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Less married, more common-law, single parent families in Fort St. John

Census data released today shows that across the country, the number of common-law relationships is on a steady rise, and that can especially be seen in Fort St. John. Across Canada, common-law couples increased 13.9 per cent between 2006 and 2011, compared with 3.1 per cent for married couples over the same time period.

However, in the Energetic City, the common-law marriage rate held steady at 23.4 per cent, up only slightly from 23.1 per cent in 2006, but almost 10 per cent higher than the rest of the country. It's also over 10 per cent higher than the B.C. average of 13 per cent. In Fort St. John, married couples actually decreased from 61.9 per cent in 2006 to 60.6 per cent, a number that is significantly lower than the national 70.5 per cent and 71.7 per cent provincially.

In addition to the high number of common-law relationships, the change in Fort St. John married couples can also be attributed to the rise in single parent families. Locally, that number rose from 14.9 per cent in 2006 to 16 per cent in 2011, which is in line with Canada's 15.7 per cent and B.C.'s 15.3 per cent. Female single parents are still predominant, moving up from 10.8 per cent to 11.8 per cent, while male single parents held steady at 4 per cent.

When it comes to children, it's no surprise that the Energetic City has a higher number of families married with children, with 36 per cent, compared to the national 31.9 per cent. Married couples without children are significantly lower, at 24.6 per cent, while across Canada that number is 35.1 per cent.

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