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Dwelling Density


Dwelling density measures how many dwellings there are in a given amount of land. The graph shows the rate for every square kilometre (km2).

Why This Matters

Dwelling density is an indicator of land use, and is a key descriptor of the built environment. The built environment is strongly influenced by dwelling density: low densities generally require higher energy use, use more land that could be used for other purposes (e.g., agriculture) and have higher infrastructure costs. High densities can result in heavy loads on infrastructure and a concentration of pollutants (e.g., leading to poor air quality).

Measurement and Limitations

This indicator measures the total number of occupied private dwellings per km2 populated neighbourhoods. Data from 2006 and earlier was part of the long-form of the Canadian Census. In 2011, the long-form was cancelled, and this question was made part of the National Household Survey (NHS). Though the questions are comparable, the NHS was a voluntary survey (with a 76% response rate in Manitoba), whereas the Census long-form was mandatory (with a 94% response rate). Though data quality is lower (worse) in the NHS, it remains comparable to previous years.

Dwelling Density for Winnipeg is calculated as the number of total private dwellings divided by the land area (km2).

Data Source

More detail about this indicator can be found in Peg’s 2017 Wellbeing Report on the Natural and Built Environment:

Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.


Statistics Canada: Census 2001-2006; NHS 2011


Dwelling Density in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11. Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.

However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Related Dwelling Density Targets


By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries