Living in the red

 UWinnipeg releases a neighbourhood-level analysis of debt in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – New analysis and a unique neighbourhood-level mapping project conducted by The University of Winnipeg’s Institute of Urban Studies (IUS) pinpoints where debt and the risk of bankruptcy exist in Winnipeg — with some surprising results. The report focused on debt people are carrying related to consumer purchases but not their mortgages.

Findings point to households in affluent neighbourhoods like Tuxedo carrying the most debt, but the risk of bankruptcy is low.  Households in the North End and West End carry the lowest consumer debts, but the risk of bankruptcy is high.  An area like Fort Rouge has moderate level of households carrying debt that varies considerably from block to block, which could indicate an area in transition. This graphical depiction provides a powerful portrait of Winnipeg’s emerging


“This work opens the door to better understanding the extent to which non-mortgage debt is saddling Canadian households with a financial burden not seen before. Our block by block snapshot provides a visual portrait of this trend while exploring some of the potential causes of high debt across the city,” said Jino Distasio, Director of IUS and Associate Vice-President, Research and Innovation at UWinnipeg.

Canadian households are now deeper in debt than at any time since Statistics Canada began collecting debtor data in 1961. If interest rates creep up, the trend of increased debt has the potential to adversely impact the economy with increased bankruptcies.  The IUS report explores the TransUnion dataset available through Winnipeg’s Community Data Consortium, established in the 1980s to track poverty and urban change in Winnipeg.

Access the detailed Living In the Red In-Brief report.

The IUS In-Brief series provides new space for thought on urban issues from a variety of perspectives — from academic research to journalistic investigation, from editorial comments to public stories. It is intended to provide concise comment, thought and informed discussion on a range of urban issues. The In-Brief series was launched in October 2012, exploring the successful campaign by Gordon Bell students and supporters to build an outdoor soccer field, A 2013 In-Brief Report examined the unprecedented downtown investment in recent years. The Institute of Urban Studies invites ideas for the In-Brief series at:

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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:


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