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Metropolitan Knowledge Network

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Housing -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Housing policy -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Demographic surveys -- Oregon -- Portland


Where we live and who we live with have a huge influence on our everyday lives. Do we live alone or share a home with family or friends? Do we own or rent? How affordable is our housing when compared to our income and how is the value of our house changing? All of these issues shape how we live our lives.

Similarly, housing and households influence the character of neighborhoods and communities. The share of households with children and seniors, the share of households that rent or own, the size of households, and the cost and supply of housing can affect community resources, demographics and livability.

Every ten years, we get a snapshot of the nation’s households from the decennial census. In between census years, we get an update of that picture plus additional information from the American Community Survey. This article explores changes in the size, structure and financial condition of Oregon’s households, from 2000 to 2010, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses and the 2005-2009 American Community Survey.

Households are occupied housing units. The type of people who occupy them is changing slowly over time. The composition of households is descriptive of the population in general and is indicative of the dynamics of an area’s demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.


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Appeared as part of the Metropolitan Knowledge Network, produced by the Institute of Metropolitan Studies and the Population Research Center.

Editing assistance from IMS/PRC Director Sheila Martin, PRC Assistant Director Jason Jurjevich, and graduate research assistants Michael Burnham and Ryan Dann.

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