Marriage in decline
The dominant family structure in 2011 was married couples, but they continue to decrease as a share of all families. From 2001 to 2011, married couples dropped from 70 per cent to 67 per cent of all families.
Common-law on the rise
For the first time in 2011, the number of common-law couples surpassed the number of single-parent families. Between 2006 and 2011, the number of common-law couples rose nearly 14 per cent, more than four times the 3-per-cent increase for married couples.
Canadian families have become smaller over time. The average number of children per family decreased from 2.7 in 1961 to 1.9 in 2011. During the same period, the average number of people per family declined from 3.9 to 2.9.
The boomerang effect
42 per cent of young adults aged 20 to 29 lived in the parental home either because they never left it or because they returned home from elsewhere. The proportion changed little from 2006, but much higher than in previous decades: 32 per cent in 1991 and 26 per cent in 1981.
More people living alone
For the first time, there were more one-person households than couple households with children. Between 2001 and 2011 , the proportion of one-person households increased from 25 per cent to more than 27 per cent of all households.
The proportion of multiple-family households has edged up slightly over the last decade. Nunavut had the largest share, but they were also prevalent in fast-growing municipalities such as Brampton and Surrey.
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