Eastern Oregon’s Population Growth Below Average in 2021

by Tony Wendel

January 10, 2022

Portland State University’s Population Research Center recently released 2021 population estimates for Oregon and its counties and cities. Oregon’s population rose by 0.54% from 2020 to 2021, increasing by 22,769 to total 4,266,560. Among Oregon’s counties, Morrow County ranked first with a growth rate of 3.42% followed by Crook and Gilliam counties at 2.48% and 2.21%, respectively.

Eastern Oregon’s eight counties (Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Morrow, Umatilla, Union, and Wallowa) combined had a growth rate of 0.45%. Morrow, Malheur, and Baker counties ranked in the upper half of Oregon’s 36 counties for growth rate from 2020 to 2021.

Morrow County ranked highest among Eastern Oregon’s counties, growing by 3.42% and ranking first in Oregon. Morrow added 418 residents to total 12,635.

Malheur County had the next highest growth rate, adding 369 residents to total 31,995 for growth of 1.17% which ranked eighth among Oregon’s counties.

Baker County’s population grew by 0.83% to rank 11th, climbing by 139 residents to total 16,860.

Harney County ranked 19th in growth rate at 0.53%, with the addition of 40 residents to climb to 7,537.

Wallowa County added 32 residents to total 7,433, a growth rate of 0.43% which put it in 22nd position.

Umatilla County (Eastern Oregon’s largest county) ranked 24th with a growth rate of 0.37%. Umatilla County rose by 294 residents from 2020 to 2021 to total 80,463.

Grant and Union counties were among six counties to show a decrease in population from 2020 to 2021. Grant County’s population fell by 13 residents to total 7,239, a decline of 0.18%, which ranked 32nd in Oregon. Union County ranked last among Oregon’s counties with a decline of 1.62%, losing 434 residents to total 26,295.

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