Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada

Spending patterns in Canada


This publication presents statistical highlights and key tables from the Survey of Household Spending. This annual survey collects information about expenditures by households and families in Canada on a wide variety of goods and services. The publication includes analytical text, summary level tables, a detailed table, notes and definitions, and information about manipulating the data, survey methodology, and data quality.

Summary level spending categories include food, shelter (rented and owned accommodation, utilities), household operation, communications, child care, pet expenses, furnishings and household equipment, clothing, transportation (public and private), health care, personal care, recreation, reading materials, education, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, games of chance, personal taxes, insurance payments and pension contributions, and gifts and contributions. Detailed level spending categories include an additional 350 categories.

Data in the summary tables are classified by income quintile, household type, housing tenure, province/territory, selected metropolitan areas, and size of area of residence (rural/urban). Household characteristics are presented for each classification category and include average household size; average number of children, youths, adults, and seniors; average age of reference person; average household income; percentage of households that are homeowners; percentage of households with one, two or more, or no full-time earners; and percentage of one-person, husband-wife, and lone-parent households.

Profile tables for selected spending categories are also presented. They focus on a particular spending category, providing household characteristics for high-spending households, low-spending households and non-spending households.

While expenditure data have been collected as far back as the 1950s, comparisons of spending categories over the years should be made with caution. Special care should be made when attempting to compare data from the Survey of Household Spending and the Family Expenditure Survey. See the users' guide at the back of this publication for more information.

Users requiring more detailed information may be interested in detailed tables from the Survey of Household Spending. See 62F0031XPB/XDB, 62F0032XPB/XDB, 62F0033XPB/XDB, 62F0034XPB/XDB, and 62F0035XPB/XDB (Detailed average expenditures, percentage reporting, average expenditure per household reporting of total expenditure by ....).

The annual Survey of Household Spending replaces the Family Expenditure (FAMEX) Survey which was conducted approximately every four years. The last FAMEX publication (Family expenditure in Canada, cat. no. 62-555-XPB) was for the reference year 1996.
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2009 (PDF - 595K)  
2008 (PDF - 598K)  
2007 (PDF - 591K) Amended (2009/03/03)
2006 (PDF - 607K)  
2005 (PDF - 588K)  
2003 (PDF - 401K)  
2002 (PDF - 603K)  
2001 (PDF - 641K)  
2000 (PDF - 573K)  
1999 (PDF - 508K)  
1998 (PDF - 475K)  
1997 (PDF - 815K)