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Orust has seen many changes in its history. With industrialisation, the population started to fall from the latter part of the 19th century and continued to do so right up until 1968. During this period, the population was more than halved, from 19,500 down to 8,800.
The biggest 'emigration' took place during the 1950´s and 1960´s. Thereafter the trend was reversed.
Those who had earlier moved away from Orust started to return to the island, and many others moved there for the first time. Since 1968, there has been a steady influx of new inhabitants. For the last years, the population has been above 15 000.