Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Canada—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

The number of persons per room for households of recent immigrants is well above the Canadian average. As many as 22% of recent immigrant households live in crowded conditions (that is, there are more people than rooms in the home). The incidence of crowding is even higher among households consisting only of very recent immigrants. In contrast, crowding is very rare among households of the Canadian-born and earlier immigrants.

Table F-1: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Households Fewer than 0.5 persons 0.5 to 0.74 persons 0.75 to 0.99 persons 1 or more persons Total
Canadian-born 5,719,700 2,253,000 383,800 221,600 8,578,100
Earlier immigrants 1,232,100 494,800 85,900 63,500 1,876,300
Recent immigrants 300,100 368,100 152,500 235,600 1,056,300
 1986-1995 immigrants 207,500 233,500 88,100 111,200 640,300
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 40,700 70,400 32,000 55,800 198,900
 1996-2001 immigrants only 51,900 64,200 32,500 68,600 217,100
All households 7,273,500 3,131,500 626,200 531,800 11,563,000
 
Canadian-born 67% 26% 4% 3% 100%
Earlier immigrants 66% 26% 5% 3% 100%
Recent immigrants 28% 35% 14% 22% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 32% 36% 14% 17% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 20% 35% 16% 28% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 24% 30% 15% 32% 100%
All households 63% 27% 5% 5% 100%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household, crowding and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Large households likely to have crowded accommodations

Crowding is related to the size of a household. The larger the household, the greater the chance that there are more persons living in the dwelling than there are rooms. This pattern is found among households of the Canadian-born as well as immigrants, despite the fact that there is much less crowding in households of the Canadian-born than in the households of recent immigrants.

Table F-2: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, by size of household, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Size of household Fewer than 0.5 persons 0.5 to 0.74 persons 0.75 to 0.99 persons 1 or more persons Total
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 5,262,100 1,189,700 107,600 80,700 6,640,200
Earlier immigrants 1,107,600 225,800 18,900 24,100 1,376,300
Recent immigrants 256,600 192,600 49,800 67,000 565,900
 1986-1995 immigrants 175,600 109,300 23,500 27,600 336,100
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 34,200 40,400 10,600 12,400 97,600
 1996-2001 immigrants only 46,800 42,800 15,700 27,000 132,300
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 449,300 999,400 220,300 90,700 1,759,700
Earlier immigrants 121,200 245,300 45,800 24,300 436,700
Recent immigrants 41,800 156,000 73,000 109,200 380,100
 1986-1995 immigrants 30,800 111,600 46,000 54,600 243,000
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 6,000 24,200 12,400 21,300 63,900
 1996-2001 immigrants only 4,900 20,200 14,700 33,400 73,200
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 8,300 63,900 55,900 50,200 178,200
Earlier immigrants 3,300 23,700 21,200 15,000 63,300
Recent immigrants 1,700 19,500 29,700 59,300 110,300
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,100 12,500 18,600 29,000 61,200
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 500 5,900 9,000 22,100 37,500
 1996-2001 immigrants only 100 1,100 2,200 8,200 11,600
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 79% 18% 2% 1% 100%
Earlier immigrants 80% 16% 1% 2% 100%
Recent immigrants 45% 34% 9% 12% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 52% 33% 7% 8% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 35% 41% 11% 13% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 35% 32% 12% 20% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 26% 57% 13% 5% 100%
Earlier immigrants 28% 56% 10% 6% 100%
Recent immigrants 11% 41% 19% 29% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 13% 46% 19% 22% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 9% 38% 19% 33% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 7% 28% 20% 46% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 5% 36% 31% 28% 100%
Earlier immigrants 5% 37% 34% 24% 100%
Recent immigrants 2% 18% 27% 54% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 2% 20% 30% 47% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1% 16% 24% 59% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1% 10% 19% 71% 100%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household, crowding and related concepts, see the Glossary.

As shown in Table C-8, households of immigrants who landed before 1986 are, on average, the same size as households of the Canadian-born. Earlier immigrant households also have accommodation that is similar in size to that of Canadian-born households.

One-third of recent immigrant households face high housing costs

One-third of recent immigrant households and nearly one-half of the households made up exclusively of very recent immigrants spend more than 30% of their income on accommodation, and one-quarter of these households have cost in excess of 50% of income. Of Canadian-born households, only one in five have housing costs in excess of 30% of income.

Table F-3: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—cost of accommodations as a share of household income, Canada, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 6,471,900 75% 1,045,700 12% 824,600 10%
Earlier immigrants 1,458,500 78% 240,000 13% 154,400 8%
Recent immigrants 619,400 67% 161,500 17% 142,300 15%
 1986-1995 immigrants 437,200 68% 108,900 17% 89,800 14%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 96,200 73% 20,200 15% 13,600 10%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 86,000 54% 32,400 20% 38,900 25%
All households 8,626,600 75% 1,476,900 13% 1,176,400 10%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary. Totals do not add to 100% due to some non-reporting households.

Housing costs of more than 30% of income are considered burdensome, and households facing that level of cost generally have low incomes. Many households of recently landed immigrants have low incomes and try to keep the cost of accommodation down by choosing small quarters and making their households large. However, often this is not enough to bring housing costs down to less than 30% of income.

Housing of recent immigrants of same quality

The dwellings of households of immigrants who landed after 1985 tend to have been more recently built than the houses of Canadian-born.

Table F-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—period of construction of household dwelling, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 4,036,900 47% 3,328,200 39% 1,213,000 14%
Earlier immigrants 841,300 45% 761,600 41% 273,500 15%
Recent immigrants 412,200 39% 431,300 41% 212,800 20%
 1986-1995 immigrants 244,600 38% 260,700 41% 134,900 21%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 79,700 40% 80,100 40% 39,100 20%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 87,900 40% 90,500 42% 38,700 18%
All households 5,314,700 46% 4,541,200 39% 1,707,100 15%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

There is very little difference in the state of repair of the housing stock between recent immigrants, earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born. This suggests that, although crowding and the cost of housing clearly are a challenge for many recent immigrants, they tend not to resort to sub-standard accommodation.

Table F-5: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—quality of housing, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 5,515,000 64% 2,326,500 27% 736,600 9%
Earlier immigrants 1,282,700 68% 465,200 25% 128,400 7%
Recent immigrants 718,100 68% 258,100 24% 80,100 8%
 1986-1995 immigrants 428,800 67% 161,000 25% 50,500 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 134,800 68% 48,900 25% 15,200 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 154,500 71% 48,200 22% 14,500 7%
All households 7,554,100 65% 3,060,600 26% 948,200 8%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Home ownership less common among recent immigrants

One-quarter of households consisting exclusively of immigrants who landed during 1996-2001 own their home, compared to over two-thirds of Canadian-born households and four out of five households of earlier immigrants. In general, the rate of home ownership is lower among recent immigrants than among the Canadian-born.

Figure F-1: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—home ownership, by household type, Canada, 2001 (percentage)

Figure F-1

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Home-ownership is much higher among earlier immigrants than the Canadian-born. This probably reflects the higher average age of earlier immigrants, but it may also point to different choices.

 

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