19 September 2012

The Cleavers Are Moving Out: StatsCan reports on the changing face of the Canadian family

Statistics Canada has published the results of the 2011 Census, and its analysis of the changing makeup of the Canadian family is worthy of note. As CBC's article on the analysis pithily notes, "the nuclear family is no longer the norm in Canada."

The newsbite summary of Statistics Canada's conclusions says this:
  • Married-couple families were the predominant family structure in 2011, at 67.0%. For the first time, there were more common-law-couple families in 2011, 16.7%, than lone-parent families, 16.3%.
  • The 2011 Census of Population counted 64,575 same-sex couples. In 2011, 32.5% of same-sex couples were married, nearly double the 2006 share. The 2006 to 2011 period marks the first five-year period during which same-sex couples could legally marry, following the legalization of same-sex marriage for all of Canada in July, 2005.
  • Stepfamilies were counted for the first time in the 2011 Census of Population, providing a more detailed portrait of Canadian families. There were 464,335 stepfamilies in 2011, or 12.6% of couple families with children aged 24 and under.
  • For the first time, there were more one-person households in 2011, 27.6%, than couple households with children aged 24 and under, 26.5%.

1 comment:

  1. I heard on the CBC yesterday morning that the "same-sex married couple" statistics may be skewed, as they apparently counted some regular room-mate situations as same-sex married couples.

    I believe the example given was a couple of oil-field workers: each of them with a wife back home and rooming together to save money while working. Because they report as "married" and share an address the census assumes they're married to each other.

    So that particular statistic is a bit less reliable than it could be, but it provides a very interesting point for statistics geeks. With so many different family situations across Canada it must be very difficult to prepare a truly useful survey!

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