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Portland (, PORT-lənd) is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in Northwestern Oregon. As of 2020, Portland had a population of 652,503, making it the 25th-most populated city in the United States, the sixth-most populous on the West Coast, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest after Seattle. Approximately 2.5 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous in the United States. Its combined statistical area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 47% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.Named after Portland, Maine, the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s near the end of the Oregon Trail. Its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, and the timber industry was a major force in the city's early economy. At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering. After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate. Beginning in the 1960s, Portland became noted for its growing progressive political values, earning it a reputation as a bastion of counterculture.The city operates with a commission-based government guided by a mayor and four commissioners as well as Metro, the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Its climate is marked by warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. This climate is ideal for growing roses, and Portland has been called the "City of Roses" for over a century.
Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, located in Clark County. Incorporated in 1857, Vancouver had a population of 161,791 as of the 2010 U.S. census, and a population of 186,192 as of the 2020 U.S census, making it the fourth-largest city in Washington state. Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 25th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Originally established in 1825 around Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading outpost, the city is located on the Washington–Oregon border along the Columbia River, directly north of Portland.
McMinnville is the county seat of and largest city in Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, it was named by its founder, William T. Newby (1820–1884), an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, for his hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee. As of the 2019 census, the city had a population estimate of 34,743.McMinnville is at the confluence of the North and South Forks of the Yamhill River in the Willamette Valley. The city is home to Wings and Waves Water Park, Cascade Steel (a Schnitzer Steel Industries company), Oregon Mutual Insurance Company, the Woodworth Contrarian Hedge Fund, Linfield University, Joe Dancer Park, and Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, the home of Howard Hughes' famed Spruce Goose flying boat.
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood of West Salem is in Polk County. Salem was founded in 1842, became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857. Salem had a population of 174,365 in 2019, making it the second-largest city in the state after Portland. Salem is a little under an hour's driving distance away from Portland. Salem is the principal city of the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Marion and Polk counties and had a combined population of 390,738 at the 2010 census. A 2019 estimate placed the metropolitan population at 400,408, the state's second largest. This area is, in turn, part of the Portland-Vancouver-Salem Combined Statistical Area. The campuses of Willamette University and Chemeketa Community College lie within the city limits of Salem, and the campus of Corban University is just outside the city in unincorporated Marion County. The State of Oregon is the largest public employer in the city, and Salem Health is the largest private employer. Transportation includes public transit from Cherriots (legally known as Salem Area Mass Transit District), Amtrak service, and non-commercial air travel at McNary Field. Major roads include Interstate 5, Oregon Route 99E, and Oregon Route 22, which connects West Salem across the Willamette River via the Marion Street and Center Street bridges.