The true cost of housing versus minimum wage

If you are looking at national averages Canadians are paying around $1,000 for rent on average which includes both rent and utilities.  The average minimum wage earners makes on average $12.58 or $2,176.34 per month, based on 173 hours worked which shows that the average tenant is paying 45.94 percent of the monthly wages to cover housing cost.

We have put the numbers together to show the wage versus rent comparison for all provinces and territories in Canada so you can see where your region falls in comparison to the amount of other provinces and territories.  We were very surprised with some of the results.

The most expensive province to live in Canada when comparing minimum wages to rental costs is Saskatchewan.  With an average rent of $1,021 per month which is #6 and a minimum wage of $11.06 which is #13 giving wage earners $1,913.38 for the month. Renters in Saskatchewan are spending 53.36 percent of their monthly wages to cover their rent.  This is 116.15 percent of the national average.

The least expensive province in Canada to live in when comparing minimum wages to rental costs is actually one of Canada’s three territories, Nunavut.  With an average rent of $737.00 per month which is 73.7 percent below the national average and a minimum wage of $13.00 which is 103.34 percent of the nation average giving wage earners $2,249.00 for the month. Renters in Nunavut are spending only 32.77 percent of their monthly wages to cover their rent, which is only 71.33 percent of the national average.  However, in saying that, when factoring in other costs of living such as food this saving gets eaten up very quickly.

Below are the variations across all the eleven provinces and three territories with the ranks one through thirteen for Rent Cost, Wages and Percent of Wages needed to cover rent to give you a better understanding of the costs of living.

Nunavut

Rent: $737 (#13) Wages: $2,249.00 ($13.00) (#5) = 32.77% (#1) % of Income

Quebec

Rent: $776 (#11) Wages: $2,262.50 ($12.50) (#7) = 34.30% (#2) % of Income

New Brunswick

Rent: $741 (#12) Wages: $1,989.50 ($11.50) (#10)= 37.24% (#3) % of Income

Prince Edward Island

Rent: $817 (#10) Wages: $2,119.25 ($12.25) (#8) = 38.55% (#4) % of Income

Newfoundland

Rent: $836 (#9) Wages: $1,972.20 ($11.40) (#11) = 42.38% (#5) % of Income

Manitoba

Rent: $891 (#8) Wages: $1,963.55 ($11.35) (#12) = 45.37% (#6) % of Income

Nova Scotia

Rent $909 (#7) Wages: $1,998.15 ($11.55) (#9) = 45.49% (#7) % of Income

Ontario

Rent $1,109 (#4) Wages: $2,422.00 ($14.00) (#2) = 45.79% (#8) % of Income

Yukon

Rent: $1,040 (#5) Wages: $2,198.33 ($12.71) (#6) = 47.31% (#9) % of Income

British Columbia

Rent: $1,148 (#3) Wages: $13.85 (#3) = 47.91% (#10) % of Income

Alberta

Rent: $1,279 (#1) Wages: $2,595.00 ($15.00) (#1) = 49.28% (#11) % of Income

Northwest Territories

Rent: $1,191 (#2) Wages: $2,328.58 ($13.46) (#4) = 51.15% (#12) % of Income

Saskatchewan

Rent $1,021 (#6) Wages: $1,913.38 ($11.06) (#13) = 53.36% (#13) % of Income

These stats go to show that you need to look at more than just wages in order to get a true understanding of wages across Canada.

by Jamie Barrie