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A recent population study reveals the county gained the second-most people between July 2018 and July 2019

Prineville and Crook County are each among the fastest growing cities and counties in Oregon, according to new population data.

Portland State University's population research center released its annual report Friday, Nov. 15, and revealed that Crook County was the second-fastest growing county in Oregon between July 2018 and July 2019. The county's population grew from 22,710 to 23,440, a 3.2% year-over-year increase. Only Morrow County, with a 6.7% increase, grew more during the year. Deschutes County was third fastest, its population increasing 2.1% from 188,980 to 193,000.

In addition, Prineville is ranked the 38th fastest growing city in Oregon during the same time period. The community gained 210 people, rising from 10,010 to 10,220, a jump of 2.02%. Bend ranked one spot higher, with its population growing 2.05%, from 89,505 to 91,385. Several other Central Oregon cities showed strong growth over the year: Sisters ranked seventh with 8.71% growth and Redmond 12th, with 4.61% growth.

Two small Jefferson County cities, Culver and Metolius, grew by 85 and 75 people, respectively, to 825 and 1,555, percentage jumps of 11.5% and 6%. LaPine also grew at a slightly faster rate than Prineville did, adding 66 people to 1,900, a 3.3% jump. Madras had the slowest growth among cities in Central Oregon, growing less than 1%, from 6,345 to 6,380. Jefferson County remained slightly larger by population than Crook County, 23,840 to 23,440, but the margin from last year narrowed.

The fastest growing city by percentage was Boardman, which saw a population increase of 17.82%, from 3,690 to 4,490. Portland gained the most people by number change, adding 8,360 people. Bend ranked third, adding 1,880 people. The top three cities by population remain Portland, Eugene and Salem. Bend is the seventh largest city in Oregon.

Population data shows that newcomers continue to flock to Oregon, with the statewide population rising by more than 41,000 in the last year — and 400,000 in a decade. Nearly half of the state's growth occurred in the Portland metro region. Multnomah County added nearly 8,500 people between 2018 and 2019, while Washington County grew by about 7,100 and Clackamas County increased by almost 4,000.

Overall, the Beaver State is on track for 1% population growth this year, with the state's populace now topping 4.2 million.

"These estimates are based on fluctuations in the numbers of housing units, persons residing in group quarter facilities, births and deaths, students enrolled in public school, persons employed, Medicare enrollees, state and federal tax exemptions, Oregon driver license holders as well as other administrative data that are symptomatic of population change," according to PSU.

The boomtown effect isn't felt everywhere equally. Shrinking rural counties include Wheeler, Wallowa, Union, Sherman, Lake, Harney and Grant, though the total lost citizenry for those counties was less than 200 people.

PSU says 86% of the state's growth came from net migration — think moving trucks and a fresh start — while the rest was due to, cue the baby rattle, a special delivery from the stork.

PSU will finalize the numbers for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019 on Dec. 15.


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