Shelter and transportation drove Albertans’ average spend of $72,957 in 2017: StatsCan

Mario ToneguzziAlberta led the country in 2017 in average household spending on goods and services, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported on Wednesday that the average spend in Alberta was $72,957, followed by British Columbia at $71,001 “in part due to higher expenditures on shelter in these provinces.”

“Households in British Columbia spent an average of $21,844 on shelter, while those in Alberta spent $21,068. Compared with the other provinces, households with a mortgage in Alberta and British Columbia had the highest average spending on mortgage payments. Similarly, renters in these two provinces paid the most for rent, on average, compared with the rest of Canada,” said StatsCan.

“Households in Alberta also spent the largest average amount on transportation among the provinces at $15,604.”

Nationally the average was $63,723, up 2.5 per cent from 2016.

“Shelter remained the largest budget item for households in 2017, at 29.2 per cent of their total consumption of goods and services. Spending on transportation, the second-largest expenditure category, accounted for 19.9 per cent of total consumption, followed by food expenditures at 13.4 per cent,” said StatsCan.

“Households spent an average of $18,637 on shelter, up 3.4 per cent from 2016. Included in this total was an average of $16,846 paid for principal residence (which includes rent, mortgage payments, repairs and maintenance costs, property taxes and utilities) and an average of $1,791 for other accommodation, such as hotels and owned secondary residences.

“In 2017, two out of every three Canadian households owned their home, and more than half of homeowners had a mortgage. Homeowners with a mortgage spent an average of $25,904 on their principal residence, compared with $9,642 for homeowners without a mortgage and $13,499 for renters.”

The federal agency said Canadian households paid $12,707 for transportation in 2017, up 6.7 per cent from 2016. They spent an average of $11,433 on private transportation, which includes the purchase of cars, trucks and vans, as well as their operating costs. Households, on average, spent $2,142 on gasoline and other fuels in 2017, up 9.8 per cent from 2016.

“Spending is generally associated with income levels. In 2017, the 20 per cent of Canadian households with the lowest incomes spent an average of $33,764 on goods and services, compared with $105,493 for those in the top 20 per cent of household incomes,” explained Statistics Canada.

“On average, households in the lowest income group spent $11,733 on shelter, or 34.8 per cent of their consumption of goods and services. While households in the highest income segment spent more on shelter, an average of $28,921 in 2017, this represented a smaller proportion of their total consumption (27.4 per cent).”

The report also said that cellphone ownership was highest in Alberta (93.6 per cent) and Saskatchewan (93.5 per cent) and lowest in Quebec (84.4 per cent).

household spending

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