The United States is one of the largest and most technologically developed countries in the world. The Gross Domestic Product of the country in terms of purchasing power parity of the country has reached at $12.36 trillion (2005 est.).
Agriculture and Industry in Oregon
Oregon economy is a set of human and social activities and institutions
related to the production, distribution, exchange and consumption of
agriculture and industry goods and services. The balance between Oregon
various economic sectors differs largely between various regions and
other states in the US.
Oregon's real gross state product in 2012 was estimated to be $187,440 which was just about the national state average,
$187,440. Oregon has the 25th highest GSP out of the 50 states.
Oregon is the leading provider of lumber in the United States; about
one-tenth of the nation's timber can be found in the state. There are
nearly 31 million acres of forest land (almost half the state), and
although much of this area is protected from logging for environmental
reasons, the state produces more than 5 billion board feet per year.
Other industries connected to timber include paper and paper items,
printing and publishing.
The state's numerous dams provide abundant, cheap electric power. The
John Day Dam is one of the largest hydroelectric generators in the world.
The dams also assist in flood control and navigation, and the rivers
are rich in fish, particularly salmon.
In agriculture, the state is a leading producer of peppermint, blackberries,
boysenberries, loganberries, black raspberries, and hazelnuts. Also
important is the production of raspberries, hops, prunes, snap beans
Although mining is not a major industry overall, Oregon leads the nation
in the production of nickel. Tourism is increasing as a resource to
the state, as there are 13 national forests, one national grassland,
and more than 220 state parks.
Cattle, vegetables, nursery stock, fruits and nuts, dairy products,
Lumber and wood products, tourism, food processing, paper products,
machinery, scientific instruments.
The Willamette Valley is very fertile and, coupled with Oregon's
famous rain, gives the state a wealth of agricultural products. Apples
and other fruits, cattle, dairy products, potatoes, and peppermint are
all valuable products. Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut
growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United
States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced
to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in
the 1970s and Oregon is home to at least four wine appellations. Due
to regional similarities of climate and soil, the grapes planted in
Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French region of Alsace.
Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major
timber production and logging states, but forest fires (such as the
Tillamook Burn), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management
of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of
timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute,
timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96% from 1989 from
4,333 million to 173 million board feet (10,000,000 to 408,000 m³) in
2001. While the 1980s saw an unsustainable amount of timber harvested,
the drop in timber harvested is still significant, as the total amount
of timber harvested in 2001 is less than half of that in the late 1970s.
Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper
and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry.
Examples include Weyerhaeuser's acquisition of Willamette Industries
in January, 2002, the announcement by Louisiana Pacific in September,
2003 that they will relocate their corporate headquarters from Portland
to Nashville, and the experiences of small lumber towns like Gilchrist.
Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood
lumber production; in 2001, according to the Oregon Forest Resources
Institute, 6,056 million board feet (14,000,000 m³) was produced in
Oregon, against 4,5257 mbf. in Washington, 2,731 in California, 2,413
in Georgia, and 2,327 in Mississippi. The effect of the forest industry
crunch is still massive unemployment in rural Oregon and is a bone of
contention between rural and urban Oregon.
High technology industries and services have been a major employer since
the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until
the late 1980s. Intel's creation and expansion of several plants in
eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started.
The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies
led to the establishment of the Portland metropolitan area as the Silicon
Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 in the Silicon Valley
has led to similar results in the Silicon Forest; many high technology
employers have either reduced the number of their employees or gone
out of business. OSDL made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds,
developer of the Linux kernel. Oregon also is the home of non-technology-based
companies such as shoemaker Nike, whose world headquarters is located
Oregon had one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world,
although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent
years. Tourism is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain
forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National
Park), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare
Festival, held in Ashland, is a tourist draw near its Californian border
which complements the area's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor
Oregon is home to a number of smaller breweries.
A central feature of the US economy is a reliance on private decision-making ("economic freedom") in economic decision-making. This is enhanced by relatively low levels of regulation, taxation, and government involvement, as well as a court system that generally protects property rights and enforces contracts.