We live in an age of opinionating.
For example, this afternoon the Mueller report was released to the Attorney General. Now there's a frenzy of speculation about what is in the report, how much of it will be released to the public, what the political impact will be, and so on.
So it was pleasant to attend a Salem City Club talk today by demographer Charles Rynerson, a Research Associate with the Population Research Center at Portland State University (my graduate school alma mater): "Oregon Demographic Trends and the 2020 Census."
Rynerson was low-key, highly competent, and almost entirely factual. His talk felt like a healing warm bath of concrete data that (temporarily) washed away the torrent of opinions from a myriad of news sources that typically flood my political junkie brain.
UPDATE: After emailing Rynerson some questions, as noted below, I got the following replies after he returned from vacation. Keep in mind what he says here as you read the rest of my blog post. The first message was sent to someone else who had questions similar to mine. I've uploaded a link to his edited PowerPoint presentation.
Sorry for the delay, I was on vacation from the moment I left the City Club event!
This is the edited version of the presentation, based on valuable feedback that I got from a few people after the meeting. Slide #21 showing in- and out-migration by age group was presented with the two data series overlapped 100%, making it appear that it was a stacked column chart, implying that in-migration was smaller than out-migration. In fact, in-migration (green columns) is larger for every age group. By lowering the overlap percentage, this should now be apparent.
Brian Hines also brought this up in his blog post https://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2019/03/city-club-talk-about-oregon-demographics-and-2020-census-pleasingly-factual.html, showing the original version of the chart. I have cc'd him here, and will follow up with him to clarify a couple of other points.
Glad you enjoyed it!
I hope you saw my previous message in which I attached the PPT presentation and improved the migration by age group slide. If you don't have PowerPoint, let me know. I'd be glad to print it to PDF and send to you.
Thanks for covering the event with the blog post. You captured most of what I said perfectly. Allow me to correct a couple of things that I didn't make clear:
"In every age group, more people moved from Oregon to another state than moved to Oregon from another state."
- My bad -- two other people who spoke with me immediately after the presentation had the same takeaway. Thus I realized that I should edit the image so that the two series are not completely overlapped. It is not a stacked column chart; the green bars are really taller than the reddish-brown bars for every age group. I think the edited chart makes that clear.
"Rynerson said there are 13 metropolitan areas in Oregon, with each area being a county. The other 23 counties are in non-metro areas."
- I hope I didn't say that. There are 8 metropolitan areas in Oregon. The Portland MSA includes 5 Oregon counties (and 2 Washington counties), the Salem MSA includes 2 counties (Marion+Polk), and the remaining 6 MSAs are one county each, for a total of 13 Oregon counties in metropolitan areas.
"The other eight counties have a large net migration, but Rynerson said almost all of this was due to Marion County."
- No, there is positive net migration in all of the metropolitan counties. Most of the natural increase is attributable to Marion County.
"70% of people will get an Internet-first 2020 Census survey, while 30% of people in broadband deprived areas will get a Paper-first survey. "
- I did say that, but I may have been a bit reckless. I'm not sure where I got the 70-30 figure, and I can't find a source. I may have been confusing it with the 2018 Census Test in Providence, RI, which was 70-30.
- All of these links say that the 2020 Census breakdown will be 80-20.
I hope these clarifications help!
Here's photos of some of Rynerson's slides that I snapped with my trusty iPhone, along with commentary on each. I'll end with some additional things he told us. Let's geek out on some interesting info on how Oregon is changing demographically.
The flowing line is total population in Oregon, which is estimated to be 4,195,300 in 2018. The bars are annual increases in population form 2001 to 2018. The marked dip around 2010-11 reflects the recession that hit in earnest in 2008.
There was a decline in the rate of population growth from 2017 to 2018, but Rynerson said not much should be made of this, since the number of people added in 2018, 54,200, was still quite high.
Population growth is a function of net migration (# of people coming to Oregon - # of people leaving Oregon) plus natural increase (# of people born - # of people dying). This image shows these components in 5-year periods from 1960-65 to 2010-15. Remember: 5 years. That's why the numbers on the vertical axis are so large.
Net migration (brown bars) has always been greater than natural increase, except in 1960-65 and especially in 1980-85 -- which I recall was another economic downturn. The highest net migration was in 1990-95. Natural increase was at its lowest point in 2010-15.
This is a similar graph, but with the components shown in a single bar for individual years from 2001 to 2018. Natural increase in Oregon has been steadily declining since 2007, mostly because of lower birth rates. Net migration has increased a lot since low points in 2010-11.
Because population growth in Oregon has been greater than the national average, Rynerson said our state likely will gain a congressional seat after the 2020 census. He said that redistricting will start in April 2021, apparently because this is when requisite census data is available.
This slide shows that currently Oregon has a considerably larger population per seat in Congress than Washington, California, or the United States as a whole. Reason: Oregon narrowly missed out on getting an additional seat after the 2010 census. If we get a 6th seat, as expected, our population per seat will drop to about 715,000.
This slide shows the average number of people moving to Oregon (green bar) and the number of people moving from Oregon (brown bar) by age group from 2013 to 2017. Not surprisingly, those aged 20 to 29 are the biggest movers. In every age group, more people moved from Oregon to another state than moved to Oregon from another state.
This seems to be at odds with the positive net migration figures shown in a previous slide, so likely I'm missing something here. (Which is why Rynerson is a professional demographer, and I'm not.) I've emailed Rynerson, asking about this.
Rynerson said there are 13 metropolitan areas in Oregon, with each area being a county. The other 23 counties are in non-metro areas. (All it takes to be a metro area is to have a population center with 50,000 or more people.)
Net migration has been greatest in the 5-county Portland Metro area, as has the natural increase. Which figures, since that area has by far the most people. The other eight counties have a large net migration, but Rynerson said almost all of this was due to Marion County.
And in the 23 non-metro counties, which basically means rural Oregon, net migration has been very low -- along with a negative natural increase, with more people dying in those rural areas than are being born.
This chart shows where people moving to Oregon come from. (The columns total to 100%.) Overall, 24% come from California. Rynerson said the SW Oregon and Deschutes column confirms his intuition that southern Oregon has a higher percentage of Californians than other parts of Oregon -- 34%.
The Willamette Valley percentages are very close to the Oregon total, Rynerson noted.
This interesting chart shows by age group in 2016 the number of white/non-Latino people (blue) and all other people (brown). It shows that the proportion of white/non-Latino steadily increases with age: 63% for those under 15, 71% ages 15 to 44, 82% 45 to 64, 91% 65 and older.
So demographically, the future belongs to people of color -- an oft-cited national fact that holds true in Oregon, though we have a smaller percentage than the United States as a whole.
Lastly, this slide shows the "baby bust" that's been reflected in previous slides. The blue 1990-2017 trend line is non-Latino total fertility rates, and the green line is Latino total fertility rates. Meaning, the total number of children a woman has. The fertility rates for both groups have been steadily declining, which is why the natural increase in Oregon has been dropping.
But the Latino birth rate has dropped especially fast since 2000. Now it is 1.96, not all that far above the non-Latino rate of 1.51. Rynerson said the replacement rate is 2.1, given that some children don't survive to adulthood. So couples need on average to have 2.1 children to keep the population steady, without accounting for net migration.
This shows that Oregon would be losing population long-term if it wasn't for people moving into our state.
Here's some other info Rynerson shared in his talk:
-- 70% of people will get an Internet-first 2020 Census survey, while 30% of people in broadband deprived areas will get a Paper-first survey. Those who don't respond to the Internet survey apparently will get a paper survey.
-- The Trump administration's attempt to add a "Are you a citizen?" question to the 2020 Census is still being adjudicated. Rynerson said that if this question ends up being included, and someone doesn't answer it, but completes the rest of the survey, likely there won't be a follow-up attempt, due to lack of resources. So I can see immigrant rights organizations advising people to leave that question blank. Heck, I'll likely do that myself, if the citizen question is asked.
-- Attempts will be made to include homeless people in the 2020 Census. During a one-night event, census staff will go with local people to try to count the homeless.