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Bend tops 100,000 residents, U.S. Census Bureau says

Milestone reached in newly released July 1, 2019 population estimates

(Update: Adding video)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend quietly reached a growth milestone last summer, when its estimated population topped the 100,000 mark, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

The Census Bureau just released its July 1, 2019 population estimates, the last ones before this year's once-a-decade physical count.

And it said Bend grew from 97,620 residents in 2018 to 100,421 last year, an increase of more than 2,800 residents, or nearly 3%.

Every other Central Oregon city grew as well: Redmond added about 1,500 residents, to 32,421, Sisters grew by a few dozen, to 2,781 residents and La Pine is nearing the 2,000 mark, with 1,929 residents, the new estimates show.

In Jefferson County, Madras added over 100 residents, to 7,051, Culver added 99 residents, to 1,680, and Metolius grew by 24 people, to 801. In Crook County, Prineville added about 400 residents, to 10,734.

Six cities and towns around the country crossed the 100,000 population mark in 2019, the Census Bureau said. These were Chico, Calif. (103,301); Vacaville, Calif. (100,670); Carmel, Ind. (101,068); Bend, Ore. (100,421); Edinburg, Texas (101,170); and Spokane Valley, Wash., (101,060).

City of Bend officials say crossing the 100,000 mark doesn't bring a bigger share of state or federal funding, nor does it bring big new requirements the city must meet.

And considering the unprecedented impacts of this year's COVID-19 pandemic, there's no telling what will be seen in the April 1 census numbers, much less future years' population estimates.

Also, curiously, the Census Bureau's 2019 estimate for Bend's population is more than 9,000 higher than the 91,385 estimate for the same date as compiled by Portland State University's Population Research Center, which clearly uses different data. The Census Bureau said it tracks births, deaths and migration, while PSU uses other figures, including housing starts.

As seen in past decades, the farther out from the last physical census, the farther the two estimates diverge, as one might expect. But city of Bend Senior Planner Damian Syrnyk said the two numbers weren't as far apart as the 2000s ended.

For comparison, he said:

·       PSU’s estimates show Bend’s population growing by 14,896 people, or 19.4%, between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2019

·       Census Bureau’s estimates show Bend’s population growing by 23,782 people, or 31%, between April 1, 2010 and July 1, 2019

·       The difference is the Census Bureau showing Bend’s population growing by 8,886 more people during this period, or 9.7%

"That’s a big gap," Syrnyk said. "In 2009, the estimates were closer."

In 2009:

·       PSU’s 7/1/2009 estimate for Bend was 82,280

·       Census Bureau’s 7/1/2009 estimate for Bend was 77,829

·       Difference was 4,451 people or 5.7% 

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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Barney Lerten

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