Situated in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, and touching the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline is the weird and wonderful state of Oregon. Known for its wild west past, unconventional modern-day traditions, and straight-up beautiful landscapes and scenery, Oregon has been a huge part of American history books since its inception in 1859.
There is so much Oregon has to offer. We have curated a list of 24 interesting facts about Oregon, delving into many different aspects of the state, the people, the economy, and some random facts too!
24 Interesting Facts About Oregon
1. Oregon sports a fairly unique state flag when compared to other states, it is in fact, the only state flag to have different designs on each side. The flag consists of the escutcheon from the state seal on one side and a golden figure of a beaver on the reverse side.
2. Oregon is home to the largest mushroom on earth. It spans an outrageous 2.4 miles, located in Oregon’s Blue Mountains, you will find this enormous honey fungus. Many believe this incredible organism is between 1,900 and 8,650 years old!
3. Oregon has played host to a number of different TV shows and movies, here are just a few:
- IFC comedy, Portlandia.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).
- The Goonies (1985).
- The Twilight Movies were filmed in both Oregon and Washington.
- Gold Rush (2016).
- Dog Story (1999).
- Brother Nature (2016).
4. One of the more bizarre facts about Oregon originates from the city of Forest Grove, where you can find the tallest barber pole in the entire world. Built all the way back in 1973, the famous red, white, and blue striped pole is a staggering 72 feet high! This is almost twice the size of the nearest competitor, a 40-foot pole located in San Antonio.
5. Despite having the largest population in the state, Portland is not the capital city of the Beaver State, that title belongs to Salem. The population in Portland Oregon is almost 6 times the size of Salem’s population at over 664,000 people to Salem’s 179,000+ people.
6. Keeping on the topic of Portland, did you know that the city has the most breweries out of any other city in the world? There are over 60 different breweries operating out of the city.
7. Portland Oregon is not only home to the most breweries, but it is also home to the most strip clubs per capita than any other US city! But make sure you do not get in the car once you have visited one of their breweries. If you do drive and do not drink alcohol, the maximum speed limit in Oregon is 70 mph on certain roads.
8. Situated in the remains of an ancient volcano you can find Crater Lake – the deepest lake in the whole of the U.S! Formed over 6,500 years ago, the crystal-blue waters of the lake are world-renowned. It is a staggering 1,949 feet (594 m) deep!
9. Portland is home to an impressive number of unique places. However, it is actually home to the smallest park in the US! Mill’s End Park is a tiny urban park that can be found in the median strip of SQ Natio Parkway, the park is a small circle 2 feet across, with a total area of 452 square inches!
10. Oregon can boast of having the only College football team mascot to originate from a Disney Character! Created in 1947, the Oregon Duck first made its appearance at a game.
11. Oregon became the first state to introduce a ban on the use of non-returnable bottles and cans. The law helped reduce litter and increase recycling, which was a revolutionary moment for the rest of the country to help tackle the issue of littering and the negative environmental impacts that are caused by littering. “Don’t Mess with Texas” is another prominent campaign from the 1980s that is still used today to combat littering.
Economic Facts About Oregon
There is an awful lot to consider when looking into the economic facts about Oregon, the state has always been considered by many as being one of the best environments for growth and development for businesses, employees, investors, and entrepreneurs alike.
If you would like to learn how to register a business in Oregon so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.
Check out the Oregon Economy & Business Climate
- Oregon’s GDP is approximately $253 billion!
- Oregon has a progressive income tax rate of 5% to 9.9%.
- The sales tax rate in Oregon is 0%, that’s right. There is no sales tax in Oregon meaning no income tax surprises!
- Oregon ranks 1st out of all states for its infrastructure (US News & World Report 2019).
- The minimum wage in Oregon is $12.75 per hour (2021). However, there are different minimum wage rates depending on your location in Oregon.
- Oregon’s overall economy ranks 5th in the U.S. (US News & World Report 2019).
- According to the US News & World Report’s economic rankings, Oregon ranks 17th for the state’s healthcare system.
- WalletHub has ranked Oregon 8th for the overall best state economies in the United States!
- The average house price in Oregon is $379,503, however, this number is seasonally adjusted, to keep updated, take a look at Zillow’s website.
- There are over 387,000 small businesses in Oregon.
- The number of small businesses in Oregon makes up over 99% of the state’s businesses!
- There are over 871,000 small business employees in Oregon.
- Over 54% of Oregon’s employees in the state work for small businesses.
- Firms with fewer than 20 employees have the largest share of small business employment in Oregon.
- There are over 5,200 small business exporters in Oregon.
- The corporate income tax rate in Oregon ranges between 6.6%-7.6%.
All of these economic facts about Oregon highlight the various reasons why so many people start a business in the state or move there for business and work opportunities. It is hard to argue why!
State Facts About Oregon
Here are some more Oregon facts
12. Oregon is home to one of the longest and oldest land routes used during the famous western expansion, it is named the Oregon Trail, and stretches 2,200 miles long!
13. Portland, Oregon has been said to have more bicyclists than any other U.S. city. The city is a bike-friendly zone and even puts on weekly biking events!
14. You may not know that the original Nike logo originated in Oregon! The logo was designed in 1971 by a Portland State University student, who later sold it for only $35.
15. South Oregon and its residents have made several attempts to depart from Oregon since 1941! They called themselves the State of Jefferson and even made their own flag.
16. Oregon’s state nickname is the Beaver State. Oregon has a great and historic affiliation with Beavers, having the furry friends as their state animal and it also makes an appearance on Oregon’s state flag! Despite appearing on the state flag, unlike most other states, the official nickname does not appear on Oregon’s state seal.
17. During the Great Depression, the North Bend would use wooden coins as their currency. Funnily enough, to this day, the coins are still considered legal tender in Oregon!
18. Oregon is home to a city known as “Boring City”. This funny, yet slightly insulting name originates from its sister city, the Scottish town of Dull.
19. Both the Oregon state fish (Chinook Salmon), and the state animal (Beaver), are indigenous to the area!
20. There have been two unfortunate fires to hit the State Capitol building in Salem since it was built, with the first occurring in 1855, and again in 1935.
21. Residents of Oregon own approximately a quarter of the United States Llama population!
22. Oregon is home to an abundance of natural beauty, which includes many amazing rivers, with the more notable being Mount Hood River, Columbia River, Snake River, Rogue River, and the Deschutes River, to name a few.
23. Sunriver, located in central Oregon is an awesome place to visit on vacation, with family and friends. There is a plethora of fun and awesome activities to partake in, including stunning hiking trails, caves to explore, parks to relax in, and most famously, the Oregon observatory, this is every astronomer’s dream. With barely any light pollution, the observatory is exposed to some of the most incredible stargazing in the entire nation, and is a must-visit place if you are in Oregon!
24. The seaside city of Newport, Oregon is home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which opened in 1992 and was the home of “Keiko”, the famous Orca who starred in the movie Free Willy! The Killer Whale called the aquarium it’s home for 2 years, between 1996 and 1998.