Population is on the rise in south Columbia County, with Scappoose topping St. Helens and Columbia City with a 4.2 percent population increase in 2007, a rise from 5,840 to 6,090 residents between July 2006 and July 2007.

St. Helens had a roughly 1.1 percent increase, and Columbia City had an approximately 3.4 percent jump in population, coming in at 1,955 residents.

The numbers were released in December by the Portland State University Population Research Center.

For Scappoose, it was the most significant upward trend in people since 2000, the time of the last national Census when the data set begins.

St. Helens population weighed in at 12,075 people, making it the first time the city has cracked the 12,000-plus mark. The marginal increase illustrates a slowed growth rate for the city for the last three years, however. From 2004 to 2005, St. Helens saw an increase of 425 people, a 3.7 percent increase. The following year, the city saw a 1.2 percent increase, from 11,795 to 11,940 people.

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