PSU report: New residents continue to drive Oregon’s population growth

Portland packed the downtown waterfront and Hawthorne Bridge for the state's largest Fourth of July fireworks display, hosted by the 2016 Waterfront Blues Festival. (Photo by Tristan Fortsch)

A new report from Portland State University says Oregon's population growth is heavily driven by new residents.

According to estimates from PSU's Population Research Center, the state's population increased by 64,750 between 2016 and 2017, going from from 4,076,350 million to 4,141,1000 million.

The report says this 1.6 percent year-over-year increase is the largest numeric growth over a two-year period since the early 1990s, and it's largely because of new residents to the state. The report states that 88 percent of Oregon's population growth can be attributed to net migration: the number of people moving in minus people moving out.

According to the report, Portland continued to add more residents than other cities in Oregon. Its 2017 population of 639,100 includes growth of 11,705 (1.8 percent) since 2016.

Bend had the second biggest population gain among Oregon cities, adding 3,265 residents (3.8 percent) to reach a population of 86,765 in 2017.

Other Oregon cities adding more than 1,000 residents each were Gresham, Hillsboro, Salem, Eugene, Happy Valley, Tigard, Roseburg and Medford. Most of Roseburg’s growth was due to recently annexed population.

PSU’s Population Research Center produces annual population estimates for Oregon and its counties and incorporated cities using the most recent available data. 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 license holders as well as counts in other administrative data that are symptomatic of population change.

The preliminary population estimates are subject to revision during a month review period. The final July 1 population estimates will be certified by Dec. 15. The annual population estimates are revised quarterly to account for annexations throughout the year.

The preliminary population estimates can be found on PRC’s website by visiting

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