The 2011 Census counted 4,887,510 private households in Ontario, up 7.3% from 2006.
The number of private households has been growing faster than the population in private households, which grew 5.6% between 2006 and 2011. As a result, the average household size declined from 2.63 to 2.59.
There has been a steadily increasing trend toward smaller households.
The most common household size reported was 2-person, accounting for 32.4% of all households.
The Census found that there were about as many one-person households as there were households with four or more persons, with shares of 25.2% versus 26.0%, respectively.
Between 2006 and 2011, smaller household sizes grew faster than larger households. The number of one-person households in Ontario rose 11.4% over the period, while the number of households with five persons or more increased by only 1.6%.
Multiple Family Households Increasing Fastest
The number of family households in Ontario rose 5.3% over the 2006-11 period, slower than the increase in non-family households, which saw growth of 12.6%.
Multiple family households (made up of two or more families occupying the same dwelling) increased fastest (13.7%), followed by lone-parent family households (11.8%).
Couples With Children at Home: Slowest Growing
The number of households comprised of couples with children increased by only 0.4% between 2006 and 2011, while those comprised of couples without children rose by 8.4%.
The slow growth in households comprised of couples with children reflects not only low levels of fertility, but also the aging of the population.
About 6 million Ontarians aged 15 and over lived with a spouse or partner in 2011, representing 57.4% of the population, slightly lower than in 2006 (59.0%).
The proportion of those living with a spouse or partner peaked for women at ages 40 to 44 (72.8%), while for men this did not occur until ages 65 to 69 (81.3%).
More Couples Living Common-law
The Census enumerated 789,340 Ontarians aged 15 and over who lived in a common-law union in 2011. They represented 7.5% of people in this group, up from 7.2% in 2006. They also accounted for a higher share of couples in 2011 than in 2006 (13.1% Vs. 12.2%).
Common-law unions were most prevalent among young adults. However, the share of people in their fifties and sixties living common-law is increasing fastest.
In 2011, 1.2 million Ontarians lived alone, representing 9.7% of the population in private households, up slightly from 9.2% in 2006.
At ages 25 to 54, about one out of 10 Ontarians lived alone in 2011. Males lived alone in higher proportions than women at younger ages, while senior women had higher incidence of living alone than senior men.
More Young Adults Living with their Parents
Between 2006 and 2011, the share of youth aged 15-19 and 20-24 living at home remained stable, while that of those aged 25+ kept increasing.
In 2011, 68.1% of Ontarians aged 20-24 lived in their parental home, unchanged from 2006. The share of those aged 25-29 living at home rose from 29.9% in 2006 to 31.9% in 2011.
The proportion of men living in their parental home was higher than the proportion of women at all ages, and was about twice as high past age 30.
Nationally, Ontario was the province with the highest incidence of youths aged 20-29 living in their parental home at 50.6%. Toronto had the highest incidence among Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas at 56.3%.
Among Ontario census subdivisions, the suburban GTA municipalities of King (78.5%), Richmond Hill (76.5%), Caledon (76.1%), Vaughan (76.0%) and Pickering (75.6%) had the highest proportions of youths aged 20-29 living at home in 2011.
October 23, 2012
Contact: Alex Munger (416) 325-0102.
Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch