Bend is blessed with lovely climate, with little rain and cool evenings. That has helped make it an attraction for active adults, the kind who like to ski, hike, bike and participate in other outdoor sports. Tourism is a big plus for the community.
There are also jobs in health care and technical services as well as in one of the traditional pillars of the Northwest -- wood products. All that was not enough to keep unemployment from soaring once the housing market bubble burst. With many in construction and related industries out of work, the rate is still above 15%, well above the national average.
All that took a bite out of the population growth the Census Bureau was expecting around Bend. The Bureau had estimated that the area population would have surpassed 160,000 by the 2010 census, and that didn't happen.