The U.S. Census Bureau today released estimates from the American Community Survey, the most detailed portrait of America's towns and neighborhoods — even for the smallest communities within a metro area — for the combined years from 2007 to 2011. The American Community Survey permits communities to observe the composition of their population, from preschool to the oldest ages and milestones in between, including college, work and marriage.
Wide variation exists in the languages spoken at home, educational attainment, the share of persons working in manufacturing, marital status and living arrangements, and many other measures across the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area.
"The American Community Survey provides the only statistics on school enrollment, jobs, housing and many other measures for all towns and neighborhoods," said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director. "The results are used by everyone from retailers, homebuilders and police departments, to town and city planners. The numbers permit them to examine demographic patterns within metropolitan areas."
Selected highlights from the 2007-2011 estimates show the wide variation in conditions within the Portland, Ore., metro area:
- About 6.0 percent of the enrolled population 3 and older in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area were enrolled in preschool or nursery school. In Sherwood, Ore., 11.7 percent were enrolled, among the highest in the area. Among towns at the other end of the spectrum was Forest Grove, Ore., where 2.5 percent were enrolled.
- In Cornelius, Ore., 48.4 percent of people 5 and older spoke a language other than English at home, among the highest in the metro area. Among the lowest was St. Helens, Ore., at 4.6 percent. For the area as a whole, the corresponding rate was 17.1 percent.
- In West Haven-Sylvan, Ore., 64.0 percent of people 25 and older had at least a bachelor's degree, among the highest in the metro area. Among the lowest was Sheridan, Ore., at 6.7 percent. For the metro area as a whole, 33.9 percent had a bachelor's degree.
- In Bethany, Ore., 29.1 percent of the civilian employed population 16 and older worked in the manufacturing industry, among the highest in the area. Among the places at the opposite end of the spectrum was Sandy, Ore., where 7.3 percent did so. Area-wide, the corresponding rate was 12.9 percent.
- The percentage of males 15 and older who were married (not including those who were separated) was 74.9 percent in Happy Valley, Ore., and the corresponding percentage for females was 74.6 percent in Happy Valley. Both were among the highest in the metro area. The percentages were not significantly different from one another. In Sheridan, Ore., 37.5 percent of males were married while in Gladstone, Ore., 40.3 percent of females were married. Both were among the lowest in the metro area. The percentages were not significantly different from one another.
- In Raleigh Hills, Ore., 20.5 percent of households had a person 65 and older who lived alone, among the highest in the metro area. In Bull Mountain, Ore., the corresponding percentage was 1.5 percent, among the lowest. Area-wide, the corresponding rate was 8.3 percent.
More information about the social, economic and housing characteristics of cities and towns in the Portland, Ore., area, as well as information on other geographies, can be found on the Census Bureau's American FactFinder website.
The American Community Survey five-year estimates are available for all states, counties, places, congressional districts, census tracts and block groups. Today's release marks the first time since the 2000 Census that statistics for ZIP Code tabulation areas — a close approximation of the U.S. Postal Service's ZIP Code areas — have been released on such a wide range of topics.