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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Montreal, the number of persons per room in households of recent immigrants is well above the average for all households. As many as 22% 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, Montreal 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 698,330 296,300 47,010 21,590 1,063,240
Earlier immigrants 123,830 59,410 12,060 7,580 202,860
Recent immigrants 39,400 47,360 21,830 30,610 139,190
 1986-1995 immigrants 25,680 28,640 13,270 15,180 82,770
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 4,180 9,410 4,010 6,380 23,970
 1996-2001 immigrants only 9,540 9,310 4,550 9,060 32,450
All households 866,950 406,510 81,600 62,310 1,417,360
 
Canadian-born 66% 28% 4% 2% 100%
Earlier immigrants 61% 29% 6% 4% 100%
Recent immigrants 28% 34% 16% 22% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 31% 35% 16% 18% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 17% 39% 17% 27% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 29% 29% 14% 28% 100%
All households 61% 29% 6% 4% 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 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.

Table F-2: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, by size of household, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Type 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 664,450 180,950 15,870 9,290 870,560
Earlier immigrants 115,250 30,250 2,450 2,070 150,010
Recent immigrants 36,570 31,520 8,060 8,380 84,490
 1986-1995 immigrants 23,450 16,480 3,770 2,940 46,650
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 3,780 7,080 1,840 1,500 14,180
 1996-2001 immigrants only 9,340 7,950 2,440 3,950 23,680
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 33,610 111,060 26,970 9,330 180,970
Earlier immigrants 8,460 27,620 7,650 3,190 46,920
Recent immigrants 2,770 14,700 11,620 15,370 44,460
 1986-1995 immigrants 2,200 11,370 7,830 8,320 29,710
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 360 2,030 1,770 3,060 7,230
 1996-2001 immigrants only 210 1,300 2,020 3,990 7,520
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 270 4,290 4,180 2,980 11,720
Earlier immigrants 140 1,540 1,950 2,320 5,940
Recent immigrants 80 1,160 2,150 6,860 10,230
 1986-1995 immigrants 40 790 1,670 3,930 6,420
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 40 310 400 1,820 2,560
 1996-2001 immigrants only 10 60 80 1,110 1,260
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 76% 21% 2% 1% 100%
Earlier immigrants 77% 20% 2% 1% 100%
Recent immigrants 43% 37% 10% 10% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 50% 35% 8% 6% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 27% 50% 13% 11% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 39% 34% 10% 17% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 19% 61% 15% 5% 100%
Earlier immigrants 18% 59% 16% 7% 100%
Recent immigrants 6% 33% 26% 35% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 7% 38% 26% 28% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 5% 28% 24% 42% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 3% 17% 27% 53% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 2% 37% 36% 25% 100%
Earlier immigrants 2% 26% 33% 39% 100%
Recent immigrants 1% 11% 21% 67% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1% 12% 26% 61% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1% 12% 15% 71% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1% 4% 6% 88% 100%

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

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. This suggests that immigrants form large households and live in relatively crowded conditions for a period after their arrival, so as to keep the cost of accommodations down. But when economic circumstances permit, they split into smaller household units or move to more spacious accommodations. Households also become smaller when children of immigrants become adults and establish their own households.

One in three recent immigrant households face high housing costs

One in three recent immigrant households spends more than 30% of its income on accommodations, and for one in six the cost of accommodations exceeds 50% of income. Households consisting exclusively of very recent immigrants are even more likely to have high housing cost in relation to income. Of Canadian-born households, only one in four have housing cost 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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 807,380 76% 136,630 13% 117,510 11%
Earlier immigrants 150,820 74% 29,810 15% 22,100 11%
Recent immigrants 80,250 67% 20,360 17% 19,740 16%
 1986-1995 immigrants 55,950 68% 13,880 17% 12,820 15%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 11,800 75% 2,190 14% 1,700 11%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 12,490 57% 4,280 19% 5,220 24%
All households 1,050,880 74% 191,600 14% 169,360 12%

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 as a rule have low incomes. Many households of recent 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.

Housing of very recent immigrants in somewhat poorer state of repair

The dwellings of households of immigrants who landed after 1985 were not built as recently as the houses of the Canadian-born. This is in contrast to the situation in Canada as a whole, where recent immigrant households are generally found to live in housing of the same or more recent vintage.

Table F-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—period of construction of household dwelling, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 552,680 52% 384,730 36% 125,830 12%
Earlier immigrants 122,100 60% 69,000 34% 11,760 6%
Recent immigrants 87,910 63% 42,350 30% 8,950 6%
 1986-1995 immigrants 50,980 62% 25,940 31% 5,850 7%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 15,680 65% 6,770 28% 1,540 6%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 21,260 66% 9,630 30% 1,560 5%
All households 770,670 54% 499,550 35% 147,140 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.

The quality of the housing of recent immigrants is somewhat lower than that of the Canadian-born.

Table F-5: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—quality of housing, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 711,640 67% 276,430 26% 75,170 7%
Earlier immigrants 125,860 62% 60,430 30% 16,580 8%
Recent immigrants 86,780 62% 39,150 28% 13,270 10%
 1986-1995 immigrants 50,630 61% 23,770 29% 8,360 10%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 14,750 62% 6,970 29% 2,250 9%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 21,390 66% 8,400 26% 2,660 8%
All households 932,510 66% 378,960 27% 105,900 7%

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

In Montreal, home ownership is rare among recent immigrants. While one-half of Canadian-born households own their residence, only one in ten households consisting exclusively of very recent immigrants do so. Nearly two in three households of immigrants who landed before 1986 own their home.

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

Figure F-1

Note: For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

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