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Oregon -- Population -- Statistics, Demographic surveys -- Oregon, Population forecasting -- Oregon -- Harney County


Different growth patterns occur in different parts of the County and these local trends within the UGBs and the area outside UGBs collectively influence population growth rates for the county as a whole.

Harney County’s total population has slowly declined since 2000, with an average annual rate of negative 0.2 percent between 2000 and 2010 (Figure 1). Burns is accountable for the county’s overall declining population. All other sub-areas experienced very slight population growths during the 2000 to 2010 period, increasing by a total of 32 persons.

Harney County’s population decline in the 2000s was the direct result of frequent net out-migration. The county’s aging population has contributed to an increase in deaths, however, a larger number of births relative to deaths caused a natural increase for 8 out of the 15 years between 2000 and 2015 (Figure 12). Even so, net out-migration outweighed these slight natural increases, causing a slow decrease in the Harney County’s population since 2000.

Total population in Harney County as a whole as well as within its sub-areas are forecast to all decrease at a slightly faster rate in the near-term (2016 to 2035) compared to the long-term (Figure 1). The tapering of growth rates is largely driven by an aging population—a demographic trend which is expected to contribute to a natural decrease (more deaths than births). As natural decrease occurs, population growth will become increasingly reliant on net in-migration.

Harney County’s total population is forecast to decrease by more than 500 persons over the entire 50-year forecast period (2016-2066), a loss in population mostly happening in areas outside the UGBs. Sub-areas are expected to generally follow historical patterns of population decrease over the forecast period.


This report is published by the Population Research Center at Portland State University, and is a product of the Oregon Population Forecast Program.

The introductory presentation, preliminary forecast presentation, and Harney County final forecast tables are attached to this document as supplemental files.

Persistent Identifier

R2_Harney_intro-pres.pdf (1232 kB)
Introductory presentation

HarneyCountyPreliminaryPresentation_rev.pdf (625 kB)
Preliminary forecast presentation

Harney_County_Final_Forecast_Tables.ods (51 kB)
Final forecast tables