Legal marital status

Part A - Short definition:

Refers to the marital status of the person under the law, excluding common-law status.

Part B - Detailed definition:

Refers to the marital status of the person under the law, excluding common-law status. Married spouses may be of opposite sex or of the same sex. The classification is as follows:

Single (never legally married)
A person who has never married or a person whose marriage has been annulled and who has not remarried.
Married (and not separated)
A person who is married and has neither separated nor divorced, and whose spouse is living.
Separated
A person who is married but who is no longer living with his/her spouse (for any reason other than illness, work or school) and who has not obtained a divorce.
Divorced
A person who has obtained a legal divorce and who has not remarried.
Widowed
A person who has lost his/her spouse through death and who has not remarried.

Census years:

2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991

Reported for:

Total population

Question number(s):

Direct variable: Question 4

Responses:

Never legally married; Legally married (and not separated); Separated, but still legally married; Divorced; Widowed

Remarks:

Since 1991, the addition of a question solely on common-law status has made it possible to separate the concept of common-law status from that of legal marital status and to provide accurate data on both these concepts.

In 2011, the category 'Never legally married' on the questionnaire was changed (previously 'Never legally married (single)'), but the concept did not change. Since 2006, the category 'Married' includes legally married same-sex spouses.

All persons under 15 years of age are considered to be single (never legally married).

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