(NICHOLAS PESCOD/NEWS BULLETIN)

UPDATED: More Canadians live alone than have children

Statistics Canada says the number of same-sex couples went up by nearly two-thirds over a decade

More people are living alone in Canada now than ever before, the latest census data suggest.

Statistics Canada, which released its household and family data on Wednesday morning, reported that 28.2 per cent of Canadians live in one-person households. That compares to 26.5 per cent of Canadians living with children.

In B.C., the numbers were only slightly higher: 28.8 per cent of people live alone.

In the Lower Mainland, senior economist for Rennie Group Ryan Berlin said he’s seeing a correlation between where smaller housing units are being built and where single people are living.

“Our housing stock isn’t necessarily conducive to bigger household sizes,” said Berlin.

That’s reflected in some obvious cities like Vancouver, where 90 per cent of the new households where couples without kids or people live alone. It’s also reflected in less obvious cities, like Pitt Meadows where the figure is 94 per cent.

On average, single-person households and couples without kids made up two-thirds of new households in the region.

“Where you see below-average [growth in those categories] is in Surrey – they’re at the bottom of the list,” said Berlin.

“Even though Surrey is changing and densifying, they’re adding a lot of ground-orientated multi-family [units], which are conducive to families.”

WATCH: Surrey now has the third tallest tower in B.C.

As for people in relationships, the census found that most couples in Canada are common-law – more than one-fifth of them, or 21.6 per cent, compared to 6.3 per cent back in 1981. In B.C., common-law pairs made up 16.7 per cent of all couples. (Couples living together for two years were given common-law status in 2013.)

There is also a rise in the number of childless couples, both married and common-law.

Berlin attributes that what he calls the “pig in the python” effect.

“It reflects our changing demography,” said Berlin. “The typical couple in B.C. or even the Lower Mainland is in their mid-50s. If they had kids when they were 25 or 30, they’re kids are around the age when they would move out.”

Those empty nesters, Berlin said, are contributing to the increase in childless couples – not people having fewer children.

“The fertility rate has been dropping for 40 years now, that’s not new.”

More same-sex couples

The number of same-sex couples in Canada is rising.

Between 2006-2016, that number shot up by 60.7 per cent, compared to an uptick of 9.6 per cent for opposite-sex couples.

Half of the country’s 72,880 same-sex couples live Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa-Gatineau.

“It’s still a really, really small proportion of all couples,” said Berlin. The figure stands at 0.9 per cent of all couples as of 2016.

While the number of couples with kids dropped overall, the number of same-sex couples with children rose. One-eighth of had at least one child living with them.

UBC School of Economics professor Marina Adshade attributes the jump to changing social norms. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada in 2005.

“[The increase] is both interesting and not interesting,” Adshade said. “Turns out, if you give people the right to marry – they do.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Land-based aquaculture proponent gets Haig-Brown Conservation Award

Eric Hobson known for financing and building Kuterra in partnership with ‘Namgis First Nation

La Familia gets Campbell River’s River City Arts Festival swaying to the music

Campbell River Arts Festival was treated to the sounds of Latin music… Continue reading

Disaster risk reduction course open to Campbell River high school students this fall

SRD protective services coordinator hopes program will eventually become integrated into curriculum

Large sections of Baikie Island Nature Reserve in Campbell River still in need of major attention

Greenways Land Trust has been looking for almost $1 million to address south side of conservancy

VIDEO: Break-in third this year at Indigenous art stores in Campbell River

Awatin Aboriginal Arts robbed for second time in 2019; Wei Wai Kum House of Treasures robbed in June

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Comox Strathcona Waste Management compares landfill costs in region

Staff report shows economies of scale mean waste costs less in the Comox Valley

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Most Read