According to Population Estimates Program Manager Huda Alkitkat, Canby’s population increased from 16,660 in 2017 to 16,800 in 2018. The increase of 140 souls translates to positive population growth of 0.8 percent, which is great. But that’s only about half of the 1.6 percent growth Clackamas County saw over the same period.
This slower growth is consistent with the most recent enrollment numbers from the Canby School District, which show a slight decline since 2012.
Declining birth rates and an aging population are contributing to slower growth statewide, such that natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) now contributes less to Oregon’s overall population growth than any time since the 1930s. As to why Canby’s population growth is slower still, a lack of affordable and entry-level housing for younger couples and families may be to blame.
When the preliminary estimates were published, it appeared that the city of Canby’s population hadn’t grown at all over the previous year. In fact, what had happened was that city staff had unintentionally failed to respond to the Population Research Center’s request for the information they needed to make their estimates.
When this oversight came to light, the city moved quickly to address the matter before the population estimates were finalized Dec. 15. The numbers do matter, as they play an important role in land use planning decisions at the state, federal and local levels.