News & Politics

Married Same-Sex couples counted in 2006 Canadian census

Muktsar For the first time (thanks to the 2005 equal marriage legislation), married same-sex couples were counted in the Canadian census. Today, the reports on Families and Households, Marital Status and Housing and Shelter costs were released.

Corralillo Here is a quick rundown:

The 2006 Census enumerated 45,300 same-sex couples. Of these, about 7,500 or 16.5% were married couples….The counts of same-sex couples are not large, yet growth was still quite dramatic during the intercensal period. The number of same-sex couples surged 32.6% between 2001 and 2006, five times the pace of opposite-sex couples (+5.9%)….Over half (53.7%) of same-sex married spouses were men in 2006, compared with 46.3% who were women….Children were present in the home for less than one-tenth of persons in same-sex couples. About 9.0% of individuals in same-sex couples had children in 2006. This was more common for women in same-sex couples (16.3%) than for men (2.9%).

Two days after our son was born, I remember hanging out in the bathroom with my partner, taking a much needed bath while my mother took care of Dré (it was our first bit of quality time since the birth!). We sat together and put our family down on paper. As we did so, we realized the impact we were having on the face of Canadian families, simply by adding our diverse unit into the mix. As we know, census data can’t capture all the ways in which our families are different (for example, I had to pick a race (and a gender!) for Dré, and I really am not sure I got it right) but it at least shows a growing number of us don’t fit into heteronormative ideas of nuclear families.

Click here if you want to read more!

ETA: Check out this story, which discusses how the numbers representing same-sex marriages are skewed due to the problematic language on the census.

Apologies for ongoing edits to this, I wrote it with my 16 month old desperately trying to get my attention (bad momma!)  

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  1. I find it interesting that not only do the stats suggest that we’re getting married at a much faster rate (we’ll see if that holds over the next few years), but we’re younger on average than hetero married couples. Wonder what effect THAT’s gonna have on the face of Canadian families in years to come?

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