Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Victoria—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 Victoria, less than two-thirds live with relatives, while over one-third live alone. By comparison, three-quarters of very recent immigrants aged 65 and over live with relatives, while only one in five 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, Victoria 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 33,910 9,690 8,570 840 280
Living with non-relatives only 16,280 2,220 1,440 440 350
Living with relatives 195,750 45,490 33,290 8,130 4,090
15-24 years
Living alone 2,000 160 40 70 60
Living with non-relatives only 5,680 310 110 90 110
Living with relatives 28,500 2,220 500 1,110 610
25-44 years
Living alone 10,330 1,470 940 370 160
Living with non-relatives only 7,160 980 520 280 190
Living with relatives 55,110 11,050 5,680 3,500 1,870
45-64 years
Living alone 9,810 2,680 2,490 160 40
Living with non-relatives only 2,480 630 580 30 20
Living with relatives 45,930 17,770 15,220 1,910 660
65 years and over
Living alone 11,770 5,380 5,110 240 40
Living with non-relatives only 580 280 240 40 10
Living with relatives 20,680 12,910 11,870 910 140
 
All ages (including 0-14 years)
Living alone 14% 17% 20% 9% 6%
Living with non-relatives only 7% 4% 3% 5% 7%
Living with relatives 80% 79% 77% 86% 87%
15-24 years
Living alone 6% 6% 6% 6% 7%
Living with non-relatives only 16% 11% 16% 7% 14%
Living with relatives 79% 83% 78% 88% 79%
25-44 years
Living alone 14% 11% 13% 9% 7%
Living with non-relatives only 10% 7% 7% 7% 8%
Living with relatives 76% 82% 80% 84% 84%
45-64 years
Living alone 17% 13% 14% 8% 5%
Living with non-relatives only 4% 3% 3% 1% 3%
Living with relatives 79% 84% 83% 91% 92%
65 years and over
Living alone 36% 29% 30% 20% 19%
Living with non-relatives only 2% 2% 1% 3% 6%
Living with relatives 63% 70% 69% 76% 75%

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 5% are part of an extended family. For very recent immigrants the proportion is 7%, and for other recent immigrants it is 12%.

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

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 one in four recent immigrants aged 65 and over live in extended families, compared to one in twenty 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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born Immigrants Immigrated
before 1986
Immigrated
1986-1995
Immigrated
1996-2001
All ages
Nuclear family 182,060 41,080 30,260 7,090 3,730
Extended family 10,610 3,650 2,420 940 300
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 43,260 1,460 - 680 780
Extended family 2,170 100 - 50 55
15-24 years
Nuclear family 25,990 1,910 440 970 510
Extended family 2,010 230 60 110 60
25-44 years
Nuclear family 51,300 9,940 5,140 3,060 1,740
Extended family 2,750 930 410 410 100
45-64 years
Nuclear family 42,750 16,440 14,120 1,720 610
Extended family 2,470 1,160 940 180 50
65 years and over
Nuclear family 18,780 11,330 10,570 660 100
Extended family 1,220 1,240 1,000 210 30
 
All ages
Nuclear family 93% 90% 91% 87% 91%
Extended family 5% 8% 7% 12% 7%
Under 15 years
Nuclear family 95% 94% - 93% 93%
Extended family 5% 6% - 7% 7%
15-24 years
Nuclear family 91% 86% 86% 87% 84%
Extended family 7% 10% 11% 9% 9%
25-44 years
Nuclear family 93% 90% 91% 88% 93%
Extended family 5% 8% 7% 12% 5%
45-64 years
Nuclear family 93% 93% 93% 91% 92%
Extended family 5% 7% 6% 9% 8%
65 years and over
Nuclear family 91% 88% 89% 73% 77%
Extended family 6% 10% 8% 23% 23%

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 fourteen families in Victoria is a recent immigrant famil y

In Victoria in 2001, there were 14,200 recent immigrants who landed in Canada between 1986 and 2001. A large majority of these immigrants—11,700 or 82%—were members of a nuclear family. In other words, they were husbands, wives, common-law partners, lone parents or children. Only one in fourteen families in Victoria is a recent immigrant family—that is, a family 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, 92%, consist of married or common-law couples. Only 8% are lone-parent families. Among Canadian-born families, 18% are headed by a lone parent, while 82% contain a married or common-law couple.

Even when families are subdivided by the age of the oldest member, lone-parent families are seen to be less common among recent immigrant families than Canadian-born families in all age groups.

Table C-3: Recent immigrant and Canadian-born families—family structure by age of older spouse or lone parent, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All families (including ages 15-24 years)
couples with or without children 45,750 82% 5,580 92%
lone-parent families 10,340 18% 490 8%
total number of families 56,080 100% 6,070 100%
25-44 years
couples with or without children 17,440 76% 2,950 91%
lone-parent families 5,430 24% 290 9%
total number of families 22,870 100% 3,240 100%
45-64 years
couples with or without children 18,380 83% 1,950 93%
lone-parent families 3,850 17% 150 7%
total number of families 22,230 100% 2,100 100%
65 years and over
couples with or without children 8,910 93% 600 94%
lone-parent families 670 7% 40 6%
total number of families 9,570 100% 640 100%

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 two in three recent immigrant families have at least one child of any age living at home. By comparison, a little more than half of Canadian-born families have children at home.

This difference occurs mainly among older families, when age of family is defined as the age of the oldest family member. Among young families, 71% of recent immigrant families have children at home, compared to 73% of Canadian-born families. However, 23% of recent immigrant families of seniors have children in the home, compared to 13% 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, Victoria 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 59% of recent immigrant families with children have two or more children, compared to 53% of Canadian-born families.

Among young families with children, the share with three or more children is only slightly higher among recent immigrant families than among Canadian-born families. However, among the oldest recent immigrant families with children, 14% 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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All ages (including ages 15-24 years)
One child 14,800 47% 1,560 40%
Two children 12,710 40% 1,670 43%
Three or more children 4,180 13% 640 16%
25-44 years
One child 6,600 40% 890 38%
Two children 7,380 44% 1,010 44%
Three or more children 2,640 16% 410 18%
45-64 years
One child 6,570 50% 540 38%
Two children 5,120 39% 640 46%
Three or more children 1,520 12% 220 15%
65 years and over
One child 1,150 93% 110 76%
Two children 80 6% 20 10%
Three or more children 10 1% 20 14%

In one in three recent immigrant families, one spouse was born in Canada

Forty percent of the 6,100 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 16% of families have a recently immigrated spouse and a spouse who immigrated earlier, before 1986. More than one in three recent immigrant families in Victoria have a recent immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse. This latter share is more than twice the Canadian average of 15% of recent immigrant families. Of the families of immigrants who landed before 1986, 53% consist of an immigrant paired with a Canadian-born spouse (not shown in Figure C-3).

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

Figure C-3

When recent immigrants enter into conjugal unions, they are very likely to do so as a legally married couple. Just 4% of recent immigrant couples live common-law, compared to 17% 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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Canadian-born families Recent immigrant families
All ages 7,650 17% 100 4%
15-24 years 850 84% 10 40%
25-44 years 4,330 25% 70 6%
45-64 years 2,120 12% 10 1%
65 years and over 350 4% 10 3%

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 seventeen households is a recent immigrant household

In 2001, there were 8,050 recent immigrant households—households in which at least one member of 15 years of age or older was a recent immigrant. These made up 6% of the total number of households in Victoria.

One-third of recent immigrant households, or 2,660 in total, have at least one member who immigrated after 1995. For fewer than half of these households, all members are very recent immigrants. The remaining 1,660 households are comprised of very recent immigrants living together with other persons. In 36% of these households, the other persons are immigrants who landed before 1996, in 57% they are persons born in Canada and in 7% they are both persons born in Canada and immigrants who landed before 1996. In Canada as a whole, the proportion of very recent immigrants living with Canadian-born persons is much lower and the share of very recent immigrants living with other immigrants much higher.

Table C-6: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
Households Number of
households
Share of
all households
Canadian-born 95,160 70%
Earlier immigrants 31,910 24%
Recent immigrants 8,050 6%
 1986-1995 immigrants 5,390 4.0%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,660 1.2%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 1,000 0.7%
All households 135,600 100%

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 two of every three households in Victoria consist of only Canadian-born persons. Households that include one or more earlier immigrants but no recent immigrants account for 24% of households. This composition is different from Canada as a whole, where earlier immigrant households are less common.

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, eight out of ten, are family households, compared to just six out of ten Canadian-born households.

More than four in ten Canadian-born households are non-family households, and most of these consist of a person living alone. Among 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 than Canadian-born households to consist of just a nuclear family.

A significant proportion 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, Victoria 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 54,830 50,090 4,170 580 33,910 6,430
Earlier immigrants 22,010 20,000 1,670 350 8,570 1,330
Recent immigrants 6,330 5,210 780 340 1,120 630
 1986-1995 immigrants 4,170 3,490 520 170 850 390
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,490 1,090 250 150 0 180
 1996-2001 immigrants only 680 650 20 10 280 70
All households 83,300 75,420 6,630 1,260 43,850 8,460
 
Canadian-born 58% 53% 4% 1% 36% 7%
Earlier immigrants 69% 63% 5% 1% 27% 4%
Recent immigrants 79% 65% 10% 4% 14% 8%
 1986-1995 immigrants 77% 65% 10% 3% 16% 7%
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 89% 65% 15% 9% 0% 11%
 1996-2001 immigrants only 68% 65% 2% 1% 28% 7%
All households 61% 56% 5% 1% 32% 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 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 Canadians. 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. The proportion of households with four or more members is more than twice as large among recent immigrant households than among Canadian-born households, with 35% having four or more persons compared to 16% of Canadian-born households with four or more persons.

Table C-8: Immigrant households (by period of immigration) and Canadian-born households—household size, Victoria 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 79,390 14,480 1,290 95,160
Earlier immigrants 26,400 4,930 580 31,910
Recent immigrants 5,260 2,270 540 8,070
 1986-1995 immigrants 3,410 1,630 360 5,400
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 1,110 390 170 1,660
 1996-2001 immigrants only 730 260 20 1,010
All households 111,480 21,700 2,430 135,600
  Number of persons in household Estimated
average size
Households 1 to 3 4 or 5 6 or more
Canadian-born 83% 15% 1% 2.2
Earlier immigrants 83% 15% 2% 2.3
Recent immigrants 65% 28% 7% 3.1
 1986-1995 immigrants 63% 30% 7% 3.1
 1996-2001 immigrants with others 67% 23% 10% 3.4
 1996-2001 immigrants only 73% 26% 1% 2.7
All households 82% 16% 2% 2.3

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. Households where very recent immigrants live together with other persons are most likely of all households to be large, with one in ten households having six or more members. The share of equally large households among Canadian-born households is only 1%.

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. By contrast, the share of recent immigrants reporting time spent on a regular basis to look after elder persons is somewhat lower than for 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, Victoria Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage)
  Care of
  Children Elders
Women
Canadian-born 37,180 29% 22,280 17%
Immigrants 9,620 31% 6,010 19%
 Immigrated before 1986 6,400 27% 4,820 21%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 2,240 43% 880 17%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 980 39% 310 12%
Men
Canadian-born 28,230 24% 14,270 12%
Immigrants 7,790 29% 4,130 16%
 Immigrated before 1986 5,470 27% 3,420 17%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,630 38% 490 12%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 690 31% 220 10%
Total
Canadian-born 65,400 26% 36,550 15%
Immigrants 17,410 30% 10,130 18%
 Immigrated before 1986 11,870 27% 8,240 19%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 3,870 41% 1,370 14%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,670 35% 530 11%
Date Modified: