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2011 Census of population: Families, households, marital status, structural type of dwelling, collectives

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Statistics Canada
Publication Date: 
19 Sep 2012

Excerpts from summary:

Census data show that married couples declined as a proportion of all census families between 2006 and 2011. Nevertheless, they still formed the predominant family structure in Canada, accounting for two-thirds of all families.

In contrast, the proportion of common-law couples and lone-parent families both increased. For the first time, common-law couples outnumbered lone-parent families in 2011.

The number of same-sex married couples nearly tripled between 2006 and 2011, reflecting the first full five-year period for which same-sex marriage has been legal across the country.

The 2011 Census of Population counted stepfamilies for the first time. They represented about one in eight couple families with children.

Census data also show the evolving living arrangements of children within Canadian families. About two-thirds of children aged 14 and under lived with married parents in 2011, while an increasing share lived with common-law parents.

For the first time, the census counted the number of children in stepfamilies and foster children. Data showed 1 out of every 10 children aged 14 and under in private households lived in a stepfamily in 2011. Foster children aged 14 and under represented 0.5% of children in this age group in private households.

A higher share of seniors aged 65 and over lived as part of a couple in a private household in 2011 compared with 2001. During the same period, the proportion of senior women who lived alone declined, while it remained relatively stable for senior men. About 1 in every 12 seniors lived in a collective dwelling, such as a nursing home or a residence for senior citizens.