Nearly 30% of homes house one person
August 7, 2017
Almost 30 per cent (28.2 per cent) of Canadian homes house a single person, according to the 2016 Census, the highest proportion of single-person households ever recorded. It was also the first time that single people became the most common living arrangement in the country.
In all, it means that nearly four million of Canada’s 14.1 million households have only one resident. The percentage of one-person households has quadrupled since the 1950s. In 1951, for instance, only 1.8 per cent of all Canadians over the age of 15 lived alone.
The findings may have an affect on new home construction, according to analysts, with increased demand for one-bedroom and even bachelor apartments in the future. They note that lone-person households often involve seniors, those involved in separation and divorce and single working women: all demographic profiles that are increasing in Canada.
However, since it is generally more difficult to afford a mortgage on a single income, more single people may opt to rent than purchase in the larger urban centres.
Roderic Beaujot, a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Western Ontario in London, said innovations such as microwave ovens and the convenience of fast foods have made it easier to maintain a household as a single person. And social media, he said, means single dwellers can stay connected with friends and family.
Barbara Mitchell, a professor of sociology and gerontology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, said much of the trend toward living alone can be attributed to changing gender roles.
“A lot of women now have the economic means to afford to live on their own,” said Dr. Mitchell, and many senior women want to have a home to themselves after a lifetime of taking care of other people, she told the Globe and Mail.