Census family status

Part A - Short definition:

Classification of persons according to whether or not they are members of a census family and the status they have in the census family (a census family is composed of a married couple or two persons living common-law, with or without children, or of a lone parent living with at least one child in the same dwelling). A person can be a married spouse, a common-law partner, a lone parent, a child or a person not in a census family.

Part B - Detailed definition:

Refers to the classification of the population according to whether or not the persons are members of a census family. (See Figure 18.)

Census family persons refer to household members who belong to a census family.

Census family persons can be further classified into one of the following four categories:

a) Married spouses

Two persons of opposite sex or of the same sex who are legally married to each other and living in the same dwelling.

b) Common-law partners

Two persons of opposite sex or of the same sex who are not legally married to each other, but live together as a couple in the same dwelling.

c) Lone parents

Mothers or fathers, with no married spouse or common-law partner present, living in a dwelling with one or more children.

d) Children

Blood, step or adopted sons and daughters (regardless of age or marital status) who are living in the same dwelling as their parent(s), as well as grandchildren in households where there are no parents present. Sons and daughters who are living with their married spouse or common-law partner, or with one or more of their own children, are not considered to be members of the census family of their parent(s), even if they are living in the same dwelling. In addition, those sons and daughters who do not live in the same dwelling as their parent(s) are not considered members of the census family of their parent(s).

Persons not in census families refer to household members who do not belong to a census family.

Census years:

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976,Footnote 1 1971Footnote 2

Reported for:

Population in private households

Question number(s):

Derived variable: Questions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Responses:

Not applicable

Remarks:

Census family status is used when detail is required for persons who are part of a census family.

Common-law partners may be of any marital status other than 'Legally married (and not separated).'

The category of 'children' can be further distinguished as follows:

  • Never-married sons and/or daughters in a census family.
  • Ever-married sons and/or daughters in a census family, that is, who were previously married, were not included in census families according to the pre-2001 concept.
  • Grandchildren living in the same household as their grandparent(s), with no parents present; these grandchildren were not included in census families according to the pre-2001 concept.
  • As of 2011, a child in a couple family can be classified as either a child in an intact family or a child in a stepfamily. A child in a stepfamily, in turn, can be classified as a child in a simple stepfamily or a child in a complex stepfamily (refer to Census family for definition of intact families, stepfamilies, and simple and complex stepfamilies).
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