Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Halifax—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part C: Families and Households

Family and household affiliation of individuals

Nine out of ten recent immigrants live with relatives

Very few recent immigrants live alone. Like the Canadian-born population, a large majority of recent immigrants live in households with at least two people, and in most cases, these are people with whom they are related by blood, marriage or adoption. In fact, recent immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born population to live with relatives. This difference is seen in all age groups. Generally in Canada, the difference between the living arrangements of very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born is greatest among older people, but in Halifax a fairly large share of older very recent immigrants live alone.

Table C-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—living arrangements, by age, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated before 1986 Immigrated 1986-1995 Immigrated 1996-2001
All ages (including 0-14 years)
Living alone 34,580 2,680 2,090 320 270
Living with non-relatives only 17,590 670 370 180 120
Living with relatives 276,700 20,950 12,160 4,770 4,040
15-24 years
Living alone 2,130 100 30 40 40
Living with non-relatives only 6,480 170 40 90 40
Living with relatives 37,620 1,990 290 990 730
25-44 years
Living alone 12,240 630 290 170 180
Living with non-relatives only 8,130 260 120 60 90
Living with relatives 89,190 6,390 2,830 1,910 1,640
45-64 years
Living alone 10,120 870 730 110 40
Living with non-relatives only 2,160 190 160 30 0
Living with relatives 63,720 7,780 6,130 1,190 480
65 years and over
Living alone 10,090 1,090 1,050 30 20
Living with non-relatives only 600 70 60 0 0
Living with relatives 22,120 3,170 2,930 190 50
 
All ages (including 0-14 years)
Living alone 11% 11% 14% 6% 6%
Living with non-relatives only 5% 3% 3% 3% 3%
Living with relatives 84% 86% 83% 91% 91%
15-24 years
Living alone 5% 4% 7% 3% 5%
Living with non-relatives only 14% 7% 10% 8% 5%
Living with relatives 81% 88% 83% 89% 90%
25-44 years
Living alone 11% 9% 9% 8% 9%
Living with non-relatives only 7% 4% 4% 3% 5%
Living with relatives 81% 88% 87% 89% 86%
45-64 years
Living alone 13% 10% 10% 8% 8%
Living with non-relatives only 3% 2% 2% 2% 0%
Living with relatives 84% 88% 87% 90% 92%
65 years and over
Living alone 31% 25% 26% 12% 23%
Living with non-relatives only 2% 2% 1% 0% 0%
Living with relatives 67% 73% 72% 88% 77%

Note: For definitions of living arrangements and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Recent immigrants more likely to live in extended families

Recent immigrants are similar to Canadian-born individuals in that most live in nuclear families, with no relatives other than the immediate members of the nuclear family. However, recent immigrants are more likely than the Canadian-born population to live in extended family situations. Of the Canadian-born population living with one or more relatives, only 6% are part of an extended family. By contrast, 9% of very recent immigrants living with relatives live in an extended family.

Figure C-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage living with relatives in an extended family, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage)

Figure C-1

Note: For definitions of extended and nuclear families, see the Glossary. Whereas Table C-1 includes all persons, Figure C-1 and Table C-2 include only persons who are living with relatives. A small percentage of individuals living with relatives are in “non-family” households. An example might be two adult brothers living together. The percentage of individuals in these situations is not shown in the table and figure in this section. Consequently, the percentages in Table C-2 do not add to 100%.

Older recent immigrants are most likely to live in an extended family. One in five of very recent immigrants aged 65 and over live in extended families, compared to one in eight Canadian-born seniors. Older recent immigrants living in extended families are most often related to someone within a nuclear family and are not members of the nuclear family itself.

Table C-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—living with relatives in nuclear or extended family, by age, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated before 1986 Immigrated 1986-1995 Immigrated 1996-2001
All ages
Nuclear family 254,040 18,750 10,980 4,140 3,630
Extended family 17,700 1,920 1,040 550 350
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 60,980 1,540 430 1,100
Extended family 2,820 100 50 45
15-24
Nuclear family 34,430 1,680 260 830 590
Extended family 2,380 220 30 90 90
25-44
Nuclear family 82,510 5,820 2,620 1,740 1,480
Extended family 5,120 490 180 170 150
45-64
Nuclear family 57,840 7,030 5,570 1,040 420
Extended family 4,750 700 500 130 70
65 years and over
Nuclear family 18,280 2,690 2,560 100 40
Extended family 2,640 440 330 100 10
 
All ages
Nuclear family 92% 90% 90% 87% 90%
Extended family 6% 9% 9% 11% 9%
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 95% 94% 90% 96%
Extended family 4% 6% 10% 4%
15-24
Nuclear family 92% 84% 86% 84% 83%
Extended family 6% 11% 10% 9% 13%
25-44
Nuclear family 93% 91% 93% 91% 90%
Extended family 6% 8% 6% 9% 9%
45-64
Nuclear family 91% 90% 91% 88% 86%
Extended family 7% 9% 8% 11% 14%
65 years and over
Nuclear family 83% 85% 87% 50% 80%
Extended family 12% 14% 11% 50% 20%

Note: For definitions of extended and nuclear families, see the Glossary. Whereas Table C-1 includes all persons, Figure C-1 and Table C-2 include only persons who are living with relatives. A small percentage of individuals living with relatives are in “non-family” households. An example might be two adult brothers living together. The percentage of individuals in these situations is not shown in the table and figure in this section. Consequently, the percentages in Table C-2 do not add to 100%.

Families

One in thirty families in Halifax is a recent immigrant family

In Halifax in 2001, there were 9,700 recent immigrants who landed in Canada between 1986 and 2001. A large majority of these immigrants—8,400 or 87%—were members of a nuclear family. In other words, they were husbands, wives, common-law partners, lone parents or children. Only 3% of families in Halifax are recent immigrant families—that is, families in which either or both spouses or the lone parent are recent immigrants. In Canada as a whole, one in nine families is a recent immigrant family.

Most of the recent immigrant families consist of married or common-law couples, while 8% are lone-parent families. Among Canadian-born families, 16% are lone-parent families, while 84% are married or common-law couples. Single-parent families are less common among recent immigrant families regardless of the age of the oldest member of the family.

Table C-3: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—family structure, by age of older spouse or lone parent, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent
immigrant families
All families (including ages 15-24)
Couples with or without children 71,930 84% 3,170 92%
Lone-parent families 14,180 16% 270 8%
Total number of families 86,110 100% 3,440 100%
25-44
Couples with or without children 31,940 81% 1,820 93%
Lone-parent families 7,600 19% 130 7%
Total number of families 39,540 100% 1,950 100%
45-64
Couples with or without children 28,680 88% 1,140 90%
Lone-parent families 4,090 12% 130 10%
Total number of families 32,770 100% 1,270 100%
65 years and over
Couples with or without children 10,120 86% 160 100%
Lone-parent families 1,580 14% 0 0%
Total number of families 11,700 100% 160 100%

Note: For definitions of family and related concepts, see the Glossary. Since the 1996 Census there have been changes to the definition of family.

Recent immigrant families more likely to have children in the home

Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families differ in the proportion of families with children at home. Nearly three in four recent immigrant families have at least one child of any age living at home. By comparison, just over six in ten Canadian-born families have children at home.

This difference occurs mainly among households in the 45-64 age group, when age of family is defined as the age of the oldest member of the family. Among families headed by seniors, Canadian-born families are more likely to have children living in the home.

Figure C-2: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—never-married children living at home, by age of older spouse or lone parent, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage)

Figure C-2

Older recent immigrant families have more children living at home

Recent immigrant families with children are more likely to have more than two children in the home than Canadian-born families with children. As many as 27% of recent immigrant families with children have three or more children, compared to 14% of Canadian-born families.

Among families with children, the largest gap between the Canadian-born and recent immigrants occurs in the 45-64 age group. Recent immigrant families in this age group are almost three times more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to have three or more children.

Table C-4: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—never-married children living at home, by age of older spouse or lone parent, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent
immigrant families
All ages (including ages 15-24)
One child 24,490 46% 740 29%
Two children 21,190 40% 1,110 44%
Three or more children 7,620 14% 680 27%
25-44
One child 11,120 38% 510 34%
Two children 13,440 45% 660 44%
Three or more children 5,050 17% 330 22%
45-64
One child 9,960 51% 210 21%
Two children 7,170 37% 430 44%
Three or more children 2,490 13% 340 35%
65 years and over
One child 2,550 87% 10 40%
Two children 350 12% 20 60%
Three or more children 30 1% 0 0%

One in three recent immigrant families includes a Canadian-born spouse

The majority of the 3,440 recent immigrant families consist of a recently immigrated husband married to or living common-law with a recently immigrated wife, with or without children. An additional 10% of families have a recently immigrated spouse and a spouse who immigrated before 1986. One in three recent immigrant families in Halifax have a recent immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse. This latter share is twice as high as that in Canada as a whole.

Figure C-3: Recent immigrant families—family structure showing immigrant status of spouses, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage distribution)

Figure C-3

Of the families of immigrants who landed before 1986, the majority, 62%, consist of an immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse (not shown in Figure C-3). This rate is much higher than for recent immigrants.

When recent immigrants enter into conjugal unions, they are very likely to do so as a legally married couple. Just 1% of recent immigrant couples live common-law, compared with 15% of Canadian-born couples.

The low incidence of common-law relationships is in part a result of immigration law, which, prior to the introduction of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in June 2002, did not recognize common-law relationships.

Table C-5: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—couples in common-law relationships by age of older spouse, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All ages 11,090 15% 10 1%
15-24 990 83% 0 0%
25-44 7,210 23% 10 1%
45-64 2,610 9% 0 0%
65 years and over 300 3% 0 0%

Households

One in thirty households is a recent immigrant household

In 2001, there were 4,490 recent immigrant households—households in which at least one member 15 years or older was a recent immigrant. These made up just 3% of the total number of households in Halifax.

Two out of five recent immigrant households, or 1,820 in total, have at least one member who immigrated after 1995. For more than half of these households, all members are very recent immigrants. The remaining 800 households are comprised of very recent immigrants living together with other persons. In three in ten of these households, the other persons are immigrants who landed before 1996, and in the remaining seven in ten they are persons born in Canada.

Table C-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Number of
households
Share of
all households
Canadian-born 128,240 89%
Earlier immigrants 11,010 8%
Recent immigrants 4,490 3%
 1986-1995 immigrants 2,660 2%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 810 1%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1,010 1%
All households 144,440 100%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Nine out of ten households in Halifax consist of only Canadian-born persons. Households that include one or more earlier immigrants but no recent immigrants account for 8% of households.

Recent immigrant households more likely to be larger than a nuclear family

A recent immigrant household in Halifax is slightly more likely than a Canadian-born household to consist of one or more families. Four in five recent immigrant households are family households, compared to two out of three Canadian-born households.

One in three Canadian-born households is a non-family household, and most of these consist of a person living alone. Among more recent immigrant households, persons living alone are much rarer.

Most households consist of a nuclear family—that is, a couple with or without children or a lone parent with one or more children. Immigrant households are more likely to consist of just a nuclear family than Canadian-born households.

Ten percent of recent immigrant households consist of a nuclear family living with other persons. In most of these “expanded-family” households, the non-family person or persons are related to the family. Expanded-family households occur much less frequently among the Canadian-born.

Table C-7: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household structure, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
    Family households Non-family households
Households All family house-
holds
Nuclear families Expanded families Multiple families Single person Multiple persons
Canadian-born 85,100 78,170 6,100 840 34,550 8,600
Earlier immigrants 8,560 7,800 670 100 2,090 370
Recent immigrants 3,630 3,160 380 100 590 280
 1986-1995 immigrants 2,170 1,910 230 40 320 160
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 740 590 100 50 0 70
 1996-2001 immigrants only 710 660 40 10 270 40
All households 97,530 89,350 7,150 1,030 37,530 9,380
 
Canadian-born 66% 61% 5% 1% 27% 7%
Earlier immigrants 78% 71% 6% 1% 19% 3%
Recent immigrants 81% 70% 8% 2% 13% 6%
 1986-1995 immigrants 82% 72% 8% 1% 12% 6%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 91% 73% 12% 6% 0% 9%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 70% 65% 4% 1% 27% 4%
All households 68% 62% 5% 1% 26% 6%

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary.

Households of recent immigrants are also somewhat more likely than Canadian-born households to consist of two or more families. These families may be related to each other, as for example a married couple living with the family of one of their children. Multiple family households are most common among households combining very recent immigrants with other persons, but even in that group, the proportion of multiple family households is only 6%. Many recent immigrants clearly live in households that are different from the standard nuclear family.

Recent immigrant households tend to be large

Recent immigrant households are more likely to be large in size than Canadian-born and earlier immigrant households. A little more than half of recent immigrant households have one to three members, compared to four out of five Canadian-born households. The proportion of households with four or more members is twice as large among recent immigrant households as among Canadian-born households.

Table C-8: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household size, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Number of persons in household Total
Households 1 to 3 4 or 5 6 or more
Canadian-born 100,710 25,630 1,900 128,230
Earlier immigrants 8,160 2,590 280 11,020
Recent immigrants 2,500 1,590 410 4,490
 1986-1995 immigrants 1,440 1,010 210 2,650
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 510 230 80 810
 1996-2001 immigrants only 550 360 120 1,020
All households 112,000 29,840 2,600 144,440
  Number of persons in household Estimated
average size
Households 1 to 3 4 or 5 6 or more
Canadian-born 79% 20% 1% 2.5
Earlier immigrants 74% 23% 2% 2.7
Recent immigrants 56% 35% 9% 3.4
 1986-1995 immigrants 54% 38% 8% 3.4
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 62% 28% 10% 3.4
 1996-2001 immigrants only 54% 35% 11% 3.3
All households 78% 21% 2% 2.5

Note: The total “All households” includes households of non-permanent residents not shown in the table. For definitions of household and related concepts, see the Glossary. Average size of household is estimated assuming an average of 4.5 for households with four or five members and an average of 7 for households with six or more members. For households with one, two or three members, the actual size of household was used in the calculation.

Most of the larger recent immigrant households have four or five members. Recent immigrant households are the most likely of all households to have six or more members. The share of households among Canadian-born having six or more members is only 1%.

More care of children

The proportion of recent immigrants of 15 years of age and over reporting time spent on unpaid care of children is higher than the proportion of Canadian-born persons in the same category. By contrast, the share of recent immigrants spending time on a regular basis to look after elder persons is lower than that reported by Canadian-born persons.

Table C-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—reporting unpaid care of children or elders, by gender, Halifax Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  Care of
  Children Elders
Women
Canadian-born 54,900 32% 25,370 15%
Immigrants 4,850 39% 1,810 15%
 Immigrated before 1986 2,620 36% 1,320 18%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,280 48% 290 11%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 960 40% 200 8%
Men
Canadian-born 40,260 25% 16,420 10%
Immigrants 4,120 34% 1,410 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 2,390 33% 1,000 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 930 36% 210 8%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 800 39% 210 10%
Total
Canadian-born 95,160 29% 41,790 13%
Immigrants 8,970 37% 3,220 13%
 Immigrated before 1986 5,010 34% 2,320 16%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 2,210 42% 490 9%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,750 40% 410 9%
Date Modified: