Population Growth: Births and Deaths

One of the reasons that Oregon's population has grown is because there have consistently been more births than deaths. Demographers call the number of people added to the population through births minus the number of people subtracted through deaths natural increase.

From this chart you can see that births are much more volatile than deaths because they are influenced by the number and age of women as well as other social and economic factors. We can see that Oregon's births began to rise in the late 1930s and then fell during the World War II years, followed by the explosive growth in birth rates that marked the post World War II baby boom.

Its easy to pick out economic recessionary periods that corresponded to drops in birth rates in the mid-1980s and the Great Recession of 2008-2009. The number of births to Oregon residents fell more than eight percent between 2007 and 2012, and have increased since but remain below their 2007 peak.

The number of deaths in Oregon has increased steadily as the state’s population has increased. Only rare events such as the 1918 influenza epidemic have caused abrupt changes.

In the current decade since 2010, deaths have increased at a rate faster than overall population, as a record share of Oregon residents are in age groups with the highest mortality risks.

More detailed birth and death data are available from the Oregon Health Authority Center for Health Statistics Unit.

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