Over the last 100 years, Oregon's population has gotten steadily larger and older with increasing numbers of minorities and women as a percentage of the overall population. Reviewing census data from 1950 to 2010 shows that the population of Oregon has grown from around 1.5 million total people to more than 3.8 million people in 2010. Over that 60-year period, the population growth as been fairly linear and consistent, with only a couple years with negative population growth
Data indicates that Oregon's population growth is heavily tied to net migration rather than the birth and death rates. Net migration patterns are tied more directly to economic well-being, and slow downs in Oregon's population growth can be attributed directly to economic slowing. Periods of economic expansion, such as the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s, are marked by faster population growth across all demographics.
Since the 1950s, minority populations have increased as a percentage of the overall population in Oregon. The largest increases have been in the Hispanic and Asian populations. Minority and ethnic groups accounted for 21.5 percent of Oregon's overall population in 2010. The life expectancy of men and women born in Oregon has steadily increased by between eight and 10 years respectively since 1970.