Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Shelter-cost-to-income ratio

Release date: November 17, 2021


Shelter-cost-to-income ratio refers to the proportion of average total income of household which is spent on shelter costs.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample).

Reported for

Owner and renter households, and households living in a dwelling provided by the local government, First Nation or Indian band, with household total income greater than zero, in non-farm private dwellings

Question number(s)

Derived variable: E7a), b) and c), E8a), E9a), c) and e) and E10


In the standard products, the most detailed classification is as follows:

Spending less than 30% of income on shelter costs

Less than 15%

15% to less than 30%

Spending 30% or more of income on shelter costs

30% to less than 50%

50% or more

50% to less than 100%


The shelter-cost-to-income ratio is calculated by dividing the average monthly shelter costs by the average monthly total household income and multiplying the result by 100.

Prior to 2011, the term 'shelter-cost-to-income ratio' was referred to as 'owner's major payments or gross rent as a percentage of household income'.

For more information on household total income, see total income.

See also the 'Remarks' under shelter cost.


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