Winnipeg is the province of Manitoba’s capital, and also its largest city. It sits between the junction of the Red River and the Assiniboine River. It is the 7th biggest municipality in Canada by population with a recorded population of 705,244 based on the 2016 census. It was nicknamed the Gateway to the West when the railroad was constructed in the 1880s. It was also called the Chicago of the North after its style of architecture influenced by Chicago.

Population Living in Winnipeg

From the latest census data in 2016, the municipality of Winnipeg has a population of 705,244 making it the biggest in Manitoba and 7th biggest in Canada. It represents 54.9% of the population in the province of Manitoba. The population grew 41,627 people from its population in 2011, which is an average growth rate of 1.25% per year. 

Majority of the population in Winnipeg are working age. There are 476,125 or 67.5% who are ages 15 to 64 years old. This is followed by 118,790 or 16.8% of 0 to 14 years old, and 110,335 or 15.6% 65 years and over. The average age of the population is 39.9 with a median age of 38.8.

The most common type of dwelling are single-detached houses with 166,955 total in the municipality. The least common type of dwellings are movable types with only 630 in total. The average household size in Winnipeg is 2.5. 

For the population over the age of 15, majority are married or living common law with 316, 815 in total. There are 268, 640 not or never married. Total couple families are 154,280, while lone-parent families are 35,115. Majority of the lone-parent are females with a total of 27,985, while lone-parent males are a total of 7,130. 


Majority of the population of Winnipeg are of European origins at 64.3% of the total population, followed by Asians at 22.5%. Here is the breakdown of the population by ethnic origins. 

  1. European origins – 64.3%
  2. Asian origins – 22.5%
  3. Other North American origins – 17.0%
  4. North American Aboriginal origins – 12.4%
  5. African origins – 3.6%
  6. Latin, Central and South American origins – 1.6%
  7. Caribbean origins – 1.3%
  8. Oceania origins – 0.1%

Here are top 10 ethnic origins in Winnipeg by country of birth. 

  1. English – 137,075 (20.7%)
  2. Scottish – 113,465 (17.1%)
  3. Canadian – 108,955 (16.4%)
  4. German – 105,910 (16.0%)
  5. Ukrainian – 98,860 (14.9%)
  6. Irish- 85,800 (12.9%)
  7. French – 85,025 (12.8%)
  8. Filipino – 58,255 (9.05)

The total visible minority population in Winnipeg is 192,960 with Filipinos being the majority. Here are the top 10 visible minorities in Winnipeg by countries of birth. 

  1. Filipino – 73,370 
  2. South Asian – 37,375
  3. Black – 26,930 
  4. Chinese – 19,670 
  5. Southeast Asian – 7,930
  6. Latin American – 6,725 
  7. Arab – 4,570 
  8. Korean – 3,760 
  9. West Asian – 2,485 
  10. Japanese – 1,520 

Majority of the population speaks English as the official first language at 94.9% of the population, followed by French at 3.1% of the population, English and French users at 0.4% of the population, and neither English nor French at 1.5% of the population. English is the mother tongue for 67.9% of the population, followed by Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino at 6.3% of the population, and French at 3.2% of the population. Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino is the most common language used in Winnipeg that isn’t an official language, outnumbering French, which is an official language. 

Christianity is the biggest religion in Winnipeg accounting for 63.73% of the population. The percentage of people who have no religious affiliations grew about 8 percent from 2001, which was around 21% of the population, to 2011, which became 28.69% of the population. Here is the breakdown of religious beliefs in Winnipeg.

  1. Christian – 414,270 (63.73%)
  2. Muslim – 11,230 (1.73%)
  3. Jewish – 10,535 (1.62%)
  4. Sikh – 9,800 (1.51%)
  5. Hindu – 6,795 (1.05%)
  6. Buddhist – 6,260 (0.96%)
  7. Traditional (Aboriginal) Spirituality – 1,775 (0.27%)
  8. Other religions – 2,835 (0.44%)
  9. No religious affiliation – 186,510 (28.69%)

Immigrant Population

There are a total of 181,965 immigrants in Winnipeg based on the 2016 census. Majority are from Asia. Here are the top 5 countries of birth of the overall immigrant population in Winnipeg. 

  1. Philippines – 57,160 (31.4%)
  2. India – 19,635 (10.8%)
  3. China – 7,605 (4.2%)
  4. United Kingdom – 7,550 (4.1%)
  5. Germany – 4,800 (2.6%)

Recent immigrants from 2011 to 2016 still have the same countries in the top 3. Here are the top 5 countries of birth of the recent immigrant population in Winnipeg. 

  1. Philippines – 19,645 (37.45)
  2. India – 9,520 (18.1%)
  3. China – 2,900 (5.5%)
  4. Nigeria – 2,405 (4.6%)
  5. Pakistan – 1,420 (2.7%)

The most common language used by the overall immigrant population is Filipino. Here are the top 3 languages used by the immigrant population in Winnipeg. 

  1. Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino – 41,275 (22.7%) 
  2. Punjabi/Panjabi – 13,990 (7.7%)
  3. Mandarin – 4,220 (2.3%)

The recent immigrant population from 2011 to 2016 top languages used still show similar trends. 

  1. Tagalog/Pilipino/Filipino – 14,970 (28.5%)
  2. Punjabi/Panjabi – 6,800 (13.0%)
  3. Mandarin – 2,190 (4.2%)

Majority of the immigrants in Winnipeg came to the city between the ages of 25 to 44 years old. Here’s the breakdown of the population by the age they immigrated to Winnipeg.

  1. Under 5 years – 17,950 
  2. 5 to 14 years – 33,075 
  3. 15 to 24 years – 34,980 
  4. 25 to 44 years – 76,020 
  5. 45 years and over – 14,710 

There are different types of immigrants by admission category. Here is the breakdown of immigrants in Winnipeg by admission category.

  1. Economic immigrants – 91,515 
  2. Immigrants sponsored by family – 30,620 
  3. Refugees – 18,670 
  4. Other immigrants – 385 

Brief History

Winnipeg has been a fur trading post since 1738, but the first permanent settlement in the area was only established in 1812 when crofters from Scotland came. Winnipeg was incorporated into a city in 1873. The city was named after the nearby Lake Winnipeg, which means muddy water in the Western Cree language.

In 1885, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the first Canadian transcontinental railroad, established Winnipeg as a major grain market and became the warehousing and distributing center to provinces in the prairies. Immigrants, high produce price, good capita and improved farming techniques made Winnipeg the wholesale, administrative and a financial capital in western Canada. After experiencing depression from the two world wars, Winnipeg has grown steadily since 1945. 

The city is now one of Canada’s biggest commercial, financial, industrial and communications centres. Today’s Winnipeg enjoys a highly diversified economy that involves food processing, telecommunications, finance, printing, apparel, transportation, aerospace and technology. The city is also home to the Royal Canadian Mint, that produces the coins in the country. Growth has been powered by the affordable hydroelectric power from plants stationed on the Winnipeg River, excellent transportation facilities, and transcontinental rail lines. 

Top 3 Things To Do

Winnipeg lies in the heart of North America. With a population of under a million, the city offers a wide array of sights and attractions to experience. It sits between the Red River and the Assiniboine River, and was recognized as the Culture Capital of Canada in 2010. It’s rich mixture of Aboriginal, French and European influences have created a unique twist that is completely its own. Here are the top 3 things you should do or visit in Winnipeg according to TripAdvisor.

  1. Canadian Museum for Human Rights

This museum is a recent addition to the attractions in Winnipeg, and was only inaugurated in 2014 September. It is the first national museum opened in Canada since 1967, and the first national museum outside the country’s capital region. The museum aims to “explore the subject of human rights with a special but not exclusive reference to Canada, to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue,” according to Bill C-42 which established the creation of the museum. Learn about human rights through interactive technology, film and art, and experience something unforgettable. 

  1. Assiniboine Park 

The beautiful Assiniboine Park located minutes from downtown Winnipeg was opened in 1909. The park includes Assiniboine Forest, Assiniboine Park Zoo, Assiniboine Park Conservatory, and Assiniboine Park Pavilion, along with numerous other attractions. The Assiniboine Park Zoo is one of the main attractions in the park with over 200 animal species with over 80 park-like acres to explore. 

  1. The Forks Market

The Forks Market began as two separate stables from competing rail companies, until they were joined together by courtyard and bridges and became what it is today. It features a tower with six floors and a viewing platform. Although its indoors, the food emporium has the feel of an outdoor market with two floors of vendors selling all varieties of food and other products from bread and meat to crafts and artwork. 

Top 3 Industries

Winnipeg is not only the centre of the continent, but through the years has managed to establish itself as one of the country’s economic and regional centres. The city offers a diverse economy and enjoys success in different industries. Here are top 3 industries in Winnipeg that continue to enjoy growth and pose to become bigger in the coming years.

  1. Advanced Manufacturing

Winnipeg aims to be the largest centre for transportation manufacturing in North America by utilizing innovative green technologies. Global companies like Price Industries, NFI Group, and MacDon have headquarters in the city. 

  1. Aerospace

Winnipeg is home to some of the biggest companies in Aerospace like Boeing, StandardAero, and Magellan. The city is the largest aerospace centre in Western Canada. It is also a centre for aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul. 

  1. Agribusiness

Winnipeg contributes the second highest crop and animal production in Canada. Some of the biggest names in agribusiness are headquartered in the city including P&H, Richardson, Paterson GlobalFoods and Cargill Canada.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Winnipeg is for families or couples is estimated to cost $2,000, for students it’s $1,075 and for bachelors it’s $1,200. The average rent for a flat or house is $800 a month. 

Employment Rate

Based on the 2016 census, Winnipeg has a participation rate of 67.1% or 383,300 people who are in the labor force. The employment rate in Winnipeg is 62.75% or 358,310 people who are employed, and the unemployment rate is 6.5% or 24,990 people who are unemployed. 

Here are the five most common occupations in Winnipeg and the corresponding number of people who work in the listed occupation. 

  1. Sales and service occupations – 90,660
  2. Business, finance and administration occupations – 61,470
  3. Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services – 50,715
  4. Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupation – 49,955
  5. Management occupation – 34,985

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