PSU’s Population Research Center Releases Preliminary Oregon Population Estimates

Oregon added more than 30,000 residents between 2019 and 2020

Portland, Oregon remains the state's most populous city.
Portland continued to add more residents than other cities in Oregon.

Oregon’s population increased by 31,655 between 2019 and 2020, largely because of new residents moving to the state, according to new preliminary 2020 estimates from Portland State University’s Population Research Center. The state has added more than 435,000 residents in the decade since 2010.

The preliminary July 1 population estimates show that Oregon’s population grew from 4,236,400 in 2019 to 4,268,055 in 2020, a 0.7 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 that includes international and domestic movements). From 2019 to 2020, net migration accounted for roughly 90 percent of Oregon’s population growth. Due to an aging population and declining birth rates, births to Oregon residents outnumbered deaths by only about 3,000. 

The number of people moving to Oregon exceeded the number moving out by over 28,000. While this is close to the average of the past 20 years, annual net migration has decreased each year since peaking at nearly 57,000 in 2017. The full impact of COVID-19 on migration rates has yet to be seen, but migration to Oregon typically slows during recessions marked by high unemployment rates. 

Oregon’s three most populous counties (Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas) are home to nearly 1.9 million people and accounted for more than half of the state's growth between 2019 and 2020. Multnomah and Washington counties each added more than 6,000 residents, and Clackamas County added over 3,000.  

Other counties with large numeric growth included Deschutes (4,015), Lane (2,485), and Jackson (1,950).
Among Oregon’s 36 counties, 21 experienced natural decrease, meaning there were more deaths than births. 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 2020 population of 664,605 includes growth of 7,505 (1.14 percent) between 2019 and 2020.
  • Eugene, Oregon's second largest city, added 2,410 residents (1.4 percent) to reach a population of 173,620 in 2020.
  • Other Oregon cities adding more than 1,500 residents each were Salem, Medford, and Redmond.

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