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

Data from the 2016 census shows that linguistic diversity is on the rise with 7.6 million Canadians able to speak a language other than French or English. That’s up almost one million or 14.5 per cent over 2011

Multi-generational families are becoming more common in Metro Vancouver, while single-person and child-free households are growing fastest on the Island and in the Okanagan, possibly due to an aging population.

"The big shift has been a shift away from families with children to empty nest couples or younger people deciding not to have children", said Doug Norris, chief demographer at Environics Analytics.

The census found younger Canadians who do have kids are living in places like Alberta, long a magnet for job-seeking families, or Nunavut, where fertility rates are high. It holds a mirror to who we are and how we live. However, in 2016 there were still more couples living with children than without.

There were 14.1 million private households in Canada in 2016, 9.5 million (67.7%) of which were composed of at least one census family. A complex flow chart illustrates how varied their situations can be.

And in Toronto and Oshawa, nearly half of young adults (47.4 and 47.2 per cent) are living with their parents, the highest rate in the country.

The share of adult children living with a parent was 34.7 percent previous year, up from 33.3 percent in 2011 and 33.1 percent in 2006, the report showed. A relatively small number of those - 2.2% of the total - live with their grandparents as well as the one parent.

"Today there are proportionately fewer households that consist of families with "a mother, a father and children" [as of] households of people living alone, couples without children or multigenerational families", said Statistics Canada in a report unveiling the portrait of canadian households in the census 2016.

Traditional married still a majority of couples Married folk are still the majority of couples in 2016, although numbers of common law couples have increased.

While married couples still dominate, 21.3 per cent of all couples were living common-law in 2016, compared with 6.3 per cent in 1981. However, Quebec also had the lowest percentage of "married" same-sex couples. A decade after same-sex marriage became legal in this country, a third have chosen to tie the knot.

Same-sex couples According to the 2016 Census, there were 72,880 same-sex couples in Canada, representing 0.9 percent of Canadian couples.

According to the new numbers, released Wednesday, 51.1 per cent of couples in the province were families without children.

At the top of the charts: people living alone, which accounted for almost one person in three in the country (28.2 percent) previous year.

Still, one-person households were the most common type of household in the country previous year for the first time in the country's history. The national average in 1951 was just 7.4%.

Seniors are more likely to be living alone than younger Canadians, as a result of greying Baby Boomers, divorce, the number of women in the work force and longer life expectancies. On top of that, soaring real-estate prices and tight rental markets in many cities make it harder for young adults to move out on their own, especially compared to when their parents were their age. It also illustrates the plight of the generation sandwiched in between. Households with at least three generations of the same family has been the fastest growing type of household since 2001, growing 38 per cent over that time.

So what does our reflection in the census looking glass tell us about ourselves?

"My parents are getting older, we are sensitive to each other's needs and to help each other, not only in life, but also in psychology". We are as diverse in background as we are in lifestyle.

Men are also more likely to live with their parents than women: five young men for every four young women.

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