Lone-father families in Canada, 1971-1996

Kevin McQuillan, Marilyn Belle


Demographers and sociologists have paid considerable attention to the situation of lone-parent families. However, until recently, almost all of this work has focused on families headed by a lone mother. This paper seeks to fill an important gap in our knowledge of family change by examining the growth and characteristics of lone-father families in Canada. Using data from the public-use microfiles (PUMFs) of the census, the paper shows that the number of lonefather
families has increased significantly in recent years, and that lone fathers are now younger and more likely to have become lone fathers through marital breakdown. The results also suggest that while lone-father families are not as economically disadvantaged as lone-mother families, income levels lag well behind those of two-parent families and have, in relative terms, declined in recent years.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25336/P68K57


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