2017 Umatilla County Population Growth Below Oregon’s Trend

by Dallas Fridley

December 5, 2017

Portland State University’s Population Research Center recently released their preliminary population estimates for Oregon, its counties, and incorporated cities. The estimates are still preliminary and subject to public comment and review for about one month. From July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, Umatilla County’s population total rose by 620 residents to reach 80,500, an increase of 0.8 percent.
Oregon’s population grew by 64,750 residents in 2017 to total 4,141,100, an increase of 1.6 percent. Since 2012, Oregon’s population gained 257,365 residents, an increase of 6.6 percent or 1.3 percent annually.

Umatilla County’s population rose by 3,380 residents from 2013 to 2017 or 4.4 percent. Annual growth ranged from a low of 0.6 percent in 2014 to a high of 1.0 percent in 2013 (and 2015). Incorporated areas (cities and towns) in Umatilla County grew at a much slower rate than unincorporated areas. Incorporated areas gained 1,570 residents between 2013 and 2017, an increase of just 2.9 percent or 0.6 percent annually. Unincorporated areas grew at a much higher 8.1 percent since 2012, gaining 1,810 residents. Umatilla County’s unincorporated areas represented 30.2 percent of its 2017 population total. Back in 2012, 29.4 percent of the county’s residents lived in an incorporated city or town.

Cities and Towns

The City of Hermiston led Umatilla County’s incorporated areas in 2017, rising by 255 residents or 1.4 percent to total 17,985. The City of Weston lost 155 residents in 2017, offsetting its 2016 gain of 155 residents. Unincorporated areas absorbed the lion’s share of Umatilla County’s growth, rising by 460 residents or 1.9 percent in 2017.
Nearly 70 percent of the county’s residents lived in a city or town in 2017 and yet unincorporated areas absorbed more than half (53.6%) of its population growth between 2013 and 2017. Umatilla County’s second largest city, Pendleton, gained just 10 residents in 2017, rising to 16,890, an increase of 0.1 percent. Since 2012, the City of Pendleton’s population grew by 175 residents, an increase of 1 percent.

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