Grandchildren living with grandparents

From the children’s perspective, of the 9.9 million people aged 0 to 24 in 2011, the majority (82%) lived with their parents—either couple parents or lone parents—and with no grandparents in their home (Table A.1). However, in total, 656,200 children aged 0 to 24 lived with their grandparents, either with or without a middle generation present, accounting for nearly 7% of the total population in this age group. Among the grandchildren who lived with their grandparents, 62% lived with two parents, 29% lived with one parent, and the remainder (9%) lived only with grandparents in a skip-generation household.

Table A.1
Distribution of population aged 24 and under by living arrangements, 2011
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table A.1 Distribution of population aged 24 and under by living arrangements Number, Distribution, Distribution of children in a census family and Distribution of children living with grandparents, calculated using in thousands and percentage units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Number Distribution Distribution of children in a census family Distribution of children living with grandparents
in thousands percentage
Total population aged 24 and under 9,916.9 100.0 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Children in a census family 8,868.3 89.4 100.0 Note ...: not applicable
With couple parents, no grandparents 6,547.5 66.0 73.8 Note ...: not applicable
With lone parents, no grandparents 1,617.2 16.3 18.2 Note ...: not applicable
With grandparents 656.2 6.6 7.4 100.0
With couple parents and grandparents 404.0 4.1 4.6 61.6
With lone parents and grandparents 192.0 1.9 2.2 29.3
With grandparents only 60.2 0.6 0.7 9.2
In other situationNote 1 47.5 0.5 0.5 Note ...: not applicable
Not children in a census family 1,048.6 10.6 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Foster children 42.5 0.4 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Other persons not in a census family 577.7 5.8 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Other persons in a census family 428.3 4.3 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable

Diversity characteristics of grandchildren are generally consistent with the findings reported from the grandparent perspective. That is, compared with children who lived only with their parents, co-residing grandchildren were more likely to have an Aboriginal identity, belong to a visible minority group, speak a non-official language in the home, or be affiliated with a non-Christian religion. Specifically, among children aged 24 and under in 2011 who lived only with grandparents, 10% had an Aboriginal identity as did 6% of those who lived only with their parents. Results also showed that co-residing grandchildren with an Aboriginal identity lived more often with a lone parent and grandparents (50%) or in a skip-generation household (26%) than with couple parents and grandparents (24%).

In terms of religion, children aged 24 and under who lived with grandparents in 2011 were more likely to have a non-Christian affiliation (24%) than those who lived only with one or both parents (10%). In particular, children who lived with grandparents were 10 times more likely to be Sikh (10%) than children who lived with their parents only (1%). Higher proportions of children living with their grandparents in 2011 were South Asian (19%) compared with those who lived only with parents (5%). The tendency to co�reside with grandparents was also proportionally higher for children who were Chinese (9% compared with 4% for children who lived only with parents). While co-residing grandchildren were marginally more likely to be Black than children who lived only with their parents (5% versus 4%) in 2011, this was the only visible minority group that had a larger share of co-residing grandchildren living with lone parents and grandparents (53%) than with couple parents and grandparents (36%).

Children aged 24 and under who lived with grandparents were slightly less likely to be immigrants (8%) than those who lived only with parents (about 10%). However, children of immigrant parents or grandparents are not necessarily immigrants themselves. Hence, about 5% of first-generation children (born outside Canada) lived with their grandparents, compared with 13% of second-generation children (born in Canada with at least one parent born outside Canada). Furthermore, 8% of immigrant children who were under the age of 5 on arrival in Canada lived with their grandparents, compared with 2% among those who arrived between the ages of 15 and 24.

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