Census family status of person

Status: This was the departmental standard from October 22, 2007 to May 25, 2021.


Census family status refers to whether or not the person is a member of a census family and, if so, his or her status in that census family, either as a member of a couple, as a lone parent or as a child.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programs.


'Census family status of person' is derived from the responses to questions about the relationships among the people who live in the household.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard conforms to the recommendations for censuses contained in the United Nations' "Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2", 2008. In its discussion of family status, the UN recommends classifying persons as Spouse, Lone parent, Child or Not member of a family nucleus. This matches the classification for this standard, with some terminological differences, including those necessitated by the inclusion of common-law couples.

This standard is also compatible with the "Conference of European Statisticians Recommendations for the 2010 Censuses of Population and Housing", 2006 which recommended classifying persons living in families as Partner, Lone parent or Child, and distinguishing at the more detailed level between member of a married couple and partner in a consensual union.


Relation to previous version

  • Census family status of person May 26, 2021 to current

    The definition of the concept 'census family status' and some of the definitions in the classifications have been modified. The terminology used in the classifications has been modified in French from 'partenaire en union libre' to 'conjoint de fait'.

  • Census family status of person October 22, 2007 to May 25, 2021

    November 16, 2015 - Some category labels in the classifications have been updated.

    October 22, 2007 - This standard reflects the current definition of Census family. The current classification lists "spouse" and "common-law partner" separately. The new terminology, "Person not in a census family", has replaced "Non-census family person" in the previous standard.

  • Census family status July 15, 1998 to October 21, 2007

    This standard was replaced by the 'Census family status of person' as of October 22, 2007.

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