Issue 18-209 Household Spending

December 13, 2018

Spending by households in British Columbia averaged $71,001 in 2017, slightly more than the national average of $63,723. Alberta ($72,957) was the only province where household expenditures were higher than those in B.C.

Shelter took the biggest bite (31%) out of the household budget in B.C., followed by transportation (20%). Food (13%), household operations (7%), recreation (6%) and clothing and accessories (5%) were some other major expenditure items.

Shelter (29%) was also the biggest budget item for overall Canadian households in 2017. Spending on transportation (20%) accounted for the second-largest share of total consumption of goods and services, followed by food (13%).  For Canadian households in the top income quintile, shelter (27%) and food (12%) took a smaller portion from the household wallet. Conversely, among households with the lowest incomes, shelter represented far more of the household budget (35%) and a food (14%) also represented a larger share of total spending.

Data Source: Statistics Canada