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Oregon

Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon’s northern boundary along Washington state, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary along Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada. It is one of only three states of the contiguous United States to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean.
Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (255,000 km²), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The state capital, Salem, is the second most populous of its cities, with 164,549 residents, while Portland, with 632,309 residents, is the most populous, ranking as the 26th most populous city in the United States. Portland’s metro population of 2,389,228 ranks the 23rd largest metro in the nation.
Oregon is one of the most geographically diverse states in the United States, 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 is the state’s highest point. Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake National Park, comprises the caldera surrounding 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 8.9 km2 (2,200 acres) of the Malheur National Forest.
Because of its diverse landscapes and waterways, Oregon’s economy is largely powered by various forms of agriculture, fishing, and hydroelectric power. It is also the top timber-producer of the lower 48 states. Technology is another one of the state’s major economic forces, which began 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.
Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west at longest distance. 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. 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. Oregon’s mean elevation is 3,300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park is the state’s only national park and the site of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet (592 m). Oregon claims the D River as the shortest river in the world, though the state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River. Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland), 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.
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).
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. In the southern part of the state, Medford is a rapidly growing metro area, which is home to The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, the third-busiest airport in the state. To the south, near the California-Oregon border, are the communities of Ashland and Grants Pass.

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