Contrary to popular belief, everybody is not moving to Portland.
Portland’s growth rate decreased last year, according to new figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Census figures show 9,249 new residents moved to Portland between 2015 and 2016. That’s 2,038 fewer newbies than between 2014 and 2015.
On a longer calendar, Portland’s growth is still impressive. Last July, Portland’s population count was 639,863, which is a 56,000-person jump from 2010.
The city’s yearly growth rate, 1.47 percent, remains a fast pace, indicative of a steady post-recession influx of new residents. But in terms of annual growth, Portland now ranks below other metropolitan cities such as Seattle, Colorado Springs, Fort Worth, Tampa, Atlanta, Phoenix and Miami. That’s right—people are moving at a slower clip to Portland than to Miami, a city that will soon be underwater.
Those metro areas all experienced larger than 2 percent population increases between 2015 and 2016.
In fact, the Oregon city that's really booming is Bend.
Bend is America’s sixth fastest-growing large U.S. city, according the 2016 census ranking. The high desert oasis grew 4.9 percent between 2015 and 2016.
While Bend’s total population, 91,122, is a fraction of Portland’s, the massive move to the banks of the Deschutes River is eye-popping. In fact, Bend’s urban growth boundary was expanded by 2,380 acres last December to accommodate housing and employment for rapidly arriving newcomers.
Here in Portland, developers and city council members continue to grapple with the challenge of providing enough affordable housing for residents. Portland's housing crisis still looms large, regardless of a one-year slowdown in population growth.