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During the same period, the share of large households comprised of five people or more decreased from 32.3% in 1961 to 8.4% in 2011.
The early 1960s was near the end of the baby-boom period (1946 to 1965), when many people married at a fairly young age and had relatively large families.The proportion of persons living outside of census families (including living alone, with relatives and with non-relatives only) increased over the 50-year period from 1961 to 2011.In 1961, 8.6% of the total population in private households did not live in a census family. Throughout the entire period, the majority of people who did not live in census families were living alone, with smaller proportions living with relatives or with non-relatives.Since then, the proportion of common-law couples has grown steadily to 16.7% of all census families in 2011.
In fact, for the first time in 2011, the number of common-law couple families in the country surpassed the number of lone-parent families (1,567,910 compared to 1,527,840).
Over time, living alone has grown steadily in prevalence among the population aged 15 and over, from 3.5% in 1961 to 13.5% in 2011, at least partially as a result of population aging.