19 Consumer Spending Statistics for Canada in 2024

In order to accurately present current consumer spending statistics for Canada, we’ll need to look back at previous years and compare today’s figures with those from before. For instance, in 2020, there was a conspicuous shift in what people bought and how they made their purchases due to the pandemic.

We’ve taken an in-depth look at consumer trends and national statistics to present some surprising facts about Canadian shoppers and their spending habits.

So, keep on reading to follow the money trail!

Consumer Spending Statistics and Facts – Editor’s Pick

  • Canadian households spent an average of $68,980 on goods and services in 2019.
  • The debt ratio in Canada is presently at 181.66%.
  • Canadian consumer demographics indicate that 25% of consumers will be older than 65 by 2031.
  • Canadians spent 50% more in April 2021 than in April 2020.
  • The full-service restaurant industry grew by 10.1% in 2022.
  • 61% of Canadian consumers want to make more environmentally friendly purchases.
  • The median age of the Canadian consumer is 41.8.

General Canadian Consumer Spending Statistics

Below, you’ll find stats and emerging trends that pertain to consumer spending in Canada. The average Canadian household’s debt ratio is high. On the bright side, though, Canadian citizens are always happy to support the local economy, which means profit stays close to home.

1. According to official consumer spending statistics, Canadian households spent $68,980 on goods and services in 2019.

(Statistics Canada)

This shows an increase of 7.9% from 2017. It’s interesting to note that household spending rose faster than the inflation rate (4.3%) during these two years. Therefore, the actual spending increase was closer to 3.4%.

The provinces with the highest household spending were British Columbia and Alberta, averaging $77,511 and $79,849, respectively.

2. Household consumer spending as a percentage of the GDP was 54.55% in 2021.


In 2016, Canada’s household consumption was 58.48% of the GDP, increasing from 2015 (57.81%). However, it dropped over the following four years until it reached 54.55% in 2021, which is around 8% less than the global average of 63.01%.

3. Canadian consumer spending statistics indicate that 38% of shoppers prefer to pay extra for a premium brand.


According to PayBright’s Consumer Trends Guide from 2021, more than a third of Canadian customers are willing to buy more expensive quality brands. By doing so, they hope to avoid making repeat purchases of lower-quality items.

In line with the above, 55% of Canadian consumers claim that they read several product reviews before making a purchase.

4. Recent consumer spending trends reveal that 68% of Canadians mostly shopped locally in 2020.


These Canadian consumers primarily did so to help strengthen their local community. This percentage was the highest out of the eleven countries polled. The US and France were close behind with 66% and 62%, respectively. Japan (44%) and India (37%) were at the bottom of the list.

5. Consumer debt statistics for Canada placed the debt ratio at 181.66% in Q2 2022.


According to fiscal statistics, Canadian households owed $1.71 for every dollar of disposable income during the third quarter of 2019. This number indicated an increase from the second quarter of 2019, when the debt ratio was 162.8%. As we can see from 2022 figures, the debt ratio percentage keeps growing steadily.

6. Consumerism stats show that 15% of Canadians have a credit card spending limit of $2,000 or less.


Furthermore, credit card statistics reveal that, for 41% of people in Canada, the credit card limit is over $10,000. In 2018 alone, some 79.6 million credit cards were issued in Canada. Plus, an impressive 70% of Canadians pay their credit card bill in full every month.

Statistics on Consumerism During the Pandemic

Like most countries, Canada was substantially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many businesses have since reopened, and consumer spending has been increasing. Even though the pandemic has subsided in most parts of the world, it has left an indelible trace on every sphere of life. That’s why we’re witnessing stat fluctuations like never before.

7. According to consumer spending statistics, April 2021 showed a 50% spending increase from 2020.


Although Canadian consumers embraced online shopping, they were still frugal with their money due to the uncertainty that the pandemic brought. When lockdowns were imposed in the spring of 2020, retail activity nationwide dropped by 30% over just two months.

Luckily, consumer spending bounced back and was twice as high in April of 2021. What’s more, it continued to rise gradually throughout 2021.

8. Canadian consumer spending trends reveal that full-service restaurants are thriving in 2022, having earned $32.1 billion.


Since it’s highly sensitive to fluctuations in the market, the HoReCa sector was impacted heavily by the pandemic. Once the restaurants reopened, however, people were enjoying out-of-home entertainment more and more.

That’s why Canadian full-service restaurants made $32.1 billion in 2022 alone. The present high growth of 10.1% is the result of recovery from the pandemic. Similarly, the revenue of Canadian coffee and snack shops grew by 2.6% in 2022, whereas fast-food restaurant revenue increased by 8.2% this year.

9. The consumer spending chart for 2022 shows a $25.8 billion increase from the first to the second quarter.

(Trading Economics)

There was a considerable increase in consumer spending from $1.20 trillion in Q1 2022 to $1.23 trillion in Q2 2022. This is the result of growing consumer confidence during this period, as life slowly returned to normal after the pandemic.

For comparison, during the third quarter of 2020, consumer spending in Canada was at $1.137 trillion. During the final quarter, the figure dropped to $1.136 trillion.

10. Consumerism statistics in Canada show that, on average, Canadian citizens spent $4,000 less in 2020.

(Bank of Canada)

This decrease in spending was caused by the pandemic, lockdowns, and increased unemployment that ensued. According to consumer spending by income level, low-wage workers were hit the hardest. Many of them lost their jobs, as positions paying $16 or less dropped by 27% in 2020.

However, as part of the economic and epidemiological crisis response, the Canadian government’s direct financial support was $105 billion or $3,400 per citizen.

11. Food sales went up by 19.5% in 2020, as per Canadian consumer trends.


Not all industries in Canada struggled during 2020. For example, along with food sales, beverage sales were up by 8.6%. Alcohol purchases alone rose by 10.4%. As these numbers tell us, Canadians panicked and stockpiled essential products, which drove up the sales of certain goods to a considerable extent.

12. Luxury consumer demographics in Canada estimated that the market for luxury apparel decreased by 27.9% in 2020.

(Retail Insider)

Fortunately, the luxury apparel market underperformed only temporarily, as people turned to household items and leisure wear during the pandemic. The good news is that a 1.6% market increase is expected by 2023.

What’s also noteworthy is that, in 2020, apparel imports from Italy fell by 27.5%, whereas those from France dropped by 19.1%.

13. Consumerism statistics reveal that auto sales in Canada were down by 35% in 2020.


Some industries suffered more than others in 2020. For instance, the auto industry lost a third of its customer base. Additionally, the clothing industry was down 46%, and footwear sales stats showed discouraging results, with a 48% drop.

Consumer Demographics in Canada

Below are some stats and facts regarding the average Canadian consumer’s age, gender, and shopping habits. We’ll also explore trends that have emerged recently, such as eco-conscious shopping.

14. The median age of the Canadian consumer is 41.8 in 2022.


According to UN data from 2022, 66.5% of Canadians are between the ages of 14 and 65. Older adults make up 17.6% of the population, whereas children comprise 15.8% of the total population. The average household size is 2.9 people.

15. Consumer trends indicate that 33% of Canadians are willing to spend money on premium health products and services.


This trend will likely grow, as 25% of the Canadian population will be over 65 years old by 2031. The average annual amount spent on health and fitness is now $935, increasing from $818 in 2007.

16. 82% of Canadians shopped online in 2020.

(Statistics Canada)

As a matter of fact, Canadians spent a whopping $84.4 billion online in 2020! The bulk of these purchases was made by people aged between 25 and 44, 95% of whom bought items over the internet during this period.

Moreover, online shopping statistics reveal that 76% of shoppers bought physical goods such as clothing, electronics, and books. 

17. 52% of Canadian online shoppers are women, female consumer statistics tell us.

(Made in CA)

It’s no wonder, then, that 37% of Canadians are shopping online to obtain items from the women’s apparel category.

Women have different shopping habits compared to men, relying on communication channels more than men do. For instance, Canadian women are 9% more likely to check their emails and 15% more likely to visit social networking websites than Canadian men.

18. Female consumer trends show that 76% of Canadian women are likely to participate in surveys.


From a marketer’s point of view, it’s easier to reach female shoppers. For example, 77% of women are willing to receive coupons, compared to 55% of men. They’re also 16% more likely than men to join a loyalty program group. Finally, 61% of women are willing to provide a product review, as opposed to 48% of men.

19. According to green consumer demographics, 61% of Canadian shoppers want to make more environmentally friendly purchases.

(EY) (PwC)

Unfortunately, 64% of the respondents also plan to focus on value. Plus, 59% say that price is a more important consideration because of the precariousness of the global economy right now.

As you can see, the aftermath of the pandemic has created challenges in many aspects of the market, including green consumerism. However, 42% of Canadian shoppers are still trying to avoid plastic and buy products with less packaging.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the above consumer spending statistics show that, like the rest of the world, Canada has sustained the adverse impact of the pandemic. Consequently, the economy and shopping habits have changed to a great extent in the aftermath, with eCommerce appearing to be the way forward for many businesses.

Hopefully, these stats and facts about consumerism in Canada have been informative. We’re optimistic that the economy will continue to bounce back in 2023.


What is the current rate of consumer spending?

The latest stats from November 2022 reveal that this year’s consumer spending amounts to $1.261 billion. This number has already surpassed the total for 2021 ($1.196 billion), which represents a 1.6% increase.

What do consumers spend the most money on?

It’s estimated that the average Canadian spends most of their income (nearly 30%) on housing. Before the pandemic, clothing, food, and shoes were close behind.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, Canadians have been spending more on alcohol, cigarettes, and cannabis. In fact, spending habits have changed so much that it’s affecting how inflation is measured in the country.

Is consumer spending increasing?

Yes, consumer spending in Canada is increasing, having jumped by 5.4% compared to 2021. However, in 2020 the number decreased by 6.1%. As expected, the pandemic and the subsequent restrictions caused this drastic fluctuation in spending.

Is consumer spending good for the economy?

No matter what country we’re talking about, consumer spending can most certainly boost a country’s GDP, thus benefiting the economy. In fact, GDP combined with consumer spending is among the biggest determinants of a particular economy’s health.

What percent of the economy is consumer spending?

According to TheGlobalEconomy.com, 54.55% of Canada’s GDP came from consumer spending in 2021. Unsurprisingly, this figure is lower than that of the United States, where 70% of the GDP is comprised of consumer spending.

How much do consumers spend each year?

Although data varies from year to year, Canadian consumers are expected to spend over $1.261 trillion in 2022. This would constitute an increase of over 5.4% compared to 2021 as per the latest consumer spending statistics.


Stefan Pajovic

Stefan is a postdoctoral researcher in American and Irish literature, as well as a dedicated content writer. He is a polyglot wannabe who relishes the opportunity to travel. Stefan writes only about topics he can contribute to. Swimming, boxing, and shooting are his favourite hobbies.

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