The Jewish Community of Winnipeg, 2011

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA, Winnipeg Jewish Federaiton

Principal Investigator(s): Charles Shahar, Faye Rosenberg-Cohen, Randal Schnoor

Study Dates: 2011 Canadian National Household Survey

Population Estimates:

Winnipeg Jewish population was 13,690 in 2011, 1.9% of the total Winnipeg population

There are 6,735 Jewish households in Winnipeg, comprising 2.3% of the total 291,345
households in this metropolitan area.

Key Findings:

There are six reports (in three volumes) on Jewish Winnipeg, plus an unnumbered Brief on Jewish Fertility Rates, All data are based on the 2011 Canadian National Household Survey.

The June, 2014 report on the Jewish Community of Winnipeg included Part 1 Basic Demographics and Part 2 Geographic Areas; Charles Shahar and Faye-Rosenberg Cohen authored the report. They also released  Part 3 Jewish Seniors and Part 4 The Jewish Poor in September, 2014.  In January 2015, Part 5: The Jewish Family and Part 6: Intermarriage was released by Shahar, Rosenberg-Cohen and Randal Schnoor.  The Brief on Jewish Fertility Rates among Winnipeg's Jewish population was issued in April 2015.

Note that the authors of the first reports in the series ( Charles Shahar and Faye Rosenberg-Cohen) preface their summary of the data with a caution, which should apply to all of the 2011 National Household Survey-based reports issued in June, 2014 -  and which is discussed in the Appendix to all reports in the series:

"The 2011 National Household Survey presents some challenges for comparisons with Census data of previous years. The results summarized in this report are valuable for understanding demographic trends, but should be considered with caution when referring to absolute population numbers."

Population Demographics

• The Jewish population of Winnipeg numbered 13,690 individuals in 2011. Jews comprised
1.9% of the total Winnipeg population.

• Between 2001 and 2011 the Jewish community diminished by 1,130 people, or 7.6%. In the context of this finding, both methodological considerations related to the National Household Survey and demographic factors are discussed in the report.

• Winnipeg has the fifth largest Jewish community in Canada, and 3.5% of the country’s
391,665 Jews.

• After showing a very dramatic loss between 1991 and 2001, the 25-44 year age group
continued to decrease in the last decade, from 3,210 to 2,915 individuals.

• The 45-64 year cohort remained at about the same level between 2001 and 2011, after
demonstrating dramatic gains in the previous decade. This cohort represents the Baby
Boomer generation.

• The number of seniors 65+ years continued to decline in the last decade, from 3,180 to 2,580 individuals. On the other hand, the local Jewish community has a much larger proportion of elderly (18.8%) than Winnipeg’s total population (13.1%).

• The median age of the Winnipeg Jewish community actually decreased between 2001 and 2011, from 44.4 years to 43.1 years. The dependency ratio also decreased in the last decade.

Geographic Areas

• The area with the largest Jewish population in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area
(CMA) is Tuxedo, with 2,990 Jews. South River Heights has the second largest population, with 2,085 Jewish residents.

• Tuxedo has the highest density of Jews, who comprise 14.7% of its total populace. South River Heights has the next highest density, with Jews comprising 13.2% of its overall population.

• Six of the fourteen geographic areas examined in this report have shown Jewish population gains between 2001 and 2011. The largest gain in terms of absolute numbers was for the Lindenwoods / Whyte Ridge Jewish population (+720).

• The most significant Jewish population losses between 2001 and 2011 have occurred for the areas of Garden City (-1,420) and South River Heights (-670).

• Among primary areas, Tuxedo has the largest number of Jewish children (415). The largest numbers of Jewish teens and young adults are also found in Tuxedo (455). South River Heights has the largest number of Jews 25-44 years (430), whereas Tuxedo has the largest number of Jews 45-64 years (905).

• Tuxedo has 795 Jewish seniors. Almost a third (31%) of Jewish seniors in the Winnipeg
CMA reside in Tuxedo.

• Jewish residents in Crescentwood / Fort Rouge have a median age of 57.7 years, the highest average of any Jewish population in the Winnipeg CMA. The median age of Jews living in Garden City is likewise high, at 56.9 years. The lowest median age of any primary area in the Winnipeg CMA is found for Charleswood / St. James / Assiniboia, at 32.7 years.

Jewish Seniors

There are 2,580 Jewish elderly 65+ years residing in the Winnipeg CMA.

Seniors comprise 18.9% of the 13,680 members of the Jewish community here. These figures do not include Jewish seniors living in institutions, including a number of assisted living facilities that have been established in the South End of Winnipeg since the 2001 Census.

• The percentage of elderly in the Winnipeg Jewish community (18.9%) is much higher than the proportion of seniors in the overall Winnipeg population (13.1%). It is also higher than the percentage of elderly in the Canadian Jewish population (16.9%).

• A large number of elderly Jews reside in Tuxedo (800), comprising more than a quarter
(26.8%) of the total Jewish population in that area. There are also large contingents of Jewish seniors in Crescentwood / Fort Rouge (455), Garden City (390), and South River Heights 5). These figures represent a significant predominance of seniors in the South End of Winnipeg. However, there is also a significant number (390) in Garden City in the North

• While seniors represent 18.9% of Winnipeg's Jews, they account for 45.4% of all Jews who  live alone.

• Almost half (47.2%) of elderly Jewish women live alone compared to only 21.4% of men.

The Jewish Poor

There are 2,000 Jews living below the poverty line in the Winnipeg CMA.

The poor comprise 14.6% of a total population of 13,690 Jews residing in the local community.

• The level of poverty among children 0-14 years in the Winnipeg Jewish population is 20.2%, almost double the rate found in 2001. There are 470 children in the local Jewish community who live in economically disadvantaged circumstances.

• Almost one of seven elderly Jews (65+ years) is poor, but senior women are significantly
more likely to be disadvantaged than men (20.8% and 4.7% respectively).

 Almost a third (29.3%) of individuals living in female single parent families are
economically disadvantaged. The poverty level of children under 15 years living in these
families is very high (55.4%).

• More than half (57.9%) of individuals relying on social assistance or worker’s compensation live below the poverty cut-off.

• There are 440 “working poor” in the local Jewish community who earn wages that are not
sufficient to push their income above the poverty line.

The Jewish Family

• In 1991, there were 975 Winnipeg Jews living in single parent families. When compared to the 2011 figure of 1,410, this represents an increase of 44.6% in the last two decades.

• In the last decade, the fastest growing group as far as marital status is concerned were those choosing to live in common law arrangements (+53.5%). The only other group that showed a gain in terms of their numbers were those who are divorced / separated (+5.4%).

• More than one in seven Jewish children (< 15 years) in Winnipeg live in lone parent families (14.9%).

• Persons living alone comprise 14.7% of the total Jewish population in this metropolitan area.

• Jews in young adulthood (18-26 years) are less inclined to marry compared to non-Jews of that age group, and are also less inclined to live in common law partnerships.


• 25.4% of Jewish spouses / partners are married to, or partnered with, non-Jews in the Winnipeg metropolitan area. This figure is considered to be the intermarriage rate for the Winnipeg Jewish community.

•  In absolute terms, 1,660 of 6,540 Jewish spouses / partners are intermarried.

• The largest number of intermarried Jews live in the secondary area of "Other NE,
South, East" (460). These individuals are more geographically distant from Jewish centers and therefore represent a special challenge for community outreach and engagement efforts.  (There are also 330 individuals living in intermarried arrangements in Charleswood / St. James / Assiniboia, and 245 in Tuxedo.)

• In cases where both spouses are less than 30 years of age, the level of intermarriage is a striking 75.6%; although the small number of Jewish couples in this age group suggests that this figure should be interpreted with caution. It is 19.4% when both spouses are at least 40 years old

• About a quarter (26.1%) of Jewish children under 15 years of age (living in couple families) reside in intermarried arrangements. This represents 490 children.

• Regarding the youngest children of intermarried couples, about a quarter (26.7%) are identified by their parents as Jews; about half (55.3%) are assigned no religious affiliation; and the rest (17.9%) are identified as having other religions.

• Whether it is the husband or the wife who is of the Jewish faith has a significant bearing on the religious orientation of their children.

Jewish Fertility Rates

"Brief: Fertility Rates of Winnipeg's Jewish Community" was added to the  2011 NHS analysis in April 2015, paralleling a similarly issued five-to-six page “Brief” for most of the major Jewish communities in Canada.  Table 1 indicates that the Jewish fertility rate estimate is 1.63 for Winnipeg Jews (below the standard 2.1 replacement rate standard).  Other tables compare fertility rates among Jewish communities in Canada, and to fertility rates among major ethnic groups in Canada.

Study Notes:

DataBank users should review the Appendices to the report in addition to the main text and summary of findings. 

The Appendices include discussions of the utility of the National Household Survey of 2011 (which replaced earlier Census "long-form" data collection efforts), a discussion of the Revised Jewish Definition used in 2011 and a comparison with the Standard Jewish Definition used in earlier Census-based reports on Jewish Canada, a discussion of ethnic origin attribution used in the definition of Jewish persons, and supplemental, additional tables on both demographics and geography.

Language: English