Economic family

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on November 16, 2015.


Economic family refers to a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are related to each other by blood, marriage, common-law union, adoption or a foster relationship. A couple may be of opposite or same sex.

By definition, all persons who are members of a census family are also members of an economic family. Examples of the broader concept of economic family include the following: two co-resident census families who are related to one another are considered one economic family; co-resident siblings who are not members of a census family are considered as one economic family; and, nieces or nephews living with aunts or uncles are considered one economic family.

Relation to previous version

  • Economic family November 16, 2015 to current

    In the previous standard, the inclusion of foster children was listed separately from the list of ways in which persons in an economic family can be related. This standard adds persons who are related to each other by a foster relationship to the list of possible relationships for this statistical unit.

  • Economic family February 20, 2006 to November 15, 2015

    The previous standard made no reference to same-sex couples. The addition of the words "a couple may be of opposite or same sex" reflects the established practice of including same-sex common-law couples and recognizes that same-sex couples can also be married.

    In the previous standard, foster children were not included.

  • Economic family July 15, 1998 to February 19, 2006

    This standard was replaced by a new departmental standard on February 20, 2006.

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