For most of us in and around the Portland area, when we’re asked where we live, we typically just say Portland. But the Portland metro area is made up of several separate cities that covers from Battle Ground, Vancouver and Camas Washington across the river to the North, and down south as far as Wilsonville, Or. The Portland area also covers wide from Newberg out West and Gresham to the East. All is really considered part of the Portland Metro Area.
But which cities are the fastest growing within the Portland area?
Fastest Growing Cities In The Portland Area
A report put out by HomeSnacks listed the ten fastest growing cities in the state of Oregon. Of the fastest-growing Oregon cities, exactly half are in the Portland Metro area. The 5 rapid growth Oregon cities that were not in the Portland area were Sandy (3), Bend (4), Molalla (5), The Dalles (7) and Redmond (8). The remaining fastest growing cities are well-known Portland suburbs and make up the fastest growing cities in the Portland Metro area.
The list of growing Oregon cities was compiled by using census data to compare populations of cities from 2010 as compared to 2018 and the growth rate between those years. Following are the fastest growing Portland area cities:
Happy Valley (1)
Ranked the fastest growing city in Oregon AND the Portland Metro area, the growth rate of Happy Valley is certainly soaring. The 2010 population of Happy Valley was 13,903 and is currently some 18,477. Yes, it is easier for a smaller town to have a faster growth rate, but this city on the Eastern edge of Portland Metro is seeing the quality of life, lower housing costs and other factors propel its growth further.
The number two ranked fastest growing city in both Oregon and the Portland area is Wilsonville. Growing in population from 19,509 to a current 22,789, Wilsonville is a closer suburb to the Portland area that has many more local amenities as compared with Happy Valley and a lower median home price of $374,800 it is also attracting new residents at a high rate.
Hillsboro is the third fastest growing city in the Portland area and ranked as the 6th fastest growing in the state of Oregon. Easily recognized as one of the larger suburbs of Portland, Hillsboro has escalated its population from 91,611 in 2010 to a whopping 102,396 residents. When you consider its close proximity to Portland and large employers in the area, there’s no doubt why Hillsboro growth rate is among the highest in the area.
Oregon City (8)
Our fourth-ranked, fastest growing city in the Portland area is Oregon City, also ranked the eighth fastest growing city in the state. The Oregon City population was 31,859 in the 2010 census and has modestly ballooned to a current count of 35,483. The area boasts a low median home price of $294,400 and is recognized as the first U.S. city west of the Rocky Mountains to be incorporated in 1844.
Forest Grove (10)
Rounding out our list of the fastest growing cities in the Portland area, Forest Grove takes the number 5 spot locally and is ranked 10th in the state for growth as well. Just 25 miles West of Portland, Forest Grove has come a long way since its start as a sleepy farm to garner a population of 21,083 in 2010 that has now grown to over 23,554. Not bad for a small community with close urban access, suburban lifestyle and a country feel.
Portland Area Population Growth
Despite these five rapidly growing Portland suburbs, the overall Portland Metro area growth has dramatically slowed since around 2016. Currently, the Portland Metro growth rate is just 0.9%, or about 430 new residents a week, as of the latest 2018 number. For many in our beloved city, the slowing of the growth rate in the Portland area would be a good thing, but for purely economic reasons, it could be a sign of slower growth in other areas as well.
The slowdown in population growth now has the Portland Metro area ranked 42nd among the largest 100 metros in the U.S., down from 24th in 2016. It is currently estimated that the population for Portland metro to be at about 2,478,810. This count includes Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington state.
In the end, our amazing part of the Pacific Northwest is thriving and we have the metropolitan area suburbs to thank for the current growth numbers. Portland and its surrounding neighborhoods and towns make up a family of Oregonians that are unique and special within our amazing state. We congratulate these fastest growing area cities and are excited to see the contributions that these amazing communities continue to make to our area.