35+ Consumer Spending Statistics for Canada

Consumer spending has long played an essential role in Canada’s economy.

However, travel, public transit, recreation sports, and cinema spendings all saw drastic dips in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It might come as a surprise, though, that food and beverage spending surpassed pre-pandemic levels. 

Then again, maybe not.

After all, with lockdowns and social distancing measures taking their toll, a takeout was one of the few things people could indulge in.

But there’s bad news:

Consumer spending statistics for Canada indicate a significant increase in food prices in 2021.

Private transport and taxes remain the other two dominant consumer spending categories, along with shelter and food, although there are significant regional differences.

Let’s see what the stats have to say.

Astonishing Consumer Spending Canada (Editor’s Choice)

  • Canadian consumer spending is estimated to reach $1,188 billion in 2021
  • The consumer price index (CPI) was 137.4 in December 2020.
  • Household spending increased by 7.9% from 2017 to 2019.
  • The total household consumption of goods and services was $68,980 per household in 2019.
  • Credit and debit card spending in 2021 is down by 3.4%.
  • Consumer spending on housing was $20,200 in 2019.
  • Spending on shelter amounts to 29.3% of the average household budget. 
  • Consumer spending on transportation was $12,737 in 2019.
  • The expected spending on groceries in Canada for 2021 is $13,907.

Consumer Spending Statistics Canada for 2020 and 2021

1. Canadian consumer spending in 2021 is expected to be around $1,188 billion.

(Source: Trading Economics, Ibis World, Economy)

Stats for consumer spending in Canada in 2020 show that the spending increased to $1,133 million in Q3 2020, up slightly from Q2. Consumer confidence was at 46.34 points. Private consumption in Q3 2020 was $1,255,980 million

Consumer spending in Canada in 2021 is estimated at $1,188 billion, with an annual growth of 1.1% over the last five years. 

2. The consumer price index was 137.4 in December 2020.

(Source: Nova Scotia, Statistics Canada)

The global pandemic influenced the consumer price index in various ways while boosting online shopping.

Here’s the deal:

On the one hand, spending habits and priorities have changed drastically. 

On the other hand, certain key products and services were mostly unavailable throughout the year.

The increase in prices from 2019 slowed down in all provinces, especially in Atlantic Canada, due to the lower costs of furnace fuel oil.

Here’s how the cost-of-living index changed from the year before. Overall, it recorded a 0.7% increase across the country. 

Cost of living index by province in Canada:

  • Alberta 144.8; up by 0.8%
  • Saskatchewan 140.9; up by 0.9%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 140.4; a 0.6% rise
  • Ontario 138.8; up by 0.7%
  • Nova Scotia 138.7; up by 0.6%
  • Prince Edward Island 138.2; a 0.1% drop
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories 138.1 down by 1.4%
  • Manitoba 137.5; up by 0.1%
  • New Brunswick 136.9; up by 0.4%
  • Whitehorse, Yukon 134.9; up by 0.1%
  • Quebec 133.4; up by 0.8%
  • British Columbia 132.8; up by 0.8%
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut 131.2; down by 0.8% 

3. Spending on credit and debit cards is down by 3.4% in 2021.

(Source: RBC Economics)

Stats from the end of January 2021 show spending was down by 4%. Still, spending at restaurants and on travel and entertainment is above 2020, first-wave figures. 

Apparel spending remains stable if low, while household and speciality goods spendings stay strong.


Gas and automotive spending is down by 4.4%, parking and transit by 60%, and travel by a whopping 83.2%.

While dining is down by 30,2%,  groceries are more than stable, with a 21.6% growth. 

Finally, health spending shows is 5.3% lower than last year.

Consumer Spending Statistics Canada for 2019

4. Household spending increased by 7.9% between 2017 and 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

This particular survey of household spending is done every other year, which is why there’s no data for 2018 or 2020. Spending went up faster than the consumer price inflation of 4.3%, which means the total household spending percentage is 3.4%.

5. Spending on goods and services was $68,980 per household in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Consumer spending statistics for Canada from 2019 reveal the total household expenditure was $93,724 during that year. 

6. Spending on shelter amounts to 29.3% of Canadians’ household budget.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Canadians spend two-thirds of their budget on shelter, transport, and food. Shelter spending is highest at 29.3%, followed by transportation at 18.5% and food at 14.9%.

What’s more:

Shelter spending went up by 8.4% between 2017 and 2019 – most of it, 90.9%, for a principal residence.

Consumer Spending Statistics Canada

7. The average spending on food was $10,311 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

Grocery shopping amounted to $7,536, while restaurant visits accounted for $2,775

Check this out:

Canadians tend to spend more on dinner than on breakfast and lunch combined. Breakfast costs were around $207 and lunch around $887, while diner spending was about $1364 (excluding alcohol).

How about them apples, eh?

8. The average Canadian household spends the least money on fish and seafood, only $274 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Here’s what Canadians’ food expenditures looked like in 2019, by category: 

  • Food purchased from stores – $7,536
  • Food purchased from restaurants, including fast food outselts – $2,775
  • Restaurant meals – $2,458
  • Non-alcoholic beverages and other food products – $1,721
  • Meat – $1,481
  • Dairy products and eggs – $1,049
  • Vegetables and vegetable preparations – $974
  • Fruit, fruit preparations and nuts – $930
  • Bakery products – $687
  • Cereal grains and cereal products – $420
  • Restaurant snacks and beverages – $316
  • Fish and seafood – $274

9. Consumer spending in the shelter category was $20,200 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

The highest spending was for the principal accommodation category and owned living quarters – $18,371 and $11,676, respectively. 

Other shelter categories include:

  • Household operations – $5,448
  • Rented living quarters – $4,160
  • Communications – $2,670
  • Water, fuel, and electricity for principal accommodation – $2,535
  • Other accommodation – $1,829

10. Consumer spending in the household furnishings and equipment category was $2,486 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Household furnishings’ personal consumption expenditures were $1,124. Household equipment expenses were a bit higher at $1,218, while household appliances stood at $582.

Additionally, Canadians spent around $3,344 on clothing and accessories during 2019.


11. Consumer spending on transportation was $12,737 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Out of that amount, private transportation spending was $11,258, and public transportation expenditure reached $1,479 on average.

12. Consumer spending on health care was $2,780 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Direct health care costs to a Canadian household amounted to $1,918, while personal care accounted for $1,384 on average.

13. The average Canadian consumer spending on recreation was $4,624 in 2019.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Here’s a breakdown of the average Canadian spending in the category of recreational goods and services: 

  • Recreational services – $2,593
  • Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, and cannabis for non-medical use – $1,785
  • Education – $1,691
  • Recreational equipment and related services – $995
  • Recreational vehicles and associated services – $826
  • Home entertainment equipment and services – $209
  • Games of chance – $186
  • Reading materials and other printed matter – $165

14. The average household expenditure on income taxes in 2019 was $17,167.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Personal insurance payments and pension contributions were $5,297, and miscellaneous expenditures amounted to $1,838 on average. Charity, gifts of money, and support payment spending amounted to $2,280.

15. Canadian households are likely to spend $13,907 on groceries in 2021.

(Source: Daily Hive) 

Consumer spending statistics for Canada show that in 2019, the average Canadian household spent $12,157. In 2020, the figure stood at $12,667.

However, food prices are expected to increase in 2021

Here’s the scoop:

The reports predict an overall increase of 3% to 5%. For baked goods, there will be an increase of 3.5% to 5.5%, for restaurants 3.5% to 5%. Meat and vegetables will see the most significant jump, from 4.5% to 6.5%.

This year’s rise in prices will cause households to spend $695 more on average, a total of $13,907 in food expenses in 2021.

16. Gas, travel, and accommodation make for 29% of summer costs in Canada.

(Source: Canadian Pizza)

According to consumer spending statistics for Canada, summer is when people spend the most money on goods and services.

During this season, 29% of the spending is on gas, travel and accommodations, 26% goes on groceries, and 21% on dining out and entertaining. Clothes, drinks, gifts, beauty products, and sports take up the final 24%.


Canadians spend anywhere from $100 to $500 on clothing during the winter. Around 46% spend $100 to $500 on dining out.

Around 48% of Canadians spent between $1,000 and $5,000 on groceries during the first six months of 2018.

Last but not least, half of Canadians spent anywhere from $100 to $500 on concert or event tickets in the first half of 2018. Do I Have to Say the Words, as Bryan Adams would put it? That’s quite impressive indeed.

17. The average monthly living expenses in Canada for one person without rent in Toronto are around $1,243.

(Source: Transfer Wise, Chango)

The average household monthly income in Canada is around $6,232. Housing expenses come very close to the edge of sustainability, which stands at 30%. The Canada cost of living is dominated by housing expenses, and location matters a lot.

And that’s not all:

After housing and rent taxes take away another 17% of your income, maintaining and owning vehicles takes out another 14.8%.

Around 6% of monthly expenses go to personal insurance and pensions. Some 5.6% of the monthly budget is allocated to house repairs and utility bills.

Finally, the average cost of clothing per month, including washing, represents around 4% of monthly expenses.

18. The average cost of raising a child in Canada up to the age of 18 is $243,660.

(Source: Canadian Living)

When it comes to the cost of raising a child in Canada, statistics for Canada show that by the time your kid is about to go to university, you’ll probably have spent close to a quarter of a million dollars raising them. This amounts to around $12,825 a year for one child in the family, or $1,070 a month.

The thing is:

The average expenses in Canada related to having a newborn are among the highest in the household budget. The clothes, food, diapers and other ongoing costs can amount to $48,760 over the years.

Child care can be anywhere from $700 to $1,500 per month per child, depending on the location.

Shelter, furniture and other household expenses can grow to $51,680 by the time the child is 18.

Canada Spending on Goods and Services by Province

Consumer Spending Statistics Canada

19. The highest average spending on goods and services in 2019 was in Alberta.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

The average spending on goods and services across the nation was $68,980

Here’s a list of average household spending by the province in 2019:

  • Alberta $79,849
  • British Columbia $77,511
  • Ontario $71,876
  • Saskatchewan $71,323
  • Manitoba $65,288
  • Nova Scotia $59,763
  • Newfoundland and Labrador $58,768
  • Quebec $58,208
  • New Brunswick $58,191
  • Prince Edward Island $56,662

20. The lowest average spending on shelter was in New Brunswick.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Ontario expenditure estimates for shelter were the highest, 31.1%, which is 1.1% over the sustainability limit.

The share of spending on shelter in entire Canada was 29.3%. The percentage of shelter spending by province look like this:

  • Ontario 31.1%
  • British Columbia 30.8%
  • Alberta 28.3%
  • Saskatchewan 27.3%
  • Quebec 27.2%
  • Nova Scotia 26.8%
  • Manitoba 26.7%
  • Prince Edward Island 24.8%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 24.5%
  • New Brunswick 23.5%

21. The share of spending on transportation was highest in New Brunswick.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

The transportation share of spending on goods and services for Canada as a whole was 18.5%.

Spending on transport by the province in 2019:

  • New Brunswick 21.6%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 21.2%
  • Prince Edward Island 21%
  • Manitoba 20.2%
  • Saskatchewan 19.7%
  • Alberta 19.6%
  • Nova Scotia 18.9%
  • British Columbia 18.4%
  • Quebec 18%
  • Ontario 17.8%

22. Quebeckers spend the most on food and food services.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

According to statistics on Canada, food spending for the whole country was 14.9%

This is the data for all provinces:

  • Quebec 16.9%
  • Prince Edward Island 16.3%
  • New Brunswick 16.3%
  • Newfoundland and Labrador 16.1%
  • Manitoba 15.3%
  • Nova Scotia 15.2%
  • Saskatchewan 14.6%
  • Ontario 14.5%
  • Alberta 14.2%
  • British Columbia 13.7%

23. The average spending on all goods and services was highest in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 2019

(Source: Statistics Canada)

The average spending on goods and services in Canadian territorial capitals in 2019 was $98,614 in Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories, $97,127 in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and $76,196 in Whitehorse, Yukon.

24. The highest spending on a principal residence in the territories is in Yellowknife, $28,720.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

One-third of expenses in Whitehorse and Yellowknife in 2019 were mortgage payments. 

Households in Yellowknife had the highest spending in the principal residence category, $28,720. The expenditure for Iqaluit and Whitehorse was $19,637 and $18,898, respectively. 

Two-thirds of Whitehorse and Yellowknife residents are homeowners, compared to only one-fifth of those in Iqaluit. Click To Tweet

25. The total spending on goods and services in metropolitan areas in 2019 was $73,568.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Metropolitan areas are defined as having over one million residents. Shelter and transport are the top categories in the Canadian budget, followed by food. 

You can see the average household expenses for metropolitan areas below:

  • Shelter – $23,379
  • Principal accommodation – $21,376
  • Other accommodation – $2,002
  • Transportation – $12,824
  • Private transportation – $10,717
  • Public transportation – $2,108
  • Food – $10,792
  • Food purchased from stores – $7,671
  • Food purchased from restaurants – $3,120

26. The total spending on goods and services in rural areas in 2019 was $60,335.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Rural areas are defined as areas with fewer than 1,000 residents. They’re outside metropolitan areas and have a density lower than 400 people per square kilometre.

Here, the average spending on shelter, accommodation, and public transport is significantly lower than in metropolitan areas. The Canadian budget breakdown for rural area households looks like this:

  • Shelter – $14,516
  • Principal accommodation – $12,846
  • Other accommodation – $1,670
  • Transportation – $12,723
  • Private transportation – $12,234
  • Public transportation – $489
  • Food – $10,059
  • Food purchased from stores – $7,720
  • Food purchased from restaurants – $2,339

27. The average energy consumption per household in Canada is 11,135 kWh. 

(Source: Energy Rates)

Heating accounts for 63% of all annual household energy consumption. Because of the higher usage of natural gas in Alberta, the average household in this province uses only 7,200 kWh

Electricity consumption in Ontario residences is about 9,500 kWh. The average use for a 950 sq. ft home is 5,605 kWh per year, about 467 kWh a month.

Households in Alberta use 10 GJ of natural gas per year. This makes for 77% of all energy consumption, along with other resources such as electricity and wood.

The average yearly natural gas use of Ontario households is 90 GJ, representing 58% of their total energy consumption.

28. The average Canadian household income in 2018 was highest in Alberta, $72,700.

(Source: Statistics Canada)

Ontario average household income was second highest, followed by the average household income in BC.

The average income for Canadian households in 2018 was $61,400. The individual province averages look like this:

  • Alberta $72,700
  • Ontario $66,200
  • British Columbia $62,000 
  • Saskatchewan $61,900
  • Manitoba $60,400
  • Newfoundland and Labrador $57,700
  • Prince Edward Island $57,100
  • New Brunswick $54,900
  • Quebec $53,200
  • Nova Scotia $52,200

Household Final Consumption Expenditure – Q3 2018 vs Q3 2020

The figures below are times 1,000,000.

29. Household final consumption expenditure in Q3 2020 was $313,995.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

The corresponding figure for Q3 2018 was slightly higher, at $316,853. Let’s have a look at a detailed quarterly comparison between the two periods.

30. Household final consumption expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages was $28,830 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

HFCE on food and non-alcoholic beverages was $28,712 in 2018. The category breakdown included only food and non-alcoholic drinks, at $25,707 and $3,005, respectively. Both grew in 2020 – food to $28,830 and non-alcoholic beverages to $3,346.

31. Household final consumption expenditure on alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and cannabis was $13,051 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

HFCE for alcoholic beverages, tobacco and cannabis was at $11,878 in 2018, growing to 13,051 in 2020.

The expenditure went from $6,008 to $6,690 for alcoholic beverages and $4,566 to $4,783 for tobacco.

For licensed cannabis products not intended for medical use, only Q4 2018 data is available and it went from $175 to $824, a significant increase, while the HFCE for unlicensed cannabis products dropped from $1,304 to $754.

32. Household consumption expenditure on clothing and footwear was $12,054 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

Clothing and footwear HFCE went down from $12,783 in 2018 to $12,054 in 2020. Garments expenditure dropped from $9,258 to $8,752, while footwear stayed close to 2018 numbers ($2,017 vs $1,899). Expenditure for clothes cleaning went down from $366 to $284.

33. HFCE for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels was $82,683 in Q3 2020

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

Total expenditure on housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels was $74,977 in 2018.

Paid rental fees for housing increased by as much as $1801, from $16,217 to $18,018, while imputed rental housing fees climbed to $53,268 from $48,296.

Electricity HFCE was $4,895 and has since reached $5,328, while gas expenditure hasn’t changed much from $1,715 to $1,879.

Finally, water supply and sanitation’s final consumption expenditure was $2,192 and has since gone up to $2,472.

34. Final household consumption expenditure for furnishings, household equipment, and other home-related goods and services was $19,220 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics CanadaStatistics Canada)

Canadian HFCE for furnishings, household equipment, and other home-related goods and services was $16,821 in Q3 2018. Even though just a few items saw significant increases in 2020, on the whole, there was a $2399 rise in expenditure.

Furniture and furnishings HFCE went up significantly, from $4,733 to $5,547, as did major household appliances, from $1,788 to $2,202.

35. Final consumption expenditure related to health goods and services was $12,952 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada) 

HFCE for health care expenditures in Canada was $13,604 in Q3 2018, dropping slightly in Q3 2020. Click To Tweet

The highest expenditure was the same in Q3 2018 as in Q3 2020 in the pharmaceutical and medical products category, excluding cannabis, with $5,466 and $6,152, respectively. 

36. Canadian household final consumption expenditure related to transport was 42,177 in Q3 2020.

(Source: Statistics Canada, Statistics Canada)

Consumer spending statistics for Canada from 2018 show the transport HFCE was $49,492 in Q3 2018, a considerable difference caused by the lockdowns and social distancing.

What’s more:

Air transport plummeted from $3,947 to $403, and urban transit went down from $1,198 to $507.

On the other hand, the taxi and limousine HFCE didn’t change at all, barely moving from $347 to $356.

New passenger cars expenditure was $4,307 in Q3 2018 and 3,153 in Q3 2020, while the HFCE for new trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles grew from $11,272 to $13,615. Spare parts, accessories increased by $101, and repair and maintenance remained unchanged.

In Conclusion

Consumer spending statistics for Canada show the three main categories Canadians spend the most on are shelter, food, and transport.

Shelter remains the biggest expenditure, as housing costs stand at the very edge of sustainability. 

Public transport and travel are currently low compared to previous years, but food spendings record a constant increase. A jump in prices is projected in the groceries category throughout 2021. So, Canadians will need a bigger food budget in the coming months. 

On the bright side:

Consumer spending in Canada is expected to bounce back very fast after the COVID vaccination enters the final stages, and the country reopens in full. 


How much does the average Canadian spend per month?

Most Canadians spend about $160 per month, or 5% of their monthly budget, on personal and discretionary items. This includes haircuts and personal grooming, entertainment (going to the movies or dining out, for instance), tobacco and alcohol, gaming, and hobbies.

How much does the average consumer spend per year?

The average Canadian household spending on goods and services was $68,980 in 2019.

Most of the spending goes to shelter, transport food and taxes.

How much does the average Canadian spend on food per month?

Canadian households spend 14.9% of their budget on food. In 2019, Canadians spent $10,311 on average on food. The average spending on food from stores was $7,536. Around 20% of that was meat and meat products ($1,481)

How much does the average Canadian spend on restaurants?

Consumer spending statistics for Canada reveal Canadians spend $2,775 on food in restaurants on average, not counting alcoholic beverages. Over one-quarter of all food spending in 2019 went to food from restaurants. The meal Canadians most spend on is dinner.


With an early start in journalism and years of work as a technical translator, Marija felt it was natural to blend the two. Passionate about news and research, she enjoys sifting through the data, researching new currents and the constant changes in our technologically and financially driven lives, as well as presenting the stats and facts to the readers so you don’t have to dig deep on your own.

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