2006 Aboriginal Population Profile for Winnipeg
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by Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division
This report examines the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the Aboriginal population living in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Winnipeg.1 The census metropolitan area of Winnipeg includes the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation (Brokenhead 4). The 2006 Census and 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS), which provide an extensive set of data about Aboriginal people, are the data sources.
The report focuses on the Aboriginal identity population, which refers to those people who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation.
The term 'First Nations' is used throughout the report to refer to people who identified as North American Indian. The term 'Aboriginal population' is used to refer to the Aboriginal identity population.
Setting the context
There were 1,172,790 Aboriginal people in Canada in 2006, accounting for 3.8% of Canada's total population. Manitoba, along with Saskatchewan, had the highest proportion of Aboriginal people among the 10 provinces of Canada. A total of 175,395 Aboriginal people lived in Manitoba, representing 15% of the provincial population. The proportion of Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan was also 15%.
The census metropolitan area of Winnipeg, with 68,380 Aboriginal people, had the largest Aboriginal population of any city in Canada in 2006. Edmonton had the second largest number of Aboriginal people among Canadian cities, with an Aboriginal population of 52,100, and Vancouver had the third largest, with 40,310.
In 2006, 10% of the total population of Winnipeg was Aboriginal. By comparison, the smaller urban centre of Thompson, with 4,930 Aboriginal people, was the city in Manitoba with the largest proportion (36%) of Aboriginal people. This was followed by Portage la Prairie, at 23%, with 4,535 Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal people of Brandon, Manitoba, with a population of 4,360, made up 9% of that city's total population.
Between 2001 and 2006, the Aboriginal population in Winnipeg grew by 22%, from 55,895 to 68,380 people. The Métis population of Winnipeg grew by 30% over this time period, while the First Nations population grew by 13%.
Métis—largest Aboriginal group in Winnipeg
In 2006, 40,980 persons living in Winnipeg identified as Métis, accounting for 60% of the city's Aboriginal population. Another 25,900 identified as First Nations and 350 as Inuit.2 The First Nations population accounted for nearly four in 10 (38%) Aboriginal people while Inuit accounted for less than 1%. Another 2% reported multiple or other Aboriginal responses.3
Of those who identified as First Nations people in 2006, a large majority (87%) reported being a Treaty Indian or a registered Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada.
About the data sources
The census provides a statistical portrait of Canada and its people. The most recent census was on May 16, 2006.
The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) was conducted between October 2006 and March 2007. The survey provides extensive data on Inuit, Métis and off-reserve First Nations children aged 6 to 14 and those aged 15 and over living in urban, rural and northern locations across Canada. The Aboriginal Peoples Survey was designed to provide data on the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal people in Canada (excluding reserves).
It was possible to report both single and multiple responses to the Aboriginal identity questions on the census and the Aboriginal Peoples Survey. Census data used in this article for First Nations people, Métis and Inuit are based on the single responses only. Total Aboriginal identity population counts include people who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, and/or those who reported being a registered or Treaty Indian, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation. The Aboriginal Peoples Survey data represent a combination of both the single and multiple Aboriginal identity populations.
Data have been provided for the total Aboriginal identity population and in some cases they have been broken down by Aboriginal group, sex and age group. For Aboriginal groups where the census count of the population aged 15 years and over is 200 or less, only the census count has been provided. No further data are shown due to potential data quality issues that can result from small counts that arise when several variables are cross-tabulated.
A young population
The Aboriginal population living in Winnipeg is much younger than the non-Aboriginal population. In 2006, the median age4 of the Aboriginal population in Winnipeg was 26 years, compared to 40 years for the non-Aboriginal population.
In 2006, about half (49%) of the Aboriginal population was under the age of 25, compared to 30% of non-Aboriginal people. Furthermore, only 4% of Aboriginal people were 65 years and over, compared to 14% of the non-Aboriginal population. Three in 10 (30%) Aboriginal people in Winnipeg were children under the age of 15, compared to 17% of their non-Aboriginal counterparts (see chart 1). For more details on the age distribution, see table 1 in the appendix.
Aboriginal children aged 14 years and under represented 17% of the census metropolitan area's children. Just over a third (36%) of the First Nations population was 14 years of age and under. Similarly, children in this age group comprised a third of the Inuit population (33%). For the Métis population, about a quarter (27%) were aged 14 and under.
Aboriginal children more likely than non-Aboriginal children to live with a lone parent
In 2006, about four in 10 Aboriginal children aged 14 and under (44%) lived with both parents. Compared with their non-Aboriginal peers, Aboriginal children were more likely to live with a lone mother (43% versus 16%) or a lone father (6% versus 3%). Aboriginal children were also more likely to live with their grandparents or other relatives, with no parent present (7% versus 1%) (see table 2 in the appendix).
Aboriginal youth somewhat less likely to be attending school
Overall, in 2006, Aboriginal youth aged 15 to 24 living in Winnipeg had somewhat lower school attendance rates than their non-Aboriginal counterparts (58% versus 66%). However, Aboriginal adults had a greater tendency to return to school later in life than did non-Aboriginal adults. For example, 11% of Aboriginal women 35 years of age and older were attending school in 2006, compared to 7% of non-Aboriginal women in the same age group (see table 3 in the appendix).5
The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey found that among the Aboriginal population in Manitoba (excluding reserves), men and women had different reasons for not completing high school. For young Aboriginal men aged 15 to 34, the most commonly reported reasons were 'wanted to work', 'had to work' or 'bored with school'. 'Pregnancy/taking care of children' topped the reasons provided by Aboriginal women in the same age group.
Almost five in 10 of Aboriginal women have completed post-secondary education
Almost five in 10 of Aboriginal women (47%) and over four in 10 Aboriginal men (43%) aged 25 to 64 had completed postsecondary education compared to about six in 10 (61% and 60%, respectively) of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Postsecondary education includes a trades certificate, a college diploma or a university certificate, diploma or degree. Aboriginal people were somewhat more likely than non-Aboriginal people to have completed their post-secondary schooling with a trades credential. The non-Aboriginal population was more likely to have obtained a university degree compared to their Aboriginal counterparts (see text table 1).
In 2006, about one-third (32%) of Aboriginal men and 29% Aboriginal women 25 to 64 years of age had less than a high school education, compared to 14% and 13%, respectively, of their non-Aboriginal male and female counterparts.
About one in 10 Aboriginal women and men in Winnipeg have obtained a university degree
In Winnipeg, about one in 10 young Aboriginal women (12%) and Aboriginal men (10%) aged 25 to 34 reported having a university degree in the 2006 Census. (This includes all certificates, diplomas or degrees at the bachelor's level or above.) Similar figures were observed among older Aboriginal women (12%) and men (9%) aged 35 to 64 (see chart 2).
Regardless of their age group or sex, Aboriginal people living in Winnipeg in 2006, were less likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts to have a university degree.
Higher unemployment rates
In 2006, the unemployment rate6 for the Aboriginal core working age population (aged 25 to 54) in Winnipeg was higher than that of the non-Aboriginal population (9.1% compared to 3.4%) (see chart 3). For First Nations people, unemployment rates were higher for men than they were for women. The reverse was true for Métis, with women showing higher unemployment rates than men.
Unemployment rates were higher for Winnipeg's young people. In 2006, 31.7% of First Nations youth aged 15 to 24 years were unemployed, as were 16.3% of Métis youth, and 9.8% of non-Aboriginal youth (see table 4 in the appendix).
Employment rate lower among Aboriginal people
Another measure of labour market performance is the employment rate7. In 2006, the employment rate for First Nations people aged 25 to 54 living in Winnipeg was 57.8%. Métis adults had an employment rate of 76.6%. These rates were both lower than that of the non-Aboriginal population (84.9%).
Overall, men were more likely than women to be employed, regardless of group. Among First Nations people, men had an employment rate of 64.8% compared to 53.4% for First Nations women. For the Métis in Winnipeg, the employment rate for men was 82.4% compared to 71.0% for women. Similar differences were found among non-Aboriginal men and women, with employment rates of 88.9% and 81.1%, respectively (see table 5 in the appendix).
Métis working full time full year at similar rates as the non-Aboriginal population
About four in 10 Métis adults (41%) living in Winnipeg were working full time full year8 in 2005. This proportion mirrors that of the non-Aboriginal population (42%). The proportion for First Nations people working full time full year was about one in four (26%).
Overall, men were more likely than women to be full-time full-year workers, regardless of group. Among Métis in Winnipeg, 46% of men worked full time full year compared to 36% of women. Regarding First Nations people, 29% of men worked full time full year compared to 24% of women (see text table 2).
Occupations in 'sales and services' and 'business, finance and administrative' most prevalent
In studying the labour market of a given area, it is helpful to examine its occupational9 make-up. In 2006, the two most common occupational categories10 for both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal experienced labour forces in Winnipeg were 'sales and service' and 'business, finance and administrative'. However, the kinds of jobs people hold differ for men and women. Men were much more likely than women to work in 'trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations'. Women were more likely than men to work in 'business, finance and administrative occupations' as well as in 'sales and service' occupations. This holds true for both the Aboriginal and the non-Aboriginal populations in Winnipeg.
In 2006, Aboriginal men were more likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts to work in 'trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations' (34% versus 24%). Aboriginal women were somewhat more likely than non-Aboriginal women to have 'sales and service' jobs (33% versus 29%) (see table 6 in the appendix).
Aboriginal people continue to earn less than non-Aboriginal population
In 2000, the median earnings11 of full-time full-year Aboriginal earners in Winnipeg (measured in 2005 dollars) were $30,200. By 2005, this had increased to $33,400. Even though there was in increase in earnings among Aboriginal people, who worked full time full year in 2005, they continued to earn less than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. In 2000, Aboriginal people in Winnipeg working full time full year earned 80% of what their non-Aboriginal counterparts were earning. By 2005, this percentage had increased to 85% (see table 7 in the appendix).
Total income lower for Aboriginal people
The census collects a number of measures of income that help in understanding the economic situation of a population. Earnings data have been provided for the population working full time full year in 2005. It is also useful to look at total income12 as sources of income go beyond that of employment. In 2005, about one in five (18%) Aboriginal people with income in Winnipeg had a total income of $40,000 or over compared to about one in three (31%) of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. In 2005, Aboriginal women had the lowest median income ($17,400), whether compared to Aboriginal men ($21,200), to non-Aboriginal men ($32,900) or to non-Aboriginal women ($22,600) (see table 8 in the appendix).
Additionally, in Winnipeg, 7% of the Aboriginal population aged 15 years and over and 4% of their non-Aboriginal counterparts reported having no income in 2005 (data not shown).
Over four in 10 Aboriginal people in Winnipeg living below the low income cut-off
Statistics Canada uses the concept of low income cut-off (LICO)13 to indicate an income threshold below which a family will likely devote a larger share of its income on the necessities of food, shelter and clothing than the average family. In 2005, in Winnipeg over four in 10 (43%) Aboriginal people14 were living under the LICO, compared to 16% of non-Aboriginal people. In addition, almost six in 10 (57%) Aboriginal children (aged 14 years and under) in Winnipeg were living under the LICO, compared to 20% of non-Aboriginal children (data not shown). These data are based on the before-tax LICO.
More than half of Winnipeg's Aboriginal population moved at least once between 2001 and 2006
On May 16, 2006 (the date of the 2006 Census), there were 68,380 Aboriginal people living in the census metropolitan area of Winnipeg. This count does not include all of the Aboriginal people who may have lived in Winnipeg at some point during the year, but only those who were living in Winnipeg on that particular day.15
About four in 10 (43%) Aboriginal people living in Winnipeg on May 16, 2006 had lived at the same address five years before compared to 62% of the non-Aboriginal population. Between 2001 and 2006, another four in 10 (42%) Aboriginal people had moved at least once within Winnipeg, and the rest (14%) had moved to Winnipeg from another community. A community may refer to another municipality, a reserve, or a rural area (see table 9 in the appendix).
When asked on the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey why they moved to their current city, town or community, most Aboriginal people in Manitoba (excluding reserves) reported family-related reasons, followed by work-related reasons.
One in six live in homes needing major repairs
In Winnipeg, about one in six (16%) Aboriginal people lived in homes requiring major repairs16 in 2006, the same percentage reported in 2001. In comparison, the share of Winnipeg's non-Aboriginal population living in dwellings in need of major repairs was 8% in 2006 and 9% in 2001 (see table 10 in the appendix).
The share of Aboriginal people living in crowded17 homes was 5% in 2006, similar to the 6% reported in 2001. The comparable rates for the non-Aboriginal population were 3% in 2006 and 2% in 2001.
Métis and First Nations report being healthy
More than six in 10 Métis adults (the population aged 15 and over) living in Winnipeg rated their health as excellent or very good in 2006. When asked as part of the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey whether their health was excellent, very good, good, fair or poor, 62% of Métis adults gave themselves a rating of excellent or very good. A further 25% of the Métis population reported that their health was good. For off-reserve First Nations adults, almost half (46%) reported excellent or very good health, and an additional 34% rated their health as good.
Over half live with one or more chronic conditions
The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey also inquired about chronic conditions18 that had been diagnosed by a health professional. Over half of Métis (51%) and off-reserve First Nations (55%) adults living in Winnipeg reported that they had been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition. Among the Métis, arthritis or rheumatism was the most commonly reported condition affecting 21% of adults followed by respiratory problems19 (19%) and high blood pressure, heart problems or effects of a stroke (16%). Among the off-reserve First Nations adult population, the most frequently reported conditions were: respiratory problems (19%), high blood pressure, heart problems or effects of a stroke (19%) and arthritis or rheumatism (18%).
- The geographic area covered in this report is the census metropolitan area of Winnipeg. A census metropolitan area (CMA) is a large urban centre. Census metropolitan areas are formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centered on a large urban area (known as the urban core). A census metropolitan area must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more must live in the urban core. For maps, see: Map
- Of the 350 people who identified as Inuit, 160 were in the 15 and over age group.
- Includes people who reported more than one Aboriginal identity group and those who reported being a registered or Treaty Indian and/or member of an Indian band or First Nation without reporting an Aboriginal identity.
- The median age is the point where exactly one-half of the population is older and the other half is younger.
- A new version of the school attendance question was used in the 2006 Census. Studies on data certification showed important variations with previous censuses and with the Labour Force Survey. It appears that the 2006 Census could have overestimated the school attendance for the population aged 45 years and over. We recommend users of the attendance at school variable interpret the 2006 Census results with caution. For more details on the changes to the questionnaire for the Education module, see: Census questions on education: Some important changes.
- The unemployment rate for a particular group is the unemployed in that group, expressed as a percentage of the labour force in that group, in the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to Census day (May 16, 2006).
- The employment rate refers to the number of employed people, in a given group, as a percentage of the total population in that group.
- The term 'full-time full-year workers' refers to persons 15 years of age and over who worked 49 to 52 weeks (mostly full time) in 2005 for pay or in self-employment
- Occupation refers to the kind of work persons were doing during the reference week, as determined by their kind of work and the description of the main activities in their job. If the person did not have a job during the week (Sunday to Saturday) prior to enumeration, the data relate to the job of longest duration since January 1, 2005. Persons with two or more jobs were to report the information for the job at which they worked the most hours.
- Occupations contained within the categories can cover a broad range of skill levels. For example, the business and finance occupation category includes professional occupations requiring a university degree, as well as clerical occupations that require a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Median earnings are earnings levels that divide the population into two halves, i.e., half of the population receiving less than this amount, and half, more. Earnings or employment income refers to the income received by persons 15 years of age and over during calendar year 2005 as wages and salaries, net income from a non-farm unincorporated business and/or professional practice, and/or net farm self-employment income.
- Total income refers to the total money income received from the following sources during calendar year 2005 by persons 15 years of age and over: wages and salaries (total), net farm income, net non-farm income from unincorporated business and/or professional practice, child benefits, Old Age Security Pension and Guaranteed Income Supplement, benefits from Canada or Quebec Pension Plan, benefits from Employment Insurance, other income from government sources, dividends, interest on bonds, deposits and savings certificates, and other investment income, retirement pensions, superannuation and annuities, including those from registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered retirement income funds (RRIFs), other money income.
- The low income cut-off is a statistical measure of the income threshold level below which Canadians are estimated to devote at least one-fifth more of their income than the average family to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing. For the 2005 matrix of low income before-tax cut-offs and additional information, please refer to the 2006 Census Dictionary, Catalogue no. 92-566-X.
- For the purposes of low income statistics, certain populations, including persons living on Indian reserves, are excluded. This is because the low income cut-offs are based on certain expenditure-income patterns from survey data which are not available for the entire population (survey does not cover Indian reserves, the three territories and residents of institutions or military barracks).
- For example, students who return to live with their parents during the year are included at their parents' address, even if they lived elsewhere while attending school or working at a summer job.
- Dwellings in need of major repairs are those that, in the judgment of the respondent, require major repairs to such things as defective plumbing or electrical wiring, and/or structural repairs to walls, floors or ceilings, etc.
- Crowding is defined as more than one person per room. Not counted as rooms are bathrooms, halls, vestibules and rooms used solely for business purposes.
- Chronic conditions were those that had lasted or were expected to last six months or more and had been diagnosed by a health professional.
- Respiratory problems include asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
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