Canadian Divorce Rate Hits 40%

According to the Vanier Institute of the Family, 4 out of every 10 Canadian marriages are now expected to end in divorce.

By Josh D. Simon
Updated: January 22, 2015
Divorce Statistics and Studies

It’s official: 4 out of every 10 Canadian marriages now end in divorce.

The unnerving statistic comes via the Vanier Institute of the Family’s “Families Count – Profiling Canada’s Families IV,” which was released on October 4 to coincide – some might say ironically – with the start of Canada’s National Families Week.

“National Family Week gives us occasion to celebrate the central place of families in our lives and to acknowledge the incredibly vital role families play in society,” noted Clarence Lochhead, Executive Director of the Vanier Institute. “Canada's families may be changing in some remarkable ways but in all their diversity they remain the cornerstone of our lives.”

A 40% divorce rate wasn’t the only statistical brush re-painting the face of Canadian married (and unmarried) life. Additional statistical findings include: 

  • For the first time ever, unmarried Canadian adults outnumber their married counterparts
  • More than 50% of first unions are common law for people between 20-29
  • 20 years after a divorce, 82% of men and 69% of women are remarried
  • Quebec has the lowest marriage rate in the country at 37.5%,
  • Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest marriage rate in the country at 54.3%
  • 16.5% of same-sex couples are married (marking the first time this statistical category is included)
  • 39% of Canadian couples are married with children – a steep decline from the 55% reported in 1981
  • Common-law families comprise 15.5% of the total – up from 5.6% in 1981
  • The average age for brides has increased to 28.5 for women and 30.5 for men

 Families Count - Profiling Canada's Families IV also contains a wealth of statistical information on income, birth rates, age demographics and more. To read the report highlights, click here. To purchase a copy of the complete report, visit the Vanier Institute's website.

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By Josh D. Simon| October 08, 2010

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