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Deschutes County

Deschutes County’s growth tops Oregon over the past decade; Crook County 2nd

Census US population change 2010-19

Last estimates before census; Deschutes grew by 25%, nearly 40,000 people

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County was by far Oregon's fastest-growing county over the past decade, adding nearly 40,000 residents – a jump of more than 25 percent from 2010, new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show.

Looking back now at July 1, 2019 population estimates -- the last ones before this year's physical count in the April 1 census -- might seem practically ancient, considering the economic tumult of the past few weeks and its impact on all aspects of life, including who can or will move where, how big a family people will want to have, etc.

Still, the estimates show Deschutes County grew by 39,964 residents in the 2010s, to a total of 197,692 people. That's a growth rate of 25.3%, the Census Bureau said, also ranking Deschutes fourth among Oregon's 36 counties in the actual number of new arrivals over the decade (figures that also factor in births and deaths).

By comparison, Deschutes also was the fastest growing county in the state from 1990-2000 -- but that was a whopping 54%, more than double the rate of this past decade. It also led the state in population growth for the 2000s, up 30% between 2000 and 2006, before slowing (as did most everyone else) when the Great Recession hit.

Neighboring Crook County was the state's second-fastest growing county of this past decade, adding 3,426 residents for a total of 24,404 people, the Census Bureau said. That's a rise of 16.3 percent from 2010.

Jefferson County added 2,933 residents since 2010, growing by 13.5% to 24,658 people. That's the state's fifth-fastest growth rate over the decade.

The new Census Bureau estimates also show that Deschutes County grew by 5,787 people, or 3%, in the year ended last July 1, ranking it 52nd among the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties (with at least 10,000 residents).

Crook County also just made that national list, at No. 97, with 579 more residents in the one-year period, growing by 2.4% for a total population of 24,404. Deschutes and Crook are the only two Oregon counties on that list.

(No. 1 on the list? McKenzie County, North Dakota, which added 1,430 residents in the year -- a 10.5% one-year jump, to 13,594.)

For the 2010-19 decade, Deschutes County was the only Oregon county to make the 100 fastest-growing counties list, coming in at No. 43. (Another North Dakota county, Williams, topped that list, growing by nearly 68%, to 22,399 residents as of last July.)

By comparison, the Bend Metro Area -- defined as the whole county -- recorded 157,733 residents in the April 1, 2010 census.

For the year ended last July 1, Deschutes County remained the seventh-largest county in the state, but its 5,787 added residents over the year topped the estimated numerical growth of every other county -- even Multnomah, which added just 3,783 residents, and Washington, which grew by 4,688.

Crook County's 579-resident growth of 2.4% to 24,404 residents was the state's third-fastest growth rate for the year.

Jefferson County added 508 residents over the year, for an estimated July 1, 2019 population of 24,658, sixth-fastest growth in the state for 2018-19.

Nationally, the Census Bureau said six of the 10 counties with the biggest population growth in the decade were in Texas. And the top 10 with the largest numeric gain were all in the South and the West.

However, more than half of the nation's 3,142 counties have actually lost population since 2010. Most smaller counties lost population and most larger ones gained, the agency said.

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Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.


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