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Everything you need to know about census family data in one post

John Clark and Michelle Rhodes relax in their Toronto townhouse on Sunday, September 18, 2012. Once upon a time, a declaration of lifelong love and commitment could be boiled down to two simple words: "I do." Numbers from the 2011 census suggest a pairing of a different sort: "Why bother?"

Patrick Dell/The Canadian Press

Another wave of 2011 census data has been released, showing the changing face of Canadian families. We've got an in-depth story and an analysis from John Ibbitson, but here are the highlights:

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.

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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.

Smaller families

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

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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.

Multiple-family 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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