Linn and Benton Counties’ Population Growth Outpaced by Oregon in 2016

by Pat O'Connor

January 4, 2017

Our friends at Portland State University’s Population Research Center recently released 2016 population estimates for Oregon and its counties and cities.

Both Linn and Benton counties had slower population growth from 2015 to 2016 compared with the state. Linn County had the slower growth of the two counties, at 1.2 percent growth. Linn County grew slightly slower than neighboring Marion County to the north, which grew 1.3 percent. But Linn County grew faster than neighboring Lane County to the south, which grew 1.0 percent. Benton County’s 1.5 percent population growth nearly matched Oregon’s statewide population growth of 1.6 percent. In recent years Benton County’s population has grown slightly faster than the statewide average while Linn County’s population has grown slower than the state. From 2010 to 2016 Oregon’s population has grown 6.2 percent while Benton County’s population grew 6.5 percent over that time and Linn County’s population expanded 4.7 percent.
Central Oregon had the fastest population growth in the state in 2016. Deschutes County’s population grew 3.5 percent from 2015 to 2016 and Crook County’s population grew 2.3 percent.

In the Portland area, Washington County’s population expanded 2.3 percent in 2016 while Clackamas County grew 1.9 percent and Multnomah County grew 1.7 percent. The population growth in those three counties accounted for a little more than half of Oregon’s population growth from 2015 to 2016.

Although Linn County’s population grew slightly slower than the state, that isn’t necessarily slow growth. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that Oregon had the sixth fastest population growth among the 50 states from 2015 to 2016. States in the west, and in particular the states in the Pacific Northwest were some of the fastest growing states in the U.S. from 2015 to 2016. Utah and Nevada were ranked first and second, with the fastest population growth from 2015 to 2016. Idaho ranked third and Washington ranked fifth, just ahead of Oregon’s sixth place ranking. Florida and the District of Columbia were the only places east of the Mississippi River that made the top-10 list of fastest growing states in the U.S. Yes, the District of Columbia is included in the list, despite not being a state.


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