Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Persons per room

Release date: November 17, 2021


Persons per room refers to an indicator of the level of crowding in a private dwelling. It is calculated by dividing the number of persons in the household by the number of rooms in the dwelling.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, refer to Appendix 2.1.

Reported for

Private households

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Question E3a)


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

One person or fewer per room

More than 1 person per room

More than 1 but less than 1.50

1.50 persons or more


'Persons per room' is a measure of crowding that considers all rooms in a private dwelling and the number of household members. A higher value of 'persons per room' indicates a higher level of crowding.

An alternative measure is the housing suitability, according to the National Occupancy Standard (NOS), which assesses the required number of bedrooms for a household based on the age, sex, and relationships among household members.


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