Northerners, by the numbers
The Northwest Territories is home to 44,000 people – barely a thousandth of the Canadian population. Half of the population is Indigenous – here since time immemorial – while half are originally from elsewhere. Of the former, a wide range of cultures are represented. About nine percent are Métis, mostly concentrated on the south side of Great Slave Lake. Another 11 percent are Inuvialuit, the people of the far North. The Dene make up about 30 percent of the territorial population.
We’re a multilingual place. The Northwest Territories boasts 11 official languages: Chipewyan, Cree, Tłįchǫ, Gwich’in, North Slavey, South Slavey, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Inuinnaqtun – and of course English and French. The territory has also welcomed immigrants from around the world, meaning other languages – from German to Tagalog – can also be heard.
What we lack in population, we make up for in youth. We’re a young territory: barely 32 years old on average, which is far below the Canadian average. Almost one-quarter of residents in the NWT are under age 15. Barely one in 20 are older than 65.