Does age matter for renters? To be more precise, do cities with greater amounts of people in age groups more likely to be renters have higher rates of households being rented?
The chart below uses Census data to suggest an answer. The percentage of households by age group are plotted against the percentage of households renting for southern Ontario’s ten largest cities. The first of these data points need to be explained. Household age is measured by the age of the “primary household maintainer,” the person responsible for paying the rent or mortgage. Where more than one member of the household is paying the rent, the “primary household maintainer” is considered the person listed first when the Census is collected—this person is almost always an adult, according to Statistics Canada (yes, this raises all sorts of questions, but remember that the Census is collected nationwide and with over five million households in Ontario alone any errors identifying the primary household maintainer are not going to be statistically meaningful).
What can we learn from this chart? Younger households appear to correlate with renter households: as the percentage of households with a primary maintained aged between 25-34 increases so does the percentage of households renting, for the most part. That makes sense since younger people are most likely to be renters, being fresh out of school with little money or income and home ownership out of reach. Older households appear to show no correlation with renter households, suggesting that the belief that seniors are likely to be renters may not be as real as has been assumed.
Identifying target renters is always an interesting topic for study and I think I’ll look at more of Ontario’s cities and towns and see what the data shows. I’ll report what I find in a future post.