Document Type


Publication Date



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


Different areas within Oregon counties experience different growth patterns. Those patterns combine to collectively determine county‐level demographic changes. Clackamas County is comprised of three types of areas: areas within Metro’s jurisdiction, UGB areas outside of Metro’s jurisdiction (Barlow, Canby, Estacada, Molalla, and Sandy), and areas outside of both Metro and those UGBs. In this report, we focus on Clackamas County as a whole as well as non‐ Metro sub‐areas.

Clackamas County’s total population has grown steadily over the last half century, with average annual growth rates exceeding 1 percent in every period except during Oregon’s deep 1980s recession and the Great Recession (see Figure 3). However, average annual growth rates have slowed from roughly 2.5 percent in the early 1990s to between 1 and 1.5 percent more recently.

In general, the portion of Clackamas County within Metro has grown more, but not always faster, than areas outside of Metro’s jurisdiction. Sub‐areas outside of Metro exhibited a variety of growth patterns over the last two decades, some fast and some slow. Sandy and Molalla experienced explosive population growth between 2000 and 2010, averaging 5.3 and 3.8 percent annual growth, respectively. Canby also grew quickly during that period, averaging 2.5 percent annually. During the 2010s Estacada entered a rapid growth phase. The Estacada UGB area added population slowly during the 2000s yet has averaged over 2 percent annual growth since 2010. Meanwhile, Canby, Molalla, and Sandy all emerged from the Great Recession with slower growth than exhibited the decade prior (see Figure 1). For

Clackamas County overall, population growth between 2000 and 2010 resulted from both natural population increase (births exceeding deaths) and consistent net in‐migration. However, net in‐migration drove the vast majority of population gains, with the county excelling at attracting in‐migrants over 30, often with children in tow. Since the turn of the century, however, Clackamas County’s natural increase has declined in magnitude, falling from roughly 1,500 to 500 people annually. This is due to several factors. Most notably, between 2000 and 2010 Clackamas County’s total fertility rate fell in lockstep with the statewide rate. This—combined with nationwide population aging—led to fewer births and more deaths over time and, thus, declining natural increase.


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

Persistent Identifier