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Think Out Loud

Who Are Your Neighbors Now?

Pete Springer/OPB

On our very first show, we talked about the changing population of Oregon. Three years later (almost to the day!) we’re reexamining some of the questions we asked about our state’s demographics. In particular: who’s moving here, and why, and how are they changing this state?

Census data shows Oregon’s population has been steadily growing faster than the population of the U.S. as a whole. Annual numbers from a large moving company put Oregon’s inbound migration near the top of the national list. According to the company’s figures, migration to the Beaver State has been up for the past 23 years.

If you think new Portlanders are skewing those numbers, think again. Sure, plenty of people have moved to the state’s most populous city (50,530 between 2000 and 2009), but that’s only about a ten percent increase since 2000. In the same span of time, Bend’s population has swelled by 50 percent. (These numbers come from the annual reports put out by Portland State University’s Population Research Center.) As we noted three years ago, Oregon’s population is getting older and more racially diverse.

What do all these numbers mean to you? Did you move to Oregon from another place? Do you see the demographics of your community changing? How are you — or your new neighbors — changing the culture of the state?

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