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Oregon Population Growth Continues in 2004
Author: David Santen, PSU Office of Marketing and Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: December 15, 2004

Oregon’s state population grew at a rate of 1.2 percent in 2004, according to estimates prepared by the Population Research Center at Portland State University.

The center’s final certified estimates indicate that the state’s population grew to 3,582,600 for the year ending July 1, 2004, an increase of 41,100 people, or 1.2 percent, from the year ending July 1, 2003, which saw a gain of 36,800, or 1.1 percent. Oregon’s natural increase (births minus deaths) was 17,922, accounting for 44 percent of the annual growth. The remaining 56 percent was due to net migration.

“Factors such as school enrollment and Medicare enrollment for people aged 65 and over were up from a year ago, indicating positive growth,” said Qian Cai, the center’s population estimates manager. In addition to domestic migration, Oregon admitted about 14,000 immigrants and international students in 2003, said Cai.

From the 2000 Census date of April 1, 2000, until July 1, 2004, the state’s population increased by 161,201, or 4.7 percent. Central Oregon remained the state’s fastest growing region in 2004—Deschutes County has grown by 17 percent since April 1, 2000, followed by Crook County (8 percent) and Jefferson County (7 percent).

The Portland metropolitan area continued to experience the largest population increases. Washington County gained 34,858 people since 2000, followed by Multnomah County (25,464) and Clackamas County (17,859). While ten counties grew faster than the state average, the remaining 26 experienced slower or negative growth.

The largest city population increase occurred in the state’s largest city—Portland’s population reached 550,560 the year ending July 1, 2004, an increase of 21,439 people since the 2000 Census. Bend and Hillsboro ranked second and third in numbers of new residents, with respective gains of 13,181 and 9,754. All three cities had substantial numbers of new housing units. The population of Oregon's incorporated cities and towns totaled 2,434,922 on July 1, 2004, accounting for 68 percent of the state’s population.

Detailed information on the 2004 population estimates for cities and counties is on the Population Research Center Web page at For additional information, contact Qian Cai, 503-725-5157 or

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Qian Cai (503-725-5157)
PSU Population Research Center

For Immediate Release (#04-163)