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As of September 2013, the district had an estimated population of 19,666 and an area of 831.85 km². All of the city of Tsugaru was formerly part of Nishitsugaru District.
The area of Nishitsugaru District was formerly part of Mutsu Province. At the time of the Meiji restoration of 1868, the area consisted of one towns (Ajigasawa) and 218 villages, all formerly under the control of Hirosaki Domain. Aomori Prefecture was founded on December 13, 1871, and Nishitsugaru District was carved out for former Tsugaru District on October 30, 1878.
With the establishment of the municipality system on April 1, 1889, Nishitsugaru District, was organized into one town (Ajigasawa) and 19 villages was established.