The 2016 federal census showed that Quebec outranks all other Canadian provinces in a surprising category: living alone!
1.2 million Quebecers live alone, amounting to 17% of the total provincial population over the age of 15.
In fact, living solo has been a trend in Quebec since 1981. At that time, only 8% of the population occupied a primary residence on their own.
The census also broke down the statistics to show key distribution patterns based on demographics:
- More women live alone than men, overall.
- Only 9% of women living alone are between the ages of 35-44, while 38% of women living alone are between the ages of 80-84.
- The proportion of men living alone is more evenly distributed across the age groups – 20% in each.
- It is more common for a man under the age of 60 to live alone than a woman under the age of 60… while more women over the age of 60 live alone than men over the age of 60.
- Montreal contains the highest proportion of people living alone. The lowest proportion is in the Nord-du-Quebec.
- For all age groups except 85 and over, Quebec is the the province with the highest number of residents residing alone – a full 3% higher than the rest of Canada.
- When it comes to the age group of 85+, very few Quebecers live alone. In fact, at that age range, Quebec shows the lowest statistic across Canada. This is because many Quebecers choose to spend their senior years in collective dwellings, such as nursing homes.
According to Anne Binette Charbonneau, the head of the study, attributes the tendency in Quebec to live alone to social norms. “Quebecers are less a family than the people of other provinces. No child or spouse. Marital instability is a term that can explain this track, because there are more divorces and common-law union.,
When observed in other developed countries, this phenomenon is also generally attributed to an aging population.