Monday, 21 August, 2017

More Canadians living alone than ever before, census reveals

Obesity, childless rates high among Sask. adults, Stats Canada says More than one-third of young Canadian adults live with their parents: 2016 census
Juana Turner | 04 August, 2017, 00:22

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.

Recently released census data shows a Canada (and Mississauga) that's shifting, changing and embracing "new normals" as far as living and family situations are concerned.

With 2017 marking Canada's 150 birthday, Statistics Canada is highlighting how Canadians' lives at home have evolved since Confederation.

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

The changes are the result of demographic shifts, such as the aging population and an increase in cultural diversity, as well as social, economic and legislative changes.

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".

Non-census-family households of two or more persons, such as roommates or siblings living together, and other family households (two or more census families living together or one census family living with other people, after excluding multigenerational households) also rose sharply. "It measured common-law unions for the first time in 1981, same-sex couples in 2001, and foster children and stepfamilies in 2011".

It's also the first time people living alone is the most common household, surpassing couples with children. One-person households accounted for 28.2 per cent of all households a year ago, that's up from 25.7 per cent in 2001.

The share of young adults living at home was highest in Ontario, at 42.1 per cent.

The bilingualism rate in Canada hit 18 per cent past year, with two-thirds of the growth in the bilingual population emanating from Quebec, even though bilingualism increased in most provinces and territories.

Now, it appears there are more childless couples than ever before and more and more people are choosing solo living over partnering up.

One-third (33 per cent) of women aged 65 and older were living alone in 2016, down from 38.3 per cent in 2001, compared with 17.5 per cent of men.

By contrast, the ratio of couples with children fell from 31.5% of all households in 2001 to 26.5% in 2016.

Nova Scotia logged the highest proportion of children aged 0 to 14 living with a single parent at 26 per cent.

"It's very important for me to live with them. they are the most important people in my life and I am the only child", said Jiang, a producer for a Mandarin radio show. One-third of them were married, and about 12 per cent - majority women - were living with children. And an equal proportion of households are made up of couples with no kids as couples with children. A vast 255,335 residents over the age of 15 are single (or at least not married to/living with their partner).

This is despite the fact that the national average of couples living without children has risen faster than the number of couples living with children.

COMMON-LAW unions are still increasing. In general, cities with a higher-than-average proportion of young adults living with parents are found in the Greater Toronto Area and B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

Nova Scotia led the pack with 85,275 common law couples previous year, up from 77,075.

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