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Oregon -- Population -- Statistics, Demographic surveys -- Oregon


Population estimates for 1992 show that Multnomah County (605,000) continues to have substantially more people than any other Oregon county. Washington County is the second most populous county (340,000}; Clackamas County (294,500) has surpassed Lane County (293,700) for the third most populous county. In 1991, Lane County had 2,200 more persons than Clackamas County (290,900 vs. 288,700). At the other end of the population spectrum, six counties have fewer than 8,000 people. Wheeler County has the smallest population (1,500) with Gilliam County (1,750) and Sherman County (1,800) also containing fewer than 2,000 persons. The other counties with fewer than 8,000 people are Harney (6,950), Wallowa (7,150), and Lake (7,350).

Figure 2 shows a map of the population density by county. Oregon has 31 persons per square mile, but there is a tremendous variation among its counties. Multnomah County has a substantially higher persons per square mile than any other Oregon county and its figure of 1,390 is three times that of Washington County which has the second greatest population density {470). Three other Oregon counties have more than 100 persons per square mile: Marion (204), Clackamas (158), and Benton (108). Seven Oregon counties have fewer than three persons per square mile: Grant (2), Sherman (2), Wallowa (2), Gilliam (1), Harney (1), Lake (1), and Wheeler (l}. Each of these counties is located East of the Cascade Range.

Table 4 categorizes Oregon cities by population size. Portland is Oregon's most populous city and its estimated population of 458,275 is about four times the second and third most populous cities: Eugene (118,370) and Salem (111,575}. The city of Portland has more persons than any Oregon county with the exception of Multnomah. It is quite clear from Table 4 that Oregon has many small cities. Approximately 86% of Oregon's 240 incorporated cities have a population under 10,000. Fewer than one-fourth of Oregon's cities have 5,000 persons and half of the cities have a population under 1,325.

As in the 1980's, many cities gained new residents because of expanding city boundaries (Table 5). In the previous 27 months, 53 cities (22% of Oregon's cities) annexed land containing 21,832 persons. Portland gained 13,962 residents through annexations and Albany gained 3,866 residents. Other cities gaining more than 100 persons through annexations are Bend (+1,561), Roseburg (+538), Wilsonville (+375), Salem (+271), Hillsboro (+209), and Fairview (+187).

Oregon's population is a little older than the national average with a median age of 34.9 years relative to the national average of 33.3 years. Approximately 13.7% of Oregon's population (406,881) is aged 65 and older compared to the national average of 12.7%. Oregon's elderly population (those aged 65 and older) has grown by 103,500 persons since April 1, 1980, reflecting a growth rate which is almost triple the overall state average during this time (34% to 13%). The rapid rate of growth among Oregon's elderly population is consistent with the national trend of an increasing proportion of elderly.


At the time these reports were compiled, the Population Research Center was known as the Center for Population Research and Census, School of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

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