Family structures changing in Canada

Data recently released from the 2011 Canadian census reveals a fall in the proportion of married couples.

Although married couples still account for two-thirds of all families in the country, Statistics Canada reports that the proportion of cohabiting couples and lone-parent families has risen.

Married-couple families accounted for 67.0% of all families in the 2011 census, down from 70.5% in 2001.

Families with a cohabitating couple increased by 13.9% to 1,567,900 in 2011. The number of lone-parent families rose 8.0% to just over 1,527,800.

It is the first time that cohabiting couples have outnumbered lone-parent families.

Statistics Canada also reported an increase in the percentage of children living with unmarried parents, from 12.8% in 2006 to 16.3% in 2011.

The number of same-sex married couples also nearly tripled between 2006 and 2011, to 43,560. Same-sex marriages were legalised in Canada in 2005.