The metropolitan Portland area population has
a less ethnically diverse population than most other
metropolitan areas in the United States and the
West Coast. Metropolitan Portlandís minority population
comprised 20% of the metropolitan population in
2005, compared to an average 36% of other metropolitan
areas of similar size.
Fueled by internal and international migration
and new births, Latinos are the fastest growing
minority population in the metropolitan region.
- The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the Latino
population increased from 50,600 in 1990 to 142,400
in 2000, an increase of 181% during this period
- Census estimates indicate that this population
grew by another 52,000 between 2000 and 2005.
An analysis of the age distribution of this population
shows that these population changes will have a
dramatic effect on the ethnic composition and the
educational support needs of schools as the youngest
members of this population enter school age.
People of color are increasing as a percentage
of overall population of the Portland region, and
related changes and trends are also apparent. As
a group, people of color in Portland tend to earn
less than their white counterparts, and poverty
rates for minorities are higher than for whites.
Driven in part by housing affordability, there appear
to be larger clusters of people of color, people
in poverty and children living in further-out locations,
both in Portland and in the larger region, and fewer
of them living in close-in Portland neighborhoods.
The impact of this is already affecting the regionís
school systems and will likely have many impacts
on our communityís future.
Our growing cultural and ethnic diversity provides
new challenges and opportunities for Portland to
weave the richness of our many communities into
our civic and social fabric.
- There is
general agreement that the U.S. Census likely
undercounts certain population groups, including
the poor and communities of color. This can happen
because of mistakes in reporting the data, varying
definitions of race/ethnicity, fear of consequences
if the information is shared and how the Census
is carried out (by mail, which might miss homeless
people or people who have informal living arrangements).
Portlandís Native American community in particular
has expressed concern about the accuracy of Census
Here to view a graph depicting the
percent of and change in minority population in
the Portland/Vancouver Metro Region.
Here to view a chart depicting the
forcasted change in future household makeup.