Labrador City and Wabush were originally created as company towns with the development of the IOC and Wabush Mines. As three generations of people have lived there, individuals now own their homes, some businesses are not directly related to the mines, and recent retirees have remained in the region.
Population growth in Labrador West is tied to iron ore and steel markets. The population of both Labrador City and Wabush declined from 1996 to 2001 and again from 2001 to 2006 but increased in 2011. The total population of Labrador West was 10,475 in 1996, 8,980 in 2006 and 9,225 in 2011.