One out of Five Bend Residents Are New to the City since 2010

by Damon Runberg

July 6, 2017

The Census Bureau recently published the updated 2016 population figure for the City of Bend and it was a shocking figure. Bend broke the 90,000 barrier reaching a population of 91,122 in 2016. Let’s take a quick look at Bend’s growth since the start of this decade and see how our growth compares with other cities.

In 2016, Bend was ranked the 352nd largest city in the United States, sandwiched between Edmond, Oklahoma and Carmel, Indiana. Not particularly exciting. However, what makes Bend’s population so interesting is the pace of growth, rather than the raw number of people living here. Back in 2010, Bend was ranked the 416th largest city in the United States. In just six years the city jumped 64 places.
Bend is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Over the past year, the Census Bureau estimated that Bend saw an increase of around 4,300 persons, a one-year gain of 4.9 percent. Bend ranked the 6th fastest growing city with a population of 50,000 or more. Nearly all of the cities that grew faster than Bend were suburbs of major metropolitan areas, such as Dallas, Houston, and Austin. The only city that grew faster than Bend that was not a suburb was Greenville, South Carolina.

Bend’s ranking amongst the fastest growing cities in the United States drops when comparing 2016 with the most recent decennial census (2010). Bend’s population rose by nearly 14,500 since 2010, a staggering gain of 20 percent in just six years. That 20 percent growth over the past six years was the 33rd fastest among U.S. cities with a population of 50,000 or larger. Once again, most of the cities ranked above Bend were suburbs of larger metropolitan areas in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida.

It seems the old adage that people will move to Bend as long as they can find a job has some merit. During the recession, population growth was more subdued and not far off neighboring cities in Oregon. As the economic expansion gained momentum, Bend’s rate of growth accelerated past the national average and outpaced neighboring metro communities, such as Portland, Medford, and Salem.

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