Eugene (/juːˈdʒiːn/ yoo-JEEN) is a city in the U.S. state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest. It is at the southern end of the verdant Willamette Valley, near the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Oregon Coast.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.74 square miles (113.29 km), of which 43.72 square miles (113.23 km) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km) is water. Eugene is at an elevation of 426 feet (130 m).
To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte. Northeast of the city is the Coburg Hills. Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark south of the city. Mount Pisgah is southeast of Eugene and includes Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area, a Lane County Park. Eugene is surrounded by foothills and forests to the south, east, and west, while to the north the land levels out into the Willamette Valley and consists of mostly farmland.
The Willamette and McKenzie Rivers run through Eugene and its neighboring city, Springfield. Another important stream is Amazon Creek, whose headwaters are near Spencer Butte. The creek discharges west of the city into Fern Ridge Reservoir, maintained for winter flood control by the Army Corps of Engineers. Eugene Yacht Club hosts a sailing school and sailing regattas at Fern Ridge during summer months.
Eugene has 23 neighborhood associations:
According to the 2010 census, Eugene’s population was 156,185. The population density was 3,572.2 people per square mile. There were 69,951 housing units at an average density of 1,600 per square mile. Those age 18 and over accounted for 81.8% of the total population.
The racial makeup of the city was 85.8% White, 4.0% Asian, 1.4% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 4.7% from other races.
Hispanics and Latinos of any race accounted for 7.8% of the total population. Of the non-Hispanics, 82% were White, 1.3% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race alone, and 3.4% were of two or more races.
Females represented 51.1% of the total population, and males represented 48.9%. The median age in the city was 33.8 years.
The census of 2000 showed there were 137,893 people, 58,110 households, and 31,321 families residing in the city of Eugene. The population density was 3,404.8 people per square mile (1,314.5/km²). There were 61,444 housing units at an average density of 1,516.4 per square mile (585.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.15% White, down from 99.5% in 1950, 3.57% Asian, 1.25% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.72% from two or more races. 4.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 58,110 households, of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87. In the city, the population was 20.3% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $35,850, and the median income for a family was $48,527. Males had a median income of $35,549 versus $26,721 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,315. About 8.7% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.
Religious institutions of higher learning in Eugene include Northwest Christian University and New Hope Christian College. Northwest Christian University (formerly Northwest Christian College), founded in 1895, has ties with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). New Hope Christian College (formerly Eugene Bible College) originated with the Bible Standard Conference in 1915, which joined with Open Bible Evangelistic Association to create Open Bible Standard Churches in 1932. Eugene Bible College was started from this movement by Fred Hornshuh in 1925.
There are two Eastern Orthodox Church parishes in Eugene: St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Christian Church in the Historic Whiteaker Neighborhood and Saint George Greek Orthodox Church.
There are six Roman Catholic parishes in Eugene as well: St. Mary Catholic Church, St. Jude Catholic Church, St. Mark Catholic Church, St. Peter Catholic Church, St. Paul Catholic Church, and St. Thomas More Catholic Church.
Eugene also has a Ukrainian Catholic Church named Nativity of the Mother of God.
There is a mainline Protestant contingency in the city as well—such as the largest of the Lutheran Churches, Central Lutheran near the U of O Campus and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
The Eugene area has a sizeable LDS Church presence, with three stakes, consisting of 23 congregations (wards and branches). The Portland Oregon Temple is the nearest temple.
The greater Eugene-Springfield area also has a Jehovah’s Witnesses presence with five Kingdom Halls, several having multiple congregations in one Kingdom Hall.
The Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel is Eugene’s largest Jewish congregation. It was also, for many decades, Eugene’s only synagogue, until Orthodox members broke away in 1992 and formed “Congregation Ahavas Torah”.
Eugene has a community of some 140 Sikhs, who have established a Sikh temple.
The 340-member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene (UUCE) purchased the former Eugene Scottish Rite Temple in May 2010, renovated it, and began services there in September 2012.
Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Temple in Eugene opened in 2012 in the former site of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
About 82% of Eugene residents are eligible voters. Of those registered to vote, about 43% are registered Democrat, 25% Republican, 25% non-affiliated, with about 7% registered to third parties.
In January 2006, the FBI conducted Operation Backfire, leading to federal indictment of eleven people, all members of a Eugene-based cell of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Operation Backfire was the largest investigation into radical underground environmental groups in United States history. Ongoing trials of accused eco-terrorists kept Eugene in the spotlight for a few years.