Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Population Growth: There's Youth in Them Thar Hills

by Aaron Kirk Douglas, Marketing Director

OK. I have to admit when I saw the latest Population Estimates by Age and Sex for Oregon and its Counties (July 1, 2012) which were released a couple months ago by PSU, I was a little... well, surprised.

We are always hearing about how Portland is the place where young people are flocking to retire.  And the PSU Population Center recently conducted a study that kinda... well, deflated that theory.
It concluded, in part:
"Juxtaposing the consistency of Portland’s young, educated migration trends over the past thirty years with the long-­‐held notion asserted by urban economists39 arguing that migration is akin to ‘voting with your feet’, we conclude that, it seems clear that young, educated migrants have cast their ballots in favor of the Portland region’s quality of life." 
"The results also underscore an equally important trend; in particular, the high level of demographic effectiveness and movement of older migrants ‘up the urban hierarchy’ to the Portland region suggests that Portland may also be the case where 'old people go to retire.'"
Look at these number for Multnomah County


Age Range
Population
20-24
53,321
25-29
69,643
30-34
67,665
35-39
61,963
40-44
55,023
45-49
50,668
50-54
49,732
55-59
48,127
60-64
40,003
65-69
27,450
70-74
18,726
75-79
13,758
80-84
10,912



The numbers of those young whippersnappers in the 25-39 age range are huge! No wonder I'm starting to feel like the oldest person at the movies.

What happened? Did we all work together so well that Portland and Oregon became one of the best places on the planet?  I thought WE were the boomers -- always the best and the biggest.

As far as that PSU theory that smart retirees are moving here... I'm not so sure, although there are more older people in Clackamas and Washington counties. For Multnomah County, the population counts after age 69 aren't looking too great.  Now I'm seeing that I'm already in the age category where the numbers are starting to decline!  Ouch.

The good news for apartment owners is that the numbers are big in some prime apartment-renting years, and there's another wave of kids now aged 0-4 in Multnomah County that will be renting before we know it!