It looks like Portage la Prairie has been welcoming more new community members than Statistics Canada originally thought.

Statistics Canada released a newly updated census at the request of the City Council, which shows Portage la Prairie’s population has increased by 198 people, from 13,304 to 13,502 to go along with an increase of 60 occupied dwelling units, from 5,576 to 5,636. Councillor Ryan Espey says the council is glad that Stats Canada was willing to make a new census.

“It’s great news,” explains Espey. “It shows growth. Those numbers may seem small relative to the entire population, but moving forward, a couple of hundred people in a relatively short amount of time is pretty good.”

The previous census had shown that Portage had a slight decrease in population, which the council thought was odd after seeing a large number of new businesses opening in the city. Espey says the changes in the census are a lot more important than just showcasing to the rest of the country that Portage is growing.

“A lot of the funding that we receive from other levels of government is based on per capita,” notes Espey. “Any time we see an increase in citizenship, it will definitely bolster the amount of money that we could eventually get.”

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for March 13th.