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Metropolitan Briefing Book

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Portland Metropolitan Area (Or.) -- Population, Population dynamics -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Family demography -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area


While many people both inside and outside Oregon envision the state as a place of picturesque coastal bluffs, mountain ranges, the Columbia River Gorge, and oldgrowth forests, the population is primarily urban. It has been for many decades. In 2000, three-quarters of Oregon’s 3.4 million residents lived in towns and cities. Almost one-half of Oregon’s population lived in the metropolitan Portland area. This paper offers an overview of population dynamics in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, which includes five of Oregon’s thirty-six counties–Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill–and Clark County in the state of Washington. It refers to the “metropolitan Portland-Vancouver area” as the total area including the Oregon and Washington counties and to the “metropolitan Portland area” when limiting discussion to the five Oregon counties. It describes current trends for population growth; the effect of births, deaths, and migration on population growth; how the age, sex, and ethnic composition are changing; and where residents live. Finally, the paper discusses the dynamics for future growth and their implications.

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