Population Loss & Have Not Status

Charticle, Role of Government, Frontier Centre


  • Except for 1983, Manitoba experienced population loss each year during the period 1961 to 2001.
  • Since 1961,Manitoba has lost 216,880 people to other provinces, an average of 5,420 per year.
  • If Manitoba had just broken even on interprovincial migration, Winnipeg today would have a population of 901,000, equal to Calgary’s population.
  • If Manitoba had reversed the situation over the last 40 years, with pro-growth policies that attracted 5,420 people each year, Winnipeg would have a population of well over one million people (1,117 000) and would be one of Canada’s influential cities.


  • A relatively small population increase or decrease per year profoundly affects the future of a city or province over a long period.
  • Since the people drain has been gradual, no provincial government has addressed it as an urgent issue.
  • Consistent population loss reflects systemic problems with job creation, the key motivator for emigrants.
  • The reduced tax base and lost “critical mass” in the economy from depopulation is a root cause of Manitoba’s “have not province” status.
  • Substantive changes to government policies that influence economic growth, including corporate and personal income tax, regulations and labour law, must be undertaken to reverse the trend of population loss to other provinces.

STATISTICS SOURCE: Statistics Canada Demography Division, Manitoba Bureau of Statistics

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