By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Thursday September 20, 2012
Nuclear family is no longer the norm in Canada
The mom-pop-and-three-kids-under-one-roof model that typified Canadian households of 50 years ago has morphed into a complex and diverse web of family ties involving living alone, re-marriage, stepchildren, empty-nesters and multiple generations sharing a home.
Statistics Canada has released the third tranche of new data from its 2011 census, this time portraying the changes in Canadian families and living arrangements over five decades.
Married couples are in a long-term decline, single parenting has risen persistently, and families have gradually shrunk. The average family was 3.9 people in 1961, when the baby boom was in full swing. Now, it’s 2.9.
“We do see more complexity and definitely more diversity in families,” said Statistics Canada demographer Anne Milan.
For the first time, Statistics Canada says there are more people living alone in Canada than there are couples with children. One-person households now make up 27.6 per cent of all homes, a three-fold increase since 1961 that is especially notable in Quebec.
Meanwhile, couples with children have continued their decline, down to 26.5 per cent of all households, from 28.5 per cent in 2006.
Just 10 years ago, couples with children under 24 years old made up 43.6 per cent of all families (not including one-person households) — by far the most typical kind of family. (Source: Toronto Star)