Oregon's aging population hurting economic growth

Oregon's aging population hurting economic growth

Oregon's fast-aging rural population is hindering economic growth, state economist Mark McMullen says.

Rural Oregon counties boast a sizable number of working-age households for now, but birth and death statistics show that could drastically change in the future, state economist Mark McMullen said at the Human Services Coalition of Oregon's annual meeting Wednesday.

Deaths outnumbered births in 13 of Oregon's 36 counties in 2010. All 13 of those counties were rural, with Curry, Grant and Lake counties having the lowest ratios of births to deaths, data from the Office of Economic Analysis indicated.

The demographic shift presents yet another hurdle as rural Oregon counties slowly rebound from a recession that hit them faster, harder and longer than the Portland metropolitan area. Rural Oregon's aging population has far-reaching implications on the types of jobs available, the wages earned, and the ability of rural communities to lure young families and companies.

Read more at OregonLive.com.