KTVZ: Deschutes County has 'added a Redmond' in just 8 years
Author: Barney Lerten
Posted: April 26, 2019

Read the original article from KTVZ here. 

BEND, Ore. - You don't have to imagine Deschutes County adding the equivalent of a city of Redmond in population in less than a decade. 

That's because it just happened.

New Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show the county added 34,266 residents between the 2010 Census and last July 1, for a total population of 191,996 people.

That means the Bend-Redmond metro area (which the Census Bureau has actually defined as all of Deschutes County) grew by 21.7 percent in just those eight years.

And that growth rate makes Bend-Redmond the eighth-fastest growing of all of the nearly 400 metro areas in the country, the Census Bureau says.

The new estimates also show the metro area (remember, that's all of the county) added 5,189 people in just the year ending last July 1-- and that 2.8 percent increase also makes it No. 9 on the nation's fastest-growing list for the past year, as well.

That eight-year population increase is "like adding another Redmond in eight years," said Damian Syrnyk, senior planner in the city of Bend's Growth Management Department.

Actually, it's even more than that - about 5,000 more. There were 29,190 Redmond residents estimated as of last July 1 by Portland State University, which uses a different set of data (the Census Bureau's city estimates aren't out yet).

PSU's Population Research Center, released its own estimates last December that showed Deschutes County had 188,980 residents last July 1. That 's up 3.3 percent from the previous year's tally -- a faster growth rate than the Census Bureau pegged -- but also 3,016 fewer county residents than the federal agency estimated. 

Crook County actually grew faster than Deschutes County in the last year and was fastest-growing in the state, adding 776 residents to reach a population of 23,867, up 3.4 percent. Jefferson County added 492 residents for an estimated July 1 population of 24,192, making it third in the state — a rare 1-2-3 for Central Oregon.

The Census Bureau said Oregon overall added 44,121 people over the year ending last July 1, up 1.1 percent, to a total population of 4,190,713 residents.

There are more than 3,000 counties around the country, so Central Oregon’s counties didn’t rank quite so high as in the shorter metro area growth list. Nevertheless, Crook County was the 38th-fastest growing county in the nation for the 2017-18 year, ahead of Deschutes County at No. 71. For the eight-year 2010-18 period, Deschutes County was the 46th fastest-growing county in the country.