Welcome mat out: State grows by 41,000
Newcomers continue to flock to Oregon, according to a new study, with the statewide population rising by more than 41,000 in the past year — and 400,000 in a decade.
Portland State University's population research center released its annual report Monday, Dec. 15, and the certified population estimates show that the new residents are conglomerating 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. That's nearly half of the state's total growth.
The population in Lake Oswego increased by 900 people within the last year, bringing the total population up to 39,115 as of July 2019.
"It is the largest increase that we've seen in the past two or three years," Planning and Building Services Director Scot Siegel said.
Siegel attributes the increase in population to recent development, particularly the addition of senior and multi-family housing.
"Mary's Woods has added a couple hundred units of housing. The Windward, which was completed earlier — it was completed in 2018 — they've continued to absorb new tenants, new residents, so that's probably contributing to it," Siegel said.
Siegel added that he expects the city's population to continue rising as the Mercantile development at Kruse Way and Boones Ferry Road — when completed there will be more than 200 apartments available — is finished and other developments continue to be filled out.
Siegel said another contributing factor is annexation. Every year the city annexes a number of new properties that would also add slightly to population numbers.
Overall, the Beaver State is on track for 1% population growth this year, with the state's populace now topping 4.2 million. Portland itself attracted an estimated 8,360 out-of-towners, making the Rose City a bustling place filled with 657,100 folk.
"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's license holders as well as other administrative data that are symptomatic of population change," according to the PSU study.
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.
The PSU study indicated that 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.
Clara Howell contributed to this report.
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