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

Homeownership rate for people living alone increasing

More people were living alone in 2006, according to census data. During the past five years, the number of one-person households increased 11.8%, to 3.3 million. This growth continued the trend found by previous censuses.

In 2006, one-person households accounted for 26.8% of all households, up from 25.7% five years earlier. Seniors aged 65 and over represented 33.9% of people who lived alone.

Just over half of those who lived alone in 2006 rented their accommodation – 52.0% of one-person households were renting and 47.8% owned.

The homeownership rate was well below the national average for people who lived alone in 2006. However, the rate for these individuals increased at a faster than average pace during the previous five years. The rate for those living alone increased by almost 4 percentage points between 2001 and 2006, compared to 2.6 percentage points for all households.

Women who lived alone continued to have a higher homeownership rate than their male counterparts. About 48.7% of women living alone owned their home, compared to 46.7% of men living alone. Women homeowners living alone are likely to be older. Approximately half were aged 65 and over. They were also more likely to be widowed – 47.3%, compared to 16.0% for men. Due to the higher life expectancy of women, there tends to be proportionally more women than men in the older cohorts. In 2006, 44.8% of all women living alone were aged 65 and over. This compares with 20.4% for men living alone.

Table 2
Homeownership rates for one-person households, Canada, 2001 and 2006

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