Family Matters: Who Lives Alone?

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Release date: March 6, 2019
Family Matters: Who Lives Alone?
Description: Family Matters: Who Lives Alone?

Family Matters: Who Lives Alone?

Nearly 4 million Canadians lived alone in 2016, more than double the number in 1981

Percentage of population aged 15+ and Number of population aged 15+ in 2016 and 1981
  Percentage of population aged 15+ Number of population aged 15+
1981 9% 1.7 million
2016 14% 4.0 million

Among those 20 and older who lived alone in 2017:

  • More than 7 in 10 had previously been in a married or common-law relationship
  • Almost 2 in 10 were in a couple relationship with someone living in a different home
  • 5 in 10 had at least one child in their lifetime

Among 20-34-year-olds living alone and not in a couple relationship in 2017:

  • 60% said that they intended to marry or remarry
  • 72% felt that they could live in a common-law relationship

Men and women were about equally as likely to live alone

Proportion of the population aged 15 and older in private households living alone, by sex, 2016

  • Women: 15%
  • Men: 13%

But women living alone were nearly twice as likely as men to be seniors

Proportion of the population living alone that is 65 years and older, by sex, 2016

  • Women: 45%
  • Men: 24%

Sources: General Social Survey (Families) 2017, Census of Population (1981 and 2016).

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