Family Formation during the Baby Boom: Canadian Marriage Trends in Perspective

Danielle Gauvreau, Concordia University
Benoît Laplante, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS)

The Baby Boom was as much—if not more—a boom in marriages, than a boom in the number of births and other fertility indicators. We use in this paper newly available census micro-level data to document marriage patterns in Canada during the 20th Century and contrast them according to socioeconomic and cultural variables, in the two most populous provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The baby boom unfolded very differently in these two provinces, with Quebec couples still experiencing a decline in marital fertility during that period, but changes affecting marriage patterns appear to have been very similar. Yet, how many people did get married and at what age was strongly differentiated culturally and socially. The picture that emerges from these analyses is used to examine more closely what could have been the major causes of this rather sudden appetite for marriage.

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Presented in Session 172: Marriage in Historical Perspective