More of us living alone

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 2, 2017

A look at the proportions of couples with or without children across Canada in 2016.

More Manitobans are living alone, while the province leads the country in foster children, according to 2016 census data released Wednesday that largely saw the province echo national trends.

- The Canadian household averaged just 2.4 people in 2016, compared with 5.6 people in 1871.

More Canadians are opting to live alone as the country's population ages and as women become better able to foot the household bills by themselves. That percentage has been steadily increasing since 1951, when it stood at just 7.4 per cent. "Nowadays, all the young people.they all know that if they want to, at one point, they can start a family".

"There's an improvement in the standard of living - 150 years ago there was no retirement pension so it was really hard to live by yourself", he said. "I'm not one of those people", Rosenberg said. In Saskatchewan, that number sits at 45.9 per cent.

And the arrival of large numbers of immigrants from countries where grandparents, parents and children traditionally live in the same home made multigenerational households the fastest growing type of household between 2001 and 2016. About four-fifths of same-sex couples with children are female. "There's more and more baby boomers who have seen their children leave", Chagnon said in an interview.

Though married couples still form the majority of couples in Canada, the share of common law couples has increased dramatically since 1981 to 21.3 per cent from 6.3 per cent.

Common-law unions are on the rise.

Although there were slightly more male than female same-sex couples past year, a slightly higher proportion of the female couples were married.

The census data released Wednesday showed that more than 7.7 million people reported a mother tongue that was neither English nor French; the Filipino language of Tagalog was the fastest-growing language, followed by Arabic, Farsi, Hindi and Urdu.

The number of same-sex couples in Canada has also increased, up 60.7 per cent from 2006 while the rate of growth among all couples has been just 9.6 per cent over that time. "The number of Manitobans speaking immigrant languages (not English, French or Indigenous ones) is up by 18 per cent". About 12 per cent of couples had children living with them. About half of them live in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa-Gatineau.

Multigenerational households - with at least three generations under the same roof - are also on the rise, growing by 37.5 per cent since 2001.

In 2016, more than a million Canadian children - about three in every 10 - lived in a single-parent family.

More and more, young adults are staying at home.

The proportion of women over the age of 65 who are living alone has fallen from 38.3 per cent in 2001 to 33 per cent a year ago, while the ranks of those who were married or living common-law increased.

"We're also seeing higher rates of separation and divorce, delayed couple formation among younger Canadians and more women in the labour force". In Toronto, nearly one in every two young adults lives with mom or dad (47.4 percent).

Statistics Canada cites a number of potential factors for the trend, including the "temporary benefits in terms of logistical, emotional or financial support" for young people while still in school or job hunting.

Accordingly, the share of young adults living both outside of their parents' homes and with families of their own has fallen to 41.9 per cent from 49.1 per cent in 2001.

Single-parent families are becoming more frequent and children in those situations are more often living with their dads.

The rising cost of housing in Canada is having at least one major impact on the make-up of families: fewer kids are leaving home.

- More than 1 million children, or 19.2 per cent, were living in a single-parent family in 2016, up from 17.8 per cent in 2001.

Statistics Canada says similar trends are seen in other jurisdictions such as the United States (34 per cent) and the European Union (48 per cent). Statistics Canada counted 28,030 foster children aged 14 and under in Canada in 2016.

Meanwhile, the family dynamics of Canadians are changing.

"It's probably one of the main reasons, but the census doesn't ask why you're living with your parents".

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