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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - Katie Bartholomew recently moved to Portland. She graduated in June and had about a month off. "Then I ended up getting a job up here in Portland, so I made the move [from Eugene]," she said.
She's not alone.
Portland State University's Population Research Center estimates the population of Oregon increased by more than 35,000 people in the past year -- about the number of people who live in Oregon City.
The main reason people move to Oregon is food, outdoor activities and affordable housing -- and the majority of the new Oregonians are coming from Washington and California.
And many of those people are moving to Multnomah and Washington counties.
"Most of the population growth in Oregon is concentrated up and down the I-5 corridor," said Risa Proehl of the PSU population center. "Those annual growth rates were higher and population growth increased because of net migration not because of natural increase."
Since the 1970s, the growth rate in Oregon every 10 years adds about 400,000 people. With an unemployment rate of 7.7% -- the lowest in five years -- more people are now coming to Oregon for work.
Couple that with tourism marketing and the number is bound to go up.
"We know that at least a few of those 8.1 million people who have visited Portland live here now," said Marcus Hibdon with Travel Portland.
Newlyweds Taylor and Case Mundy are visiting Portland from Houston. "We eventually both want to move to the Northwest so we have a few days in Portland and a few days in Seattle to get a feel for what city we like," she said.
If trends continue, the population of Oregon will reach 4 million in the next two years.