Londoners liking loner lifestyle: census

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The loner lifestyle is the most common living arrangement for the first time in Canadian history.

That’s the most startling revelation from new 2016 census data released Wednesday.

Statistics Canada says more than one in four Canadian households included just one person in 2016 (28 per cent), supplanting couples with children as the dominant household setup (26.5 per cent).

The London region is above the national average, with 30 per cent of households made up of just one person.

A regional breakdown for Southwestern Ontario shows most local counties are close to the national average in the proportion of single-family households.

Haldimand-Norfolk, (24.2 per cent) Elgin (25.3 per cent) and Oxford (25.5 per cent) are below the national average.

Perth County, (27.8 per cent) Essex (28.6 per cent) and Huron County (28.2 per cent) were close to the national average.

Middlesex (30.3 per cent) Lambton (29.7 per cent) and Chatham-Kent (29.8 per cent ) were above the national average.

The census also says Canadian couples without kids grew in number at a faster pace than did couples with at least one child, leaving that demographic at 51.1 per cent of the population, the lowest level ever recorded.

The agency cites a number of social and economic factors, in particular an aging population that includes more empty nesters and widows, as well as higher divorce and separation rates.

Economic factors are also likely playing a significant role in another spike in the number of young adults living with their parents.

The numbers show that one in three young adults aged 20 to 34 was living with at least one parent in 2016, an increase of almost five percentage points between 2001 and 2016. During that same period, the percentage of young people living with families of their own declined to 41.9 per cent from 49.1 per cent.

~with files from Canadian Press

Percentage of Single-family households

London CMA – 30 per cent

Haldimand-Norfolk – 24.2 per cent Elgin 25.3 per cent

Oxford – 25.5 per cent

Perth County – 27.8 per cent

Essex County – 28.6 per cent

Huron County – 28.2 per cent

Lambton County – 29.7 per cent

Chatham-Kent – 29.8 per cent 

Average Family Size

London CMA – 2.3

Haldimand-Norfolk – 2.5

Elgin – 2.5

Oxford – 2.5

Perth County – 2.4

Huron County – 2.4

Lambton County – 2.3

Chatham-Kent – 2.3

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