On Monday, the Agenda discussed a new report by Joel Kotkin, Distinguished Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University. The report, "The Rise of Post-Familialism: Humanity's Future?" argues that we are witnessing a new phenomenon, a shift, he calls, post-familialism. He writes,
"Today, in the high-income world and even in some developing countries, we are witnessing a shift to a new social model. Increasingly, family no longer serves as the central organizing feature of society. An unprecedented number of individuals — approaching upwards of 30% in some Asian countries — are choosing to eschew child bearing altogether and, often, marriage as well."
Where Kotkin sees a worrying trend toward a more single and childless future, Nora Spinks, CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family, sees the continuing evolution and adaptation of the family away from the traditional "Leave It to Beaver" nuclear family model to a great diversity of family models. And, she points to 2011 Census data released this fall as proof.
So I decided to take a look at these numbers myself and try to make sense of how the Canadian family has changed and continues to change in infographic format. You can see that graphic below. (Click on the graphic in order to enlarge it.)