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Obesity, childless rates high among Sask. adults, Stats Canada says

If you live alone, you're not alone, finds new census data

OTTAWA-more Canadians are living alone, do not marry and remain with their parents until their mid-thirties, according to new data released by Statistics Canada.

Almost 14 per cent of Canadians reported living alone, representing 28.2 per cent of all households - more than the percentage of couples with or without children, single-parent families, and other combinations of people living together, the figures released on Wednesday reveal.

Canadians' lives at home have evolved since Confederation, when large rural families consisting of a married couple and several children were common. By 2016, this had dropped to 2.4 people per average household.

These changes are the results of demographic shifts, such as population aging and increasing ethnocultural diversity, as well as social, economic and legislative changes.

The implications for Canadian society is enormous, said demographers at Statistics Canada, which said effects will be felt society-wide, including on "the housing market, on caregiving and care receiving and on intergenerational relationships".

According to the census data, 7.7-million of Canadians speak what is called an "immigrant mother tongue" at home, and the languages themselves are changing.

The proportion of women over the age of 65 who are living alone has fallen from 38.3 per cent in 2001 to 33 per cent past year, while the ranks of those who were married or living common-law increased.

At the time of Confederation, the vast majority of Canadian households were family households, and few people lived alone. Forty-two per cent of young Ontarians live at their parents' home, compared to about 25 per cent in Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Yukon.

Finally, population aging and higher life expectancy have also contributed to the increase in one-person households, given that a larger share of seniors live alone as compared to other age groups. Higher separation and divorce rates have also led to more people living alone.

One-person households became the most common type of household for the first time in 2016, surpassing couples with children, which were down from 31.5% of all households in 2001 to 26.5% in 2016.

Nationally, just over one in 10 common-law couples are living with children.

One-third (33 per cent) of women aged 65 and older were living alone in 2016, down from 38.3 per cent in 2001, compared with 17.5 per cent of men.

Of the 70 Aboriginal languages tracked by Statistics Canada, Cree languages are the most commonly spoken at home. As far as solo residents go, 44,960 households are occupied by a single person.

The trend is even more pronounced in the capital region, where one-third of our dwellings have just one resident.

As for families with children, the census reveals that 47,355 census family households have no children, while 129,025 do. The number of overall English speakers was up from 2011, while the number of French speakers declined across Canada and in Quebec. And about 12 per cent of those same-sex couples were parents in 2016, up from 8 per cent in 2001, with biological, step- and adopted children comprising their families.

The proportion of couples living with children has been decreasing for some time.

The popularity of marriage is also in free fall across the country, but the trend is even more present in the lovely province. In general, cities with a higher-than-average proportion of young adults living with parents are found in the Greater Toronto Area and B.C.'s Lower Mainland.