Number of dual-income families doubled since 1976, StatsCan report finds
The number of Canadian families with two working parents has almost doubled in the last forty years, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada. (©Syda Productions/shutterstock.com)
Published Wednesday, June 24, 2015 12:19PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 24, 2015 6:05PM EDT
The number of Canadian families with two working parents has almost doubled in the last forty years, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada.
The report, released Wednesday, looked at "couple families," married and common-law couples with at least one child under 16.
While the number of these families in Canada is roughly the same as in 1976, the report found that the percentage of families with two working parents has grown significantly.
In 1976, 36 per cent of couple families with a child under 16, or one million families in total, had two working parents. In 2014, that grew to 69 per cent of couple families with a child under 16, or 1.9 million families in total.
According to the report, dual-earning parents have been on the rise in every province in Canada, but the growth has been most dramatic in Quebec. In 1976, 29 per cent of couple families in the province had two working parents. By 2014, parents in 73 per cent of couple families worked.
Saskatchewan was the province with the highest percentage of dual earners in 2014, with 74 per cent of parents both working.
On the other hand, the lowest proportion of dual-earners can be found in Alberta, where 65 per cent of parents both worked in 2014. This is a reversal of 1976, when Alberta was the province with the most dual-earners, with 43 per cent.
Alberta was also the province with the highest proportion of stay-at-home-parents in 2014. That year, 26 per cent of couple families with children had one working parent and one stay-at-home parent.
While dual-earning couples have increased, stay-at-home parents have become less common overall, the report suggests.
In 1976, 1.5 million single-earner couple families, or 53 per cent of couple families in the country, had a stay-at-home parent. In 2014, 500,000 couple families, or 18 per cent, did.
"In other words, couple families with one stay-at-home parent represented less than one-fifth of couple families with children in 2014, down from more than half in 1976," the report said.
In single-earner families without a stay-at-home parent, the non-earner is temporarily unemployed, going to school, or permanently unable to work, the report said.
The report also looked at single parents and employment. It found that single mothers and fathers were less likely to be employed than their coupled counterparts.
According to the report, 69 per cent of single mothers were employed in 2014, while 75 per cent of mothers in couple families were employed. Meanwhile, 82 per cent of single fathers were employed, compared to 90 per cent of fathers in couple families.