BEND, Ore. - Most – but not all -- of Central Oregon's cities and counties continued to grow, albeit slowly, in the year ended July 1, according to recently released estimates from the Portland State University Population Research Center.
The preliminary estimates, open to city or county challenges until they are made final in mid-December, show Oregon gained 26,115 residents to top 3.88 million over that 12-month period.
That 0.7 percent growth rate is still down from the big growth boom of past years – but to critics of the impacts of rapid growth, perhaps a more sustainable level to handle.
If the estimates stand, Crook County – which just broke from having the state's highest jobless rate for the first time in four years – will have another statistic to deal with: It lost 205 residents, or 1 percent, to a population of 20,650 this year. That's the biggest numerical and percentage drop among Oregon's 36 counties.
Deschutes County, meanwhile, grew a bit faster than the state as a whole, adding 1,265 residents or 0.8 percent, to a July 1 population estimate of 160,140. Jefferson County's population estimate rose by 90 or 0.4 percent, to 21,935 people.
Seven counties saw their population fall by smaller amounts, PSU said, while one – Grant County – was unchanged from the 2011 estimate.
As for High Desert cities, Bend gained 530 residents in the new PSU estimate, to 77,455, up .68 percent. Redmond gained 40 residents, or 0.15 percent, to 26,345 people. Sisters actually had the largest percentage growth gain, up 25 residents, or 1.2 percent, to 2,080 residents.
Reflecting the Crook County population decline, Prineville also was estimated to have lost 15 percent, or 0.16 of a percent, to 9,245 residents. Madras gained 35 residents, or just over a half-percent, to 6,260 population,
There was no change from the 2011 population estimate for two smaller cities, Culver (1,370) and La Pine (1,670).
As PSU explains here, the county population estimates are based on state tax returns, school enrollments, births and voter registration. City estimates look at changes in the housing stock, occupancy rates and the average number of people per household.