Nelsonites less likely to head to the altar

Marriage is less common in Nelson than in neighbouring cities and the rest of BC and Canada, according to the 2011 census.

Dawna Penner and Garnet Runcie got married on Nelson’s Streetcar 23 last year.

Dawna Penner and Garnet Runcie got married on Nelson’s Streetcar 23 last year.

Marriage is less common in Nelson than in neighbouring cities and the rest of BC and Canada, according to data from the 2011 census released last week by Statistics Canada.

About 38 per cent of the city’s population over age 15 was married, the national number-crunching agency said. Another 11.5 per cent or so was living common law.

Thirty-one per cent was single, about nine per cent divorced, 6.5 per cent widowed, and 3.5 separated.

By comparison, in Castlegar, Trail, Rossland, and Grand Forks, the percentage of married residents among those 15 and up was 45 to 49 per cent. Common law rates ranged from about nine per cent in Trail to over 14 per cent in Rossland.

In the Regional District of Central Kootenay as a whole, which Nelson belongs to, about 49 per cent are married, and another 12 per cent in common-law relationships.

The BC-wide marriage rate is roughly the same, although the common-law incidence is lower. Most striking is comparing Nelson to the national figures: across Canada, more than 57 per cent are married.

Nelson’s numbers are not much changed percentage-wise from the previous census of 2006.

Data on same-sex marriages was not released for smaller communities due to concerns StatsCan may have inadvertently counted roommates as gay couples.

Other findings included family size: Nelson had 1,455 two-person households, and 130 with five people or more.

About 810 married couples had children at home, while 785 had none. Of the 575 single parents, 455 were women and 35 were raising three or more children.

Plenty of young people were also living at home with mom and dad: 460 ages 18 to 24 and 185 who were 25 and older.