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Family ties: How often do adult children see their parents?

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Released: 2020-12-24

Visiting with parents was a relatively simple decision for Canadians before the COVID-19 pandemic. A new infographic available today provides a snapshot of the frequency and the duration of in-person visits between adult children and their parents in Canada in recent years, prior to the arrival of COVID-19. The results refer to Canadians who were aged 25 to 64, who were not living with their parents, and who had at least one biological or adoptive parent alive at the time of the surveys. These data are based on the General Social Survey – Families (2017) and Time Use (2015).

In 2017, over half of adult children—with at least one living parent—saw their parents in person regularly (at least once per month). Meeting parents in person during the pandemic is a more difficult decision because the older population is at a greater risk of complications from this disease. For months, most Canadians have adapted their social behaviours in response to the infectious nature of COVID-19.

According to results from the crowdsourcing online questionnaire Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians: Parenting During the Pandemic conducted in June 2020, the vast majority of participants aged 25 to 64 (91%) reported being somewhat to extremely concerned about staying connected with family or friends during the pandemic. Further results from the online survey Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 3 - Resuming Economic and Social Activities During COVID-19, also conducted in June 2020, showed that more than half of Canadians aged 25 to 64 (62%) were somewhat to very concerned about the health risks of resuming gatherings in small groups or visits between houses as the COVID-19 safety measures were relaxed.

Results from this infographic will be useful as a baseline when evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the frequency of visits with parents. Findings from this infographic suggest that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of adults in Canada spent time in-person with their parents regularly. As the pandemic continues to evolve, future studies could investigate how contact between adult children and parents has changed in nature and frequency.

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The infographic "Family Matters: Family ties: How often do adult children see their parents?" is now available as part of the series Statistics Canada — Infographics (Catalogue number11-627-M).

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