There are many factors that make a city an attractive place to live. One of the most important, especially for young people, is affordability.
Several factors affect affordability, such as housing costs, income rates and the types of jobs available. Here are some key metrics to consider and how cities across the country stack up, based on Statistics Canada research and survey data.
Consumer goods and services. Statistics Canada’s inter-city indexes show estimates of price differences between cities based on a basket of goods, including food, shelter, transportation and clothing. The combined city average is 100, but several cities score below this number. Saint John (New Brunswick) and Montreal are tied for the lowest at 92, followed by Winnipeg and Charlottetown. Yellowknife and Toronto make up the top two.
Public housing. The inventory of publicly owned social and affordable housing assets can indicate more options when it comes to finding a place to live. For example, Ontario has 127,064 public social and affordable housing units, compared with 33,870 in Alberta and 22,124 in British Columbia.
Median income of households. This number needs to be considered in relation to other costs of living to get a true picture of how much you can buy with the money you earn, but it’s a good starting point when checking out affordability. The median income of households in Canada was $70,336 in 2015. Some cities, such as Montreal, Quebec and St-Catherines–Niagara, had median incomes below this figure while several cities were well above it, including a few that are above $90,000 such as Calgary and Edmonton.
Home ownership. The decision to own or rent affects household finances, the ease with which people can relocate, the choice of location and type of dwelling, and other important factors related to how people live. Ownership rates are highest in Atlantic Canada with a homeownership rate of 76.7 percent, well above the national average of 67.8 percent.
Read about other topics of interest and find out how responding to StatCan surveys can benefit you at statcan.gc.ca/mycommunity.