Morgan: Census figures can lead to more growth

By on Monday, August 16th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

HERMISTON – Hermiston city officials are delighted with the results of the 2020 Census which sets the population there at more than 19,000 people. The figures also showed a great deal of recent growth in the neighboring city of Umatilla as well.

Census data is used by states to determine redistricting for both Congressional and Legislative political districts. It is also the basis that determines how much federal aid is given for situations like floods and fires. Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said that while those are important, the most important to him is how growth begets growth as far as economic development is concerned.

“One of the biggest things that I hang my hat on with the census data is the power of the census numbers to attract other private investment into the region,” he said. “I’m excited to really prove to private investment out there in the region that we’re actually growing at the rate that we have been telling people for years.”

Morgan says the census numbers are a snapshot in time taken in 2020. The growth is continuing.

“Since that time, I think both the city of Hermiston and the city of Umatilla have added more than 100 housing units each or more,” Morgan said.

Morgan said that the Portland State University census figures that will be released in December 2022 may put Hermiston at over 20,000 people.