Saskatchewan continues to lead the country in impaired driving offences in rural areas, a report by Statistics Canada shows.

According to the report, Saskatchewan had a rural impaired driving rate of 939 incidents per 100,000 people in 2017. The next closest province was Alberta, which saw 597 incidents per 100,000 people.

The lowest rates were in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, which saw 187 and 192 incidents per 100,000 people respectively.

Canada-wide, the report shows that impaired driving causing death is seven times higher in rural areas over urban ones. The 2017 dangerous driving rate in rural areas was also double the rate in urban areas.

Saskatchewan Government Insurance has focused on impaired driving in recent monthly spotlights. Provincial police reported 352 impaired driving offences last December, and 224 offences in January.

Statistics Canada looked at police-reported crime across the country in 2017 in both urban and rural areas. The Prairies differed from most provinces, reporting a higher rural crime rate. The rural crime severity index was also higher in the Prairies, the report showed.

The report noted rural crime rates were particularly high in northern Saskatchewan in 2017, citing small, isolated communities, a younger population and above-average proportions of lone-parent families.