By Joseph Ditzler •The Bulletin

Projected population

of the three counties, 50 years from now:


(In 2015: 214,547 )

County breakdown

Total population, 2065:







As deaths begin to outnumber births in about 15 years, new arrivals will push the combined population of Central Oregon to an estimated 416,764 people by 2065, according to estimates by Portland State University’s Population Research Center.

The Oregon Population Forecast Program released proposed projections Tuesday for 10 counties and their respective cities for review.

State law gives PSU the task of providing population forecasts that local and state government officials, planners and developers use in their projections. The estimates also help determine urban growth boundaries. Members of the public or government officials may contest the PSU forecasts until May 15. The final forecasts are scheduled for release June 30.

According to the PSU proposed forecasts and related material:

• Deschutes County in 2065 will be home to about 357,345 people, with 194,793 of them in greater Bend, increasing the city by an estimated 127 percent over today’s population. Men and women born between 2011 and this year — who will be ages 50-54 in 2065 — will form the largest age group.

• Annual average population growth in Deschutes County will peak at 2.3 percent in 2020 and taper off to 1 percent in 2065. New arrivals will account for all Deschutes County population increases after 2030, when deaths are projected to start outnumbering births, a trend that will continue and increase through 2065.

• Jefferson County’s growth rate should peak at 1.2 percent in 2025 and fall gradually to 0.6 percent by 2045, according to the forecast. The population in 2065 will reach an estimated 33,779. The average annual birth rate is expected to stay flat at between 311 and 339 for 50 years.

• Crook County’s annual growth rate will peak at about 0.7 percent in 2030, when the population is projected to be 23,222. By 2065, an expected 25,640 will call Crook County home. The annual birth rate is projected to remain flat between 2020 and 2040, at 170 to 175 average births annually. PSU predicts that a slow decline will start in 2045, with the average birth rate reaching 138 annually in 2065.

• For more, visit the Oregon Population Forecast Program website,

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,