The New Model Family

By Jason Santerre, Editor

For my parents, and dare I say most baby boomers born in Quebec, family was the bedrock of society, the one institution no one questioned. Not only was having a family something most adults aspired to, a strong family unit was meant to mirror our morals and values.

I was born in the 1970s. My family, the family next door, and just about every other family home lining the streets of suburbia consisted of mother, father, offspring, and one furry, four-legged friend. Over the course of the next 30 years or so, not much changed.

And then those kids of the '70s, myself included, started families of their own. Somewhere along the way, society's version of family went postpost-modern.

Proof is in the latest census data compiled by Statistics Canada. For the first time ever, single-person households outnumber those consisting of couples with children. In other words, nearly 30 per cent of all Canadian households are made up of single people. So much for a population boom...

That's okay. Families are still trending up. It's just that now they're occurring in new, non-traditional ways. It's called progress.

Enter the LGBTQ population, which was the focus of intense data crunching for this census. Turns out a third of the 72,880 same-sex couples across the country in 2016 were married. Of those same-sex couples, 12 per cent had kids. That's a big jump from the 8.6 per cent who were raising children in 2001. In the decade between 2006 and 2016, the overall number of same-sex couples increased by 61 per cent.

Another big trend is the multigenerational household. This is when at least three generations live together under one roof. From 2001 to 2016, the percentage of multigenerational households in Canada grew by 37.5 per cent.

Contributing to that percentage is the population of young adults aged 20 to 34. They seem reluctant to leave the nest. Only 40 per cent move out before the age of 35 compared to over 50 per cent in 2001. Who can blame them? Why leave the comforts of home cooking and laundry services? The world beyond that white picket fence is a cruel one indeed.

And that world is even more unforgiving if faced without the support of a good family, whatever its structure might be.

We celebrate that notion and all of its connotations, here, in the magazine you're holding in your hands. From cover star Jimmy Sévigny (a new father) and Montreal's psychedelic muralist Chris Dyer (who followed his family's roots back home) to our profile on "Our Bodies, Our Stories" (a most modern take on family), we show how the modern family morphs into myriad forms and functions. Enjoy the read, from our family to yours.

 

Fall 2018, Vol 10 N°4

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Family Issue

Fall 2018
Vol 10 N°4

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