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Sisters county’s fastest-growing city by far this year

Sisters generic
KTVZ file

Closes in on 3,000 residents; Metolius No. 2, then Culver

(Update: Correcting some cities' growth rates to reflect last year's final, not preliminary estimates)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sisters by far had the fastest growth of any city in Deschutes County in the past year, a 9.5 percent jump as it approaches the 3,000-residents mark, according to July 1 population estimates released Friday by Portland State University.

Sisters grew by 275 people in the 12-month period, to 2,985 residents, according to the preliminary estimates by PSU's Population Research Center, the last ones before the nationwide, once-a-decade physical head count, the April 1, 2020 census.

A smaller town, Metolius in Jefferson County, grew even faster and topped the growth-rate ranking for the region, adding 85 residents, to 825 people, an 11.4% jump. Another Jefferson County town, Culver, grew by 75 people to reach 1,555 residents, a 5% increase.

Redmond topped the 30,000-resident milestone, according to PSU's estimates. Its new population estimate of 30,600 was an increase of 1,410 people, or 4.8% from a year earlier.

La Pine added only 60 residents, in the year ended July 1, to 1,900 in the latest estimate.That was still a 3.2% growth rate.

Bend powered past the 9,000 mark for an estimated population of 91,385 as of July 1, up 1,880 residents, or 2.1% growth. Prineville added 210 people for a total population estimate of 10,220, a 2% growth rate, for the No. 7 spot.

Madras grew a bit, by 35 residents, to a total population estimate of 6,380, up just over a half percent from a year earlier.

Oregon overall added 41,100 residents, PSU estimated, to about 4.23 million people, up 1%.

The fastest growth rate among the state's 36 counties was in Morrow County, adding 795 people to reach 12,680, a 6.7% increase.

But Crook County was No. 2 in the state, adding 730 people for a total population estimate of 23,440, a 3.2% increase. Deschutes County's estimate rose by 4,020 people to 193,000 residents, a 2.1% climb in a year, No. 3 in the estimate. Jefferson County added 280 people, for a total of 23,840, a 1.2% rise.

Here's PSU's full news release on the latest estimates:

Oregon’s population increased by 41,100 between 2018 and 2019, largely because of new residents moving to the state, according to new preliminary 2019 estimates from Portland State University’s Population Research Center.  With the 2020 Census around the corner, the state has already added more than 400,000 residents in the decade since 2010.

The preliminary July 1 population estimates show that Oregon’s population grew from 4,195,300 in 2018 to 4,236,400 in 2019, a 1.0 percent increase. 

Population growth consists of two factors: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net migration (people moving in minus people moving out).  From 2018 to 2019, net migration accounted for roughly 86 percent of Oregon’s population growth, similar to its share between 2017 and 2018. Due to an aging population and declining birth rates, births to Oregon residents outnumbered deaths by less than 6,000. 

The number of people moving to Oregon exceeded the number moving out by over 35,000.  While this number is greater than the net migration observed each year during the recession and recovery between 2008 and 2014, it has fallen from more recent years, mirroring the slowdown in employment growth.  

Oregon’s three most populous counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas) accounted for nearly half of the state's growth between 2018 and 2019. Multnomah and Washington counties each added more than 7,000 residents, and Clackamas County added almost 4,000.  

Other counties with large numeric growth included Deschutes (4,020), Lane (3,760), and Marion (3,725).

The largest percentage growth occurred in Morrow (6.7 percent) and Crook (3.2 percent) counties.

The federal Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) designation applies to 13 of Oregon’s 36 counties.  Together these 13 counties accounted for a population increase of 37,585, 91 percent of the state’s growth.

Among Oregon’s 36 counties, 21 experienced natural decrease, meaning there were more deaths than births. These included eastern, southwestern, and coastal counties. In many, but not all counties, net in-migration (more people moving in than out) offsets these decreases. 

Among incorporated cities and towns:

  • Portland continued to add more residents than other cities in Oregon. Its 2019 population of 657,100 includes growth of 8,360 (1.3 percent) between 2018 and 2019.
  • Salem had the second biggest population gain among Oregon cities, adding 1,955 residents (1.2 percent) to reach a population of 167,220 in 2019.
  • Other Oregon cities adding more than 1,500 residents each were Bend and Eugene. The Population Research Center produces annual population estimates for Oregon and its counties and incorporated cities using the most recent available data, if a city has not submitted recent data, its population remains unchanged from its previously certified estimate.

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 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 December 15. The annual population estimates are revised quarterly to account for annexations throughout the year.

For more information and to view the preliminary population estimates, visit the Population Research Center’s website. 

Central Oregon / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

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

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