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

Part C: Families and Households

Family and household affiliation of individuals

Older recent immigrants more likely to be living 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, but is most notable among people aged 65 and over. Among Canadian-born seniors in Hamilton, two-thirds live with relatives, while nearly one-third live alone. By comparison, nine out of ten very recent immigrants aged 65 and over live with relatives, while only one in ten lives alone. In part, these figures probably reflect a difference in the average age of recent immigrant seniors and Canadian-born seniors.

Table C-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—living arrangements, by age, Hamilton 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 46,250 16,940 14,460 1,790 690
Living with non-relatives only 12,900 2,910 1,600 760 550
Living with relatives 435,200 134,660 87,380 29,850 17,430
15-24 years
Living alone 1,890 340 80 180 80
Living with non-relatives only 2,860 450 60 280 140
Living with relatives 67,510 9,810 1,230 5,760 2,800
25-44 years
Living alone 15,510 2,700 1,320 910 470
Living with non-relatives only 6,200 1,330 580 400 370
Living with relatives 130,650 38,300 17,070 13,740 7,520
45-64 years
Living alone 13,090 4,430 3,870 490 80
Living with non-relatives only 2,600 720 590 100 50
Living with relatives 84,620 49,910 41,700 6,020 2,170
65 years and over
Living alone 15,760 9,480 9,210 210 60
Living with non-relatives only 740 400 400 0 0
Living with relatives 33,700 29,340 27,400 1,450 490
 
All ages (including 0-14 years)
Living alone 9% 11% 14% 6% 4%
Living with non-relatives only 3% 2% 2% 2% 3%
Living with relatives 88% 87% 84% 92% 93%
15-24 years
Living alone 3% 3% 6% 3% 3%
Living with non-relatives only 4% 4% 4% 4% 4%
Living with relatives 93% 93% 90% 93% 93%
25-44 years
Living alone 10% 6% 7% 6% 6%
Living with non-relatives only 4% 3% 3% 3% 4%
Living with relatives 86% 90% 90% 91% 90%
45-64 years
Living alone 13% 8% 8% 7% 3%
Living with non-relatives only 3% 1% 1% 1% 2%
Living with relatives 84% 91% 90% 91% 95%
65 years and over
Living alone 31% 24% 25% 13% 10%
Living with non-relatives only 1% 1% 1% 0% 0%
Living with relatives 67% 75% 74% 87% 90%

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. The proportion of very recent immigrants that live in extended families is nearly twice as large: one in ten.

Figure C-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—percentage living with relatives in an extended family, Hamilton 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.

Extended family living arrangements are most common among older recent immigrants. Nearly four in ten very recent immigrants and one quarter of other recent immigrants of 65 years and over live in extended families, compared to fewer than one in ten 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, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated before 1986 Immigrated 1986-1995 Immigrated 1996-2001
All ages
Nuclear family 403,320 120,040 78,600 25,830 15,600
Extended family 26,420 12,590 7,370 3,570 1,660
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 112,140 6,850 2,640 4,210
Extended family 6,400 470 255 205
15-24
Nuclear family 62,350 8,500 1,120 4,980 2,400
Extended family 4,470 1,140 110 680 360
25-44
Nuclear family 121,460 34,200 15,440 11,890 6,870
Extended family 7,340 3,600 1,450 1,610 560
45-64
Nuclear family 77,730 45,150 38,070 5,260 1,830
Extended family 5,430 4,310 3,240 710 360
65 years and over
Nuclear family 29,650 25,350 23,980 1,070 300
Extended family 2,780 3,080 2,570 340 190
 
All ages
Nuclear family 93% 89% 90% 87% 90%
Extended family 6% 9% 8% 12% 10%
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 94% 94% 91% 95%
Extended family 5% 6% 9% 5%
15-24
Nuclear family 92% 87% 91% 86% 86%
Extended family 7% 12% 9% 12% 13%
25-44
Nuclear family 93% 89% 91% 87% 91%
Extended family 6% 9% 8% 12% 7%
45-64
Nuclear family 92% 90% 91% 87% 84%
Extended family 6% 9% 8% 12% 16%
65 years and over
Nuclear family 88% 86% 88% 74% 61%
Extended family 8% 10% 9% 24% 37%

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 ten families in Hamilton is a recent immigrant family

In Hamilton in 2001, there were 51,100 recent immigrants who landed in Canada between 1986 and 2001. A large majority of these immigrants—45,100 or 88%—were members of a nuclear family. In other words, they were husbands, wives, common-law partners, lone parents or children. One in ten families in Hamilton was a recent immigrant family—that is, a family in which either or both spouses or the lone parent were recent immigrants.

Most of the recent immigrant families consist of married or common-law couples, while only 12% are lone-parent families. Among Canadian-born families, 17% are lone-parent families, while 83% are married or common-law couples. The difference in the share of lone-parent families is greatest among young families.

Table C-3: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—family structure, by age of older spouse or lone parent, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All families (including 15-24 years)
Couples with or without children 92,670 83% 16,360 88%
Lone-parent families 18,350 17% 2,280 12%
Total number of families 111,020 100% 18,640 100%
25-44
Couples with or without children 42,180 81% 9,970 88%
Lone-parent families 9,740 19% 1,350 12%
Total number of families 51,910 100% 11,320 100%
45-64
Couples with or without children 34,680 85% 5,010 88%
Lone-parent families 5,970 15% 680 12%
Total number of families 40,650 100% 5,690 100%
65 years and over
Couples with or without children 14,520 90% 1,140 89%
Lone-parent families 1,690 10% 140 11%
Total number of families 16,210 100% 1,280 100%

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. More than three in four recent immigrant families have at least one child of any age living at home. By comparison, less than two out of three Canadian-born families have children at home.

This difference occurs mainly among families in the 45-64 year age group, when age of family is defined as the age of the oldest member of the family. Among young families, 83% of recent immigrant families have children at home, compared to 78% of Canadian-born families. However, 81% of recent immigrant families in the 45-64 age group have children in the home, compared to 65% of Canadian-born families.

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

Figure C-2

The higher proportion of older recent immigrant families with children living at home could be due to a greater likelihood that older children stay longer in the parental home, as well as possible differences in the timing of childbirth and level of fertility. Some of the children in older immigrant families may be adults living with and possibly supporting one or two aging parents.

Older recent immigrant families have more children living at home

Recent immigrant families with children are somewhat more likely to have more than two children in the home than Canadian-born families with children. As many as 23% of recent immigrant families with children have three or more children, compared to 18% of Canadian-born families.

The share of young families with children that have two or more children is roughly the same for Canadian-born families and recent immigrant families, two in three. However, one-quarter of recent immigrant families with children whose older spouse or lone parent is 45 to 64 years old have more than two children, compared to 16% of Canadian-born families. Among the oldest recent immigrant families with children, 6% have three or more children living at home, compared to only 1% of Canadian-born families.

Table C-4: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—never-married children living at home, by age of older spouse or lone parent, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All ages (including 15-24 years)
One child 28,450 40% 5,090 35%
Two children 30,070 42% 6,080 42%
Three or more children 13,000 18% 3,340 23%
25-44
One child 13,370 33% 3,050 33%
Two children 18,550 46% 4,130 44%
Three or more children 8,590 21% 2,180 23%
45-64
One child 11,270 43% 1,660 36%
Two children 10,810 41% 1,810 39%
Three or more children 4,300 16% 1,150 25%
65 years and over
One child 2,880 90% 220 65%
Two children 320 10% 100 29%
Three or more children 20 1% 20 6%

In majority of recent immigrant families, both spouses are recent immigrants

The majority of the 18,640 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 13% of families have a recently immigrated spouse and a spouse who immigrated before 1986. As many as 16% of recent immigrant families in Hamilton have a recent immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse.

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

Figure C-3

Of the families of immigrants who landed before 1986, 40% consist of an immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse (not shown in Figure C-3). This proportion is more than twice as large as that of recent immigrant families.

When recent immigrants enter into conjugal unions, they are very likely to do so as a legally married couple. Just 3% of recent immigrant couples live common-law, compared to 13% of Canadian-born couples. Even among younger couples, where common-law relationships are the clear preference of the Canadian-born, relatively few recent immigrant couples have chosen this option.

 

Table C-5: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—couples in common-law relationships, by age of older spouse, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All ages 12,480 13% 330 3%
15-24 980 75% 40 26%
25-44 7,710 18% 200 3%
45-64 3,380 10% 80 2%
65 years and over 420 3% 10 1%

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.

Households

One in eleven households is a recent immigrant household

In 2001, there were 22,130 recent immigrant households—households in which at least one member of 15 years of age or older was a recent immigrant. These made up 9% of the total number of households in Hamilton.

Nearly two out of five recent immigrant households, or 7,820 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 3,510 households consist of very recent immigrants living together with other persons. In two-thirds of these households, the other persons are immigrants who landed before 1996, in one-quarter they are persons born in Canada, and in 7% of these households one finds both persons born in Canada and immigrants who landed prior to 1996.

Table C-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Number of
households
Share of
all households
Canadian-born 160,680 63%
Earlier immigrants 68,570 27%
Recent immigrants 22,130 9%
1986-1995 immigrants 14,320 6%
1996-2001 immigrants with others 3,510 1%
1996-2001 immigrants only 4,310 2%
All households 253,080 100%

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.

More than six out of ten households in Hamilton consist of only Canadian-born persons. Households that include one or more earlier immigrants but no recent immigrants account for 27% of all households.

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

A recent immigrant household is much more likely than a Canadian-born household to consist of one or more families. The large majority of recent immigrant households are family households, compared to just two out of three Canadian-born households.

One in three Canadian-born households is a non-family household, and almost always this household consists 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, except for households of very recent immigrants with others, are somewhat more likely to consist of just a nuclear family than Canadian-born households.

A significant proportion of recent immigrant households consists 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, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
    Family households Non-family households
Households All family households Nuclear families Expanded families Multiple families Single person Multiple persons
Canadian-born 108,270 100,810 6,170 1,300 46,230 6,180
Earlier immigrants 52,310 47,530 3,810 980 14,460 1,810
Recent immigrants 18,680 15,650 1,970 1,070 2,470 990
 1986-1995 immigrants 11,890 10,350 1,070 480 1,790 630
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 3,240 1,980 720 550 0 270
 1996-2001 immigrants only 3,500 3,300 160 50 680 120
All households 180,050 164,730 11,970 3,360 63,800 9,230
 
Canadian-born 67% 63% 4% 1% 29% 4%
Earlier immigrants 76% 69% 6% 1% 21% 3%
Recent immigrants 84% 71% 9% 5% 11% 4%
 1986-1995 immigrants 83% 72% 7% 3% 13% 4%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 92% 56% 20% 16% 0% 8%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 81% 77% 4% 1% 16% 3%
All households 71% 65% 5% 1% 25% 4%

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 much 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. 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. One of every two recent immigrant households has one to three members, compared to three out of four 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, Hamilton 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 121,140 36,030 3,520 160,680
Earlier immigrants 51,370 15,230 1,980 68,580
Recent immigrants 11,790 8,400 1,950 22,130
 1986-1995 immigrants 7,540 5,660 1,120 14,310
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,830 1,150 540 3,520
 1996-2001 immigrants only 2,420 1,590 300 4,300
All households 185,640 59,950 7,510 253,090
  Number of persons in household Estimated
average size
Households 1 to 3 4 or 5 6 or more
Canadian-born 75% 22% 2% 2.5
Earlier immigrants 75% 22% 3% 2.7
Recent immigrants 53% 38% 9% 3.5
 1986-1995 immigrants 53% 40% 8% 3.4
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 52% 33% 15% 3.8
 1996-2001 immigrants only 56% 37% 7% 3.3
All households 73% 24% 3% 2.7

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 7 for households with six or more members. For households with one, two or three members, the actual size of household was udes in the calculation.

Most of the larger recent immigrant households have four or five members. Households in which very recent immigrants live together with other persons are most likely of all households to be very large, with one in seven households having six or more members. The share of equally large households among Canadian-born households is only 2%.

More care of children

The proportion of recent immigrants 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. On the other hand, spending time on a regular basis to look after elder persons is not as common among very recent immigrants as among the Canadian-born.

Table C-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 years of age and over—reported unpaid care of children or elders, by gender, Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  Care of
  Children Elders
Women
Canadian-born 79,510 32% 41,290 16%
Immigrants 30,320 38% 13,570 17%
 Immigrated before 1986 17,790 33% 10,530 20%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8,320 49% 2,140 13%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 4,220 43% 900 9%
Men
Canadian-born 62,050 26% 28,200 12%
Immigrants 24,350 33% 10,100 14%
 Immigrated before 1986 15,050 30% 7,960 16%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6,140 39% 1,460 9%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,160 35% 680 8%
Total
Canadian-born 141,550 29% 69,490 14%
Immigrants 54,670 35% 23,660 15%
 Immigrated before 1986 32,840 32% 18,490 18%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 14,460 45% 3,600 11%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 7,380 39% 1,580 8%
Date Modified: