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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Halifax, the number of persons per room in households of most immigrants is relatively high. As many as 18% of recent immigrant households live in crowded conditions (that is, there are more persons than rooms in the home). The incidence of crowding is even higher among households consisting only of very recent immigrants. By 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, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 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 86,410 33,940 5,100 2,800 128,240
Earlier immigrants 7,780 2,700 280 250 11,010
Recent immigrants 1,810 1,450 440 800 4,490
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,240 920 250 280 2,670
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 300 280 90 130 810
 1996-2001 immigrants only 280 240 110 390 1,010
All households 96,290 38,330 5,830 4,000 144,440
 
Canadian-born 67% 26% 4% 2% 100%
Earlier immigrants 71% 25% 2% 2% 100%
Recent immigrants 40% 32% 10% 18% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 46% 34% 9% 10% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 37% 35% 11% 16% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 28% 24% 11% 39% 100%
All households 67% 27% 4% 3% 100%

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

Large households likely to have crowded accommodations

Crowding is related to size of household. The larger the household, the greater the chance that there are more persons than rooms in the dwelling. 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 households of recent immigrants.

As shown earlier, households of immigrants who landed before 1986 are similar to the households of the Canadian-born in size. They also have accommodations that are similar in size to that of the Canadian-born.

Table F-2: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, by size of household, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 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 78,250 19,070 1,970 1,420 100,710
Earlier immigrants 6,810 1,200 70 90 8,160
Recent immigrants 1,450 660 110 250 2,500
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 8,050 14,070 2,470 1,040 25,630
Earlier immigrants 950 1,370 160 120 2,590
Recent immigrants 340 680 210 360 1,590
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 110 800 660 330 1,900
Earlier immigrants 30 140 50 50 280
Recent immigrants 30 100 110 190 410
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 78% 19% 2% 1% 100,710
Earlier immigrants 83% 15% 1% 1% 8,160
Recent immigrants 58% 26% 4% 10% 2,500
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 31% 55% 10% 4% 25,630
Earlier immigrants 37% 53% 6% 4% 2,590
Recent immigrants 21% 43% 13% 23% 1,590
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 6% 42% 35% 17% 1,900
Earlier immigrants 11% 51% 18% 16% 280
Recent immigrants 7% 25% 26% 46% 410

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.

One in three recent immigrant households face high housing costs

One in three recent immigrant households spend more than 30% of their income on accommodations. For half of these households, the cost of accommodations exceeds 50% of income. Very recent immigrant households are even more likely to have a relatively high housing cost, with one-half spending 30% or more of their income on housing. Of Canadian-born households, only one in four have housing cost in excess of 30% of income.

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 accommodations down by choosing small quarters and making their households large. But often this is not enough to bring housing costs down to less than 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, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 97,150 76% 16,430 13% 14,490 11%
Earlier immigrants 8,950 81% 1,220 11% 800 7%
Recent immigrants 2,650 68% 620 16% 610 16%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,890 71% 420 16% 350 13%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 410 81% 80 15% 50 9%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 370 51% 130 18% 220 30%
All households 109,250 76% 18,460 13% 16,370 11%

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 of very recent immigrants in somewhat less need of repair

The dwellings of households of immigrants who landed after 1985 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, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 53,770 42% 52,890 41% 21,570 17%
Earlier immigrants 4,960 45% 4,360 40% 1,700 15%
Recent immigrants 1,770 39% 1,700 38% 1,030 23%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,090 41% 950 36% 620 23%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 330 40% 310 38% 190 23%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 360 36% 440 43% 230 23%
All households 60,730 42% 59,340 41% 24,380 17%

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.

The state of repair of the dwellings of recent immigrants is similar to and even slightly better than that of the Canadian-born. This suggests that, although crowding and the cost of housing are challenges for many recent immigrants, they tend not to resort to sub-standard accommodations.

Table F-5: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—quality of housing, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 82,570 64% 35,780 28% 9,890 8%
Earlier immigrants 6,900 63% 3,360 31% 760 7%
Recent immigrants 3,070 68% 1,080 24% 330 7%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,720 65% 730 27% 210 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 550 68% 190 23% 80 10%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 800 79% 170 17% 50 5%
All households 93,130 64% 40,300 28% 11,020 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 not widespread among very recent immigrant households

Only one in four households consisting only of very recent immigrants owns its home. Home ownership is much higher among other recent immigrant households.

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

Figure F-1

Note: 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 and incomes of earlier immigrants.

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