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Portland region growing more than twice as fast as nation

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PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Apartment construction is increasing to keep pace with the growing population.Oregon and the Portland region are growing much faster than the national average, according to new U.S. Census figures released Wednesday.

The figures show the state's population grew 1.5 percent between 2014 and 2015, climbing to a little over 4 million people. The region grew nearly 2 percent to nearly 2.39 million people last year.

According the U.S. Census, the national average was just .8 percent.

The new figures reinforce the predictions that the region will grow by around 400,000 over the next 20 years, with Portland gaining about 200,000 more people by 2035. Most of the growth is coming from people moving into the region, not in-state births.

Portland is not in the top 20 fastest growing regions in the country, however. The only one in Oregon is the Bend-Redmond area, which grew 2.9 percent last year.

The new figures include yearly comparisons between 2010 and 2015.

According to the figures, the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area grew from a little over 2.226 million people in 2010 to nearly 2.39 million people in 2015. It gained over 40,000 people in the last year alone.

The area, which is determined by the federal government, includes Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon, and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington,

Within Oregon, Washington County grew almost as much as Multnomah County last year, despite having a smaller starting population.

Multnomah County grew from 735,334 people in 2010 to 790,294 people in 2015. It gained 12,414 people in the last year alone.

Washington County grew from 529,710 people in 2010 to 574,326 in 2015. It gained 11,053 in the last year alone.

And Clackamas County grew from 375,992 people in 2010 to 401,515 people in 2015. It gained 7,011 in the last year alone.

More information is available at www.census.gov/newsroom/press-kits/2016/20160324_popestimates.html.