Age and Gender, Population Pyramids

Pause here to see how the age structure of the population changes over time.

A population pyramid (a bar chart depicting shares of total population by 5-year age group and gender) is shown every 20 years from 1880-2000, and for 2010.

A wider population base at the bottom of the chart indicates a younger population, and a columnar shape of the pyramid represents a more even distribution of population among age groups.

The 1880 age distribution depicts Oregon’s frontier era, with very few elderly and, among the adult population, nearly twice as many men as women.

In 1900 and 1920 children and young adults still formed the pyramids’ large bases, while the male/female ratio gradually declined.

The 1940 pyramid shows the effects of the downturn in births during the Great Depression that occurred in the 1930s, while the 1960 pyramid is a sharp contrast, with baby boomers age 15 and younger significantly outnumbering all other age groups.

The large cohort born in the 1950s is apparent in every pyramid from 1960 to the most recent, as the largest age groups were 20 to 29 in 1980, 40 to 49 in 2000, and 50 to 59 in 2010.

In 2010 the pyramid becomes nearly columnar, as the five year age groups from birth to 64 each represent six to seven percent of the state’s total population.

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