Issue 17-167: Household Spending

December 13, 2017

Household expenditure in British Columbia

The average British Columbian household spent $64,588 in goods and services in 2016, slightly lower than the expense in 2015 (‑0.3%). Including income taxes, personal insurance payments and pension contributions, and gifts of money, support payments and charitable contributions, the average British Columbian household spent $85,845, up $133 from 2016.

Shelter was the single largest expense for British Columbian households, representing 30.0% of their expense in goods and services in 2016. Transportation (18.7%) and food expenditures (14.1%) were the next largest expenditure categories.

The average household in British Columbia spent $14,326 in income taxes in 2016, almost $1,000 less than the average Canadian household ($15,310).

Expenditures across income quintiles vary widely. Between 2015 and 2016 only households in the second (+0.6%) and third (+10.5%) income quintile saw increases in consumption expenditures in British Columbia. The lowest quintile saw the largest current consumption decline (‑8.7%).

Other British Columbia Household Highlights

Of the almost 1.9 million households in B.C. in 2016, 65.3% owned their home. Approximately 36.2% of households owned their home with a mortgage, while 29.2% owned their home outright.

The number of households with internet use from home has continued to rise, 90.4% of B.C. households had internet use from home in 2016, compared to 84.0% in 2010.

In 2016, the average before tax income of British Columbians was $ 87,738, up 17.6% compared to 2010.

British Columbian households tend to spend more of their income than the average Canadian household. Current consumption expenditures in B.C. represented 73.6% of household income in 2016, compared to 68.1% for Canada as a whole.

National Highlights

Canadian households spent an annual average of $62,183 on goods and services in 2016, up 2.8% from 2015. Households in Alberta ($74,044) reported the highest average spending on goods and services in 2016, compared to households in New Brunswick ($50,175), which spent the least.

Shelter is one of the main expenses by households in all provinces, the largest share of consumption expenditures on shelter was observed in Ontario (30.9%), followed closely by British Columbia. Newfoundland and Labrador households spend the least percentage of their current consumption (23.7%) in shelter among provinces.

Quebec households spend the least amount of their current consumption expenditures on transportation (18.4%), but the largest in food (16.2%). Households in Alberta ($15,318) and Saskatchewan ($14,522) spent the most on transportation among all the provinces, with Newfoundland and Labrador households spending a significant share (22.0%) of their current consumption.

Canadian average household income was $91,358 in 2016, 18.7% higher than in 2010.

In 2016, 87.4% of Canadian households had internet use from home, higher than the 78.3% reported in 2010.

Approximately two thirds of Canadian households owned their home, most of them (37.2%) with a mortgage, while 33.8% of households rented their dwelling.

Data Source: Statistics Canada