|Introduction to the Dictionary, A to Z Index, Modifications|
Modified on September 12, 2002
Part A – Plain Language Definition
Part B – Detailed Definition
Refers to a married couple (with or without children of either or both
spouses), a couple living common-law (with or without children of either
or both partners) or a lone parent of any marital status, with at least
one child living in the same dwelling. A couple living common-law may
be of opposite or same sex. “Children” in a census family
include grandchildren living with their
Censuses: 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981, 1976, 1971,* 1966,* 1961*
Reported for: Population in private households (including those enumerated outside Canada)**
Question Nos.: Derived variable: Questions 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (The question on Common-law status – Question 5 in 2001 – was first asked in the 1991 Census.)
Responses: Not applicable
Remarks: Children refer to blood, step- or adopted sons and daughters (regardless of age or marital status) who are living in the same dwelling as their parent(s), as well as grandchildren in households where there are no parents present. Sons and daughters who are living with their spouse or common-law partner, or with one or more of their own children, are not considered to be members of the census family of their parent(s), even if they are living in the same dwelling. In addition, those sons and daughters who do not live in the same dwelling as their parent(s) are not considered members of the census family of their parent(s).
For the 2001 Census, several changes were made to the census family concept:
In the 2001 Census, the write-in responses for Question 6 (Relationship to Person 1) on the Forms 2A and 3A (2A only in 1996) were not captured, but were classified as "Other write-ins". The write-in responses on Forms 2B, 2C, 2D and 3B (Forms 2B, 2C, 2D and 3 in 1996) were captured as reported by respondents. Unlike for censuses prior to 1996, the published output on families will be produced from the sample database.
In censuses prior to 1991, the families of married couples and those of opposite-sex common-law couples together constituted "husband-wife families" and appeared as such in most census family tables.
The census family and its associated classifications and variables are derived according to responses to the questions on sex, date of birth, marital status, common-law status and relationship to Person 1. In addition, consideration is given to the order in which household members are listed on the questionnaire.
Figure 15 provides an overview of the census family variables.
* In censuses prior to 1976, published family statistics included families living in private households (including those enumerated outside Canada) and all collective households.
** Prior to 2001, census families were defined in Hutterite collective households as well.
Figure 15. Overview of the Census Family Variables
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