About the Institute

MISSION: The Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies (IMS) convenes regional partners, curates credible information and conducts objective policy research to stimulate dialogue and action that address critical regional issues.

In addition, the Institute provides statewide information about demographic trends through the Population Research Center, an affiliate program of IMS.

In fulfilling its purpose, the Institute:

  • Conducts research, marshalling resources from higher education, governments, and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Emphasizes academic methods, expertise, discipline and the longer-term view in studying issues and identifying opportunities
  • Facilitates the creation and sharing of information, using such technology as appropriate
  • Supports the Vision and Mission of Portland State University  
  • Fulfills the requirements set out in ORS 190 regarding the independent population estimates of cities and counties, and its responsibilities as the lead agency for administering The Oregon State Data Center (SDC) and Business and Industry Data Center (BIDC) program in Oregon.

NEW: IMS and the Population Research Center have just finished a five-year review of their involvement in carrying out PSU's mission and vision. The report documents the projects, awards, community involvement, and student success that the two organizations have had since 2008. You can download a .pdf of the report by clicking here.


    The Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies envisions the Portland Metropolitan region as a vibrant, diverse, metropolitan region that provides economic, cultural, educational, and social opportunity to its citizens. The region’s citizens engage and collaborate to advance shared objectives and seek to build a common base of information and understanding among diverse community members.

    IMS makes a unique contribution to the success and vitality of the region by convening citizens and leaders to identify and discuss key issues and provide the data needed to create common understanding of conditions and trends.

    This vision serves to inspire the board, staff, and partners of the Institute in their daily work. It assists us in aligning the institute’s work plan with its purpose, and engages the community in understanding the potential and actual contributions IMS can make to the community.


    IMS will measure the extent to which the community is moving toward this vision. The measures would ideally quantify the following: 

    • Citizens’ motivation to engage in debate and discussion of the future of their communities and the region as a whole;
    • Citizens’ curiosity about the facts behind the issues being discussed in the public realm;
    • The extent to which the region’s leaders and citizens share a common base of understanding of these facts; and
    • The extent to which IMS contributes to this common base of understanding.

    These measures could be derived from a survey conducted to measure a baseline of engagement in 2010, and thereafter a biennial update of the survey data to track progress toward those measures.