Families with young kids dropping while young adults opt to return home

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The nuclear family - a married mom and dad with kids - is no longer the norm in Canada today.

The number of people who get their own place when they reach their 20s is decreasing and, in 2016, more than a third of Canadians between the ages of 20 and 34 lived with at least one parent.

The number of couples without children increased faster between 2011 and 2016 than those with children - a function of an aging population with parents becoming empty nesters.

More Canadians are opting to live alone as the country's population ages and as women become better able to foot the household bills by themselves. It holds a mirror to who we are and how we live.

Of the 14.1 million households in Canada in 2016, 28.2 per cent comprised only a single person - the highest proportion of single-person households ever recorded and the most common living arrangement captured in the 2016 count, a first for the country.

We are not only more diverse culturally and linguistically, according to Statistics Canada we are also more diverse in our living arrangements. Statistics Canada counted 28,030 foster children aged 14 and under in Canada in 2016. A complex flow chart illustrates how varied their situations can be.

The share of young adults living at home was highest in Ontario, at 42.1 per cent.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, one in three young adults aged 20 to 34 was living with at least one parent in 2016 (33.4 per cent).

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In Quebec, almost a third of kids live with one parent or a step parent.

The census-focused on families, households, marital statuses and language-reveals a changing social landscape where more people are choosing to forego to delay parenthood, stay with their parents longer or live alone. Looking at it another way, in 2016, 13.9% of the Canadian population aged 15 and over lived alone, compared with 1.8% in 1951. However, Quebec also had the lowest percentage of "married" same-sex couples. Only 22 per cent have tied the knot in Quebec since same-sex marriage was legalized across Canada in 2005, versus a third in the rest of the country.

Same-sex couples According to the 2016 Census, there were 72,880 same-sex couples in Canada, representing 0.9 percent of Canadian couples.

It was Number Nerds heaven Wednesday, Statistics Canada releasing a gold mine of information - including the nugget about single-occupant homes - gleaned from the 2016 census. The number of people separated was also higher in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia past year, but down in Newfoundland and Labrador and P.E.I. Statistics Canada reported that 34.7% of young adults aged 20 to 34 were living with at least one parent past year, up from 30.6% in 2001. In 2016, 10.3 per cent of families were led by a single-parent, which was up from 8.5 per cent in 2001.

"In addition, higher separation and divorce rates have led to more people living alone instead of in couples". The number of Arabic speakers climbed by 30 per cent during the same period, Farsi speakers rose by 26.7 per cent, Hindi speakers were up by 26.1 per cent and Urdu speakers were up 25 per cent. It's a trend that's been creeping up for years, given dimmer job prospects and the rise of the gig economy. It also illustrates the plight of the generation sandwiched in between.

So what does our reflection in the census looking glass tell us about ourselves?

And, as time passes, we're all getting older.

There are more Canadians who say they are bilingual than at any point into Canadian history.

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