Mixed unions increasing

Unions of people from different ethnocultural backgrounds have been increasing. In 2006, Canada had 7,482,800 married and common-law couples, of which 289,400 were mixed unions. That marks a 33% increase from 2001—or more than five times the 6.0% increase in the number of all couples.

About 247,600 mixed unions had one person who belonged to a visible minority group and one who did not, up 31% from 2001. These made up 3.3% of all couples in Canada. The remaining 41,800 couples were mixed unions in which each individual belonged to a different visible minority group. These unions accounted for 0.6% of all couples, up almost 50%.

The proportion of mixed unions rises with time spent in Canada, from 12% among first-generation visible minority Canadians (immigrants) to 69% among the third generation. People in mixed unions are younger than those in other couples, and 10% had at least one child under two at home and no children older than five, compared with 5.6% of other couples.

Chart 13.3 Mixed-union couples, by age group
View data source for chart 13.3