The Modern Family Is Changing, Says the Census
The new Census numbers are out and the Canadian family looks a lot different than it used to.
What the stats tell us is that the idea that our country is made up of nuclear families with a mom and dad and 2.4 children under one roof is now outdated. Just less than one quarter of the population is the old-fashioned nuclear family.
Married couples are still 67 percent of the population but the growth in the other numbers show that we are in a society in flux. In fact, single parent households have increased 14 percent since five years ago and same-sex couples have increased 42 percent, (but still make up less than one percent of Canadian households).
Doug Norris, chief demographer at Environics Analytics, said in The Star:
“Just a quarter of our households now are that traditional mom, dad, the kids and the dog at home. A lot of people still think that’s the Canadian family... The Beaver Cleaver family is long gone.”
For the first time, Statscan counted step families including complex ones with kids from both parents and simple ones. They also counted foster children for the first time, which will help policy makers and activists track and administer programs for foster kids more effectively.
If you want to find out what the modern family looks like in your city, check out this interactive tool in the Globe and Mail.
I love what John Allemang said in the Globe about the picture of family life painted by this census:
Statistics offer a clarity not often found in political debates or business pitches directed at families: They can show a country the way it is, not how it is imagined or desired to be. Census numbers are fluid and describe change as it happens – tradition, wishful thinking and partisan ideology have no part in the making of these new numbers, and the new ideas that come from them.
This photograph of our nation makes me strangely hopeful, and also curious about what is to come for my family.
Tell me: What does your family look like?
Want more chaos? Last year, I asked if an obese womean should be denied IVF.