Is Winnipeg Really The Murder Capital?

No. Rural Manitoba has us beat.

Don’t believe CBC’s story, the real murder capital is found in rural Manitoba. At 5.22 deaths per 100,000 (i.e. 62 killings) in Manitoba, we are nearly at double the second worst province, Saskatchewan, and triple the national average! But, Winnipeg had a rate of 3.55 per 100,000 people. So, what does this say about the rural rate?

Note first, at 26 in Winnipeg in 2007 and 62 in Manitoba, that means Stats Can is using population numbers for Winnipg and Manitoba as 732,394 and 1,187,739, respectively. This does not match the population numbers from the 2006 census for Winnipeg, and this is even 30,000 more than the CMA. So, I’m not sure where the exact figures are coming from. But I will use the implied population numbers to make a conclusion.

Outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba’s homicide rate is 7.91 murders per 100,000 people. That’s more than double Winnipeg’s rate. That’s nearly 4 and a half times the national average. That’s about 4 times the homicide rate in Toronto.

Does anyone have a breakdown of these stats for rural Manitoba? This seems an incredible homicide rate – dealing with rural murders in Manitoba should be a priority for the government. Anyone have a link to any real plan of action? Is there any explanation for this sharp contrast? Any criminologists out there with an explanation?


4 responses to “Is Winnipeg Really The Murder Capital?

  1. It’s not even a rural issue. More of a reserve issue. Violence on reserves needs to be tackled.

  2. Hi James,

    Do you have any stats on that? I’d love to look at them. I’m inclined to believe you, I just like to see the numbers. Non-reserve-rural numbers would also be worth a look.

  3. re the pop figures, StatCan does quarterly projections to update them, so they’d be using their 2007 est’s, not the 2006 Census’. Re. Wpg being the murder capital, it was correct reporting, in that it’s clearly got the highest rate among the CMAs over 500,000 pop., altho’ Saskatoon, in the in the next sized class, actually had a slightly higher rate than us last year (Table 3).

    Only (!) 11 of our 62 MB murders last year were thought to be gang-related;
    couple that with the overall findings that “In 2007, of all solved homicides, about one-third of victims were killed by an acquaintance and a further one-third by a family member” [e.g., a spouse or ex-spouse], that seems to bear out what James was saying.

    The article itself is at

  4. Hi Warren,

    Thanks for the link. That clarifies things a lot. Having the highest rate among cities of similar sizes is still bad news for Winnipeg. It’s sad that we can only say “at least we are 0.05 per 100,000 ahead of Saskatoon”!

    I’m still not entirely convinced that what James said was right without any breakdown of the stats. I do agree that it is a strong possibility, but I’d like to know more.

    Thanks for the help on tracking down that link!

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