Latest census says marriage on the decline

Latest figures from Statistics Canada in for Cranbrook and Kimberley.

  • Sep. 20, 2012 6:00 p.m.

The latest census figures from Stats Canada show that what we know as traditional marriage is on the decline both nationally and in Kimberley and Cranbrook.

Statistics Canada released the latest data from the May 2011 census on Thursday.

Across Canada, the percentage of married couples has dropped over the last five years from 68.6 per cent to 67 per cent of all families. Couples living together without being legally married make up 16.7 per cent of all families across the country, an increase from the 2006 census when it was 15.5 per cent.

A census family is defined by Stats Canada as  being composed of a married or common-law couple, including those with children, or of a lone parent living with at least one child in the same household.

Kimberley’s total population in 2011 was 6,652 with a median age of 46.3 84.6 per cent of the population wazs 15 or over, about on par with the rest of the East Kootenay.

Cranbrook’s total population was 19,320 with a medial age of 43.1 and 83.2 per cent over 15.

That means there are 16,075 people 15 and over in Cranbrook. Of those, 9,625 are married or living common law with a partner; 3,660 never married; 545 separated, 1,160 divorced; and 1,090 widowed.

With 5,635 census families in private households in Cranbrook, 3,915 are married, 69.5 per cent of the population. In the last census in 2006, 69.8 per cent of couples were married.

In Kimberley, 70.7 per cent of families are married couples (with and without children at home). In 2006, 71.5 per cent of Kimberley families were married couples.

Across Canada, the percentage of married couples has dropped over the last five years from 68.6 per cent to 67 per cent of all families. Couples living together without being legally married make up 16.7 per cent of all families across the country, an increase from the 2006 census when it was 15.5 per cent.

Common-law families make up 14.2 per cent of Cranbrook families and 17.4 per cent of Kimberley families.

Stepfamilies – defined by Statistics Canada as couples living with one or more children where at least one child is the biological or adopted child of only one of the parents – represent 5.6 per cent of all families in Kimberley. In Cranbrook 7.2 per cent of families are stepfamilies. This is the first time Statistics Canada has counted stepfamilies in a census.

In Cranbrook, 9.9 per cent of people are divorced, in Kimberley 9.6.

In Kimberley 12.2 per cent of families are headed by single parents: 9.4 per cent by single mothers and 3 per cent by fathers. 16.3 per cent of families  in Cranbrook are headed by single parents: 12.7 per cent by single mothers and 3.6 per cent by fathers.

Here’s another interesting stat — in Cranbrook, 4.7 per cent of households have adult children 25 and over living at home. In Kimberley, that number is 3.7 per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that it would not be releasing data on same-sex couples in geographic regions smaller than the country’s major metropolitan areas because of concerns about the accuracy of the numbers in smaller communities. That means information about the same-sex population in Kimberley, Cranbrook and surrounding communities is not available for 2011.


Carolyn Grant

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