In Focus 2019: Couples Living Apart in Canada

A growing share of couples in Canada are “living apart together” (LAT), according to data released recently from the 2017 General Social Survey (GSS). Nearly 1.5 million people across the country aged 25 to 64 were in a relationship with someone living in a different home (9% of this age group), with diverse factors contributing to these increasingly common relationships.

“Whether it’s a transitional phase that eventually leads to living together or it’s a permanent arrangement, more couples today are living in separate homes,” says Vanier Institute of the Family CEO Nora Spinks. “Some couples make a choice to live apart, while others find themselves living apart because of circumstances. For example, students studying at two different universities may be living apart temporarily, while a senior couple may choose to maintain separate households permanently.”


  • In 2017, 9% of the total population in Canada aged 25 to 64 were in a couple relationship with someone living in a different home (i.e. in an LAT couple), up from 6% in 2006.
  • In 2017, more than one-third of Canadians in LAT couples (34%) said they chose to live apart.
  • In 2017, “living apart together” was most common among young adults: 20% of Canadian couples aged 25 to 34, compared with only 7% of couples aged 35 to 54 and 5% of couples aged 55 to 64.
  • In 2017, 1 in 5 Canadians in LAT couples lived in different provinces, but nearly two-thirds (64%) lived within 20 kilometres of each other.1

Published on February 21, 2019



  1. Statistics Canada, “Family Matters: Couples Who Live Apart,” The Daily (February 20, 2019). Link:
Scroll to Top