Common-law couples increase: census

OTTAWA (CP) – Statistics Canada today released its report on marital status, common-law unions and marriages. Figures from the 1996 census show that single-parent families exceeded the one-million mark for the first time. Moreover, in the last 5 years, the number of common-law families increased 28 per cent and families headed by a single parent grew by 19 per cent.

One in four families is now said to be either common-law or single parent. This brought the percentage of children living in a household with unmarried parents up a staggering 52 percent.