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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Ottawa, recent immigrant households have a higher than average number of persons per room. One in five recent immigrant households experiences 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, Ottawa 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 152,520 54,970 6,180 4,150 217,810
Earlier immigrants 37,100 13,560 1,920 1,380 53,960
Recent immigrants 11,720 13,530 5,160 8,250 38,660
 1986-1995 immigrants 7,910 8,230 3,000 3,750 22,880
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,710 2,450 1,130 1,720 7,000
 1996-2001 immigrants only 2,110 2,850 1,050 2,790 8,790
All households 202,100 82,720 13,380 14,310 312,500
 
Canadian-born 70% 25% 3% 2% 100%
Earlier immigrants 69% 25% 4% 3% 100%
Recent immigrants 30% 35% 13% 21% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 35% 36% 13% 16% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 24% 35% 16% 25% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 24% 32% 12% 32% 100%
All households 65% 26% 4% 5% 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.

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.

Table F-2: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—persons per room, by size of household, Ottawa 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 138,740 27,060 1,740 2,420 169,940
Earlier immigrants 32,890 5,320 450 580 39,240
Recent immigrants 10,480 7,760 1,870 2,700 22,830
 1986-1995 immigrants 6,980 4,130 830 970 12,900
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,520 1,570 440 470 3,990
 1996-2001 immigrants only 2,000 2,080 600 1,270 5,930
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 13,580 26,580 3,160 1,180 44,500
Earlier immigrants 4,110 7,810 990 490 13,400
Recent immigrants 1,200 5,380 2,390 3,500 12,460
 1986-1995 immigrants 900 3,820 1,560 1,610 7,870
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 190 820 450 740 2,180
 1996-2001 immigrants only 130 750 400 1,160 2,420
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 210 1,330 1,280 560 3,370
Earlier immigrants 110 430 480 320 1,330
Recent immigrants 30 380 900 2,060 3,370
 1986-1995 immigrants 30 290 620 1,170 2,100
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 0 70 240 520 830
 1996-2001 immigrants only 0 20 50 370 440
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 82% 16% 1% 1% 100%
Earlier immigrants 84% 14% 1% 1% 100%
Recent immigrants 46% 34% 8% 12% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 54% 32% 6% 7% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 38% 39% 11% 12% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 34% 35% 10% 21% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 31% 60% 7% 3% 100%
Earlier immigrants 31% 58% 7% 4% 100%
Recent immigrants 10% 43% 19% 28% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 11% 49% 20% 20% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 9% 38% 20% 34% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 5% 31% 17% 48% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 6% 39% 38% 16% 100%
Earlier immigrants 8% 32% 36% 24% 100%
Recent immigrants 1% 11% 27% 61% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 1% 14% 29% 56% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 0% 8% 29% 62% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 0% 5% 10% 84% 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.

One in four households face high housing costs

More than one in four recent immigrant households spend more than 30% of their income on accommodations. For half of these households, the cost of accommodations exceeds 50% of income. Very recent immigrant households are even more likely to have a relatively high housing cost, with one-third spending 30% or more of their income on housing. 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, Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 173,260 80% 25,860 12% 17,820 8%
Earlier immigrants 44,500 82% 5,830 11% 3,440 6%
Recent immigrants 24,330 72% 4,910 14% 4,550 13%
 1986-1995 immigrants 16,500 72% 3,320 14% 3,010 13%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 3,600 81% 530 12% 340 7%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 4,230 65% 1,050 16% 1,210 19%
All households 245,240 78% 37,780 12% 27,840 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 similar 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, Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 93,370 43% 93,560 43% 30,880 14%
Earlier immigrants 23,230 43% 23,690 44% 7,040 13%
Recent immigrants 13,330 34% 18,340 47% 6,990 18%
 1986-1995 immigrants 7,980 35% 10,380 45% 4,520 20%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 2,440 35% 3,280 47% 1,290 18%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 2,920 33% 4,670 53% 1,180 13%
All households 130,770 42% 136,500 44% 45,240 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.

For both recent immigrants and earlier immigrants, the state of repair of the housing stock 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, Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 145,010 67% 57,930 27% 14,880 7%
Earlier immigrants 36,630 68% 14,110 26% 3,220 6%
Recent immigrants 26,430 68% 9,700 25% 2,550 7%
 1986-1995 immigrants 15,370 67% 5,900 26% 1,610 7%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 4,760 68% 1,840 26% 420 6%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 6,310 72% 1,960 22% 520 6%
All households 209,580 67% 82,140 26% 20,780 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

Only one in five households consisting exclusively of very recent immigrants owns its home, compared to three in five Canadian-born households and nearly four out of five earlier immigrant households. Other recent immigrant households are more likely to own their home, but the incidence of home ownership among recent immigrants is low in Ottawa compared to in the country as a whole.

Figure F-1: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—home ownership, by household type, Ottawa 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 the Canadian-born. This probably reflects the higher average age and incomes of earlier immigrants, but it may also point to different choices.

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