Type of census family

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


Type refers to a general character, form, or a characteristic that distinguishes a particular group or class of things.

Census family is defined as a married couple and the children, if any, of either and/or both spouses; a couple living common law and the children, if any, of either and/or both partners; or a lone parent of any marital status with at least one child living in the same dwelling and that child or those children. All members of a particular census family live in the same dwelling. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Children may be children by birth, marriage, common-law union or adoption regardless of their age or marital status as long as they live in the dwelling and do not have their own married spouse, common-law partner or child living in the dwelling. Grandchildren living with their grandparent(s) but with no parents present also constitute a census family.


In the context of Census family, type refers to the classification of census families according to whether or not any member is responsible for household maintenance, that is, payments for rent, or mortgage, or taxes, or electricity, etc.


Relation to previous version

  • Type of census family November 16, 2015 to current

    This is an update of 'Type of census family'. The standard remains essentially unchanged.

  • Type of census family July 15, 1998 to November 15, 2015

    This was the departmental standard from July 15, 1998 to November 15, 2015.

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