Tenure of private household

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on May 17, 2010.


Tenure refers to whether the household owns or rents their private dwelling. The private dwelling may be situated on rented or leased land or be part of a condominium. A household is considered to own their dwelling if some member of the household owns the dwelling even if it is not fully paid for, for example if there is a mortgage or some other claim on it. A household is considered to rent their dwelling if no member of the household owns the dwelling. A household is considered to rent that dwelling even if the dwelling is provided without cash rent or at a reduced rent, or if the dwelling is part of a cooperative.

Private household refers to a person or group of persons who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada or abroad. The household universe is divided into two sub-universes on the basis of whether the household is occupying a collective dwelling or a private dwelling. The latter is a private household.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard is compatible with recommendations for censuses contained in the United Nations' "Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 3", 2017. The United Nations defines tenure in terms of the arrangements under which the household occupies all or part of a housing unit. Unlike in this standard, occupation without ownership but free of rent is categorized separately in the United Nations classification of households by tenure. The United Nations recognizes that national circumstances may indicate the need for different measures of occupancy and rental arrangements.

This standard is also compatible with the "Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2020 Censuses of Population and Housing", 2015, which recommended classification distinctions similar to those in the United Nations recommendations.


Relation to previous version

  • Tenure of private household May 17, 2010 to current

    August 25, 2021 - One of the category names in the Variant of status of tenure of household has been modified.

    March 24, 2016 - This standard has been updated by modifying its classifications.

Date modified: