The six-storey wood frame Radius apartment complex under construction in Royal Oak promises to further increase the supply of affordable housing. Compared to the rest of Canada, households in British Columbia spent the most on shelter. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

The average Canadian household spent $63,723 on goods and services in 2017, according to Statistics Canada.

That figure is up 2.5 per cent from 2016.

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Shelter remains the largest budget item for households in 2017, accounting for 29.2 per cent of their total consumption of goods and services. Shelter is deemed unaffordable if it absorbs more than 30 per cent of household income. Shelter costs also partially account for the fact that households in B.C. spent almost $8,000 more than the average. Only Alberta households ($72,957) spent more than those in British Columbia ($71,001).

In fact, average shelter costs in British Columbia reached an average of $21,844 — the highest in Canada, ahead of second-placed Alberta, where average household spent $21,068. Not surprisingly, households in British Columbia and Alberta recorded the highest average spending on mortgage payments, and spent the most on rent.

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The cost of shelter also has a class bias. Whereas Canadian households in the lowest income group spent almost 35 per cent on their incomes on shelter, individuals in the highest income category spent 27.4 per cent. In terms of raw numbers, the richest Canadian households spent an average of $28,921 on shelter, the poorest $11,733.

Looking for the cheapest place in Canada to live? According to Statistics Canada, that would be New Brunswick, where households spent the least on goods and services, averaging $52,608, and the least on shelter at $12,692.


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