Bend, OR -

Bend and Deschutes County are back among the areas of Oregon with the fastest-growing populations.

The Great Recession hit Central Oregon hard after decades of high growth rates and hot real estate and construction sectors.

Now, KTVZ-TV reports that that preliminary estimates from Portland State University's population center show Deschutes County growing by nearly 1.5 percent in the year that ended July 1.

That's well ahead of the state's overall growth rate of 0.9 percent for the year and the second-highest growth rate among Oregon counties.

The county's biggest city, Bend, grew at a rate of slightly more than 1 percent.

Deschutes County how has more than 162,000 residents. Bend's population tops 78,000.