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The 2008 Survey of Household Spending has two reference periods and therefore two survey universes. Expenditure data are collected for the calendar year 2008. Household members, dwelling characteristics and data about household equipment are collected as of the date of the interview from January until April 2009.
A person or group of persons occupying one dwelling unit is defined as a “household”. The number of households, therefore, equals the number of occupied dwellings. Distinction between full-year and part-year has been dropped beginning in the 2006 reference year.
Household member was a member of the household at the time of the interview.
The household member being interviewed chooses which household member should be listed as the reference person after hearing the following definition. “The household reference person is the member of the household mainly responsible for its financial maintenance (e.g., pays the rent, mortgage, property taxes, and electricity). This person can be either male or female. When all members of the household share equally, any member may be shown as the reference person.” This person must be a member of the household at the time of the interview.
These are excluded from the tabulations (e.g., work-related expenses or expenditures covered by insurance).
These are excluded from the tabulations.
Certain values (Separate sale of automobiles and trucks, winnings from games of chance, and tax refunds) are presented in the data tables as “negative expenditures” since they represent a flow of money into the household instead of out of it.
With some minor exceptions, the survey includes spending on all goods and services received in 2008 whether paid for before or after 2008 (such as on an installment plan).
All expenditures include the Goods and Services Tax, provincial retail sales taxes, tips, customs, duties and any other additional charges or taxes.
Any expenditure may include gifts given to persons outside the household. Only the value of gifts of clothing is reported separately, as well as being included in the summary clothing category. See also the definition of “Gifts of money and contributions”.
Where an insurance settlement was used to repair or replace property, the survey includes only the deductible amount paid for an item.
Where a trade in is used to lower the price of an item, most commonly a vehicle, the expenditure amount is the total cost after the trade in. Real estate transactions are excepted.
Number of households in sample refers to the number of households used for data estimation, which includes the number of households sampled, minus vacant dwellings, ineligible households, households that interviewers were unable to contact, households that refused to be interviewed, and households whose questionnaires did not pass editing procedures.
Caution should be exercised when making year-to-year comparisons since changes may not be statistically significant. In order to determine whether a change is statistically significant, please refer to the section “Data quality” in the User Guide, where information about sampling error as well as coefficients of variation and how to use them is available. Special caution is necessary when using estimates from small sub-groups (such as certain metropolitan areas) where the sample size is less than 200.
The estimated (weighted) number of private households on December 31st of the reference year. See “Household” under General concepts.
This is the average number of people in a household. In this context, household size is defined as the number of persons who were members of the household at the time of the interview.
This includes total household income received in the reference year, income from wages and salaries, self-employment, net rentals, interest and dividends, all pensions, workers' compensation and employment insurance benefits, social assistance and income supplements, child tax benefits, goods and services tax credits, harmonized sales tax credits, provincial tax credits and miscellaneous regular income receipts.
Refers to other receipts not included in income such as cash gifts, inheritance, or life insurance settlements. Winnings from games of chance are also included if they exceed the amount spent on games of chance.
Includes net changes during the reference year (calendar year 2008) in bank balances; money on hand; money owed to the household; money owed by the household; purchase and sale of stocks and bonds, personal property, and real estate; expenditures on home improvements and alterations; and contributions to and withdrawals from registered retirement savings plans.
The Family Expenditure Survey, last conducted in 1996, had a similar variable called Average net change in assets and liabilities. For a complete description of the differences between the two variables, see Note to Former Users of Data from the Family Expenditure Survey (Catalogue no. 62F0026M) available free on the Statistics Canada website (www.statcan.gc.ca).
The percentage of households living in a dwelling owned (with or without a mortgage) by a member of the household at the time of the interview.
Acts as a general age indicator for the household and uses the reference year minus the reference person's year of birth. Prior to 1996, in the Family Expenditure Survey, the age of the husband was used for couple households and the age of the reference person for all other households. See “Reference person” under General Concepts.
All expenditures are total expenses for the reference year.
Includes Total current consumption, Personal taxes, Personal insurance payments and pension contributions, and Gifts of money and contributions.
Caution should be used when comparing total expenditure to total expenditure from 1996 and earlier. See Note to Former Users of Data from the Family Expenditure Survey (Catalogue no. 62F0026M) available free on the Statistics Canada website (www.statcan.gc.ca).
Shows the expenses incurred during the reference year for food, shelter, household operations, household furnishings and equipment, clothing, transportation, health care, personal care, recreation, reading materials, education, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, games of chance, and a miscellaneous group of items.
Caution should be used when comparing total current consumption to total current consumption from 1996 and earlier. Prior to 1997, expenditures for gifts were not included in total current consumption. Starting in 1997, these expenditures are reported in the appropriate spending category and therefore contribute to total current consumption. See also “Shelter” and “Miscellaneous expenditures”.
“Stores” also includes frozen food provisioners, outdoor farmers' markets and stands, and all other non service establishments.
“Restaurants” also includes refreshment stands, snack bars, vending machines, mobile canteens, caterers and coffee wagons.
Includes expenditures on principal accommodation (either owned or rented) and on other accommodation such as vacation homes or accommodation while travelling.
Expenditure on owned principal accommodation includes regular mortgage payments, if any. This definition of shelter differs from that of the Family Expenditure Survey last conducted in 1996. See Note to Former Users of Data from the Family Expenditure Survey (Catalogue no. 62F0026M) available free on the Statistics Canada website (www.statcan.gc.ca).
Refers to the net household expense for rent after adjusting for rebates and for any use of the dwelling for business. No adjustment for partial subletting to non household members is made. Receipts from this activity are considered part of household income.
The premiums paid in 2008 for fire and comprehensive policies. Premiums covering more than the reference year were not prorated.
Covers expenditures for labour and materials for all types of repairs and maintenance. This variable includes expenditures to repair and maintain built-in equipment, appliances and fixtures. Money spent on alterations and improvements is considered to contribute to an increase in assets and is included in Money flows—assets, loans and other debts.
An annual data series from 1987 to 2002 (with the exception of 2000) showing household expenditures on repairs and renovations is available from the Homeowner Repair and Renovation Survey (HRRS). However, this survey was cancelled permanently in 2003. The HRRS had been an annual source of detailed estimates of repairs and renovations expenses. See Homeowner Repair and Renovation Expenditure, Catalogue no. 62-201 and Estimating homeowners' expenses on repairs and renovations: recent changes in approach, Catalogue no. 62F0026M.
Refers to the amount billed, excluding any rebates. Special service charges (e.g., garbage, sewage), local improvements, and water charges are included if these are part of the property tax bill. Property taxes that are included in condominium charges are excluded.
Respondents sometimes report household electricity payments together with their water and sewage payments. This affects estimates of average household expenditure and percentage reporting for “Electricity” and “Water and sewage”. The summary category “Water, fuel and electricity” is unaffected.
Excludes accommodation that was part of a travel tour (which is included in Package travel tours).
Refers to the net purchase price after deducting trade-in allowance and any discount. This variable excludes appliances included in the purchase of a home and built-in appliances. Expenditures for the purchase and installation of built-in household equipment, appliances and fixtures (e.g., built-in appliances and wall-to-wall-carpeting) are included with home improvements and alterations.
Refers to the net purchase price, including extra equipment, accessories, and warranties bought when the vehicle was purchased, after deducting any trade-in allowance or separate sales. (Separate sales occur when a vehicle is sold independently by the owner, e.g., not traded in when purchasing or leasing another vehicle.)
Includes direct (out-of-pocket) costs and expenditures on insurance premiums. The distinction between premiums for private health insurance plans and publicly funded (provincial) plans is not always clear to respondents. Interviewers are trained to assist, but the variations in coverage and administration among the various provincial health care regimes makes this a difficult task. For this reason, more confidence can be placed in the overall estimate for Health insurance premiums than in the components: Public hospital, medical and drug plans and Private health insurance plans.
This includes at least two components such as transportation and accommodation, or accommodation with food and beverages.
This includes cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, matches, pipes, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette papers and tubes, etc.
This includes those purchased from stores and restaurants. Also included are expenditures on supplies and fees for self-made beer, wine or liquor. Purchases of alcoholic beverages may be under-reported.
Equal the sum of expenditures on all types of games of chance minus the sum of winnings from all types of games of chance. If total winnings are greater than total expenditures, the amount to be subtracted from expenditures is set to $1 less than the expenditures and the value of the remaining winnings is moved to the variable “Other money receipts”.
Expenses on other owned property (not principal accommodation or vacation home), legal services not related to dwellings, financial services, dues to unions and professional associations, contributions and dues for social clubs and other organizations, forfeits of deposits, fines, money lost or stolen, the purchase of tools and equipment for work, and other miscellaneous goods and services.
Caution should be used when comparing current data for Miscellaneous expenditures to data from the Family Expenditure Survey (1996 or earlier).For a complete description of the differences between the two variables, see Note to Former Users of Data from the Family Expenditure Survey (62F0026MIE2000002) available free on the Statistics Canada website (www.statcan.gc.ca).
Income taxes paid in the reference year on both the reference year and previous years' incomes plus other personal taxes (e.g., gift taxes, Newfoundland and Labrador school tax) minus income tax refunds received in the reference year. Tax credits, such as child tax benefits, goods and services tax credits and provincial tax credits, are included in Average household income before taxes.
Payments for life insurance, annuities, employment insurance, public and private pension plans, and similar items. For certain uses of the data, some of these items might be regarded as savings, although the relationship between the expenditure and any increase in savings may not be easily determined. This category of expenditure was called Security prior to the 1996 survey. (Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions are included in Money flows—assets, loans and other debts.)
This includes money and support payments given to persons outside the household or to charity. This does not include money spent on gifts to persons outside the household as was the case in the Family Expenditure Survey.
Dwelling characteristics are collected as of the date of the interview.
This describes the type of dwelling in which the household resided at the time of interview. A dwelling is a structurally separate set of living premises with a private entrance from outside the building or from a common hall or stairway.
This variable indicates the respondent's perception of the repairs the dwelling needed at the time of the interview to restore it to its original condition. Remodelling, additions, conversions, or energy improvements that would upgrade the dwelling over and above its original condition are not included.
This variable gives the housing status of the household at the time of the interview. Note that housing tenure for expenditures refers to the entire reference year. See “Housing tenure” under Classification categories for standard tables.
Refers to the year the household moved into the dwelling. If the dwelling was occupied by previous generations, the first year of residence for the household member who has occupied the dwelling the longest is recorded.
This gives the year or period in which the original building was constructed.
This includes the kitchen, bedrooms, and finished rooms in the attic or basement. It excludes bathrooms, halls, vestibules and rooms used solely for business purposes.
This indicates the number of rooms in the dwelling with an installed bathtub and/or shower.
This indicates the type of heating equipment chiefly used to heat the dwelling in winter.
This indicates how long ago the principal heating equipment was installed.
Refers to the winter fuel used in the principal heating equipment (e.g., oil or other liquid fuel, natural gas, propane, electricity, wood or other fuels).
Indicates the type of fuel used for the running hot water supply (e.g., oil or other liquid fuel, natural gas, propane, electricity or other fuels such as wood).
Indicates the main fuel for the range or stove on which the household does most of the cooking (e.g., natural gas, propane, electricity or other cooking fuels). “Other” includes oil or other liquid fuel and wood.
In general, appliances and equipment are included if they are in working order or will soon be repaired, and are located within the dwelling occupied at the time of the interview. They must be owned or leased for the exclusive use of the household.
Washing machines located outside the dwelling and shared with other households are excluded.
Dryers may be electric or gas. Clothes dryers located outside the dwelling and shared with other households are excluded.
Dishwashers may be built-in or portable.
A freezer is an individual piece of equipment and not part of a refrigeration unit such as the freezer in a refrigerator.
A central air conditioner is designed to cool the air in the entire building and may be located either inside or outside the dwelling unit, for example, in the basement of an apartment block. A window-type air conditioner is installed in a window or through a wall to cool the air in a room.
Telephones used for business are included if the business is conducted in the dwelling. Cordless phones are included. Cellular telephones are excluded.
Handheld text messaging devices with cell phone capability are included. Cordless phones are excluded.
A compact disc player may be a separate unit, part of a component or built in (as in a receiver/cassette recorder/compact disc combination unit).
Video cassette recorders (VCRs) are units which play videocassettes when attached to a television or monitor.
Computers used exclusively for business purposes are not included.
This indicates whether the household accesses the Internet via a computer in the house. It also includes cases where a home computer is used to link to a business computer located outside the dwelling for access to the Internet. Excluded are cases where the Internet is accessed directly through a computer located outside the dwelling (e.g., work).
“Other type of connection” includes telephone line connected to a television and wireless (e.g., cellular telephone, personal digital appliance).
Gives the number of vehicles (car, van/mini-van, truck/sport utility vehicle) owned by members of the household on December 31st completely or partially for private use, excluding those leased.
Gives the number of automobiles owned by members of the household on December 31st completely or partially for private use, excluding those leased.
Gives the number of vans, minivans, trucks and sport utility vehicles owned by members of the household on December 31st completely or partially for private use, excluding those leased.
In 1998, 1999, and every second year thereafter starting with 2001, statistics for Canada include the territories. For the other years, Canada-level statistics include the 10 provinces only.
Refers to the major political divisions of Canada. Data for territories are available for 1997 (coverage insufficient for inclusion in Canada-level statistics), 1998, 1999 and every second year thereafter starting with 2001.
The overall concept for delineating metropolitan areas is one of a large urban area together with adjacent urban and rural areas that have a high degree of social and economic integration with this urban area (See the 2001 Census Dictionary, p. 208, Catalogue no. 92-378-X.)
For the Survey of Household Spending, data are tabulated based on the 2001 census metropolitan area (CMA) boundaries. In the Survey of Household Spending, only data for the Ontario part of the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA (Ottawa) are tabulated for the metropolitan area. The data for the Quebec part (Gatineau) are included in the data tabulated for the province of Quebec and Canada.
The metropolitan areas for which the data are tabulated are: St. John's, Charlottetown-Summerside, Halifax, Saint John, Québec, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.
Readers requiring official income statistics are directed to the publication Income in Canada, Catalogue no. 75-202. 1
Income groupings obtained by ranking households in ascending order of total household income and partitioning the households into five groups such that the estimated number of households in each group is the same.
In a quintile table, the number of households in the sample for “All classes” can be up to four households higher than the actual number of households in the sample. This is because a sampled household which falls on the threshold between two quintiles, represents a number of households, some of which would be allocated to the lower quintile and some to the higher so it is assigned to both quintiles. Since there are four thresholds between quintiles, the number of households in the sample for All classes in a quintile table may increase by up to four.
Whether a household member owned, rented, or both owned and rented (Mixed tenure) the dwelling(s) in which the household lived during the reference year.See also “Tenure” under Dwelling characteristics.
Households are divided into the following types:
Sampled dwellings are assigned to the following groups depending on the 2001 population size (according to the 2001 census boundaries) of the metropolitan area, municipality, or area in which they are located.
1,000,000 and over
For the Survey of Household Spending (based on the LFS sampling frame), urban areas include:
All territory outside urban areas is considered rural. Taken together, urban and rural areas cover all of Canada.
This is equal to the estimated total expenditures of all households divided by the estimated number of households. The average is based on all households in a column, including households that reported a zero value.
The percentage of households that reported purchasing an item. These percentages cannot be added together to form sub-totals.
This is calculated for those households that reported the expenditure, i.e., without zero values. Average expenditure per household reporting was calculated using unrounded data. Note also that expenditures in this column do not add to sub-totals.
This is calculated by expressing the average expenditure per household as a percentage of total expenditure. This statistic is also known as “budget share”.
Expenditure groupings are obtained by ranking households in ascending order of the expenditure on a given item and partitioning the households into two groups such that the estimated number of households in each group is the same. The expenditure reported by the highest ranked case in the first group would be the median. Estimates for individual expenditure items in a given column of a table do not add up to the sub-totals or totals. Households reporting zero expenditures are included.
Expenditure groupings are obtained by ranking households in ascending order of the expenditure on a given item and partitioning the households into two groups such that the estimated number of households in each group is the same. The expenditure reported by the highest ranked case in the first group would be the median. Estimates for individual expenditure items in a given column of a table do not add up to the sub-totals or totals. Households reporting zero expenditures are not included.