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.


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.

Data Sources

Acronym List

A&EAlbany & Eastern Railroad
ACAAffordable Care Act
ACSAmerican Community Survey
BESTOregon’s Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center
BLSU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
BMIbody mass index
btuBritish thermal unit
BVCOGBrazos Valley Council of Governments
CMSCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services
CSACommunity Supported Agriculture
DHSDepartment of Human Services
DOCDepartment of Commerce
DOEDepartment of Energy
DOIDepartment of Interior
DOLDepartment of Labor
EDOregon Department of Education
EPAEnvironment Protection Agency
ERSEconomic Research Service
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
GISgeographic information system
GSAGovernment Services Administration
GTFSGeneral Transit Feed Specification
HHSHealth and Human Services
I-5Interstate 5
INH-COOInterCommunity Health Network Coordinated Care Organization
IHSIndian Health Services
HRSAHealth Resources and Services Administration
LAUSLocal Area Unemployment Statistics
NACOGNorthern Arizona Council of Governments
NAICSNorth American Industry Classification System
NASANational Air and Space Administration
NASSNational Agricultural Statistics Service
NEMTnon-emergenct medical transportation
NIHNational Institutes of Health
NOAANational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NPIASNational Plan of Integrated Airport Systems
NSFNational Science Foundation
OCWCOGOregon Cascades West Council of Governments
ODEOregon Department of Energy
ODFOregon Department of Forestry
ODOTOregon Department of Transportation
OEDOregon Employment Department
OHPOregon Health Plan
ONAMIOregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute
OPRDOregon Parks and Recreation Department
OSUOregon State University
OTRADIOregon Translational Research and Development Institute
P&WPortland & Western Railroad
PMparticulate matter
PSUPortland State University
QCEWQuarterly Census of Employment and Wages
RAINRegional Accelerator and Innovation Network
SAHIEsmall area health insurance estimates
SICOGSoutheast Idaho Council of Governments
SNAPSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
SSISocial Security Insurance
USACEUnited States Army Corps of Engineers
USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development
USDAUnited States Department of Agriculture
USBLMUnited States Bureau of Land Management
USDODUnited States Department of Defense
USFSUnited States Forest Service
USFWSUnited States Fish and Wildlife Service
USGSUnited States Geological Survey
USNUnited States Department of the Navy
VAUnited States Department of Veterans Affairs
VSOVeterans Service Office