I did not know that I live in one of the least diverse counties in the largest metro area in Oregon

“In a changing world, Portland remains overwhelmingly white

by Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian

As the nation’s first African American president prepares to take office this week, metro Portland — with its overwhelmingly white population and leadership — is demographically out of step with 2009 America. Among the nation’s 40 largest metro areas, only four — none of them in the West — are whiter than Portland, new census figures show.

Unlike most metro areas, Portland’s urban core isn’t a hub for minorities. Instead, Portland is the whitest big city in the nation, at 74 percent white. Seattle, at 68 percent, is No. 2.”


According to this article Clackamas County where I live is the whitest county in the Portland metro area. I would not have thought that was true since there are many Mexicans who live and work in this county. However on second thought many of those Mexicans are most likely not legal citizens. There are still some large farms in Clackamas County that employee migrant laborer. There is a large nursery about one mile from my house that has a very large base of Mexican employees. Due to this there are some very good authentic Mexican restaurants and food trailers nearby. Also at the US Bank branch in the area the few times I have been in there I have noticed that all of the tellers speak fluent Spanish.

I work for a large national company, Qwest Communications. In Portland there are about 75 employees in my department. Other than a man who is of Native American descent many generations ago there are no true minorities. In fact a year or so ago I made a comment about all of the sales reps, sales manager and sales engineer candidates that we had interviewed and how amazed I was that out of some 50+ people only one was a minority. That man lived in Seattle and was looking for a job in Portland so he and his wife could move closer to her family. Qwest has great benefits and it a very good company to work for. This article explains though why it is hard for large corporations in the Portland area to attract minority employees.

When I was growing up I recall that there was only one student in my grade school that was not white. He was an African American boy who was a foster child. By the time I got to high school there were a couple of Asians and maybe two or three African Americans students.

I guess that I have never given much thought to how my community lacks a diverse population because all I see are people regardless of race, color or spoken language.

This was an interesting article though covering some history of why Oregon is such a white state to this date.

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