Release and Concepts Overview
2016 Census of Population:
Families, households and marital status

Release date: June 16, 2017

1. Objectives

Census of Population release topics will be accompanied by their own Release and Concepts Overview and will be available from Statistics Canada's website in advance of each release.

The purpose of the Release and Concepts Overview series is to provide an overview of:

  • the concepts, definitions and key indicators used by each of the major 2016 Census of Population releases

  • the products that will be available on each major day of release and later.

The Release and Concepts Overview series will help partners, stakeholders and other data users to better understand the information being released.


This Release and Concepts Overview is for the Families, households and marital status release, which will be on August 2, 2017.

The information provided in this overview is subject to change.

2. Concepts and definitions: Families, households and marital status

Economic and census family membership and family status

Figure 1: Family membership and family status

1. Foster children are included.

Description of Figure 1

Figure 1 presents how the population covered in the census is separated for production and dissemination purposes. The total population is broken down into either persons in private households or persons in collective households. Persons in private households are further broken down as persons in economic families or persons not in economic families.

Persons in economic families may also include persons in census families which can be broken down by persons in couples (married spouses or common-law partners, opposite-sex or same-sex couples); female or male lone parents; children of couples or children of lone parents.

Persons in economic families may also include persons living with relatives (other than married spouse, common-law partner or children of which foster children are included).

Persons not in economic families include those persons living with non-relatives only or persons living alone. Persons living with relatives (other than married spouse, common-law partner or children [of which foster children are included]); those persons living with non-relatives only or persons living alone are all considered to be persons not in census families.

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016.

Census family and stepfamily status of couple family with children

Figure 2: Census family and stepfamily status of couple family with children

Description of Figure 2

Figure 2 provides an overview of the census family structure: couple families (married or common-law; opposite-sex or same-sex). The two types of couple families are further categorized as those without children and those with children. Those with children can be intact families or stepfamilies which could be either simple stepfamilies or complex stepfamilies. Census family structure also includes female or male lone-parent families.

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016.

Couple family with children

Figure 3: Couple family with children

Description of Figure 3

Couple family with children can be intact families or stepfamilies which could be either simple stepfamilies or complex stepfamilies.

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016.

Intact family: All children are the biological or adopted children of both married spouses or of both common-law partners.

Stepfamily: At least one biological or adopted child is of only one married spouse or common-law partner, and this birth or adoption preceded the current relationship.

Simple stepfamily: All children are biological or adopted children of only one married spouse or common-law partner, and their birth or adoption preceded the current relationship.

Complex stepfamily:

  1. Child(ren) from one married spouse or common-law partner and at least one other biological or adopted child of the couple.
  2. Child(ren) from each married spouse or common-law partner and no other children.
  3. Child(ren) from each married spouse or common-law partner and at least one other biological or adopted child of the couple.

Multigenerational households and skip-generation families

Figure 4: Multigenerational households and skip-generation families

Description of Figure 4

This figure describes two essential concepts in the family release: Multigenerational households and Skip-generation families.

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population, 2016.

Multigenerational households: Households with three or more generations. These households have at least one person who is the grandparent and parent of someone in the household.

Skip-generation families: Census families that consist of grandparents and grandchildren, but without the presence of parents in the home.

Marital and conjugal status

Census and economic families

Family characteristics of individuals: A person living in a private household can be a married spouse, a common-law partner, a lone parent, a child, or a person not in a census family. Persons not in census families include individuals living alone or living with other relatives or non-relatives.

Children not living in an intact family: Children aged 0 to 14 not living in an intact two-parent family include those living in lone-parent families, stepfamilies and skip-generation families (with grandparents and without parents), and those not living in census families with other relatives, with non-relatives, or as foster children.

Foster children: The population of children in private households who have been reported as foster children on the census questionnaire. Foster children are considered as "other relatives" in an economic family.

Households

3. Key indicators

Households

  • Counts of private households, 2016
  • Distribution (number and percentage) and percentage change of private households by household type, 2001 to 2016
    • One-person households
    • Multigenerational households
    • Other household types (persons not living in households with at least one census family and not living alone)

Families and couples

  • Counts of census families, 2016
  • Census families by family size, 2016
  • Distribution (number and percentage) (2001 to 2016) and percentage change of census families by family structure, 2006 to 2016
    • Couple families
      • Married or common-law
      • Opposite-sex or same-sex
      • With children or without children

Marital status

  • Distribution (number and percentage) of the population aged 15 and older by marital status, sex and age group, Canada, 2011 to 2016

Family characteristics of children aged 0 to 14

  • Percentage of the population aged 0 to 14 by census family structure, 2011 to 2016
  • Distribution (number and percentage) of the population aged 0 to 14 living in or not living in census families, 2011 to 2016
  • Distribution (number and percentage) of the population aged 0 to 14 in private households by family characteristics, 2011 to 2016
    • Children living in an intact two-parent family
    • Children living in a stepfamily (simple or complex)
    • Children living in a lone-parent family
      • Female or male parent
    • Children living in a household with a grandparent
      • Skip-generation families
    • Children living with other relatives or non-relatives
      • Foster children

Family characteristics of young adults (aged 20 to 34) and seniors (aged 65 and older)

  • Percentage of young adults aged 20 to 34 by family characteristics, age group and sex, 2001 to 2016
    • Young adults aged 20 to 34 in couples by conjugal status
    • Young adults aged 20 to 34 living with their parents
  • Percentage of the population aged 65 and older by family characteristics, age group and sex, 2001 to 2016
    • Population aged 65 and older living in couples
    • Population aged 65 and older living alone in private households

Same-sex couples in Canada

  • Distribution (number and percentage) and percentage change of couple families by opposite-sex or same-sex status, 2001 to 2016
  • Percentage of the population aged 15 and older in opposite-sex or same-sex couples by conjugal status, 2016
  • Percentage of the population aged 15 and older in opposite-sex or same-sex couples by presence and number of children, 2016
  • Percentage of the population aged 15 and older in same-sex couples with children by sex of parents and age of children, 2016

4. Products and activities available with this release

The following will be available with the Families, households and marital status release on August 2, 2017:

  • Analytical products
    • The Daily article
    • Census in Brief
    • Video
    • Infographic
  • Data products
    • Highlight tables
    • Data tables
    • Census Profile
    • Focus on Geography Series
  • Geography products
    • Thematic maps
    • GeoSearch
  • Reference products
    • Release and Concepts Overview series
    • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016
    • Census Dictionary
    • Families Reference Guide
  • Social media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • YouTube
    • Chat with an expert (August 4, 2017)



The following provides additional details on some key products that will be available at the time of the Families, households and marital status release. Together, they will provide main findings, important messages, latest trends and additional background information.

  • The Daily article: This will include the main results for families, households and marital status at the national, provincial and territorial levels, as well as for some large census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

  • Census in Brief: Three short articles will provide analyses focusing on current family topics that are relevant from a public policy perspective:
    • The diverse family situations of children in Canada in 2016
    • Young adults living with their parents in Canada in 2016
    • Same-sex couples in Canada in 2016

  • Video: This will provide an overview of families in Canada at Confederation and today.

  • Infographic: This will allow users to quickly visualize some key findings from the 2016 Census of Population, including a portrait of family living arrangements in Canada.

  • Highlight tables: They present focused information for various levels of geography. These tables allow users to perform simple rank and sort functions and include percentage distributions and percentage changes from previous censuses to facilitate comparisons between years, and different geographic areas.

  • Data tables: These cross-tabulations allow for a more detailed examination of Canada, by comparing up to eight variables across various levels of geography.

  • Census Profile: This product provides key statistics about the dwellings and the people living there. Users are able to select a standard geographic area and compare two geographic areas. They can search by place name or postal code for an area of interest as large as Canada or as small as a grouping of city blocks.

  • Focus on Geography Series: This product presents highlights through short text, tables and figures for various release topics and levels of geography, including Canada, provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas (CMAs), census agglomerations (CAs) and Canadian municipalities (census subdivisions).

  • Families Reference Guide: This guide explains census concepts and definitions. It also includes information about data quality and historical comparability, as well as comparisons with other data sources.

  • Guide to the Census of Population, 2016: This reference document provides an overview of the 2016 Census of Population processes, including content determination, collection, processing, data quality assessment, data dissemination and data suppression. It also includes response rates, global non-response rates, the distribution of the number of census subdivisions for which data have been published by province and territory and at the national level, as well as other data quality information.

    The majority of the content was released with the Population and dwelling counts release. Additional content will be added with subsequent releases.

  • Census Dictionary: This provides detailed definitions of census concepts, variables and geographic terms, as well as historical information to facilitate the comparison between census years. Content is released cumulatively through to November 2017, with the majority of the definitions released on May 3, 2017.

Social media activities with this release

  • Facebook, YouTube and Twitter: The official social media accounts will also be used to communicate and engage with the public for the dissemination of results from the 2016 Census of Population.

  • Chat with an expert: Users are invited to chat with Statistics Canada experts on the topics of Families, households and marital status, as well as Language, on August 4, 2017, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, Eastern time. For more information, refer to Statistics Canada’s website: Chat with an expert.

5. Products available after release

The following products will be available with later releases:

Analytical products

  • Articles in Insights on Canadian Society (ICS)
  • Data visualization tool. More information about this initiative will be made available during the release cycle.

Data products

  • Additional data tables at various levels of geography
  • 2016 Census Aboriginal Population Profile
  • 2016 Census Individuals Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Hierarchical Public Use Microdata File (PUMF)
  • 2016 Census Long-form Research Data Centre (RDC) Microdata File

Reference products

  • Reference guides (various topics)
  • Technical reports

6. 2016 Census Program web module

To access the 2016 Census of Population products, please consult the 2016 Census Program web module.

7. 2016 Census Program release schedule

Release dates, 2016 Census Program
Release date Release topic
November 16, 2016 Geography
February 8, 2017 Population and dwelling counts
May 3, 2017

Age and sex

Type of dwelling

May 10, 2017 Census of Agriculture

August 2, 2017

Families, households and marital status

Language

September 13, 2017 Income
October 25, 2017

Immigration and ethnocultural diversity

Housing

Aboriginal peoples

November 29, 2017

Education

Labour

Journey to work

Language of work

Mobility and migration

8. Contact information

General enquiries

Media Relations – Media Hotline

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