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

The territories

Census results continue to highlight differences between the territories and the provinces in terms of estimates for homeownership, condition of dwelling, crowding, and the percentage of households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter.

The census counted 34,710 households in the territories in 2006, of which 12,615 were in the Yukon Territory, 14,235 in the Northwest Territories and 7,855 in Nunavut.

In the Yukon Territory, 63.8% of the households owned the dwelling they lived in. For the Northwest Territories, the homeownership rate was 52.9% and for Nunavut, 22.7%. This is much lower than the national rate of 68.4%.

Residents of the territories reported their homes as being in a greater need of major repairs than residents in the provinces. In 2006, 14.9% of the Yukon Territory's households reported that their homes needed major repairs. The share was even higher in the Northwest Territories (17.6%) and Nunavut (20.2%). Nationally, 7.5% of households reported that their dwelling required major repairs.

In 2006, 18.0% of households in Nunavut reported having less that one room per person. In the Northwest Territories, this proportion was lower, at 4.6%. In the Yukon Territory, the proportion was similar to that of the provinces, at 1.5%.

The territories all had above-average proportions of households living in dwellings constructed in the five years before the census. In 2006, 9.3% of households in the Yukon Territory, 11.2% of households in the Northwest Territories and 10.8% of households in Nunavut reported that their dwellings had been constructed since 2001. This compares to the national average of 8.5%.

The proportion of households in the territories spending 30% or more of their income on shelter in 2006 was well below the national average of 24.9%. In the Yukon Territory, this share was 18.3% and in the Northwest Territories, it was 14.6%. In Nunavut, 9.6% of households spent 30% or more of their income on shelter.

Nunavut's median household shelter costs in 2006 were $6,065. This compares to the national average of $8,966. Nunavut's lower shelter costs are due to a high rate of government subsidization. According to the Survey of Household Spending, 57% of households in Nunavut reported living in a dwelling subsidized by the government. The Nunavut Ten-year Inuit Housing Action Plan states that the creation of new housing is heavily dependent on public sector involvement due to factors such as harsh climate, small population base, lack of road or rail access, and the high costs of labour and materials.

Table 11
Number and percentage of households available for analysis, Canada, provinces and territories, 2006

Table 12
Homeownership rates for households, Canada, provinces and territories, 2001 and 2006

Table 13
Homeownership rates for urban and rural households and share of households in urban areas, Canada, provinces and territories, 2006

Table 14
Percentage of owner households with mortgage, Canada, provinces and territories, 2001 and 2006

Table 15
Median annual household income and shelter costs, Canada, provinces and territories, 2001 and 2006

Table 16
Percentage of owner and renter households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter, Canada, provinces and territories, 2001 and 2006

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