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Thomas Storring Director of Economics/Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

December 13, 2017

Statistics Canada released the 2016 results of the Survey of Household Spending today. This survey tracks average household spending by a number of categories of current consumption and other expenditures. It provides a snapshot to compare how much Canadian households spend on a wide range of goods and services.

The average Nova Scotia household spent an average of $54,349 on goods and services in 2016, 3.4 percent higher than in 2015. This is below the national average of $62,183, and second highest in the region, behind Newfoundland and Labrador ($58,248). Alberta households had the highest average spending at $74,044.

Looking closer at types of expenditure, in 2016 Nova Scotia households on average spent $8,118 on Food, $14,034 on Shelter, and $11,067 on transportation. The Canadian average household spending for food, shelter, and transportation were all higher. Nova Scotia households on average spent $5,047 on household operations, $2,246 on household furnishings, $2,760 on clothing and $3,343 on recreation. Compared to 2015, average household spending was down for several of the larger expenditure categories, including shelter, health care, education and games of chance. Food spending was up 8.6 per cent in 2016, shelter spending was down 1.0 per cent, and household operations expendituers increased 10.8 per cent.  

In addition to household consumption, total household spending also includes income taxes, personal insurance payments and pension contributions, and gifts of money, support payments, and charitable contributions. Income taxes constituted 17.5 percent of total household expenditures in 2016, lower than the national average (18.1%). The survey also describes characteristics such as household equipment, noting that cable and satellite television is on the decline compared to 2011, but wireless internet and the occurrence of cellular devices (often multiple per household) are on the rise.  

Source: Cansim Table 203-0021 - 203-0033 and Statistics Canada, The Daily: Survey of Household Spending

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