2006 CENSUS HIGHLIGHTS: Factsheet 6

Households and Living Arrangements

Pie charts: Households by size, Ontario, 2001 and 2006 Bar Graph: Household Growth Rate by Size, Ontario, 2001-2006 Bar graph: Household Growth Rate by Type, Ontario, 2001-2006 Bar graph: Common-law Living, Ontario, 2001-2006 Line graph: Living Alone by Sex and Age, Ontario, 2006 Bar graph: Young Adults Living in Parental Home, Ontario


Household Size Continues to Decline

  • The 2006 Census counted 4,555,025 private households in Ontario in 2006, up 8.0% from 2001.
  • The number of private households has been growing faster than the population in private households, increasing by 8% and 6.5%, respectively, between 2001 and 2006.
  • The proportion of large households has been decreasing, and there has been a steadily increasing trend toward smaller households.
  • Between 2001 and 2006, the number of one-person households in Ontario rose 11.6%, while the number of five-person or more households increased by 2.6%.
  • The Census found that there were more than twice as many one-person households as households with five or more persons, with shares of 24.3% versus 10.5%, respectively.
  • Households have been declining in size as people have fewer children or no children living at home. They are also the product of higher divorce rates and separation.

Households Comprised of Couples Without Children are Growing

  • Households comprised of couples without children increased 4.7% between 2001 and 2006, while those comprised of couples with children fell by 2.9%.
  • The decline in households comprised of couples with children reflects not only low levels of fertility, but also the aging of the population.

Multiple Family Households Increasing Fastest

  • Multiple family households (made up of two or more families occupying the same dwelling) increased more than three-fold between 2001 and 2006 (from 99,425 to 325,540).
  • In contrast, one family households declined 0.4% (2,986,075 to 2,975,595) over the same period.
  • Non-family households (unrelated people living together) increased faster than family households, 10.6% versus 7.0%, respectively, over the 2001 to 2006 period.

Living Arrangements

  • About 6.3 million Ontarians aged 15 and over lived with a spouse or partner in 2006, representing 52.6% of the population, virtually unchanged from 2001.
  • Living with a spouse or partner peaked for women in their forties, but this did not occur for men until their sixties. In 2006, 87.8% of women aged 40 to 44 lived with a spouse or partner.
  • By the time women reached their late sixties, the proportion living as part of a couple had fallen to 66.6%. A similar decline was not true for men until their eighties.

Living as Part of a Common-law Couple Growing

  • The Census enumerated 691,760 Ontarians aged 15 and over who lived in a common-law union in 2006. They represented 7.0% of the population, up from 6.4% in 2001.
  • Common-law unions were most prevalent among young adults, but in the past five years older age groups have experienced the most rapid growth. Gains have been fast among people in their fifties and sixties.

Living Alone

  • In 2006, 1.1 million Ontarians lived alone. These people represented 9.2% of the population in private households, up slightly from 8.8% in 2001.
  • The proportion of persons who lived alone was low for both sexes during their young adult years. By aged 65 and over, however, around a quarter lived alone, and by aged 75 and over, 34.4% or 1 out of 3 lived alone.

Proportion of Children Living With Married Parents Continues to Decline

  • Around three-quarters (74.6%) of Ontario’s 2.2 million children aged 14 years and under lived with married parents in 2006, a decline from 75.9% in 2001.

More Young Adults Living With Their Parents

  • In 2006, 68.1% of young adults aged 20 to 24 lived in the parental home, up from 64.5% in 2001.
  • Among those aged 25 to 29, 29.9% were in the parental home in 2006, up from 26.1% in 2001. Overall, nearly half (49.6%) of young adults were living with their parents

Contact Paul Lewis (416) 325-0821 / Victor Caballero (416) 325-0825.

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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