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

Part F: Housing

Crowded accommodations more common for recent immigrants

In Vancouver, recent immigrant households have more persons per room than households generally. As many as 23% 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, Vancouver 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 266,620 101,550 12,350 16,410 396,920
Earlier immigrants 118,820 52,510 9,020 9,410 189,740
Recent immigrants 44,410 57,850 24,110 37,370 163,700
 1986-1995 immigrants 29,690 34,350 12,850 16,420 93,320
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 5,700 11,390 5,200 9,140 31,410
 1996-2001 immigrants only 9,020 12,110 6,060 11,810 38,990
All households 433,020 214,780 46,000 64,920 758,720
 
Canadian-born 67% 26% 3% 4% 100%
Earlier immigrants 63% 28% 5% 5% 100%
Recent immigrants 27% 35% 15% 23% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 32% 37% 14% 18% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 18% 36% 17% 29% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 23% 31% 16% 30% 100%
All households 57% 28% 6% 9% 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, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Type 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 241,890 66,660 5,360 12,300 326,190
Earlier immigrants 102,700 27,070 2,290 5,250 137,300
Recent immigrants 35,160 28,840 8,210 12,590 84,780
 1986-1995 immigrants 23,540 15,930 3,860 5,130 48,450
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 4,260 6,010 1,610 2,260 14,140
 1996-2001 immigrants only 7,340 6,900 2,740 5,220 22,200
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 24,020 31,430 5,420 3,130 63,990
Earlier immigrants 15,530 22,000 4,430 2,880 44,840
Recent immigrants 8,700 24,470 10,680 16,680 60,520
 1986-1995 immigrants 5,880 15,660 5,970 7,620 35,120
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,200 3,890 1,810 3,300 10,190
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1,620 4,920 2,910 5,770 15,210
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 720 3,460 1,570 990 6,750
Earlier immigrants 600 3,440 2,290 1,270 7,590
Recent immigrants 550 4,540 5,220 8,100 18,410
 1986-1995 immigrants 280 2,760 3,040 3,700 9,750
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 220 1,490 1,780 3,590 7,080
 1996-2001 immigrants only 50 300 410 840 1,580
 
1 to 3 persons
Canadian-born 74% 20% 2% 4% 100%
Earlier immigrants 75% 20% 2% 4% 100%
Recent immigrants 41% 34% 10% 15% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 49% 33% 8% 11% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 30% 42% 11% 16% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 33% 31% 12% 23% 100%
4 to 5 persons
Canadian-born 38% 49% 8% 5% 100%
Earlier immigrants 35% 49% 10% 6% 100%
Recent immigrants 14% 40% 18% 28% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 17% 45% 17% 22% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 12% 38% 18% 32% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 11% 32% 19% 38% 100%
6 or more persons
Canadian-born 11% 51% 23% 15% 100%
Earlier immigrants 8% 45% 30% 17% 100%
Recent immigrants 3% 25% 28% 44% 100%
 1986-1995 immigrants 3% 28% 31% 38% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 3% 21% 25% 51% 100%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 3% 19% 26% 53% 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.

Four in ten recent immigrant households face high housing costs

Four in ten recent immigrant households spend more than 30% of their income on accommodations, and for two in ten households the cost of accommodations exceeds 50% of income. Households consisting only of very recent immigrants are even more likely to have high housing costs, with more than one-half spending 30% or more of their income on housing. Of Canadian-born households, three in ten have housing cost 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, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number and percentage distribution)
  Cost of accommodation
Households Less than 30% 30% to 50% 50% or more
Canadian-born 281,070 71% 63,250 16% 49,270 12%
Earlier immigrants 141,520 75% 27,820 15% 18,940 10%
Recent immigrants 87,350 60% 27,180 19% 29,870 21%
 1986-1995 immigrants 58,120 62% 17,550 19% 17,220 18%
 1996-1999 immigrants with others 14,830 68% 3,790 17% 2,930 14%
 1996-1999 immigrants only 14,390 48% 5,840 19% 9,730 32%
All households 519,980 69% 122,650 16% 107,630 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. 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 Canadian-born.

Table F-4: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—period of construction of household dwelling, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Period of construction
Households Before 1971 1971-1990 1991-2001
Canadian-born 160,350 40% 160,200 40% 76,360 19%
Earlier immigrants 68,450 36% 82,140 43% 39,140 21%
Recent immigrants 43,440 27% 65,890 40% 54,380 33%
 1986-1995 immigrants 24,860 27% 37,900 41% 30,580 33%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 8,810 28% 12,710 40% 9,900 32%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 9,770 25% 15,310 39% 13,910 36%
All households 274,830 36% 311,620 41% 172,280 23%

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 for both recent immigrants and earlier immigrants is virtually identical to that of the Canadian-born. This suggests that, although crowding and the cost of housing clearly are challenges 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, Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Quality of housing
Households Regular maintenance Minor repairs Major repairs
Canadian-born 268,210 68% 92,450 23% 36,250 9%
Earlier immigrants 133,760 70% 41,140 22% 14,850 8%
Recent immigrants 116,230 71% 35,620 22% 11,860 7%
 1986-1995 immigrants 64,690 69% 21,400 23% 7,230 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 22,150 71% 6,810 22% 2,460 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 29,400 75% 7,420 19% 2,180 6%
All households 524,700 69% 170,680 22% 63,330 8%

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 as common among all but very recent immigrants

Slightly less than 40% of households consisting only of very recent immigrants own their home, compared to almost 60% of Canadian-born households. Other households of recent and earlier immigrants are at least as likely as Canadian-born households to own their home.

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

Figure F-1

Note: For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

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