International Day of Families is approaching on May 15, a special day to recognize the importance of family to communities across the globe. Parents, children, grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and the friends and neighbours we care for (and who care for us) all make unique and valuable contributions to our lives, our workplaces and our communities.
As we reflect on Canada’s 9.9 million families, one thing that’s clear is that there’s no such thing as a cookie-cutter family. Families are as diverse and unique as the people who comprise them, and they are all an essential part of Canada’s family landscape.
For this year’s International Day of Families, we’ve created an infographic providing a “snapshot” of modern families in Canada that highlights some of the many ways families are diverse:
- 67% of families in Canada are married-couple families, 17% are living common-law, and 16% are lone-parent families – diverse family structures that continuously evolve
- 464,000 stepfamilies live across the country, accounting for 13% of couples with children
- 363,000 households contain three or more generations, and there are also approximately 53,000 “skip-generation” homes (children and grandparents with no middle generation present)
- 1.4 million people in Canada report having an Aboriginal identity (61% First Nations, 32% Métis, 4.2% Inuit, 1.9% other Aboriginal identity, 0.8% more than one Aboriginal identity)
- 360,000 couples in Canada are mixed unions,* accounting for 4.6% of all married and common-law couples
- 65,000 same-sex couples were counted in the 2011 Census, 9.4% of whom are raising children
- 68,000 people in Canada are in the CAF Regular Forces, half of whom have children under 18
As His Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, expressed at the Families in Canada Conference 2015, “Families, no matter their background or their makeup, bring new and special patterns to our diverse Canadian tapestry.” Join us as we recognize and celebrate family diversity, from coast to coast to coast.
* Statistics Canada defines a mixed union as “a couple in which one spouse or partner belongs to a visible minority group and the other does not, as well as a couple in which the two spouses or partners belong to different visible minority groups.”
What’s in a Name? Defining Family in a Diverse Society by Alan Mirabelli