Population grows to 3,064 in official census


Last updated 11/15/2022 at Noon

The 2020 population census is still being tabulated almost two years later in some locales, but for Sisters the numbers are in. According to the United States Census Bureau, Sisters is home to 3,064 persons living in 1,661 dwelling units (1.84 per household). There were 1,172 families or other living arrangements recorded.

The census, which is conducted every 10 years, also revealed that 49.7 percent are employed in Sisters, and 57.6 percent work in Oregon. The Sisters median household income is $75,662 as compared to $68,937 for Deschutes County and $65,667 for Oregon, making us considerably better off.

Sisters is home to 194 who are Hispanic or Latino of any race. Six of us are Black or African American; 26 are Asian. Not surprisingly, we are an older group with a median age of 49.5, as compared to 40.1 for all of Oregon. A full 34.9 percent are 65 or older, and only 5.1 percent are under age 5.

By far the largest percentage, 27.2, claim German in their ancestry; English 12.9 percent; Irish, 8.2 percent; and Italian, 6.3 percent. In Oregon 15.2 percent of those counted speak a language other than English, and in Sisters that number is 8.4 percent.

Of all the newcomers in Oregon between the 2010 and 2020 Census, 3.2 percent moved from another state. In Sisters it was 4.9 percent. Sisters is home for many veterans — 8.4 percent versus 7.7 percent for Oregon as a whole.

And while the median (half below and half above) income for Sisters is a comfortable $75,662, 12 percent of us live in poverty officially; 5.4 percent lack health care.

Folks here are well educated, with 42 percent having a bachelor’s degree or higher, while statewide that number is 36.3 percent. Here in town 13.3 percent of everybody over 25 has a graduate or professional degree. Some 53.1 percent of workers are employed by private forms. 29.1 percent are self-employed in incorporated on unincorporated businesses, showing a strong “gig” economy. Federal, state, and local workers make up 10.4 percent of the employed.

Of those working, 18.5 percent work at home and 4.4 percent walk to work. The average commute time to work is 26.6 minutes, four more than the Oregon average.

Workers in education, health care, and social services are 21 percent of the work force. Those employed in arts, entertainment, and recreation make up 13 percent of workers as do retail trade workers. Forestry, agriculture, mining, and construction account for 14.4 percent of workers, and 3.9 percent are in manufacturing.

Rent and housing costs

The median monthly rent in Sisters is $1,209, just $73 less than all of Oregon. Just over 73 percent of us own our homes, 10 points higher than Oregon. Houses valued at $200,000 to $299,999 make up 20 percent of the housing pool. Those $300,000 to $499,999 comprise 33.7 percent, and houses $500,000 to $999,999 are the majority at 42.5 percent.

Some 319 housing units are not occupied full-time or at all. Turnover is high, with 13.4 percent of renters having moved to Sisters since 2019, although that number is 29.7 percent statewide. Homes are somewhat smaller and match the demographics. The percentage of homes with four or more bedrooms is 13.4 percent, a full six points lower than Oregon.


We’re in pretty good shape, as only 1.1 percent have independent living difficulty, and 2.8 percent having self-care difficulty. Overall Sisters has fewer disabled folks when compared to Oregon in total.

In 2019, women ages 20-34 in Sisters gave birth to 29 children. The average family size is 2.6; 2.99 statewide.

Household makeup

Exactly two-thirds of Sisters’ households are occupied by a married couple. Six percent are occupied by a male householder and 21.2 percent by a female householder. Over 17 percent of adults in Sisters have never been married and 10.9 percent of us are divorced.

All of the above is from the 2020 Census. Current population estimates for Sisters put the number at 3,270, showing a dramatic 6.72 percent growth since the onset of COVID-19. We are growing at a 3.25 percent annual rate, which if unaltered would put us on pace for a population of 4,219 by 2030.

The Census Bureau does not have a published count yet for all of zip code 97759 but in preliminary data it closely mirrors the city of Sisters in median age, income, education, and household makeup.


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