north on the border with Washington. The D River also flows through the state, which, according to state residents, is the shortest river in the world (at 130 meters).

Oregon’s Largest Cities

Name Inhabitants County
1. Portland 647.805 Multnomah County
2. Salem 169,798 Marion County
3. Eugene 168.916 Lane County
4. Gresham 111.053 Multnomah County
5. Hillsboro 106,894 Washington County
6. Beaverton 97.514 Washington County
7. bend 94.520 Deschutes County
8. Medford 81,780 Jackson County
9. Springfield 62.353 Lane County
10. Corvallis 57,961 Benton County


Oregon has three different climates. The east of the state has a temperate maritime climate. This means that there are cool summers and mild winters, mainly due to the influence of the state. Precipitation falls here throughout the year. The southwest of the state has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and true summers. The northwest has a steppe climate with temperatures similar to the east of the state. The eastern part of the state generally receives more rain and precipitation than the rest of the state. Some mountains in the state are so high that there is a fourth climate, namely a high mountain climate, but this is rare. In principle, Oregon does not have to deal with extreme weather. There can be severe thunderstorms. Due to climate change, parts of the state are more affected by drought.

Oregon’s Coastal Region



The Portland Mormon Temple is one of the largest Mormon churches in the United States

Oregon has about 4.2 million inhabitants and the population of the state is still growing. 75% of the population is white American, 15% is Latino, 4% Asian, 2% African American and 1% Native American. Most residents of the state have a German, Irish, English or Mexican migration background.


Oregon has no official language under the Constitution. Nevertheless, English can be seen as an official language. English is used in education, politics and law. Most residents also speak (only) English. The second most widely spoken language of Oregon is Spanish.


59% of Oregon’s population is adherent to Christianity, which is quite low for the United States. 43% are Protestant, 12% Catholic and 4% are Mormon. 31% of the inhabitants say they have no religion or are unbelievers. Lesser religions include Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.


State politics

Oregon State House

Oregon’s day-to-day management is in the hands of the governor. The current governor of the state is Kate Brown of the Democratic Party. Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor, while other states do. A lieutenant governor is the deputy to the governor. In Oregon, the Secretary of State is the Deputy to the Governor of Oregon. The governor is elected through direct elections, which take place every four years. The Oregon Legislature is called the Oregon Legislative Assembly and consists of two chambers. These are:

  • The House of Representatives, consisting of 60 members who are elected every two years.
  • The Senate, consisting of 30 members who are elected every four years.

The Democratic Party has a majority in both chambers. The rest of the seats are filled by the Republican Party.

Administrative division

How many counties in Oregon? Oregon is divided into 36 counties. These are:

Oregon counties

  • Baker County
  • Benton County
  • Clackamas County
  • Clatsop County
  • Columbia County
  • Coos County
  • Crook County
  • Curry County
  • Deschutes County
  • Douglas County
  • Gilliam County
  • Grant County
  • Harney County
  • Hood River County
  • Jackson County
  • Jefferson County
  • Josephine County
  • Klamath County
  • Lake County
  • Lane County
  • Lincoln County
  • Linn County
  • Malheur County
  • Marion County
  • Morrow County
  • Multnomah County
  • Polk County
  • Sherman County
  • Tillamook County
  • Umatilla County
  • Union County
  • Wallowa County
  • Wasco County
  • Washington County
  • Wheeler County
  • Yamhill County

National politics

Oregon is considered a “blue state,” meaning a majority of residents typically vote for the Democratic Party. Compared to California and Washington, this following is slightly less. Oregon is therefore sometimes referred to as a swing state, which leans Democratic. Incidentally, this depends on the election and the candidate. Since 1984, Oregon has always voted for a Democratic presidential candidate by about 10 to 15% over the Republican candidate. Oregon is represented in the United States Congress by five representatives and two senators. Of the five delegates, four are Democratic and one Republican. Beginning in 2023, Oregon will be represented by six delegates. The two Senators (Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley) are both members of the Democratic Party.


Agriculture in Oregon

In terms of wealth, Oregon is an average state. Oregon is poorer than California and Washington, but richer than, say, Idaho. In Oregon, hunting animals for their fur was very important to the state. Later on, farms were set up where animals were kept for their fur. Today, fishing and logging are more important. In particular, a lot of salmon is caught in Oregon’s waters. Agriculture is also very important to Oregon’s economy. In the state, many hazelnuts, blueberries and grain are grown. There is also a lot of animal husbandry. In the field of biotechnology and other science, there are many research centers and institutes in Oregon, such as Silicon Forest. In addition, there are many data centers of Google and Facebook in the state. Nike and Adidas are both headquartered in Oregon. Many tourists come to Oregon to enjoy the wildlife in the state. Oregon has also been a favored location for filming such films as The Goonies and Free Willy.

Oregon - The Beaver State

Oregon – The Beaver State
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