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Oregon population decline is cause for concern, say economists

View of Portland an Mount Hood from the historic Pittock Mansion. According to the latest U.S. Census estimates, the population of Portland and the rest of the state has declined for the first time in decades.
Bradley W. Parks
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View of Portland an Mount Hood from the historic Pittock Mansion. According to the latest U.S. Census estimates, the population of Portland and the rest of the state has declined for the first time in decades.

The latest federal census numbers show Oregon’s population is shrinking for the first time in decades. And it’s losing residents at the sixth fastest rate.

Calculating these estimates is not an exact science, says Josh Lehner, with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. He says numbers from the Portland State University Population Research Center indicate a slowing of growth in the state, but also show a drop in the Portland metro area.

Lehner says however you look at it, the implications for state revenues are serious.

He joins to explain these numbers and what it could mean if Oregon’s population doesn’t rebound.

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Allison Frost