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2006 Census: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006 Census: Métis

Crowding and need for major repairs more common for Métis living in rural areas

Overall, in 2006, 3% of Métis lived in crowded dwellings, down from 7% in 1996. In comparison, the figure was 3% among non-Aboriginal people. (Crowding is defined as more than one person per room). A larger share of Métis lived in homes in need of major repairs. In 2006, 14% of Métis lived in homes needing major repairs, down slightly from 17% in 1996. Nonetheless, the Métis were still about twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people to live in a crowded home or to live in a home in need of major repairs. (The need for major repairs was in the judgement of respondents.)

Health experts maintain that inadequate housing can be associated with a host of health problems. For example, crowded living conditions can lead to the transmission of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis A, and can also increase risk for injuries, mental health problems, family tensions and violence.1

Despite improvements over the past decade, crowding was noticeably higher among Métis people in rural Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 2006, 11% of the Métis in rural Saskatchewan lived in crowded houses, down from 21% in 1996. An estimated 8% of Métis in rural Alberta lived in crowded dwellings, also about half the figure 10 years earlier (15%).

The past decade also saw a large reduction in crowding for Métis living in Manitoba and the territories. In Manitoba, the percentage of rural Métis people living in crowded homes fell to 4% in 2006, from 11% in 1996. In the territories, 5% of rural Métis lived in a dwelling with more than one person per room, down from 13% in 1996. Similarly, the proportion for urban Métis in the territories fell to 2%, from 10%.

In 2006, Métis who lived in rural areas of the Prairie provinces were most likely to be living in housing requiring major repairs. An estimated 27% of rural Métis in Saskatchewan, and 19% in both Manitoba and Alberta, lived in dwellings in need of major repairs.

In rural areas of Manitoba and Alberta, the proportion of Métis living in homes in need of major repairs has declined. The figure fell from 27% to 19% in Alberta between 1996 and 2006, while it decreased from 26% to 19% in Manitoba for the same period.

In contrast, even after a decade, the situation in Saskatchewan was unchanged. More than one in four (27%) Métis in rural Saskatchewan and one in 10 (13%) in urban centres lived in housing in need of major repairs in both 1996 and 2006. The rural Métis were more than twice as likely to live in homes needing major repairs, compared with the non-Aboriginal rural population in 2006 (12%).

Table 15 Percentage of Métis and non-Aboriginal populations living in crowded dwellings, urban and rural regions of Canada, provinces and territories, 1996 and 2006

Table 16 Percentage of Métis and non-Aboriginal populations living in dwellings in need of major repairs, urban and rural regions of Canada, provinces and territories, 1996 and 2006

Métis more likely than non-Aboriginal people to move within the same census subdivision

Nearly eight out of 10 Métis (79%) lived at the same address in 2006 as they did one year before the census. This compares with 86% of the non-Aboriginal population. The difference is largely accounted for by the relatively large number of Métis who changed addresses within the same community. Métis were more likely than non-Aboriginal people to have moved to a new home within the same census subdivision;2 13% of Métis did so compared with 8% of non-Aboriginal people.


  1. Statistics Canada. 2003. Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001 – Initial Findings: Well-being of the Non-reserve Aboriginal Population. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 89-589-XIE; and Health Canada. 1999. A Second Diagnostic on the Health of First Nations and Inuit People in Canada. Health Canada.
  2. A census subdivision (CSD) is an area that is a municipality or an area that is deemed to be equivalent to a municipality for statistical reporting purposes (e.g., an Indian reserve or an unorganized territory). Municipal status is defined by laws in effect in each province and territory in Canada. A CSD is also referred to as a community in this report.

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