Bend Population: A Hidden Exodus? | The Wandering Eye | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Bend Population: A Hidden Exodus? 

For the second time this year, The Bulletin has carried a story that seems aimed at dispelling persistent speculation that people are moving away from

For the second time this year, The Bulletin has carried a story that seems aimed at dispelling persistent speculation that people are moving away from Bend in droves.

"Locals stay put in tough economy," read the headline on the front of the Local section this morning. The story quoted officials of local moving companies saying that their business has dropped off dramatically. One of them, Bryan Murphy, general manager of Allied Prestige Moving & Storage, said his business is down 50% to 60% this year.

But does this mean the locals are "staying put"? Not necessarily. As The Eye has pointed out before, moving company numbers are not the best indicator of who's moving and who's not; only those who are fairly affluent and/or have the move paid for by their companies typically hire a mover. Murphy acknowledged this factor, telling The Bulletin that more homeowners seem to be moving themselves these days.

Downtown merchant and blogger Duncan McGeary, for one, is skeptical, saying the Bulletin story "sure doesn't jibe with what I'm hearing from my customers. The same way that a few years ago I'd get the excited comment, 'We're moving to Bend!' nowadays I hear a much more subdued, 'We're leaving Bend.'"

McGeary's theory is that people are either moving themselves or waiting for the school year to end. If the latter is true, we might see a big exodus in June and July.

But The Eye has a hunch that if the locals are staying put, in many cases it's simply because they can't unload their houses. And that isn't likely to get easier any time soon, with more than 3,600 homes currently on the market in Deschutes County according to

While we don't agree - yet - with the BendBubble2 blog that Bend is about to turn into a ghost town, our sense is that the population either already is dropping or soon will be, maybe dramatically. With one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, people eventually are going to have to leave and go where more jobs are - even if that means selling their homes at a sacrifice or just walking away from them.

Addendum: Ethan Lindsey of OPB has reported that the growth in the workforce in Bend is almost entirely due to people (retirees, spouses, etc.) re-entering the job market, not to new people moving here.

Pin It

Comments (17)

Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-17 of 17

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Dottie Ashley- Appaloosa Duo

Dottie Ashley- Appaloosa Duo - Bend Cider Co.

Sat., May 21, 4-6 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home. More »
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    • Dec 26, 2010
    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors. More »
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    • Dec 19, 2010
    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general. More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation