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Wilsonville's population rises above 27,000, which is up from previous estimate of 25,915

PMG FILE PHOTO - The Frog Pond West neighborhood is one of the primary areas in town where new residents are going.

After relatively small upticks the previous two years, Wilsonville's population surged upward in 2021, according to a Portland State University population survey.

While PSU estimated the city's population to be 25,635 in 2019 and 25,915 in 2020, the 2021 figure shot up to 27,186 as of July. That amounts to a 4.9% increase. The city is just a few hundred shy of school district counterpart West Linn (27,452). Clackamas County, meanwhile, added 3,000 more residents (up to 425,316). PSU's estimates are based on the 2020 census, employment, school enrollment, births, deaths, and other factors.

"It's (Wilsonville growth) really specific to two areas: Frog Pond and Villebois (neighborhoods). Anything outside of that is a relatively minor percentage," Wilsonville Planning Manager Dan Pauly said.

The city is implementing a new permitting system and thus could not provide permit data for the last fiscal year. However, Pauly noticed that residential permitting had increased in the partially developed Frog Pond West neighborhood along Boeckman Road. He said this wasn't solely due to market factors and was also related to an increase in the availability of lots. The city's data shows that 65 units in that subdivision were owned by someone other than a developer (therefore indicating occupancy) as of September, but Pauly said that data could be a bit stale. He added that the completion of new subdivisions in that neighborhood in the next year could mean a tripling of occupancy numbers. Frog Pond West is projected to have between 450 and 570 homes.

"More units are being built out there. There's an indication that as things come online and sales get finalized and reported, it's reflected (in the data)," Pauly said.

The other notable area of growth that is still taking place in Wilsonville is in the Villebois neighborhood. The city has received a development application for the final subdivision there and if approved, what's referred to as the Claremont subdivision would add 80 larger lots to the community.

The next frontier will be the Frog Pond East and South neighborhoods next to Frog Pond West. Planning there is slated for completion at the end of 2022. After that, Pauly said sewer and transportation improvements will need to be completed before significant development begins.

PSU projects Oregon's population to have grown from 4,243,791 on July 1, 2020 to 4,266,560 on July 1, 2021. That increase, a PSU press release stated, comes entirely from migration as deaths exceed births by 2,210. COVID-19 accounted for 6% of total deaths (2,500 total).

"Population aging is being felt in many parts of the state. Among Oregon's 36 counties, 27 experienced natural decrease, meaning there were more deaths than births. In many, but not all counties, net in-migration — more people moving in than out — offsets these decreases," the release read.

A few of the largest increases in populations among cities were seen in Portland, Salem, Hillsboro and Redmond.

The state's overall population increased by 29,304, according to the university's research. The press release also noted impacts from last year's wildfires.

"During the last year, eight counties lost significant numbers of housing units from wildfires during September, 2020. More than 2,300 homes were destroyed in Jackson County, while Marion County and Lane County had more than 500 destroyed homes in each. Douglas, Klamath, Lincoln, and Linn counties also had housing losses attributable to wildfires," the release said.

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