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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Calgary, the number of persons per room in recent immigrant households is well above the overall average. As many as 15% 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, Calgary 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 172,650 62,600 8,600 4,730 248,580
Earlier immigrants 44,110 17,390 3,070 1,770 66,330
Recent immigrants 13,410 15,220 5,220 5,870 39,700
 1986-1995 immigrants 8,830 9,300 2,910 2,580 23,620
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 2,430 3,190 1,210 1,600 8,420
 1996-2001 immigrants only 2,140 2,740 1,110 1,690 7,670
All households 231,080 95,700 17,000 12,600 356,380
 
Canadian-born 69% 25% 3% 2% 100%
Earlier immigrants 66% 26% 5% 3% 100%
Recent immigrants 34% 38% 13% 15% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 37% 39% 12% 11% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 29% 38% 14% 19% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 28% 36% 14% 22% 100%
All households 65% 27% 5% 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, Calgary 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 153,190 31,520 2,280 2,050 189,050
Earlier immigrants 38,520 7,150 600 560 46,820
Recent immigrants 11,280 6,790 1,280 1,470 20,800
 1986-1995 immigrants 7,420 3,530 560 570 12,060
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 2,050 1,630 260 270 4,170
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1,840 1,640 460 650 4,580
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 19,150 28,680 4,780 1,780 54,390
Earlier immigrants 5,470 9,410 1,710 750 17,330
Recent immigrants 2,090 7,540 2,480 2,300 14,390
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,390 5,250 1,470 1,130 9,230
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 410 1,270 450 430 2,530
 1996-2001 immigrants only 300 1,030 550 760 2,640
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 310 2,410 1,540 900 5,150
Earlier immigrants 110 820 770 470 2,170
Recent immigrants 20 910 1,490 2,100 4,520
 1986-1995 immigrants 20 540 890 890 2,340
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 0 300 500 930 1,710
 1996-2001 immigrants only 0 80 100 280 460
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 81% 17% 1% 1% 100%
Earlier immigrants 82% 15% 1% 1% 100%
Recent immigrants 54% 33% 6% 7% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 62% 29% 5% 5% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 49% 39% 6% 6% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 40% 36% 10% 14% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 35% 53% 9% 3% 100%
Earlier immigrants 32% 54% 10% 4% 100%
Recent immigrants 15% 52% 17% 16% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 15% 57% 16% 12% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 16% 50% 18% 17% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 11% 39% 21% 29% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 6% 47% 30% 17% 100%
Earlier immigrants 5% 38% 35% 22% 100%
Recent immigrants 0% 20% 33% 47% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1% 23% 38% 38% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 0% 17% 29% 54% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 0% 16% 21% 61% 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.

One-quarter of recent immigrant households face high housing cost

One in four recent immigrant households and nearly two in five households made up exclusively of immigrants who landed in Canada between 1996 and 1999 and were living in Calgary in the year 2000 spend more than 30% of their income on accommodations. For one in five of the latter households the cost of accommodations exceeds 50% of income. Of Canadian-born households, only one in five have housing costs 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, Calgary Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less
than 30%
30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 192,750 78% 33,400 13% 20,910 8%
Earlier immigrants 54,010 81% 7,750 12% 4,290 6%
Recent immigrants 25,270 73% 5,330 15% 4,010 12%
 1986-1995 immigrants 17,520 74% 3,460 15% 2,560 11%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 4,300 78% 770 14% 390 7%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 3,450 61% 1,100 20% 1,060 19%
All households 275,440 77% 47,540 13% 30,890 9%

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 good state of repair

The dwellings of households of immigrants who landed after 1985 have been more 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, Calgary Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 83,850 34% 107,650 43% 57,090 23%
Earlier immigrants 19,760 30% 31,290 47% 15,290 23%
Recent immigrants 7,900 20% 20,780 52% 11,010 28%
 1986-1995 immigrants 4,440 19% 12,330 52% 6,840 29%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,720 20% 4,310 51% 2,390 28%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1,750 23% 4,140 54% 1,790 23%
All households 111,900 31% 160,570 45% 83,900 24%

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 housing stock of both recent immigrants and earlier immigrants is marginally better than 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, Calgary Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 174,400 70% 59,660 24% 14,510 6%
Earlier immigrants 47,980 72% 14,990 23% 3,370 5%
Recent immigrants 29,260 74% 8,550 22% 1,900 5%
 1986-1995 immigrants 17,390 74% 5,070 21% 1,160 5%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 6,130 73% 1,880 22% 410 5%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 5,740 75% 1,600 21% 330 4%
All households 253,100 71% 83,440 23% 19,850 6%

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 equally common among recent immigrants

Less than one-half of the households consisting exclusively of immigrants who landed during the 1996-2001 period own their homes, but among other recent immigrant households, nearly three in four own their homes. This compares to over two-thirds of Canadian-born households and four out of five households of earlier immigrants who own their homes. Recent immigrant households living in Calgary are much more likely to own their homes than recent immigrant households in all of Canada.

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

Figure F-1

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

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