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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Victoria, the number of persons per room in households of recent immigrants is well above the overall average. As many as 10% 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 Canadian-born households and earlier immigrant households. Compared to the rest of Canada, crowding among recent immigrants in Victoria is not high.

Table F-1: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, Victoria 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 66,060 23,230 2,940 2,930 95,170
Earlier immigrants 23,640 6,920 590 780 31,910
Recent immigrants 3,490 2,920 810 850 8,050
 1986-1995 immigrants 2,550 1,940 510 390 5,390
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 560 710 170 220 1,670
 1996-2001 immigrants only 380 270 110 240 1,000
All households 93,420 33,210 4,360 4,620 135,610
 
Canadian-born 69% 24% 3% 3% 100%
Earlier immigrants 74% 22% 2% 2% 100%
Recent immigrants 43% 36% 10% 10% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 47% 36% 9% 7% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 34% 42% 10% 13% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 38% 27% 11% 24% 100%
All households 69% 24% 3% 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.

Table F-2: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room by size of household, Victoria 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 60,910 15,060 1,230 2,200 79,390
Earlier immigrants 21,640 4,130 190 440 26,400
Recent immigrants 3,040 1,530 330 360 5,260
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 5,040 7,530 1,380 540 14,480
Earlier immigrants 1,950 2,490 270 220 4,930
Recent immigrants 430 1,180 360 300 2,270
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 130 640 330 210 1,290
Earlier immigrants 50 290 120 130 580
Recent immigrants 30 210 140 180 540
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 77% 19% 2% 3% 100%
Earlier immigrants 82% 16% 1% 2% 100%
Recent immigrants 58% 29% 6% 7% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 35% 52% 10% 4% 100%
Earlier immigrants 39% 51% 5% 4% 100%
Recent immigrants 19% 52% 16% 13% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 10% 50% 26% 16% 100%
Earlier immigrants 8% 50% 21% 22% 100%
Recent immigrants 6% 39% 26% 33% 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 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.

Three in ten recent immigrant households face high housing cost

Three in ten recent immigrant households spend more than 30% of their income on accommodations, and many of these households spend more than 50% of their income on accommodations. These shares are quite similar to those of Canadian-born households. Households comprised entirely of very recent immigrants are even more likely to have relatively high housing costs, with nearly one-half spending 30% or more of their income on housing.

Table F-3: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—cost of accommodations as a share of household income, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 66,220 70% 15,050 16% 12,080 13%
Earlier immigrants 24,480 77% 4,180 13% 2,840 9%
Recent immigrants 5,000 69% 1,250 17% 940 13%
 1986-1995 immigrants 3,840 71% 930 17% 580 11%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 770 65% 200 17% 170 15%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 400 55% 120 16% 190 27%
All households 96,190 71% 20,670 15% 16,320 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 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.

Housing of very recent immigrants in similar state of repair

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

Table F-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—period of construction of household dwelling, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 44,120 46% 38,420 40% 12,630 13%
Earlier immigrants 14,130 44% 13,230 41% 4,560 14%
Recent immigrants 3,480 43% 3,260 40% 1,310 16%
 1986-1995 immigrants 2,410 45% 2,180 40% 810 15%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 770 46% 620 37% 280 17%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 300 30% 470 47% 240 24%
All households 61,900 46% 55,140 41% 18,570 14%

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 virtually identical to that of the Canadian-born. This suggests that, although crowding and the cost of housing is clearly a challenge 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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 66,310 70% 22,210 23% 6,650 7%
Earlier immigrants 23,840 75% 6,200 19% 1,880 6%
Recent immigrants 5,750 71% 1,760 22% 540 7%
 1986-1995 immigrants 3,800 70% 1,200 22% 410 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,200 72% 380 23% 90 5%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 760 76% 190 19% 60 6%
All households 96,290 71% 30,240 22% 9,080 7%

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

Home ownership fairly common

One in three households consisting only of very recent immigrants owns their home, compared to six in ten Canadian-born households and three in four earlier immigrant households.

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