Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada. It is located where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers meet. At one point, Winnipeg was a trading center for Aboriginal people, and later become a French fort. Also known as the Gateway to the West with its international airport and role as a transportation hub, Winnipeg has an estimated 2014 population of 708,000, ranking 7th in Canada.
Winnipeg's population is estimated at 727,500 in 2016 , up from 663,617 during the 2011 Canadian Census. The Census Metropolis Area has an estimated population of 782,000, while the Province of Manitoba has a total population of 1.31 million. Winnipeg pulled ahead of Quebec City in 2012, claiming the title of the 7th largest city in Canada.
City Size and Population Density
The city proper has a population density of 1,430 people per square kilometer, or 3,700 people per square mile. The city covers a surface area of 464.33 square kilometers (179.27 square miles).
Winnipeg was home to 663,617 people according to the census conducted in 2011. The city grew from 633,451 (4.8%) between 2006 and 2011.
This large Canadian city has a dominantly Aboriginal population, with about 11 percent making up the city’s population. The aboriginals are known for their dark skin pigmentation, along with their lighter-toned eyes and blonde hair. With the average amount of Aboriginals being only 4.3 percent nationally, 11 percent is far from the norm for the rest of the country. Winnipeg has the largest percentage of Aboriginals of any major Canadian city, as well as the highest total number. However, the Aboriginals are not the only ethnicity to pepper this city, as there is also a large percentage of Filipino locals – making up 8.7 percent of the population. This is the largest percentage of Filipinos of any major Canadian city. Aside from the Aboriginal and Filipino communities, Winnipeg has over 45,000 locals called the Metis people – which are locals of mixed ethnicities.
Ethnic origins of Winnipeg residents:
- English: 21.1%
- Scottish: 16.4%
- Canadian: 16.8%
- German: 16.2%
- Ukranian: 15.2%
- Irish: 13.2%
- French: 13.1%
- Aboriginal: 11.7%
- Filipino: 9.0%
- Polish: 7.8%
Religion among Winnipeg Population
According to the National Household Survey in 2011, 64% of the population is Christian (30% Catholic, 8% United Church, 4.5% Anglican), 1.7% are Muslim, and 1.6% are Jewish. Other religious groups include Sikh (1.5%), Hindu (1%), Buddhist (1%), and Aboriginal spirituality (0.3%). 29% of the population had no religious affiliation.
With its large population count of Aboriginals, it is not surprising to learn the Aboriginals have a long history within Winnipeg. In fact, the original 18th century settlers were of Aboriginal descent. In 1873, the region was declared an official city, with an influx of people coming from all over to make a home in the budding metropolis. The railway helped establish more jobs and better transportation for the locals, making it a popular place to reside.
Because of this city’s unique positioning between two rivers – the Red River and the Assiniboine River – it became a popular place for river transportation via canoes. During earlier times, the area was mostly used for trading, fishing, agriculture and hunting. The rivers held vitals roles in all of these aspects, and made the ancient way of life possible. River transportation helped connect people to one another, particularly those from the north and south regions.
The city struggled with a stagnant economy after the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, which gave traders the option to use the canal for trading instead of the trains running through Winnipeg. Other cities, such as Vancouver, were able to surpass this city’s standing as a busy hub for business. However, in 1989, redevelopment of the railroads was conducted, and the railways that were so valuable during the trading era became a popular tourist attraction. These railways were known as “The Forks”, and contributed to the success colonization of Winnipeg – giving people better transportation options and ways to trade with neighboring regions with ease.
Winnipeg Population Growth
This city has enjoyed a steady population growth throughout its history, with influxes generated mostly from immigrants from abroad. Experts predict the city to add another 12,000 to 13,000 new residents each year. Though the majority of this city’s growth rate has been stable, there were some dips in new arrivals around 2005. In 2006, the city again saw their population growing due to the influx of immigrants. In 2008, Winnipeg surpassed the national average of population growth – growing by 1.5 percent every year. The city has seen a stable growth rate ever since.
The estimated 2020 population of Winnipeg is 762,700, based on population predictions released by the City of Winnipeg. Another report from the city has Winnipeg surpassing 1 million residents in 2033.