Lane County is Oregon's fourth most populous county and the county's largest city, Eugene, is the state's second largest city with a population of 156,295. While Oregon grew 12 percent over the decade, Lane County was slower at 9 percent.
Within the county, distinct trends are apparent. The county's suburban cities experienced very rapid growth while outlying areas to the east and the unincorporated areas grew slowly or lost population. The coastal area grew moderately.
The cities that experienced the most rapid growth over the decade in Lane County are Creswell and Veneta, at 41 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
The two cities have lost wood products employment in the past, damaging the local employment base and putting downward pressure on population. They also have several things in common that have fostered the rebound in population growth. First, both offer easy access to the jobs and amenities in the Eugene-Springfield urban area. Aside from highway access, both cities have bus service several times a day. Second, the cost of housing is generally more affordable in these cities compared to the urban area. Creswell, in particular, has a low property tax. Third, both have recently upgraded infrastructure such as water and sewer systems. Veneta especially benefitted from a new wastewater treatment system that allowed it to lift a ban on new home construction during the decade. Finally, both cities offer a small town atmosphere that some people prefer.
To the east, Oakridge and Westfir have had practically no population growth over the decade. This area also lost wood products employment in the past, but remoteness from the urban area makes it less attractive to commuters. However, the area has recently become more popular for outdoor recreation such as bicycle trail riding and fly fishing that may spur future growth.
To the west, the coastal area of Florence is another area that lost wood products employment. However, it also experienced an influx of retirees that caused its population to grow moderately over the decade, at 17 percent.
|Population Data for Lane County's Municipal Areas|
|2010 Census||2000 Census||Change: 2000-2010||Percent Change: 2000-2010|
|Source: U.S. Census Bureau|