Where Are All the New Residents of Portland Moving From?

Portland, Oregon has a lot of nicknames, from PDX to the City of Roses to Stumptown. Whatever you call it, though, a lot more people are calling it home these days.

The metro area population grew by more than 40,000 people between July 2015 and July 2016, according to the latest census data. During that time, the metro population went from 2,384,807 to 2,424,955, a 1.68 percent increase.

Multnomah County, home to the city of Portland, grew at a slightly slower pace in that time; it went from 789,125 residents to 799,766, a 1.35 percent increase. (The metro area spans many counties, so it has a larger population than Multnomah County has.)

While some of the growth can be attributed to birth rates and immigration, the big chunk of new residents are movers from within Oregon and across the U.S.

So where are all those people coming from?

Another census study, conducted over five years from 2011-2015, gives us a pretty good idea of all the different places new Portlanders are coming from. It turns out many of them are coming from nearby, mostly from Washington and California.

Multnomah County attracted 56,066 domestic movers from 2011 to 2015. The majority, 55 percent, came from out of the state, while the other 45 percent came from within Oregon.

Below are rankings for the top five counties of origin for movers to Multnomah County:

Movers outside of Oregon:

  1. Clark County, WA (Vancouver)
  2. King County, WA (Seattle)
  3. Los Angeles County, CA
  4. Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix)
  5. San Francisco County, CA

Movers from Oregon:

  1. Washington County
  2. Clackamas County
  3. Lane County
  4. Marion County
  5. Benton County

Above are the top places inside Oregon that people moved to Multnomah County from over the five-year period 2011-2015. Numbers represent the number of movers from that place during the period.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Elizabeth Whalen