As pandemic slows, new data shows its impact on Winnipeg

The pandemic has affected Winnipeg and everyone who lives here in both obvious and subtle ways. Over the last several months, Peg has profiled data changes resulting from the pandemic. In June, we substantially updated our community indicator system with emerging data from 2020, illustrating the broad impact of the pandemic on Winnipeg.

This data presents a verifiable picture of what changes have occurred in Winnipeg over the course of the pandemic. This data points to new or expanded gaps in the well-being of our city and supports calls to address them.

Youth unemployment rate skyrocketed in 2020.


Some of our indicators show dramatic changes from 2019 to 2020 due to how we lived our lives day-to-day during the pandemic. Some, such as increases in Youth Unemployment, may not be so surprising, although the increase is considerable and is the highest seen since at least 2001. Overall Unemployment Rates also have risen since 2019, higher than any experienced since the early 1990s.

Public transit trips significantly declined with many Winnipeggers working and studying from home.


Public Transit Trips are another indicator where the pandemic’s impact is obvious, dropping significantly in 2020 compared to 2019, decreasing from 68.83 trips per capita in 2019 to 34.57 trips per capita in 2020.

Not surprisingly, the number of people Participating in the Arts dropped with the cancellation of most events and closures of event venues. In 2019, there were 2.8 million visits to various arts and cultural activities in Winnipeg. In 2020, this fell to just 1.4 million, or half of 2019’s activity, with most events taking place online.

Some indicators showed less impact than might have been expected. Housing Starts are one example where the number of new housing units in Winnipeg in 2020 was 4,350, only slightly lower than the 4,494 housing starts in 2019.

Updated indicators

We’ve updated 20 Peg indicators with new data:

  1. Consumer Price Index: how much we can buy with a certain amount of money.
  2. Low-Income Cut-off After Taxes: the percentage of all persons that spend a higher than average percentage of their income on basic needs.
  3. Market Basket Measure: Percentage of persons in low income as defined by the Market Basket Measure.
  4. Housing Starts: the number of new housing units in a community.
  5. Building Permit Values: the total value of residential and non-residential permit values.
  6. Average Housing Price: the average price of homes listed in the Multiple Listing Service database used by Canadian realtors.
  7. Participation Rate: the percentage of people of working age (15 years and over) that are part of the labour force (either working or looking for work).
  8. Unemployment Rate: the percentage of Canadian adults (15 years of age and over) who are not employed, are looking for work, and are available to take a job.
  9. Youth Unemployment Rate: the percentage of Canadian youth (15-24) who are not employed, are looking for work, and are available to take a job.
  10. High School Graduation Rates: the percent of students who graduate on time within four years of starting Grade 9.
  11. Quality of Life: the percentage of Winnipeggers who believe that the quality of life in Winnipeg is good or very good.
  12. Perceptions of Safety: the percentage of people that feel safe walking in their neighbourhood alone at night.
  13. Charitable Donations: the median amount donated by Winnipeggers per year.
  14. Water Use: the average amount of water used per person on a daily basis.
  15. Air Quality Health Index: the percentage of days with low-risk air quality.
  16. Public Transit Trips Per Capita: the average number of public transit trips taken on Winnipeg Transit annually.
  17. Residential Waste to Recycling: the amount of material that is diverted to a recycling facility.
  18. Residential Waste to Landfill: the amount of material that ends up in a landfill.
  19. Readiness to Learn: the percentage of children that are assessed as ‘on track’ to learn when they enter kindergarten.
  20. Participation in the Arts: measures the number (in thousands) of visits to cultural events in Winnipeg.

Changed indicators

The following Peg indicators have been changed:

  1. Immunization Rates: the percentage of 2-year-olds who have had the complete set of vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella; it previously was for children 7 and older.
  2. Readiness to Learn: now measured using 5 components of the Early Development Instrument.
  3. Substance Use Disorders: previously called substance abuse; old data was removed and new data updated to 2010/11-2014/15.

Segmenting Data by the 12 Community Areas

Many of our community indicators provide data at the neighbourhood level. This makes it easy to access local, relevant data on a specific area and compare its performance on a given community indicator to other neighbourhoods.

Interacting with Indicator Graphs

Community indicator data is brought to life using a variety of interactive graphs. Depending on the data and variables available, you can easily change how the data is displayed.

  • For graphs displaying data by community area, you can toggle by year using the Select Year Range
  • If you’d like to adjust which variable is displayed in a graph, simply toggle data sets on and off by clicking a variable in the graph’s legend.

Readiness to Learn indicator.


All indicators provide the option to download the data as a CSV file, which can be opened in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. To download, simply click either of the following options available below a graph:

  • Download Graph Data for Selected Year Range (available for some indicators)
  • Download Graph Data for All Years (available for all indicators)

Never Fall Behind on Local Data

Before you navigate the 55+ indicators available on our site, please take a moment to subscribe to our email newsletter for future updates to our community indicators. Subscribe here.