Canadian Vital Statistics - Marriage Database

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1921

Reference period of change - 2020

Activity on this statistical program resumes under a pilot project. In 2022, new data are released for the reference years 2009 to 2020 as well as revised data from 1991 to 2008. The information acquired from the provinces and territories for the 2009 to 2020 pilot project is less detailed than that available for previous years and covers only the age, legal marital status and gender (in some provinces and territories) of new spouses.

Reference period of change - 2008

In 2011, following the dissemination of marriage data for the reference years 2006 to 2008, the vital statistics program on marriages was discontinued.

Reference period of change - 2003

Prior to 2003, all recorded marriages united a woman and a man. Following provincial court rulings in 2003, vital statistics registries in Ontario and British Columbia started registering marriages of same-sex couples. In 2004, subsequent rulings by courts in five provinces (Québec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador) and one territory (the Yukon) expanded the number of jurisdictions registering same-sex marriages. A court ruling in New Brunswick allowed same-sex marriages, a month before federal legislation legalized same-sex marriages across Canada, on July 20, 2005. Starting with the year 2003, Statistics Canada will publish data on three types of marriages: opposite-sex marriage, male same-sex marriage and female same-sex marriage.

Ontario marriage registration forms do not include a data element to identify the sex of each spouse and therefore do not allow to identify whether the marriage is opposite-sex or same-sex.

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