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

British Columbia: Growth of census families above national average

The number of census families in British Columbia increased at a slightly faster pace than the national average during the past five years.

The census counted 1,161,400 census families in British Columbia in 2006, up 6.9% from 2001, compared with 6.3% for Canada as a whole. British Columbia has been attractive to many migrants, both internationally and internally, which could be contributing to the growth of census families in the province.

Of these census families, 72.7% were married couples, 12.2% were common-law couples and 15.1% were lone parents.

The 2006 Census enumerated 7,000 same-sex couples in British Columbia, accounting for 0.7% of all couples in the province, just above the national average of 0.6%. British Columbia was the second province to legalize same-sex marriage in July 2003. Of all same-sex couples in the province, 1,400, or 19.5%, were married.

The number of private households in British Columbia increased 7.1% to 1,643,100, while the population in private households grew 5.1%. Households containing one person represented 28.0%, while 8.9% had five or more persons.

The private households which grew most quickly between 2001 and 2006 were those comprised of couples without children (+11.0%) and households with only one person (+10.2%). The province also had a proportion of seniors aged 65 or more in 2006 that was higher than the national average.

In British Columbia, 26.3% of households consisted of a couple with at least one child in 2006, below the national average of 28.5%. This province also has a lower fertility rate than the national average.

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