The footprint of Western Oregon’s Benton, Lincoln, and Linn Counties spans nearly 4,000 square miles, is home to over 255,000 individuals, and encompasses diverse economic, geographic, and cultural attributes. From the foothills of the Cascades to the Central Oregon Coast, with the fertile Willamette Valley in between, this is a region of exciting opportunities and unique challenges.

This seminal State of the Region highlights trends, connections, and indicators related to the people and the economy of our region, including migration, agriculture, business patents, philanthropic investments, and more. Findings are developed and illustrated through a rigorous data collection process undertaken over the past year by a project team at the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments.

Our goals for the State of the Region are:

  1. To capture data related to our region, present it, and make it available in easy-to-use, scalable, and interactive formats. The data are not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to provide a snapshot and encourage future conversations.
  2. To build internal and external capacity in data collection, maintenance, and visualization.
  3. To provide decision-makers with data to help set the stage for policy and program decisions concerning our collective priorities, investments, and vision.

Dig in


The Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG) has served the region since the 1970s. OCWCOG is a regional planning and service delivery organization with offices in Albany, Corvallis, and Toledo, and over 160 staff members. OCWCOG conducts projects and provides services on behalf of its members, which include 21 cities, three counties, the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, and the Port of Newport. OCWCOG’s work is diverse and includes senior and disability services, veterans programs, business services, economic development, business lending, and transportation planning.

About the Data

The data in this report come from a variety of sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon State University, Oregon Department of Education, and many other federal, state, and local sources. No primary data collection was completed for this document. All data are publicly available from the respective sources; no confidential data were used. Most of the data in this document are based on sample surveys and are subject to sampling variability. Readers are encouraged to refer to the original data sources for details on methodology, including sampling variability, margins of error, and statistical significance. Data in some tables and charts may not add due to rounding (e.g. percentages may add to 99 or 100). The target timeframe for this report is the period from 2004 to 2014, although not all data were available for this reference period. The most recent available data as of July 1, 2015 were used.

Download the
Appendix (PDF)

Data Sources

Acronym List

A&E Albany & Eastern Railroad
ACA Affordable Care Act
ACS American Community Survey
BEST Oregon’s Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center
BLS U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
BMI body mass index
btu British thermal unit
BVCOG Brazos Valley Council of Governments
CMS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CSA Community Supported Agriculture
DHS Department of Human Services
DOC Department of Commerce
DOE Department of Energy
DOI Department of Interior
DOL Department of Labor
ED Oregon Department of Education
EPA Environment Protection Agency
ERS Economic Research Service
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GIS geographic information system
GSA Government Services Administration
GTFS General Transit Feed Specification
HHS Health and Human Services
I-5 Interstate 5
INH-COO InterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization
IHS Indian Health Services
HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
Kwh kilowatt
LAUS Local Area Unemployment Statistics
MW megawatt
NACOG Northern Arizona Council of Governments
NAICS North American Industry Classification System
NASA National Air and Space Administration
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NEMT non-emergenct medical transportation
NIH National Institutes of Health
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPIAS National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems
NSF National Science Foundation
OCWCOG Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments
ODE Oregon Department of Energy
ODF Oregon Department of Forestry
ODOT Oregon Department of Transportation
OED Oregon Employment Department
OHP Oregon Health Plan
ONAMI Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute
OPRD Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
OSU Oregon State University
OTRADI Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute
P&W Portland & Western Railroad
PM particulate matter
PSU Portland State University
QCEW Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
RAIN Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network
SAHIE small area health insurance estimates
SICOG Southeast Idaho Council of Governments
SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
SSI Social Security Insurance
USACE United States Army Corps of Engineers
USAID United States Agency for International Development
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
USBLM United States Bureau of Land Management
USDOD United States Department of Defense
USFS United States Forest Service
USFWS United States Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS United States Geological Survey
USN United States Department of the Navy
VA United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VSO Veterans Service Office