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2006 Census: Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006: National portrait: Individuals

Some children shared a home with grandparents

Some children aged 14 and under in 2006 were living in homes that also included grandparents, including living arrangements where the parent(s) may or may not have been present. Overall, 209,900 children aged 14 and under, or 3.8% of all children in this age group, shared a home with their grandparents.

In 2006, about 28,200 children aged 14 and under, or 0.5% of all children in this age group, lived with one or both grandparents where no parents or middle generation was present. This proportion was similar to 2001. These families are sometimes referred to as skip-generation families. To the extent that parents are not present due to emotional, financial or other difficulties, grandparents could provide an important resource for these grandchildren.

From the grandparent perspective, 514,800 grandparents aged 45 and over, representing 4.1% of the population in this age group, lived in a home shared with their grandchildren in 2006. Just over half (52.2%) of these grandparents were seniors aged 65 and over. They accounted for 6.7% of all seniors in private households.

Of these 514,800 grandparents aged 45 and over living in a shared home, just over one-half (52.5%) lived with a middle generation who were the parents of the child. In other words, these households consisted of three generations—grandparents, adult children and grandchildren, regardless of the age of the grandchildren.

For an additional 32.3% of grandparents in shared homes, the middle generation was a lone parent. Grandparents in skip-generation families, that is, grandparents in families comprised of only the grandparent(s) and grandchild(ren) and no parents present, represented about 62,500 grandparents or 12.1% of grandparents in shared homes.

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