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Spending Patterns in Canada



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This publication is based on data from the 2005 Survey of Household Spending. Data were collected by personal interviews conducted from January to March 2006 from a sample of more than 21,000 private households in all provinces and territories. The survey gathered detailed information on spending patterns, dwelling characteristics, and household equipment in 2005.

This 2005 edition of "Spending Patterns in Canada" is the first of a redesigned free electronic version which has been developed over the past year. The publication is downloadable from the Statistics Canada website (/) in either electronic HTML format, or in printable PDF format. In addition to 2005 data, this publication also contains the latest estimates for the years 2001 to 2004.

Following the 2001 Census, new population estimates led to new weights to be calculated for the survey. The re-weighted data for 2001 and 2002 are now available on CANSIM and are used in this publication. Data for prior years will be added to CANSIM in coming months.

The 2004 edition of 62-202-X will not be published, as the data are available in the 2005 publication.

"Spending Patterns in Canada" contains summary level spending data, household equipment, and housing conditions for Canada, the provinces and territories, and selected metropolitan areas. Detailed spending data by geography, income, household type, and tenure can be ordered from Statistics Canada for a fee. For ordering information, see the section "Related products " of this publication.

Since 1999, the SHS has included households in the northern territories in every odd numbered year. The Canada level averages for 2001, 2003, and 2005 in this publication represents data for the ten provinces and the territories. The 2002 and 2004 data for Canada include the ten provinces only.

The average spending for a category is calculated for all households, including those with and those without expenditures for the category. Average spending also includes sales taxes.

The expenditures in this release are not adjusted for inflation. The rate of inflation for selected items is mentioned where it affects the analysis of year-to-year changes in spending.

Where data is analyzed by income level, households are divided into five groups or quintiles based on income. Each quintile represents one-fifth of all households. They are created by ranking households in ascending order of total household income, and organizing them into five groups of equal number. Households in the lowest income group are from the lowest quintile, and have 1.3 members on average, one third the size of households in the highest income quintile, which average 3.4 members.

The sampling for the northern territories was changed in 2005, resulting in slightly less coverage of the population in the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, and a larger drop in coverage in Nunavut. This may affect comparisons with previous years.

In 2001 and 2005, respondents were asked extra questions about personal care products, for purposes of weighting the Consumer Price Index. Because of the nature of this category, extra detail in questions can prompt respondents to recall more expenditures. This is likely the reason that in both 2001 and 2005 the personal care category is noticeably higher than in other years. Users should be cautious in interpreting increases in this category. Beginning in 2005, these extra questions will be asked every year.

For more details, see the section "Data quality, concepts and methodology — Definitions "  of this publication, or consult the SHS User Guide, available for free on the Statistics Canada website.