This project is funded by the State of Oregon through the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).
Oregon -- Population -- Statistics, Demographic surveys -- Oregon, Population forecasting -- Oregon -- Wheeler County
Different parts of the County experience different growth patterns. Local trends within UGBs and the area outside them collectively influence population growth rates for the County as a whole. UGBs in Wheeler County include Fossil, Mitchell, and Spray.
Wheeler County’s total population had minimal decline in the 2000s. However, some of its sub-areas did experience population growth during this period. Spray, for example, grew 1.6 percent on average annually during the 2000 to 2010 period.
The population decline in the 2000s stemmed from consistent natural decrease and stretches of net out-migration. An aging population not only led to an increase in deaths but also resulted in a smaller proportion of women in their childbearing years. This, along with more women having fewer children and having them at older ages has led to births stagnating in recent years. A larger number of deaths relative to births caused a natural decrease (more deaths than births) most years from 2001 to 2017, resulting in minimal population change.
Total population in Wheeler County will likely continue to decline but at a progressively slower pace throughout the forecast period. Population decline is largely driven by an aging population and natural decrease outpacing net in-migration. Wheeler County’s total population is forecast to decline by roughly 125 people over the next 25 years (2019-2044) and by 200 over the entire 50-year period (2019-2069).
Portland State University. Population Research Center; Chun, Nicholas; Rancik, Kevin; Haggerty, Rhey; Jurjevich, Jason R.; and Rynerson, Charles, "Coordinated Population Forecast for Wheeler County, its Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB), and Area Outside UGBs 2019-2069" (2019). Oregon Population Forecast Program. 52.