Quick Yukon Facts

  • Yukon is the smallest and westernmost Canadian territory. However, it encompasses 482.443km2, of which 8.052km2 is water
  • The Yukon Quest is considered the hardest dogsled race in the world, running more than 1,000 miles between Fairbanks, Alaska and ending in Whitehorse, Yukon.
  • “Yukon” comes from the native word Yu-kun-ah, which means great river.
  • More than 75% of Yukon’s population lives in the capital and only city.
  • Whitehorse was named for the White Horse Rapids, as before the river was dammed, the rapids resembled the mane of a white horse.
  • The Yukon River running through Whitehorse is the site of the Yukon 1000 canoe race, which finishes 1,000 miles away and takes 7-12 days to complete, paddling up to 18 hours a day.
  • The lowest temperature ever recorded in Whitehorse was -52.2 degrees Celsius, or -62 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In 2019 Yukon had a population of 35,874 people with its capital Whitehorse lovingly called “The Wilderness City”. It is steadily growing.
  • At 5,959 m (19,551 ft), Yukon’s Mount Logan, in Kluane National Park and Reserve, is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest on the North American continent.
  • Most of Yukon has a subarctic climate, characterized by long cold winters and brief warm summers. The Arctic Ocean coast has a tundra climate.
  • Notable rivers include the Yukon River, as well as the Pelly, Stewart, Peel, White, and Tatshenshini rivers.

The Yukon hosts approximately 10,000 black bears and roughly 7,000 grizzlies roam across this largely wild land of +482,000 square km or 186,660 sq. miles in size.

Yukon Demographics

The people in Yukon are generally active and hardworking and have a reputation for being very welcoming. Only 43% of the inhabitants report a single ethnic background, making it difficult to assess clearly the ethnic make-up of the territory. One statistic states that 25% of the population is from an Aboriginal or native ethnic background. Languages are clear with 80% of the population stating English as their mother tongue; 4% reported French as their mother tongue.

Yukon does not appear to be a significantly religious territory with 37.4% of residents claiming to have no religion which is higher than the national average of around 24%. The highest percentage of those actually reporting a faith is 22% of the population declaring Roman Catholic as their faith. The Anglican Church of Canada has around 13% of the residents.

The median age of the residents of Yukon is 39.1 years which is not far different from the national average of 40.6 years. The percentage of people living in Yukon in 2011 over the age of 65 years is quite low compared to the national averages – Yukon has 9.1% of its residents over 65 compared with the national percentage of 14.8%.

Also, the territory has a slightly higher proportion of children and a significantly higher proportion of people of working age – 73.6% compared with the national average of 68.5%.

​The entire Yukon territory averages 1,870 hours and 262 days with bright sunshine a year.

Yukon Population Growth

The population of 35,874 people as of the 2016 Census, increased in 2019 to 40,962.
The estimated population of Yukon on March 31, 2020, was 42,152; an increase of 1,190, or 2.9%, compared to the figure for March 31, 2019.

As the population continues to grow, residents are mainly employed in government roles.
Aside from this sector, manufacturing and hydroelectricity are important industries.

Yukon also is a popular tourist destination with a tourist motto of “Larger than Life.” Yukon businesses attributed $367.8 million of their gross revenue in 2018 to tourism.
There are many activities to be enjoyed in much of Yukon’s pristine landscapes, from hunting, fishing, nature, lake sports, and of course the winter sports activities.

Yukon, overall, has a GDP per capita of $72,880 which is very respectable and reflects the high proportion of working residents.

The Klondike Gold Rush was a migration by an estimated 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon.