Demographics & Economy

Bend was founded in 1905 and was originally called Farewell Bend, receiving its name because it was at this place that travelers over the pioneer roads had their last view of the river. For most of Bend's first 100 years, the economy was dominated by the timber industry and the services provided to ranching and farming interests.

Bend is Central Oregon’s largest city with a population of 87,000 people. It is consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing and most livable cities in the United States. Other cities in the area include Redmond (27,500), Prineville (9,250) and Madras (6,400). On any given day during the summer 20,000 visitors are enjoying Bend’s recreation opportunities, restaurants, and 29 microbreweries. The nearest large cities are Portland (160 miles), Salem (130 miles), and Eugene (130 miles).

Many people come for the beauty, climate, and the recreational opportunities, as well as the growing number of destination resorts in the area. Over the last several decades, the economy evolved to support tourism and recreation, and services for the rapidly growing number of new, year-round residents. The three largest areas of employment in Central Oregon (Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties) are government (including public lands), education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.  

The recent influx of people adds to the opportunity for further growth in our Fellowship. We believe we have great potential yet to be tapped, and that many newcomers will be searching for a vibrant, liberal religious presence in their community. Our congregation is committed to becoming a more visible and supportive presence in Central Oregon.

Over 91% of the Bend population is white. Latinos and Hispanics make up the next group with 8% of the population. Sixty percent of Central Oregon’s population is between 18 and 64 years of age and 22% are over 65. 

United States Census Quick Facts

Community Population Distance Links
Deschutes Co 175,268 NA US Census QuickFacts: Deschutes County
Bend 87,014 NA US Census QuickFacts: Bend, Oregon
Redmond 28,654 21 miles US Census QuickFacts: Redmond, Oregon
Sisters 2,038 27 miles Suburban Stats: Sisters, Oregon
Sunriver 1,393 20 miles US Census American Fact Finder
Prineville 21,630 38 miles US Census QuickFacts: Prineville, Oregon
La Pine 1,700 32 miles Census Viewer: La Pine, Oregon