Fewer 'mom, dad and kids' families, more people living alone: Statistics Canada

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Statistics Canada 2016 Census has captured some 70 Indigenous languages, with high retention rates for eight main Aboriginal tongues spoken at home: Inuktitut, Atikamekw, Montagnais, Dene, Oji-Cree, Cree, Mi'kmaq, and Ojibway.

The Canadian household averaged just 2.4 people in 2016, compared with 5.6 people in 1871. The agency suggests greater economic independence, an aging population, and a higher life-expectancy account for the increase in more seniors than ever living alone.

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".

The data also shows that 28,760 families are headed by single female parents, while 6,045 families boast a single male parent. Census families are defined as married or common-law couples, with or without children, and lone-parent families.

Of the 14.1 million households in Canada in 2016, 28.2 per cent comprised only a single person - the highest proportion of single-person households ever recorded and the most common living arrangement captured in the 2016 count, a first for the country.

In Nova Scotia, 42.8 per cent of couples reported living with children a year ago.

At the time of Confederation, the vast majority of Canadian households were family households, and few people lived alone.

Several social, economic and demographic factors have contributed to the rise in the number of people living alone, including more women being in the workforce and economically independent, Statistics Canada said. In Germany, for instance, 41.4 per cent of people lived alone in 2015.

In terms of marital status, data shows that 345,335 residents are married or in common law relationships, with 319,385 married couples and 25,950 common law couples. The older a kid gets, the more likely this becomes; 42 per cent of children age 10 to 14 live in a single-parent or blended household compared to 23 per cent of Quebec children under 4. The national average was 51.1 per cent. About 29% of Grande Prairie households are occupied by couples with children.

The trend is even more pronounced in the capital region, where one-third of our dwellings have just one resident.

From 2011 to 2016, the number of couples living without children rose faster (+7.2%) than the number of couples with children (+2.3%).

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. Canada-wide, nearly 28% of families with children have only one parent.

In addition, there has never been as little of couples living without children across the country, highlights Statistics Canada.

COMMON-LAW unions are still increasing.

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

There are more Canadians who say they are bilingual than at any point into Canadian history.

Interestingly, the number of people who reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home was higher than the number who said it was their mother tongue, which reflects the growing interest in learning the languages spoken by Indigenous forebears.

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