Population Growth, Educational Attainment, and Projected Job Openings in Yamhill County

by Nicole Ramos

December 28, 2022

For almost six decades, the Yamhill County resident population has been steadily increasing; it’s estimated to have declined only once during this time. In 2021, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates, there were 108,239 individuals living in Yamhill County. Of these individuals, 36.0% were considered of prime working age (that is, between 25 and 54 years of age). Those aged 35 to 44 made up the largest group under 65, representing 13.0% of the total Yamhill population, followed closely by those aged 25 to 34 (12.0%), and 45 to 54 year olds (11.0%)

Another 35.6% of those living in Yamhill County are of retirement age, close to retirement age, or unlikely to be in the workforce due to age. Specifically, 18.6% are 65 years of age or older and already of retirement age or nearing it, while another 17.0% are 14 years of age or younger and unlikely to work, 14 being the minimum age at which a minor can work in Oregon.


As the Yamhill population grows, so does educational attainment, but not only in numbers. The proportion of Yamhill County residents with some sort of educational attainment has been on the rise, while the share of residents with less than a high school education has been trending downward. In 2019, those with less than a high school diploma made up 12.0% of the population 25 years or older. By 2021, those with less than a high school diploma dropped 2 percentage points to 10.0%.

Conversely, of the 73,657 residents 25 years or older, approximately 90.1% had graduated with a high school diploma (or equivalent) or higher in 2021. However, more than half of individuals 25 years or older have not attained a degree past high school or its equivalent (62.0%), and although a large percentage (25.5%) have attended some college education, the majority (36.5%) have not. Higher education is on the rise though. In 2021, 38.1% of Yamhill County residents 25 years or older had attained an associate’s degree or higher, with 18.9% having attained a bachelor’s degree, while in 2019 it was 34.9% and 16.2%, respectively.

This information compares well against the Oregon Employment Department’s current employment projections. It is currently projected that more than 38% of average entry-level job openings in the Mid-Valley region require a high school diploma, and another 37% require less than a high school diploma. Therefore, 75% of all entry-level job openings in the Mid-Valley region will require a high school diploma or less, while 63.6% of Yamhill County residents 25 years or older have an educational attainment level beyond high school. As it stands, most Yamhill County residents aged 25 and up are overqualified for these entry-level positions.

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