Census 2016: Single, same-sex and childless

  • Census 2016: Single, same-sex and childless

Census 2016: Single, same-sex and childless

"The data provide a portrait of a country where diverse living arrangements have replaced the family models of the past", said the governmental agency.

Rising Canadian housing costs have boosted the number of people living with their parents, mostly notably in and around Toronto, according to census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday.

The latest census figures released by Statistics Canada show people living alone accounted for 28.2 per cent of all households across the country.

Canadians' lives at home have evolved since Confederation, when large rural families consisting of a married couple and several children were common. In 1871, there were on average 5.6 people per household; that ratio dropped to 2.4 by 2016.

The implications for Canadian society is enormous, said demographers at Statistics Canada, which said effects will be felt society-wide, including on "the housing market, on caregiving and care receiving and on intergenerational relationships".

These findings are from the third series of data in the 2016 Census. "It measured common-law unions for the first time in 1981, same-sex couples in 2001, and foster children and stepfamilies in 2011".

The census also found that 83.7 per cent of couples in the province were married, while 16.3 per cent are living common law. One-person households accounted for 28.2 per cent of all households past year, that's up from 25.7 per cent in 2001.

In Canada, the rate of one-person households stands at an all time high of 28.2 per cent-but in Nunavut, this is less comnon, with one-person households at about one in five or 18.9 per cent.

Now 6.3 per cent of Canadians, or 2.2 million people, live in multi-generational households, which is a 37.5 per cent increase from 2001.

For the first time in the country's history, the number of one-person households has surpassed all other types of living situation. Income distribution, pensions and the increased presence of women in the workforce have led more people to be able to afford to live independently.

While the percentage of kids living with a mom or a dad has been increasing for decades, the proportion who were living with their father increased by 34.5 per cent between 2001 and 2016, while the proportion who were living with their mother increase by just 4 per cent. The share of Canadians living by themselves has quadrupled since the mid-20th century, from just under two per cent of the total population in 1951 to 14 per cent in 2016. "Depression certainly being one of them". In 2016, almost 14 per cent of all Canadians over the age of 15 lived alone, compared with 1.8 per cent in 1951.

The number of people who reported being divorced was up in all of the Atlantic provinces in 2016, compared to 2011. During that same period, the percentage of people in that age group living with a family of their own fell from 49.1 per cent to 41.9 per cent.

The number of couples without children increased faster between 2011 and 2016 than those with children - a function of an aging population with parents becoming empty nesters. Twelve percent of same-sex couples had children living with them.

Interestingly, the number of people who reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home was higher than the number who said it was their mother tongue, which reflects the growing interest in learning the languages spoken by Indigenous forebears.

It points to the aging population for this shift.