The Canadian family is growing - in variety that is.
The "traditional" family of father, mother and four kids is morphing into new configurations of single parents, common-law families, couples with no kids and same-sex married couples.
However, in its 2011 census report on families, Statistics Canada said married couples remain the predominant family structure.
The data shows married-couple families in Canada account for 67 per cent of all census families in 2011, down from 70.5 per cent in 2001.
Among the 33 census metropolitan areas, the highest proportion of married couples were in Abbotsford - Mission (75.7 per cent), followed by Vancouver (73.8 per cent) and Toronto (74 per cent).
Locally, this includes 20,055 couples with children, (or 49.8 per cent of all married couples), and 15,820 married pairs without children, (39.3 per cent of couples).
The remaining families included 1,945 common-law couples with children (4.8 per cent) and 2,425 without children (six per cent).
Overall, there were 6.2 per cent more couples in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA than in the last census, with the highest jump in the rate of common-law couples with children, with an increase of 14.7 per cent, close to the national rise in this category.
Across Canada, family combos that went up were common-law families, which increased from 13.8 per cent to 16.7 per cent, while single-parent families rose slightly from 15.7 to 16.3 per cent.
The other big news was that the number of same-sex married couples nearly tripled between 2006 and 2011, reflecting the first full five-year period for which same-sex marriage has been legal across the country. The census counted 64,575 same-sex couple families in 2011, up 42.4 per cent from 2006
Canada's largest cities, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, had the largest proportion of same-sex couples.
The 2011 census counted stepfamilies for the first time. They represented about one in eight couple-families with children - that figure was about 10 per cent in Abbotsford-Mission.
Nationally, the census counted 7,861,855 couples, with or without kids.
British Columbia recorded 1,048,350 couples, compared to 855,020 in our neighbouring province, Alberta.
Households of couples without children is at 29.5 per cent, and households with couples with children accounts for 26.5 per cent.
In its report, Statistics Canada also reviewed its numbers on Canadian families and living arrangements over five decades, which reveals greater family diversity before the baby boom era.
In 1961, the census recorded 4.1 million Canadian families, compared to 9.4 million families in 2011. The average family size five decades ago was 3.9 people; now it's 2.9.
In 1961, married couples accounted for 91.6 per cent of census families, a rate that fell to 67 per cent by 2011, mostly a result of the growth of common-law couples, said Stats Can.
In its historic overview, the census authors noted that the variety in family configurations was broader in the first half of the last century, before the 1960s.
"Widowhood and remarriage following the death of a spouse were more common in the early decades of the 1900s, when there was higher maternal mortality and higher mortality rates overall for infants, children and adults," the authors said.
The Census of Population also counted households. Across Canada, there were 13,320,615 private households, with 59,315 recorded in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA.
- with a file from the Vancouver Sun