The newly released Census data has finally confirmed what house prices and traffic have been telling us for a while now.
Whanganui is booming.
As we reported on Tuesday our population has topped 45,000 after a generation of steady decline.
More than 3000 people moved in between 2013 and 2018 while neighbouring districts Rangitīkei and Ruapehu have also grown.
There's a feel-good factor in population boosts.
Having people choose to live in our corner of the world does wonders for morale, especially after two decades of waving goodbye to friends and family.
It's not a nice feeling when your ship is being abandoned.
But what was thought by some to be a terminal trend has been emphatically reversed.
Housing costs in the main centres have pushed people out and technology has allowed people to live and work here while staying connected to the metropolis.
There's also been a huge effort to attract people here and it would be hard to argue those efforts haven't contributed to that growth.
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But that job is now done and that energy needs to go into adjusting.
This train isn't stopping. People are still moving here and there's pending refugee resettlement.
Whanganui will soon reach 46,000, if it hasn't already since the Census.
We could be headed to 50,000.
There are positives; More customers for businesses, a bigger market pull in services and events, and the vibrancy a larger population creates.
But there are as many downsides; People being priced out of housing, increased traffic and pressure on services.
Too much growth too quickly will kill what currently makes Whanganui attractive to new people and permanently change what has been a familiar home for many for a long time.
So, it was encouraging to hear both Whanganui's mayor and economic development head comment on the need to adapt.
Having that growth officially on the Statistics NZ books will help because until now it's all been guess work.
What the Census gives us is the evidence to show where and why we need to invest in Whanganui.
We can't have growth for growth's sake. We need a plan.