U.S. Census data released this week confirmed what many thought was inevitable:

Hermiston has surpassed Pendleton as the largest city in Umatilla County.

The 2010 figures showed Hermiston with 16,745 residents while Pendleton’s population is listed as 16,612.

That is a significant change from the 2000

census, when Hermiston registered 13,154 residents and Pendleton counted 16,354.

Pendleton’s “official” population has always been bolstered by inmates at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. But even with Pendleton’s inmates counted in the 2010 totals, Hermiston now numbers more people.

Umatilla County was also one of the few counties in Eastern Oregon to register an overall population growth in the last decade. Umatilla, Morrow and Union counties all had population increases; but Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, Grant, Harney, Malheur, Baker and Wallowa counties all lost population.

Overall, Umatilla County grew by more than 5,000 residents. In 2000, the county population was 70,548. The number rose to 75,889 in 2010.

Most cities in western Umatilla County also had population increases over the last 10 years. Umatilla had the biggest percentage growth, jumping up from 4,978 residents in 2000 to 6,906 in 2010.

For more census information, go to  http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/

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