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Portland is 60 miles (97 km) east of the Pacific Ocean at the northern end of Oregon's most populated region, the Willamette Valley.

Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River, which flows north through the city center and separates the city's east and west neighborhoods.

The article, which focused on crime boss Jim Elkins, became the basis of a fictionalized film titled Portland Exposé (1957).

In spite of the city's seedier undercurrent of criminal activity, Portland enjoyed an economic and industrial surge during World War II. Kaiser had been awarded contracts to build Liberty ships and aircraft carrier escorts, and chose sites in Portland and Vancouver, Washington, for work yards.

The city covers 145 square miles (380 square kilometers) and had an estimated population of 639,863 in 2016, Approximately 2,424,955 people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous MSA in the United States.Though much of downtown Portland is relatively flat, the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains, more commonly referred to locally as the "West Hills", pierce through the northwest and southwest reaches of the city. Three of downtown's most heavily used bridges are more than 100 years old and are designated historic landmarks: Hawthorne Bridge (1910), Steel Bridge (1912), and Broadway Bridge (1913).Council Crest Park, commonly thought of as the highest point within city limits, is in the West Hills and rises to an elevation of 1,073 feet (327 m) The city's actual high point is a little-known and infrequently accessed point (1,180 feet) near Forest Park. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, which rises to 636 feet (194 m). Portland's newest bridge in the downtown area, Tilikum Crossing, opened in 2015 and is the first new bridge to span the Willamette in Portland since the 1973 opening of the double-decker Fremont Bridge.By the 1970s, Portland had well established itself as a progressive city, and experienced an economic boom for the majority of the decade; however, the slowing of the housing market in 1979 caused demand for the city and state timber industries to drop significantly.The city's increased presence within the cultural lexicon has established it as a popular city for young people, and it was second only to Louisville, Kentucky as one of the cities to attract and retain the highest number of college-educated people in the United States.

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