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Regional Facts & Figures

The Spirit of Medford

Medford was founded on a frigid December day in the year 1883, as a depot on the Oregon-California Railroad. Its name was likely borrowed from a town in Massachusetts that was dear to David Loring, a local railroad engineer.

Medford ’s beginning was as unoriginal as its stolen name; it felt like the numerous other railroad towns of its time, complete with weathered wood storefronts and several saloons. The over-romanticized days of gun slinging were soon holstered by the discovery that one could pull from the valley’s fertile soil some mighty fine fruit, especially pears.

Thus began the pear boom of 1900-1910. Newcomers swelled Medford 's population by almost 400% during the decade, making it the third fastest growing city in the United States . The next event to bolster the economy was the need for post World War II products. With the postwar housing boom creating a huge demand, timber overtook agriculture as the area's most influential industry.

Today diverse industries such as tourism, electronic related sales & assembly and communication related industries further enhance the area, which has essentially been preserved from the blights usually associated with strong development.

Fast Facts

Population of Medford:
77,677 (2013 estimate as of 12/12/2014

Population of Jackson County: 
208,545 (2013 estimate as of 12/12/2014

Fastest Growing Cities in Jackson County:
Central Point and Eagle Point

Median Age of Jackson County Residents:
36.5 years
(Oregon’s average is 37.4 years)

Largest Ethnic Group in the Rogue Valley:
Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin

Age Breakdown in Jackson County:
(2013 estimate as of 12/12/2014
Under 18 - 21.2%
19 to 64 - 59.3%
65 and Older - 19.5%

Jackson County Housing Costs:
Average home prices (Data from The Mail Tribune and Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service):
Jackson County - $201,250
East Medford - $207,450
West Medford - $113,450
Ashland - $331,000
Central Point - $159,000

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Medford is $600-$950 per month. The average rent for a three-bedroom house in Medford is $700-$1,500 per month.


Medford is located midway between Portland, OR, which is about 273 miles to the north, and San Francisco, CA, which is 374 miles to the south.  Just 27 miles from the northern California border, Interstate 5 links Medford to major population centers north and south.  Highway 62 north is the main route out of the valley to Crater Lake and Central Oregon.  Highway 140 links Medford to Klamath Falls and southeastern Oregon.

Medford: Miles From
Bend 175
Brookings 130
Crater Lake 80
Denver 1,340
Eugene 165
Florence 200
Grants Pass 25
Klamath Falls 76
Portland 273
Reno 305
San Francisco 364
Seattle 455

Area’s Highest Mountain:
Mt. McLaughlin

Area’s Major Rivers:
Rogue River and its two tributaries, the Applegate & Illinois Rivers

The surrounding mountain ranges, which include the Cascades, the rugged Coastal Range and the Siskiyou Mountains, help to moderate Medford’s annual rainfall, which is generally less than 20 inches.  Snow is common and heavy in the mountains, but light on the valley floor where it normally melts within a few hours.  During the winter, the daily low dips into the middle 30s.  Fog is often to blame for airport delays in the winter months.  Highs in the summer average around 90 degrees, though there are a handful of “scorchers” with temperatures in the high 90s to low 100s.  The average growing season is 170 days.

Temperature and Precipitation:
Mean Annual Temperature - 56.4 F (13.3 C)
Record Low - (-10 F) (-23.3 C) December 1919
Record High - 115 F (46.1 C) July 1946
Mean Annual Precipitation - 20.6 inches (52.4 cm)