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Estacada grows along with neighboring areas

Recent population estimates from Portland State University indicate that Oregon’s population is on the rise.

According to preliminary population estimates from PSU’s Population Research Center, the state’s total population has surpassed 4 million, with numbers rising to 4,013,845 in 2015 from 3,962,710 in 2014.

Estacada’s current population is estimated at 3,085, compared to 2,935 in 2014.

Population growth is based on natural increase, or number of births minus number of deaths, and net migration, or movers-in minus movers-out.

PSU’s research center found that net migration accounted for approximately 80 percent of Oregon’s population growth. The center also estimates that net in-migration has increased in most counties across the state compared to last year.

Risa Proehl, manager of PSU’s population estimates program, noted that several new housing units helped facilitate the increase in Estacada’s population.

Proehl is confident Estacada will continue to see growth.

“It offers a beautiful lifestyle outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, but it’s still close enough to everything. It’s the best of both worlds,” she said.

Nancy Hoffman, Estacada Main Street director, believes that Estacada’s increase in population has boosted the city’s economy.

“I think the added population growth, coupled with the slow economic growth that’s finally reached Estacada, has made a difference,” Hoffman said. “There’s a greater sense of prosperity — the whole community is a bit more prosperous, and their lives are a bit easier. I see that with a lot of the business owners I’ve spoken to.”

Hoffman also believes the Broadway Street Urban Renewal Project, completed in June, contributed to the town’s growing population and economy.

“People take greater pride in their downtown,” she said. “I’ve really noticed how much more people drive into downtown, and park and walk around. There are a lot of people in the cafes, and the restaurants.”

She believes downtown Estacada will see continued growth.

“I get calls from people looking to start businesses downtown,” she said. “There’s a lot of conversation.”

Nearby, Gresham’s population rose from 106,455 to 107,065, and Sandy’s rose from 10,170 to 10,395. The total population for Clackamas County increased from 3,962,710 to 4,013,845.

Proehl believes Oregon’s economy and cost of living make the state an attractive destination.

“There are jobs here,” she said. “And the location on the West Coast makes it relatively affordable compared to other places. It (Oregon) offers a decent lifestyle.”

Nature is another significant factor.

“It’s a gorgeous natural environment, with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation,” she said.

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