For better or for worse, a majority of US counties are experiencing a “natural decline” in population, around 73%, according to the United States Census Bureau. A natural decrease is “when there are more deaths than births in a population over a given period”. This means that there are not enough people born or moving into a county to replace those who die of natural causes.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Benton County is one of the few counties in America that is actually growing — and fast, too. Of 1,800 U.S. counties across multiple states that have seen growth, many of them are in Oregon — and Benton County is the tenth fastest growing county in the state, making it the 635th largest county in the nation.
Probably no shock, most of the people helping Oregon grow come from California and Washington, with tens of thousands of people moving here every year. Luckily, we seem to be reciprocating, as in 2019 Washington and California were the most common destinations for people leaving Oregon, respectively.
Who would have thought, huh? Oregonians seem to love the rain, and Californians can’t seem to get enough of our trees and nature. Maybe all those palm trees and sandy beaches aren’t as beautiful as we all thought after all.
By Ethan Hauck