stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail/globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels



Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology


Read and Win Contest


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

  Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...



Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

space
PRINT EDITION
More Quebeckers skip the wedding, census discovers
space
space
space
By INGRID PERITZ
  
  
Email this article Print this article

Wednesday, October 23, 2002 – Page A7

MONTREAL -- Edna Langis and Pierre Charbonneau of Montreal have all the trappings of modern married life -- a home, a car, two teenage kids and a commitment to stay together through good times and rocky times.

What they don't have is a marriage certificate, a fact that places them in good company in Quebec. If the two most common words between Quebec couples used to be "I do," they have now become, "What for?"

"Marriage wouldn't have made our relationship any stronger," said Mr. Charbonneau, a 45-year-old freelance photographer who has lived with Ms. Langis for 26 years. "Our feeling is, 'Why tamper with success?' "

Quebec has joined Sweden, that laboratory for all things liberal and liberated, as the champion of unmarried couples in the world.

Census figures released yesterday by Statistics Canada show nearly 30 per cent of Quebec couples skip the nuptials and live together, compared with only 12 per cent in the rest of Canada and 8 per cent in the United States.

The up-and-coming generation in Quebec may even be making the institution of marriage extinct: Nearly two in three Quebeckers under 35 who live together didn't bother walking down the aisle.

"Quite simply, Quebeckers aren't getting married any more," said Josée Martel, a demographer with Statistics Canada. "And marriage is no longer a prerequisite to having children."

The Charbonneau-Langis household in Montreal's Notre Dame de Grâce district is typical. The couple moved in together in the mid-1970s when Mr. Charbonneau was still in school and Ms. Langis had just started working.

Over the years, they watched several friends and family members get married, sometimes after living together for many years. Yet many of the marriages broke up.

Ms. Langis's seven brothers and sisters all tied the knot. Today, only one is still married.

"After so many years together, I asked myself, 'Why do it? What would it bring us?' " Ms. Langis asked.

"A piece of paper isn't going to strengthen our commitment."

Analysts have begun to question the long-term effect of Quebeckers' trend toward common-law marriage, which continues to grow.

Common-law marriages dissolve more easily than conventional marriages. Among couples with children, those who live common-law are 2.5 times more likely to break up than those who are married, studies show.

"There's more family mobility in Quebec," said Cécile Le Bourdais, a demographer who specializes in changes to the Quebec family. "We're asking about the repercussions all the time: What will the instability mean down the road?"

But those who have chosen the unmarried route say it's made no difference to them or their children: Nowadays, classrooms are filled with children whose parents never married.

Bertrand Desjardins, a 53-year-old university researcher, has three children with a woman he has lived with for more than a quarter of a century.

"Marriage has no religious dimension any more, so what is it?" he asked.

"We can have a commitment and children without taking a legal step. "In fact, I've asked myself: 'Why do people get married at all?' "


Back to Census Home Page


7-Day Site Search
    

Census home



Today's Weather
space

Inside

Michael Posner
Ethnic laugh lines
Jeffrey Simpson
Health care: Do we know better than everyone else?

Paul Knox
The rise of anti-anti-Americanism




space


space  Advertisement
space

space
Statistics Canada
2001 Census links

•  Profile of the Canadian population by age and sex: Canada ages - main page 
•  Census home page 
•  Privacy 
•  Confidentiality 
Links will open in a new browser window

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page