According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.4 square miles (71.0 km²), of which, 25.5 square miles (65.9 km²) of it is land and 2.0 square miles (5.1 km²) of it (7.18%) is water.
There were 12,746 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,500, and the median income for a family was $54,316. Males had a median income of $46,224 versus $25,428 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,146. About 5.8% of families and 7.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
Portage is intersected by several major highways, including Interstate 94 and Interstates 80/90 (Indiana Toll Road) as well as U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 12, U.S. Route 20, and Indiana 149 and Indiana 249.
The Portage Public Marina offers boat launch and slips for public use. The marina opens to the Burns Waterway and has access to nearby Lake Michigan. The marina's operating season is April 1 to October 31 each year. http://www.ci.portage.in.us/marina/
Portage is also home of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana Dunes), a beautiful showcase of land and lake on the south shore of Lake Michigan. West Beach, the largest beach in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore system, is located within Portage.
The Mayor of Portage was Douglas W. Olson until December 31, 2007. On December 7, 2006 he announced he would not be seeking re-election as mayor. Mayor Olson has endorsed City Councilwoman Olga Velázquez (http://www.olga4mayor.com/) for the Democratic ticket and the Republicans slated James Snyder (http://www.snyder4portage.com/) as their candidate. This came after the April 25, 2007 death of City Councilman David Highlands who was the only Republican to file for the May primary. He died just before the primary election and was not replaced on the ballot. This allowed the Republicans to slate Snyder as a replacement candidate on June 30, 2007.
On November 6, 2007 Democrat Olga Velázquez was elected Mayor of Portage. She defeated Republican Jim Snyder 52.2% to 47.8% (3,585 to 3,283 votes). Velázquez took office on January 1, 2008 for a four year term.
Keith Kizer (P.H.S. 1984), Executive Director of the Nevada Athletic Commission , and former Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nevada, grew up in Portage