Last week, Statistics Canada released data on the family from the 2011 Census. There was some interesting stuff in there, at least for those of us who accept that interesting and statistics can ever be lumped together in the same sentence.
Turns out, for the first time, there were more one-person households than households of couples with children. In fact, there is now a whopping 27% of households that are singles in Canada. Either we singles are on the rise or some couples are seriously slacking off by not having children.
But this got me to thinking – am I my own family?
Statistics Canada would say no. Their definition of a family is any married or common-law couple, whether they have children or not or any lone-parent households with children. So, I’m not a family.
My sister kindly pointed out that in the “olden days” an unmarried woman would move in with her sister’s family and help raise the kids. But, personally I think she is just looking for cheap help with the cleaning and the cooking.
But aside from the raising of kids (unless the large amount of pet-sitting I do counts) and having someone who occupies space on the other side of the bed, I do lots of family type things.
I bring money into the house to pay the mortgage, I decorate and celebrate all the major holidays, I do the chores like taking out the recycling, doing laundry and putting together IKEA furniture (okay, I didn’t do that last one ALL by myself).
So, surely that makes me my own family, even if there is only one butt-dent in the couch cushions. And, I can be proud of my little family and the contribution I make to Canadian society.
And just in case you think Statistics Canada is completely useless for singles, they have thoughtfully compiled a map where you can look up the percentage of singles in your neighbourhood. Single men of both sexual preferences in my age range in my neighbourhood? 6% of the population. Good thing I’m a happy household just as I am.
Now, if I could just get someone in this damn family to do the grocery shopping!!