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2006 Census: Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006: Provinces and territories

Nova Scotia: Lowest proportion of households with couples and children

Nova Scotia had the lowest proportion in Canada of private households comprised of couples with children.

Of the 376,800 households in Nova Scotia in 2006, only one-quarter (25.5%) were comprised of couples with children, compared with the national average of 28.5%. This is a reflection of a low fertility level that has remained below the national average for at least two decades.

Furthermore, the number of these households fell 7.9% between 2001 and 2006, while they grew 0.4% at the national level. Nova Scotia was the second oldest province in Canada in 2006, so it is possible that the province could have more middle-aged or older couples whose adult children have already left home.

Overall in Nova Scotia, the number of private households grew 4.7% between 2001 and 2006 while the population in private households increased only 0.5%. Similar to other provinces and territories, the households growing most rapidly were one-person households (+12.3%) and those comprised of couples without children (+10.1%).

The 2006 Census enumerated 267,400 families in Nova Scotia, up 1.7% from 2001. Married couples accounted for 70.1% of census families, and lone-parent families represented an additional 16.9%, both higher than the national average. However, common-law-couple families accounted for 13.0% of the total, below the national average of 15.5%.

Nova Scotia had the highest number of same-sex couples in the Atlantic provinces. According to the 2006 Census, there were 1,300 same-sex couples, representing 0.6% of all couples, the same proportion as for Canada.

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