Oregon has reached four million residents, according to the new Census estimates. It took 22 years to add its most recent million people; the new estimate is as of July 1.
This is, remember, the state where former Governor Tom McCall asked people to come and visit but not stay. Plenty do stay, however.
According to the preliminary July 1 population estimates, Oregon’s population increased from 3,962,710 in 2014 to 4,013,845 in 2015*, or by 51,135. This increase represents a 1.3 percent change, slightly higher than in the previous year (1.1 percent). The increase in 2015 is around 7,500 higher than added in 2014, but still not quite reaching peak pre-recession growth of 58,000 in 2006.
Population growth consists of two factors: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net migration (movers-in minus movers-out). From 2014 to 2015 net migration accounted for roughly 80 percent of Oregon’s population growth. During the past several years, natural increase has been contributing a shrinking share of population increase. Because of a declining fertility rate, the number of annual births has increased only slightly in recent years; and the number of annual deaths has risen at a faster pace due to the wave of aging baby boomers.
The counties that experienced the largest gains in population from 2014 to 2015 have the largest populations. As in the previous many years, Multnomah and Washington counties added the highest number of persons — each adding around 11,700 and 10,000 residents, respectively. Clackamas, Deschutes, Marion, and Lane counties each added over 3,000 to their populations; Jackson County added over 2,000; and Yamhill, Linn and Benton each added at least 1,000 to their counts. The population increases in these ten counties contributed to 88 percent of the statewide population growth this year. Almost half of Oregon’s thirty-six counties experienced increases ranging over 100 to under 835 persons. Nine counties saw little population change in the past year (less than a 100 person change).
No huge shocks here. But clearly growth is continuing apace. - rs (image/Anders Sandberg)