‘Traditional’ families on decline here

The proportion of so-called traditional families—married couples with children—has declined in Fort Frances over the last five years, according to information from the 2001 census released today by Statistics Canada.
The latest census figures show married couples with children account for 34.5 percent of the 2,345 families in Fort Frances—down from 40.1 per cent in the 1996 census.
Married couples with no children in 2001 represented 38.6 percent of total families while in 1996 it was 34.5 percent.
Statistics Canada defines a census family as married couples with or without children, common-law couples with or without children, and lone-parent families.
For this census, Statistics Canada expanded the definition of family to include children raised by their grandparents in absence of their parents.
And, for the first time, the government agency officially has recognized same-sex couples in its definition of common-law couples.
Couples in common-law relationships in Fort Frances make up a higher proportion of families compared to the last census. The number of common-law couples with no children was 4.9 percent in 2001, compared to 4.4 percent in the 1996 census.
Common-law couples with children represent 5.8 percent of all families, compared to 5.3 percent from five years ago.
A total of 16.0 percent of Fort Frances families were lone-parent families.
The new census data also lists zero same-sex families in Fort Frances.
Statistics Canada has said that doesn’t necessarily mean there are no same-sex couples in the community. For confidentiality reasons, Statistics Canada figures below 10 are randomly rounded up or down to zero or 10.
This means a zero could represent an actual figure of anywhere from zero to nine.
On a national level, the census indicates the composition of the Canadian family structure continues to diversify.
The new data shows married couples with children account for 37.4 percent of Canadian families—a decrease from 41.3 percent in 1996.
Married couples without children make up 33.1 percent of the families, up from 32.4 percent. There also is an increase in the number of common-law couples, with or without children (13.8 percent from 11.7 percent).
The number of lone-parent families accounts for 15.7 percent while same-sex couples account for 0.41 percent of all Canadian families.
In Ontario, the census shows 34.0 percent of families were married couples with no children (from 33.8 percent); 41.4 percent were married couples with children (from 44.0 percent); 5.6 percent were common-law couples with no children (4.5 percent in 1996); 3.8 percent were common-law couples with children (from 3.2 percent), 15.2 percent were lone-parent families, and 0.39 percent were same-sex couples.
Among all the provinces and territories, Nunavut had the highest percentage of common-law families (31.3 percent), followed by the Northwest Territories (26.3), Quebec (25.2), the Yukon (23.0), New Brunswick (12.9), Alberta (11.6), Nova Scotia (11.4), British Columbia (11.1), Manitoba (9.8), Newfoundland and Labrador (9.6), Saskatchewan (9.5), Ontario (9.4) and Prince Edward Island (9.4).
The census is conducted every five years by Statistics Canada and is based on information filled out by Canadians on May 15, 2001.
The data released today on families and living arrangements follows information on overall population growth, age, and sex released earlier this year.
Future census information to be released by Statistics Canada over the coming months will give demographic breakdowns of a variety of topics, including language, immigration, labour force activity, education, and religion.