Deschutes Co. growing at one of the fastest rates in the country

Bend metro area grew to an estimated 170,388 people from July 2013-14.

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The Bend metro area grew to an estimated 170,388 people from July 2013-14, making Deschutes County the seventh-fastest growing area in the country.

The increase marks a 2.67 percent increase over that span, the Bend Bulletin reports.

Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone, who also sits on a steering committee for the city of Bend’s urban growth boundary expansion process, said he senses the increase in construction activity and demand for workers to build homes.

“It’s good to know that the numbers are measurable, because it does feel like a lot of things are happening at the same time,” said DeBone.

The fastest-growing area in the country was The Villages, Florida. The Sunshine State recently passed New York as the third-most populous in the nation.

The Portland-area and Oregon as a whole also experienced growth, reports.

The Portland metropolitan area — Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington — grew by an estimated 26,000 in population, an increase of about 1.7 percent. That’s the area’s biggest annual increase in population since the 2010 Census.

The state as a whole is seeing faster in-migration in the wake of the recession. The Census Bureau reported earlier that Oregon gained an estimated 42,000 people from July 2013 to July 2014, an increase of about 1 percent.

A recent survey conducted by DHM Research found that the slimmest-possible majority — 51 percent — of residents from the tricounty area are wary of the growth, Portland Tribune reports.

That’s slightly higher than the entire state, where 48 percent believe we should do everything we can to limit new people from moving to Oregon. The percentage for just Multnomah County was a little lower at 45 percent. In contrast, only 40 percent of those in the tricounty area agree with the statement that growth will help the economy through increased spending, having more people paying taxes into public services, and contributing money to nonprofit organizations working to preserve and enhance Oregon’s livability. Statewide, 45 percent believe we should do everything we can to encourage new people to move to Oregon. Only 40 percent of Multnomah County residents agree with that statement.

“Fed up with everything from worsening traffic congestion to more crowded campgrounds, many Oregonians might support tongue-in-cheek putting up a wall around the state with a moat to limit new people from moving here,” says DHM Research founding partner Adam Davis.

What do you think? Is the state expanding at too fast a pace? Let us know in the comments.

CORRECTED: An earlier version of this story indicated the Bend metro area grew by 170,388 residents instead of that it grew to that number.

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