The population spurt in Richmond over the last five years may be almost bang on the regional average, but the city's mayor believes there are many more bodies here than meets the eye.
According to Stats Canada's latest count, Richmond's population has grown by 9.2 per cent between 2006 and 2011, now standing at 190,473, with 1,473.5 people living per square kilometre.
The latest census figures show B.C.'s population increased by seven per cent, while Greater Vancouver's increase just pipped Richmond at 9.3 per cent.
However, Mayor Malcolm Brodie suspects the number of people living in Richmond is higher than the count, perhaps meeting and breaching the 200,000 mark.
"Yes, our population grew by more than nine per cent, but we feel there will be some adjustments to those numbers," said the mayor.
"Our figures show our population is more like 200,000.
(Stats Canada's numbers) were generated in the summer of last year and there's been some influx since then.
"When the City of Richmond takes a look at its numbers - Stats Can just looks at the bodies they find - we look at the number of dwellings and come up with our own number. That's why we believe the figure is more like 200,000."
Hitting the 200,000 point is more than just a nice, round number for the city, according to the mayor. It may actually have a tangible effect on the affairs of Richmond at a regional level.
"Once we get to 200,000, at Metro Vancouver, we will get a third director," Brodie said.
"When votes are taken, unless it's contentious, then it's just a show of hands. Having a third director can be helpful. This is of some importance."
Brodie believes Stats Canada's figures will be tweaked at some point, perhaps tipping Richmond's population over the magic 200,000.
"Also, Metro Vancouver tend to look at the B.C. (government) numbers, which are updated more frequently," Brodie added.
Should the official count remain at or near the 9.2 per cent rise, the city's forecasts and ability to provide the correct levels of service are pretty much on course, insisted the mayor.
"This is more or less where we thought we'd be, the population trends are fairly predictable," he said.
"Whether it's nine, 10 or 11 per cent growth, we're focused on providing the right levels of service.
"In general, we will always be fine-tuning (the planning). The strongest growth will be in the city centre area and we've projected that for the last 10 to 15 years and that's what led to the City Centre Area Plan."
Not surprisingly, the majority of Richmond's population growth was in and around the city centre, which experienced increases of more than 17.7 per cent.
There was a couple of neighbourhoods, however - the Springfields in southwest Richmond and the Broadmoor area - where the population actually dropped slightly.
"Quite a few neighbourhoods in Richmond have seen growth of more than 11.8 per cent," said Stats Canada spokes-man Peter Liang. "Most of it seems to be in Steveston and in the area of No. 3 Road and Westminster Highway."
Liang said, in terms of learning from the statistics, city planners will be able to use this information to analyze where service adjustments need to be made in terms of where population changes are taking place.
According to the figures, the population of B.C. is now 4.4 million, making it the second fastest growing province next to Alberta. B.C.'s new residents are preferring urban metropolitan areas rather than rural centres.
And while Metro Vancouver is still taking its share of the growth, Squamish and Chilliwack metropolitan areas saw the biggest gains in population between 2006 and 2011, according to the figures.
Langford, near Victoria, for instance, posted the strongest population gain at 30.1 per cent, followed by Lake Country in Kelowna, Port Moody (19.9 per cent) and Surrey at 18.6 per cent. Pitt Meadows was at 13.5 per cent, while cities like New Westminster, Burnaby, Langley, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge saw a 10-12 per cent increase.
The city of Vancouver's growth rate was at 4.4 per cent - with most of the new population settling downtown, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview. Meanwhile, some areas of Surrey, Langley and Port Moody and Coquitlam posted population growth of more than 100 per cent between 2006 and 2011, according to the results.
In Surrey's Clayton area, the population more than tripled from 4,132 to 14,034, while a section of Port Moody saw its population grow from 1,276 to 3,684 since 2006.