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Changing Patterns in Canadian Homeownership and Shelter Costs, 2006 Census: Immigrants

Increases in shelter costs higher for immigrants than for the Canadian-born population

Between 2001 and 2006, immigrants experienced slower increases in income than the Canadian‑born population, but faster increases in shelter costs.

Between 2001 and 2006, median household income for immigrants rose by 10.8% and their shelter costs increased 19.8%. For the Canadian-born population, household income increased 16.5% while shelter costs increased 17.9%. The Consumer Price Index went up by 11.3% over the same period.

During this five-year period, median shelter costs for immigrants who lived in a dwelling owned by a household member rose by 29.3%, while their median household income increased 10.1%. Previous studies have shown that shelter costs are higher for immigrants because they have a tendency to live in the largest, most expensive census metropolitan areas.1

Table 10
Median annual household income and shelter costs and percentage of persons spending 30% or more of their household income on shelter, for persons in non-farm, non-reserve private occupied dwellings by number of years since immigration, Canada, 2001 and 2006


  1. Rea, Willa, Jennifer Yuen, John Engeland and Roberto Figueroa. January 2008. 'The Dynamics of Housing Affordability' Perspectives on Labour and Income. Vol. 9, no. 1. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 75-001-X.

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