Oregon posts slowest population growth rate since 2012
Oregon's population growth rate continues to dip, according to new data from Portland State University, though there are still plenty of new faces across the state.
The Beaver State's population grew by 31,655 persons between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, according to preliminary numbers from PSU's Population Researcher Center, for a grand total of 4,268,055 residents.
That's a year-over-year percent change of just 0.7% — the lowest rate of growth since 2012, when the state's citizenry grew by two-thirds of a percent. Oregon's growth rate has declined each year since it peaked at 1.59% in 2017.
Most of Oregon's new residents arrive by moving truck, not the stork, per PSU.
"From 2019 to 2020, net migration accounted for roughly 90% of Oregon's population growth," PSU said in a release. "Due to an aging population and declining birth rates, births to Oregon residents outnumbered deaths by only about 3,000."
PSU says this year's net migration — accounting for 28,000 new neighbors — is about average for the past 20 years, though net migration has trended downward since 2017.
In the past decade, Oregon's population has jumped by roughly 435,000 people.
Tri-county area booming
Not all of Oregon grows at the same pace.
Multnomah County added 7,830 residents since last year, Clackamas County added 3,095 and Washington County added 6,670 — more than half of all newcomers here.
Portland's population is now pegged at 664,605 — about 7,500 more than last year. Gresham's population has reached 112,660, Beaverton's reached 99,225 and Hillsboro's reached 104,670.
A number of rural counties have declining populations compared with last year, including Lake, Klamath, Josephine, Harney and Grant counties.
While recent headlines have been dominated by the global health crisis and, more locally, months of protests in downtown Portland, PSU cautions against drawing too many conclusions.
"The full impact of COVID-19 on migration rates has yet to be seen," PSU said, "but migration to Oregon typically slows during recessions marked by high unemployment rates."
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