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If it seems like Forest Grove has a bit more bustle than before, there’s a reason. The city is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Oregon, according to new estimates released by the Population Research Center at Portland State University.

Forest Grove added 880 residents between July 2012 and July 2013, according to a report released last week. That’s more than all but five other cities statewide (Portland, Salem, Eugene, Wilsonville and Oregon City).

“Last year we had more new homes built than any year in the history of Forest Grove...about 160 new homes,” said Forest Grove City Manager Michael Sykes, who isn’t that surprised at the estimate.

“We knew we were experiencing aggressive growth,” he said. “But we didn’t realize we were sixth in the state.

“I think people have discovered Forest Grove, what a nice full-service community it is.”

The increase brings the city’s estimated population to 22,340 and includes about 260 residents whose homes were annexed during that time period, city officials say. The only other western Washington County cities with estimated population gains this year were Hillsboro, which jumped by 790 (from 92,550 to 93,340) and North Plains, which edged up from 1,190 and 2,015. Cornelius’ estimated population held steady at 11,915. Banks stayed at 1,775 and Gaston remained at 640.

The estimates are rough and based on a variety of factors including birth and death certificates, construction permits and school enrollments.

And there’s more than bragging rights at stake. Once the estimates are certified in December, they will be used to disperse state tax funds.

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