Kids in Wealthiest Provinces Most Likely to Have Married Parents



March 22, 2018

OTTAWA – A newly released provincial and territorial breakdown of 2016 Census data shows that kids in Canada’s wealthiest provinces are the most likely to be growing up in families with two married parents. As Cardus reported in February of this year, less than 63 percent of Canadian kids are in families with married parents nationally now. If Quebec data are excluded, just about seven in ten kids in the rest of Canada are living with married parents. Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia are the only provinces with more than 70 percent of kids live with married parents.

***Specific data points available in report’s appendix.

“Marriage is the gold standard for raising children, so it’s heartening to see that married parenting is still by far the norm in most of Canada,” says Andrea Mrozek, family program director at think tank Cardus. “Still, the trend in every part of the country is toward less marriage and more common-law parenting. Common-law relationships are more likely to break up than marriages are. And having married parents is also associated with more financial stability and kids doing better in school, so there are public policy implications as marriage declines.”

The 2016 Census data also show that a majority of kids in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Quebec, have parents in common-law relationships or live in single-parent homes. And with the exception of Prince Edward Island, only a small majority of kids in Atlantic Canada are living with married parents.

“The research very clearly shows that marriage is more stable than cohabitation and stability matters for children,” says Mrozek. “We need to educate Canadians on this and enact public policy that reflects this reality.”

The full provincial and territorial breakdown of 2016 Census family data is available online.

To arrange for interviews with Andrea Mrozek, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.


Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus - Director of Communications


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.

Topics: Family, Marriage