The census bureau today released data
that show the continuing exodus from rural America
. The color-coded maps
that accompany the new numbers show vast swaths of Oregon continue to lose population.
That's not a new phenomenon. The Portland State University population survey
(top link) shows some stark differences in population shifts since 1980.
Over that time, Oregon's overall population has grown 47 percent
, to 3,883,735 led by Washington County, where the numbers soared 119 percent over that period, yielding a 2012 population of 542,845.
Some of that explosive metro-area growth
likely came from and at the expense of rural counties such as Coos, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Sherman, Wallowa and Wheeler Counties, all of which actually lost population from 1980 to 2012, a period that saw a dramatic decrease in logging and other industries that formerly supported rural economies.