The Vast Majority of Growth in Highly Educated Workers Is Concentrated in the Portland Area

by Christian Kaylor

December 8, 2017

Newly released 2016 U.S. Census data shows that the vast majority of the growth in Oregon’s college educated population that is workforce age occurred in the Portland region. Among the growth of 102,000 Oregonians age 25 to 64 with a four year degree, about half reside in Multnomah County. Most of the remainder of the growth lives in the Portland area counties, Clackamas and Washington counties.
On the other end of the spectrum, many Oregon counties have actually declined in the number of college graduates that are workforce age. As baby boomers age into their retirement years, most Oregon communities have struggled to replace older highly educated workers with younger ones. While the Portland area has successfully attracted educated younger adults, for the rest of Oregon this presents a serious economic challenge.

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