A new county-by-county population forecast from Oregon’s Economic Analysis office finds the most growth will come in the state’s large cities.
Oregon is projected to grow from nearly four million people today to more than5.5 million in 2050. More than half of that growth would come to the greater Portland-area — especially to the west, according to Josh Lehner with Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis.
“There’s been lots of expansions of residential neighborhoods in Washington County,” Lehner says. “That’s where a lot of the land is, you’re also getting a lot of jobs and economic development in the region, so I think that will just continue.”
Multnomah County is by far Oregon’s most populous county now. The new forecast predicts Oregon will have two counties that are far bigger than the rest. Multnomah and Washington County would exceed 900,000 people, each.
The state forecasts a second tier of counties with about a 500,000 people each: Clackamas, Marion, and Lane.
Grant, Harney, Lake, Wallowa, and Wheeler counties are all expected to shrink between now and 2050.