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Trends in Oregon population growth

February 6, 2011

Trends in Oregon population growth
by Brooke Jackson-Winegardner
Oregon Employment Department

In 2010, Oregon’s population was approximately 3,844,000. It increased by 20,700, or 0.5 percent, from 2009. Since 2000, Oregon’s population has grown by 423,000 (12%).

The number of Oregonians living in incorporated cities and towns has increased each year during the last decade. In 2010, nearly 2.7 million people lived in an incorporated area. They represented about 70 percent of the state’s total population. This is an increase of 400,000, or nearly 18 percent, from the start of the decade, when about 67 percent of the state’s population resided in incorporated areas.

The total population of Oregon’s 10 largest incorporated cities (Table 1) represent 38 percent of the state’s population, and more than half (54%) of the population that lives in incorporated areas. Portland is the largest city of all, with 584,000 residents in the city limits. The number of people living in the incorporated cities around Portland – such as Beaverton, Gresham, Tualatin, Wilsonville, and so forth – nearly equals the total number of people living within Portland’s city limits.

According to data from the Census Bureau’s On the Map (OTM) data series, about 43 percent of Portland’s employed population both live and work in the city limits. Another 20 percent commute to incorporated areas around the city. A small portion (1.2%) travel to the city of Salem. Many of the people who work in Portland’s city limits are commuting from the nearby incorporated cities.

As usual, Eugene and Salem were the second- and third-largest incorporated cities in 2010, with Eugene’s population (157,845) surpassing Salem (157,460) by a small margin.

The city of Greenhorn in Baker County is the state’s smallest incorporated area. Early in Oregon’s history, the town was populated by miners prospecting for gold. The 2000 Census counted no residents in the city, but since 2004 Greenhorn has boasted a population of 2.

These population estimates come from the Population Research Center at Portland State University.

Table 1
Oregon’s 10 Largest Cities (July 1, 2010 )
Incorporated City Population
Portland………. 583,835
Eugene………. 157,845
Salem………. 157,460
Gresham………. 101,595
Hillsboro………. 91,215
Beaverton………. 87,440
Bend………. 83,125
Medford………. 77,485
Springfield………. 58,575
Corvallis………. 55,370

Source: Population Research Center, Portland State University

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