New household spending data reveals interesting trends

One of my favourite Stats Can surveys is the household spending survey because you get the minutiae of how the average household spends its money and the results can be kind of interesting.

Only one province spends less of its avg. household income on shelter (mortgage, maintenance, utilities, etc.) than New Brunswick.   This province spends 23.7% of its avg. household expenditures on shelter compared to 30.4% in Ontario.  This is one reason why a lot of folks that earn a good income here resist moving to Ontario unless they get a $20k or $30k raise.

Just a few highlights.  New Brunswick households spend much less of their income (per $1,000 worth of spending) on income taxes than Alberta and Ontario – because those provinces have much higher income levels and therefore pay higher relative taxes.  In other words, if there was rate parity, paying more would be a direct sign of higher income levels.    The Nova Scotia and Manitoba higher taxes paid have to do with higher rates (and a little higher income).    But there is clustering between NS and NB on the chart – only a $14.50 spread between six provinces on this measure (taxes per $1,000 of expenditures).  BC is the outlier – it has higher incomes and lower avg. household taxes.  Again, don’t forget that this is relative.  On absolute terms, the average household in Alberta pays over $16,000 in income taxes compared to $10,076 in New Brunswick.

For those of you who chuckle when politicians wave credit cards and talk about not paying for health care – they should look at this survey.  The average household pays thousands per year through taxes for health care and then pays another $2,200 per year directly out of pocket for health care.  Adjusted for income level, New Brunswick households pay the third highest in Canada out of pocket – I suspect drugs are a culprit.

And for those who would suggest NBers pay less for utilities – nope – at least as a percentage of our household expenditures.   The average NB household allocates 80% more of its income to water, fuel and electricity compared to the average BC household.

Avg. Household Income Spent on Income Taxes (per $1,000 total expenditures)

AB  $ 190.33
ONT  $ 179.26
CAN  $ 169.13
NS  $ 165.97
MB  $ 165.61
QC  $ 163.14
SK  $ 161.55
NL  $ 158.08
NB  $ 151.41
PE  $ 142.27
BC  $ 137.61

Avg. Household Income Spent on Health Care (per $1,000 total expenditures)

QC  $ 41.81
BC  $ 36.97
NB  $ 36.20
PE  $ 35.40
NS  $ 33.49
NL  $ 32.57
MB  $ 31.77
CAN  $ 31.09
SK  $ 28.87
AB  $ 25.85
ONT  $ 24.37

Avg. Household Income Spent on Water, fuel and electricity for principal accommodation (per $1,000 total expenditures)

PE  $ 51.53
NB  $ 45.39
NL  $ 43.68
NS  $ 41.64
SK  $ 39.36
AB  $ 34.40
ONT  $ 33.40
CAN  $ 31.65
MB  $ 31.33
QC  $ 26.47
BC  $ 25.25