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2020 census numbers show significant demographic changes as Gresham leaps to the state's No. 4 city

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham beats out Hillsboro as it becomes Oregons fourth largest city. Welcome to Oregon's fourth-largest city.

Numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census released in mid-August show that Gresham leapfrogged Hillsboro to become the state's No. 4 city, behind Portland, Eugene and Salem. The numbers also show a slight increase in city's Hispanic population and slight decreases in its white population.

Census numbers show that:

  • Gresham grew by more than 8%
  • The region's minority population increased significantly
  • The city saw an increase in the number of young people
  • According to the Census, Gresham's population increased dramatically from the 2010 census, increasing nearly 8.2%, to the city's current population of 114,247. The census data also shows that 2019 estimates of the population were short by about 4,000. Hillsboro fell to the No. 5 slot among Oregon cities, with 106,447 residents.

    "Based off our initial assessments we are seeing that the city of Gresham's overall population grew from 105,594 in 2010 to 114,247 in 2020," said Alex Logue , Gresham's community engagement specialist.

    Fairview's population jumped about 17% during the decade, from 9,567 in the 2019 Census estimate, to 10,424 today. It is the state's 60th largest city. Troutdale's population increased by 338 people from the 2010 census, to 16,300. It is the state's 44th largest city.

    Fairview and Gresham both exceed census population estimates dramatically, but Troutdale's population fell relatively close to where it was expected to be.

    Demographic changes

    The region's demographics were similar across the board for Gresham, Troutdale and Fairview, according to the Census 2019 estimates. About 6% of the population for the three cities were children 5 or younger, a percentage point higher than Multnomah County as a whole.

    About 24% of the population for Troutdale and Gresham were people 18 or younger, which is higher than Multnomah County's percentage of about 18%. Troutdale is the only outlier when it comes to residents 65 or older with only 10% compared to other cities and Multnomah County's 13% average.

    Changes in race

    Like the rest of Oregon, Multnomah County still has a nonHispanic white majority. That holds true for Gresham, Troutdale and Fairview. That isn't to say changes haven't occurred during the past decade.

    In 2010, Gresham's Hispanic/Latino demographic was about 18.9% of the population. The 2020 census found that that increased to 21.3%.

    "Within that significant growth the number of residents that identify as white alone, not Hispanic or Latino, decreased from approximately 69% to approximately 60%, indicating an increase in the diversity of Gresham residents as well," Logue said. "Having data that accurately reflects the diversity of our community allows the city to better serve all of its residents, from increased outreach in particular languages to program and service development that centers culturally relevant engagement."

    Troutdale's Hispanic/Latino population is about 15% and Fairview is even higher with 18%. In fact, Troutdale, Gresham and Fairview's Hispanic/Latino population are all larger than the county's average, which is 12%. Oregon's population as a whole is about 13% Hispanic/Latino.

    People who identify as Black or African American make up about 4.8% of the Gresham population, 2.8% in Troutdale and 5.7% in Fairview. Gresham's Black/African American community grew from 2010, when the group only represented 3.5% of the population.

    Oregon's Top 10 cities

    1. Portland, 652,503

    2. Eugene, 176,654

    3. Salem, 175,535

    4. GRESHAM, 114,247

    5. Hillsboro, 106,447

    6. Bend, 99,178

    7. Beaverton, 97,494

    8. Medford, 85,824

    9. Springfield, 61,851

    10. Corvallis, 59,922

    Source: U.S. Census


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