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.”

Highlights:

  • 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

To book an interview with Vanier Institute CEO Nora Spinks, please contact lsteele@vanierinstitute.ca.

Many of the topics covered in the GSS, as well as data from this survey, will be explored at the Families in Canada Conference 2019 on March 27 and 28, 2019 – a national, pan-Canadian event hosted by the Vanier Institute of the Family where organizations that study, serve and support families will gather for two days of knowledge-sharing and catalytic conversation. REGISTER TODAY!

Published on February 21, 2019


 

Notes

  1. Statistics Canada, “Family Matters: Couples Who Live Apart,” The Daily (February 20, 2019). Link: https://bit.ly/2GAscHs.