Friday, June 9, 2017

Oregon’s 2016 Net Migration Was the Highest Since 1993

In 2016, Oregon’s population increased by 62,500 to 4,076,400. This marked growth of 1.6 percent over the year, and growth of 6.4 percent since the 2010 Census.

There are two main causes of population change. First, population can increase or decrease through net migration. That is, over the year, people either move into or out of an area. A positive value of net migration means more people moving into an area than leaving it, while a negative value of net migration indicates more people leaving an area than moving in. Second, an area increases in population if more births than deaths occur in a given year and decreases if births are outnumbered by deaths.

A lot of Oregon’s population increase was due to net migration, which at 52,100 people was the largest net migration since 1993. Over the past 20 years, Oregon had an average net migration of 27,100 people per year. The lowest number of net migrants over the last 20 years was 7,000 in 2010. In general, we see net migrants increase as the economy expands and more jobs become available. Notice that prior to the Great Recession, net migration was booming in Oregon. As the recession hit, people became less mobile. This, combined with Oregon experiencing a deeper recession than the nation as a whole, brought net migration to its lowest levels since the 1980s.

Natural increases contributed 10,400 to population growth in 2016, which was slightly higher than the previous year, when the natural increase was 10,300. Over the last two years, Oregon had a relatively low natural increase compared with the last three decades. The last time Oregon had a similar natural increase was in 1973, when the natural increase was 10,500.

Learn more about population in metro areas in the full article "Oregon’s 2016 Net Migration Was the Highest Since 1993" written by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt.

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