Population Estimate: 85,000
Civilian Workforce: 42,000 (approx.)
Growth: All counties in the region are growing, with the exception of Sherman County which has seen a slight decline in population.
While there are individual differences between the characteristics of communities within the five counties, regionally some of the primary data points include:
The region’s population lacks diversity, with 89% identifying their race as white-alone. There is a growing Hispanic/ Latino population, composing 18% or more of the region’s population and in some communities exceeding one third of school-age children.
Urban-Rural Digital Divide: 55% in rural areas have broadband access vs 94% in urban settings.
Mean Travel Time to Work: 23 minutes
The region’s population is aging. As of 2015, 18% of the population was 65+. It is projected to grow significantly by 2022.
Each of the five counties have a higher percentage of veterans than the US average.
Educational Attainment (%)
Income disparities remain a significant issue for economic prosperity. The poverty rate continues to climb, with the regional poverty rate at 15%.
- Number of housing units in 2015: over 37,000; 60% of which are single units
- Built before 1940: 15%
- Units constructed in 2016: over 250
Disparities between individuals, groups, communities, and counties remain a significant concern.
Unemployment is trending down from 8.6% in May 2012 to 4.7% in May 2016. The 24 month average is 5.66%
Seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment is increasing slowly, from approx. 28,700 in January 2012 to 30,000 in January 2016.
Major Industries By Jobs
The regional industry mix is shifting, with top employment categories in 2016 by Jobs:
When sorting by payroll, the categories are similar, but the distribution shifts.
In the first quarter of 2015, 34% of jobs paid $10-14.99 per hour, representing the largest share of the job market.
Wages and Income
Click here for the 2016 Gorge Wage Survey (xls)
2015 per capita personal income was $42,995 (vs the US at $48,112).
Median Household Income ($)