Census 2001 Highlights: Factsheet 7: Marital Status, Common-law Status, Families and Households

Common-law Unions Soar

  • As of May 15, 2001, Ontario had 3,190,990 families, up from 2,932,725 in 1996. The 2001 Census counted 2,406,340 married couples, 298,540 common-law couples and 486,105 lone-parent families.

  • The 2001 Census showed that an increasing proportion of couples are living common-law. The number of common-law unions in Ontario increased by 31%, almost six times the rate of increase of 5.4% among married couples.

  • Married couples accounted for 75% of all families in 2001, down from 77.8% in 1996 and 80.9% in 1991. At the same time, the proportion of common-law couples rose from 6.6% in 1991 to 7.8% in 1996 and 9.4% in 2001.
  • Married or common-law couples with children aged 24 and under living at home represented 45% of all families in 2001. Couples who had no children under 25 living at home accounted for 34.8% of all families.

Same-sex Common-law Couples

  • For the first time, the 2001 Census provides data on same-sex partnerships.

  • A total of 12,505 same-sex common-law couples were counted in Ontario, representing 0.5% of all couples in the province. They represented 37% of the national total of 34,200 same-sex partnerships.

  • Ontario's proportion of same-sex couples equaled Canada, but was lower than in Quebec, British Columbia and the Yukon.

  • 6,685 or 53.5% of Ontario's same-sex couples live in the Toronto CMA.

Households: Living Alone Rising

  • The Census counted 4,219,410 households in Ontario in 2001, up from 3,924,515 in 1996. The increase of smaller households was the biggest contributor to the growth of private households.

  • In 2001, about 990,165 people lived alone in Ontario, up 11.5% from 1996.They accounted for 23.5% of all households. In 1996, they accounted for 22.6%.

  • Households consisting of five or more people accounted for 11.1% of all households in 2001, down from 11.4% in 1996.
A pair of pie charts showing the census families by structure in Ontario in 1996 and 2001. The information is separated into married, common-law and lone-parent.

A pair of pie charts showing households by size in Ontario in 1996 and 2001.  The categories range from one person to five and more people.


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