They say that the only constant thing in life is change and many changes are happening in Canadian society today. Some of these changes have been slowly evolving over the past several decades and now they are part of our everyday lives.
Take the average Canadian family for example. According to the 2011 Census, the definition of an ‘average’ Canadian family is getting harder and harder to determine as the ‘new normal’ has become part of many families in the country.
The structure of one of the most important institutions in Canada, the family unit, is evolving and that trend is also happening in the Coast of Bays.
There are many reasons why this has happened: many women are delaying marriage until there late 20s or 30s and still want to pursue their careers when they do marry; many families need to have both spouses working to make ends meet and we’re seeing a big “me generation’ that is focused mainly on itself.
Whatever the reason or reasons, our family unit is changing and it is happening right here in the Coast of Bays too.
The new normal for Canadian families is evident based on data released by Statistics Canada on September 19. This data is taken from the 2011 census and shows that, while the traditional married couple family remains predominant in our society, more and more families in Canada consist of common-law couples or lone parent families.
Married couples make up 67 percent of the family units in Canada while common-law couples make up 16.7 percent and lone parent families total 16.3 percent.
The changing trends in the family structure are also happening in the Coast of Bays.
The data supplied by Statistics Canada in September is very detailed. However, the following information relates to the changing family unit in the Coast of Bays.
Common Law Couples
The number of common law couples in some of the communities in the area are: Harbour Breton, 35; Milltown-Head of Bay d’Espoir, 25; St. Alban’s, 45; Hermitage-Sandyville, 10; St. Jacques-Coomb’s Cove, 20; Belleoram, 20; Morrisville, 5; Gaultois, 10; St. Joseph’s-St. Veronica’s, 5 and McCallum, 5.
Lone Parent Families
The number of lone parent families are: Harbour Breton, 65; Milltown-Head of Bay d’Espoir, 15; St. Alban’s 45; Hermitage-Sandyville, 10; St. Jacques-Coomb’s Cove, 15; Gaultois, 5; Belleoram, 20; Morrisville, 5; St. Joseph’s-St. Veronica’s, 5 and McCallum, 0.
Data from the 2011 Census concerning families and living arrangements in Canada
Between 2006 and 2011, the number of common-law couples rose 13.9 percent, more than four times the 3.1 percent increase for married couples. Lone-parent families increased 8.0 percent over the same period.
The 2011 Census counted 64,575 same-sex couple families, up 42.4 percent from 2006. Of these couples, 21,015 were same sex married couples and 43,560 were same-sex common-law couples.
Anyone wanting more information on the changing family units in our society can go to the Statistics Canada web site and follow the appropriate links.