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Old 03-03-2015, 02:55 AM
 
12 posts, read 19,963 times
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This may seem like a stupid question but I'm curious about the deeper causes here.
So theres 3 west coast states:

California: 36 million people
Oregon 3.9 million people
Washington 7 million people

It seems odd that california is the most populous state in the union, right next to oregon, but the population is double Oregon the next state up. Just looking for deep commentary about why this is.

(im kinda sort of considering moving to portland from kansas)
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
4,828 posts, read 7,033,130 times
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Well, for one thing, over 50% of Oregon is either state or federal land.
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:41 AM
 
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There was the gold rush, so people flocked to California, but could go no further because the Pacific Ocean stopped them...

Then it was too crowded in California, so a few headed north... But they were stopped at the Canadian border by the fence, so stuck in Washington they were!

[Geeky version: Californians headed north, saw Microsoft and saw no need to go any further! These people can be seen driving on I-5 frequently, and especially 3 day holidays, to visit their relatives in California (Washington plates) or Washington (California plates). They periodically stop in Oregon to sign speeding tickets and buy yuppie food.]

Note: With a bit of research you may find a Washington State military version relating to Boeing Aircraft, nuclear submarines, nuclear bombs, and dam building on the Columbia River along with power hungry related industries. [Jobs!]

I don't care to live in Washington State because every time you search google.com for something there, you get tons of information about Washington D.C. or George Washington, but nothing about what you were searching for...
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,274 posts, read 38,279,067 times
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I think there are many reasons.

1) Shipping. When you look at major shipping ports (top 50) in the US, Washington has 5, and Oregon has one (Portland). Shipping drives economies and growth, especially early on during the industrial revolution. Shipping equals jobs.

2) The transcontinental railroad. While the west coast was connected up and down by a railroad, Tacoma and San Francisco were the stopping points for the transcontinental railroads. Transcontinental railroad equals jobs. Not Portland.

3) Waterways-Traveling up and down the Columbia wasn't easy. Until the dams were built, it was serious whitewater. The sound is much calmer water and much wider allowing for more shipping lanes as well as using it for recreational purposes.

4) Mountains-The Coastal Range makes it very difficult to establish large ports on our coastline, where Washington has some very natural large sections of non-mountainous land along the coast. It was a lot easier to get timber to ship to port.

Once growth starts in a state, it is easier for it to snowball and continue to grow. With easy access to shipping and rail lines, I think that is why Washington grew faster than Oregon. As such their economy developed differently over time as shipping was able to sustain a plethora of industries.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:35 AM
 
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Here's a question about Oregon I've always wondered--how come Astoria didn't become a bigger port and city? I mean I've heard different reasons for this--one that the Columbia River bar is such a bad obstacle to cross over that ships would seek other ports--though that didn't stop ships from sailing past that and further up the Columbia all the way to Portland throughout history. Also, I've heard that the mountainous terrain made it difficult to get from the Willamette Valley to Astoria and Portland was more convenient--though rough terrain of the Coast Ranges didn't stop the settlement of a lot of other major cities and towns on the West Coast.



Another thing in comparison with Washington is that Eastern Washington(which had more farming land) has more sizable towns and small cities east of the Cascades while Oregon outside of Bend(and a few places like Pendleton) is very sparsely populated. There's no equivalent of Spokane in Eastern Oregon, there's no sizable college like Washington State, nowhere even approaches Yakima and few even approach Walla Walla in size.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Yachats, OR
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The lack of manufacturing and thus mostly low paying jobs. Washington has no state income tax and Oregon's is rater high due to no sales tax. The small town I live in is made up mostly of retirees with quite a few making their way from California. The jobs available are mostly low paying service work.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:08 PM
 
4,059 posts, read 5,293,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInPortland View Post
Here's a question about Oregon I've always wondered--how come Astoria didn't become a bigger port and city?

Combine your post with Silverfall's and you have a lot of the answers right there.

The sandbar slows things up, and AFAIK the hiring of the pilot boats isn't cheap (though the time lost schlupping up and down the river probably costs more than the piloting fees). Likewise, if you do unload in Astoria, what then? Other than the canneries and a few coastal towns, there really isn't anywhere for goods to go to or come from. There's very few population centers, and connection to the rail lines is middling - yes you can unload for rail moving up/down the coast, but it's generally cheaper just to ship up/down the coast.

For products moving east/west it makes more sense to continue north to the sound or south to CA. A lot of what goes in/out of the Columbia (Longview/Vanc/Pdx) is local pickup/delivery.

As for the development of Spokane/Tri-Cities without anything particularly comparable on the Oregon side, a lot of that is soil and climate. My perception is that the OR side, esp. as you move away from the river, gets pretty dang arid. I'm not sure what you could grow in Burns or Ontario as a major commodity. Not exactly great conditions for most crops - ranching viable in some spots but not everywhere.

And again, the railroad can't be understated. Spokane was a trading center in the pre-rail days, and the connection of the Great Northern Railway opened the door for it to boom in a way that just wasn't going to happen for La Grande or Burns without the same access to rail or the same markets.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,274 posts, read 38,279,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInPortland View Post
Here's a question about Oregon I've always wondered--how come Astoria didn't become a bigger port and city?
Astoria is surrounded by water on three sides as it juts out. It is marshy land and there isn't a lot of room to grow a city there. Burning down to the ground twice didn't help its ability to grow either. Then you have the issue of the weather there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInPortland View Post
though rough terrain of the Coast Ranges didn't stop the settlement of a lot of other major cities and towns on the West Coast.
What major towns and cities are along the coastal range are you talking about?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInPortland View Post
Another thing in comparison with Washington is that Eastern Washington(which had more farming land) has more sizable towns and small cities east of the Cascades while Oregon outside of Bend(and a few places like Pendleton) is very sparsely populated. There's no equivalent of Spokane in Eastern Oregon, there's no sizable college like Washington State, nowhere even approaches Yakima and few even approach Walla Walla in size.
Well if you look at where the land is that is owned by the federal government, I think you will see why west of the Cascades is sparsely developed.

Eastern Oregon is high desert and eastern Washington is not. Lots easier to grow things outside of deserts.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Astoria is geo limited. If you build a large port you need hundreds of acres of flat ground to store containers and other shipping. Astoria doesn't have it.
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Old 03-03-2015, 03:14 PM
 
1,376 posts, read 1,230,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
Combine your post with Silverfall's and you have a lot of the answers right there.

The sandbar slows things up, and AFAIK the hiring of the pilot boats isn't cheap (though the time lost schlupping up and down the river probably costs more than the piloting fees). Likewise, if you do unload in Astoria, what then? Other than the canneries and a few coastal towns, there really isn't anywhere for goods to go to or come from. There's very few population centers, and connection to the rail lines is middling - yes you can unload for rail moving up/down the coast, but it's generally cheaper just to ship up/down the coast.

For products moving east/west it makes more sense to continue north to the sound or south to CA. A lot of what goes in/out of the Columbia (Longview/Vanc/Pdx) is local pickup/delivery.

As for the development of Spokane/Tri-Cities without anything particularly comparable on the Oregon side, a lot of that is soil and climate. My perception is that the OR side, esp. as you move away from the river, gets pretty dang arid. I'm not sure what you could grow in Burns or Ontario as a major commodity. Not exactly great conditions for most crops - ranching viable in some spots but not everywhere.

And again, the railroad can't be understated. Spokane was a trading center in the pre-rail days, and the connection of the Great Northern Railway opened the door for it to boom in a way that just wasn't going to happen for La Grande or Burns without the same access to rail or the same markets.
Yeah I mentioned the farming aspect of parts of Washington, though Boise is basically right next to Ontario, Oregon and it's grown into a sizable small city, while Ontario is just about 11,000 people. And near the Columbia River, Pendelton and Hermiston are basically similar to the nearby Tri-Cities and Walla Walla and Yakima in terms of climate and yet much smaller in terms of population.

Yeah I sort of understand why Astoria is just a village basically rather than even a large town and never grew much as a port. Though it seems like with the location it has and the history it could have been re-invested in much earlier for something(like tourism which it's getting more of now)--considering the population peaked in the 1920s and fell since then by 5,000 people. It would've been a good location for a state university, though Oregon ended up with most of all of the major colleges within about 30-45 minutes of each other.
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