The Northern Regional Health Authority (Northern Health Region) was created in May 2012 through the amalgamation of the former NOR-MAN and the Burntwood Regional Health Authorities. The Northern Health Region is geographically the largest of the five RHAs in the province of Manitoba. Within the Region there are:
The Northern Health Region has a population of 74,175 people spread over 396,000 km², resulting in a population density of 0.18 persons per km² compared to 2.19 persons per km² for the entire province of Manitoba. The Region accounts for just under six per cent of the provincial population. Between 2002 and 2012, the Region experienced a growth rate of 6.3 per cent compared to the growth rate of 10 per cent in the province overall.
According to the 2006 Census, (the most recent data available with Aboriginal Identity), over two-thirds (67.4%) of residents self-identify as Aboriginal. According to Manitoba Health 2012 population estimates, about 40 per cent of residents live in First Nations communities and remaining 60 per cent live off-reserve. Just under one-third of residents (31.9%) report speaking at least one Aboriginal language compared to only 6 per cent of Manitobans. In fact, Northern Health Region residents account for 81 per cent of Manitoba residents who report speaking an Aboriginal language.
The Northern Health Region is a young region with a median age of 26 (compared to Manitoba at 37). Almost one in three residents (30%) of the region are under the age of 15 compared to 19 per cent of Manitoba residents. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 6.1 per cent of Northern Region residents are age 65 and older compared to 14.1 per cent of Manitobans. Although the older age group makes up a smaller proportion of the population than Manitoba overall, the number of residents age 65 and older grew by 30 per cent between 2002 and 2012 compared to a growth rate in this age group of 13.6 per cent in Manitoba.