Canadian family structures are becoming more diverse, shows census data.

In 2006, 34.6% of families were legally married couples with children. In 1981, that number was 55%.

Read: Don’t delay planning

That number will continue to fall since there are now more common-law and lone-parent families: they only accounted for 16.9% of all households in 1981, compared to 31.4% in 2006, according to the census.

As well, family sizes are shrinking, from an average of 3.7 people in 1971 to 2.5 in 2006, and there are also more stepfamilies across the country. Those include step-sibilings and half-siblings, which are hard to deal with when estate planning.

Further, more women  are staying in the workforce than in the past. In 2006, 61.8% of women worked, compared to only 45.7% in 1976. That trend’s contributing the the high level (61.9%) of dual-income households in Canada.

Also read:

Tips for blended-family estate planning

Help blended families

4 tips for common-law couples

Get couples to sign a prenup

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