NATIONAL PULSE – Four in 10 Canadian adults have never married; might not

Half say marriage is not necessary, though most see it as a more genuine commitment than common-law


May 7, 2018 – Is what was once a societal expectation of young couples now little more than a social event?

While wedding planners have fashioned an entire industry centred on that “special day,” Canadians themselves appear unconvinced that the day – or the institution it represents – is all that special anymore.

A wide-ranging new public opinion poll from the Angus Reid Institute finds people in this country decidedly lukewarm on marriage.

Fewer than half (47%) say it is important to them that a couple that plans to spend the rest of their lives together get legally married. Slightly more than half (53%) say “marriage is simply not necessary.”

That said, a majority are of the view that getting hitched is “a more genuine form of commitment” than living in a common-law relationship.

These shifting views on the role of marriage in Canadian society are reflected in respondents’ reporting on their own marital status. Nearly three-quarters of 18-34-year-olds (73%) have never been married, and one-in-six in this group say they’re not particularly inclined to, ever.

More Key Findings:

  • Age has a significant influence on Canadians’ experiences with marriage – whether they’ve been married, whether the ceremony was civil or religious, etc. – but a less pronounced effect on opinions about marriage as an institution
  • On the topic of religion, Canadians reject the notion that a religious wedding is more ‘legitimate’ than a civil one (76% disagree with a statement to this effect), but most of those who have walked down the aisle in their lives did so at a religious service
  • In general, Canadians favour treating marriages and common-law relationships identically when it comes to taxation and assets, with majorities saying those who legally marry should not get extra tax benefits (59% say this) and that those in common-law relationships should divide assets equally when the relationship ends (58% say this)

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (6801 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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