Women in Canada A Gender-based Statistical Report Fifth Edition

Women  in  Canada A Gender-based Statistical Report Fifth Edition
Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Women in Canada
Fifth Edition
A Gender-based Statistical
Report
Statistics
Canada
Statistique
Canada
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Statistics Canada
Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division
Women in Canada
Fifth Edition
A Gender-based Statistical Report
Target Groups Project
Published by authority of the Minister responsible for Statistics Canada
© Minister of Industry, 2006
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March 2006
Catalogue no. 89-503-XPE
ISBN 0-660-19504-6
Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
ISBN 0-660-19505-4
Frequency: Occasional
Ottawa
Cette publication est disponible en français (no 89-503-XIF au catalogue)
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Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data
Women in Canada : a gender-based statistical report
5th ed.
Issued also in French under title: Femmes au Canada :
rapport statistique fondé sur le sexe.
Available also on Internet.
ISBN 0-660-19504-6 (print)
ISBN 0-660-19505-4 (PDF)
CS89-503-XPE
1. Women – Canada – Statistics. 2. Women – Canada –
Economic conditions – Statistics. I. Statistics Canada.
Target Groups Project. II. Statistics Canada. Social and Aboriginal Statistics
Division.
HQ1453 W65 2006
C2006-988024-7
305.4’0971’021
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∞
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................... 9
Highlights
............................................................................................................. 11
Introduction ............................................................................................................. 17
Chapter 1:
The Female Population in Canada ......................................................... 19
Women in the majority ......................................................................... 19
Age distribution ..................................................................................... 20
Women in the provinces and territories ................................................. 21
Urban/rural distribution ......................................................................... 22
Residential mobility .............................................................................. 23
More foreign-born women .................................................................... 23
Women in the visible minority community ........................................... 24
Aboriginal Women ................................................................................ 25
Language characteristics of women ....................................................... 26
Religious affiliation of women ............................................................... 27
Chapter 2:
Family Status ......................................................................................... 33
Most women live with their families ...................................................... 33
More women living alone ..................................................................... 34
Differences in family status by age ........................................................ 34
Marriage rate down ............................................................................... 35
Divorce rate higher ................................................................................ 37
Growing numbers of female lone parents .............................................. 38
Custody of children in divorce ............................................................... 40
Low birth rates ...................................................................................... 40
Fewer children per family ...................................................................... 43
Chapter 3:
Health ................................................................................................... 53
A key determinant of well-being ........................................................... 53
Women’s self-perceived health .............................................................. 53
Women with chronic health conditions ................................................. 54
Women with disabilities ........................................................................ 54
High life expectancy ............................................................................. 55
Lower death rates .................................................................................. 56
Leading causes of death among women ................................................ 57
Incidence of cancer rising ..................................................................... 59
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table of contents
Smoking rates down .............................................................................. 61
Breast cancer screening ......................................................................... 63
Cervical cancer screening ..................................................................... 63
Sexually transmitted infections .............................................................. 64
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and HIV infections ................. 65
Contact with health care professionals .................................................. 65
Hospitalizations .................................................................................... 65
Hospitalization for reasons of mental health .......................................... 66
Mental health ........................................................................................ 67
Suicide .................................................................................................. 68
Alternative health care usage ................................................................. 69
Induced abortions ................................................................................. 70
Alcohol consumption ............................................................................ 70
Leisure-time physical activity ................................................................ 71
Females less likely to be overweight ...................................................... 71
Chapter 4:
Education .............................................................................................. 89
Increasing educational attainment ......................................................... 89
Young women better educated .............................................................. 90
Provincial differences in university graduation rates .............................. 90
Women majority in full-time university studies ...................................... 91
Part-time university enrolment of women .............................................. 93
Women majority in community college ................................................ 94
Continuing education ............................................................................ 94
Apprenticeship training ......................................................................... 95
Literacy skills ......................................................................................... 95
Most use the internet ............................................................................. 97
Chapter 5:
Paid and Unpaid Work ........................................................................ 103
More women employed ...................................................................... 103
Provincial variations in employment ................................................... 103
Educational attainment and employment ............................................ 104
Age and employment .......................................................................... 104
Employment and presence of children ................................................. 105
Employment of female lone parents .................................................... 106
Child care ........................................................................................... 108
Absences from work due to other responsibilities ................................ 109
Part-time employment ......................................................................... 109
Self-employment ................................................................................. 110
Temporary work .................................................................................. 111
More multiple jobholders .................................................................... 111
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Table of Contents
Table of contents
Women in unions ................................................................................ 111
Occupational distribution ................................................................... 113
Women in agriculture ......................................................................... 114
Unemployment rates lower ................................................................. 114
Employment Insurance recipients ........................................................ 115
Volunteer work .................................................................................... 116
Chapter 6:
Income and Earnings ........................................................................... 133
Women’s incomes lower ..................................................................... 133
Income by age ..................................................................................... 134
Incomes vary by province .................................................................... 134
Incomes of lone-parent families up ..................................................... 134
Relatively low incomes among unattached women ............................. 135
Major sources of income ..................................................................... 135
Lone-parent families more dependent on transfers .............................. 136
Women contributing to pension plans ................................................. 137
Average earnings still lower ................................................................. 138
Earnings and education ....................................................................... 139
Earnings and occupation ..................................................................... 139
Earnings and age ................................................................................. 140
Earnings and marital status .................................................................. 140
Earnings of wives in dual-earner families ............................................. 140
Women with low incomes ................................................................... 143
Low income and family status ............................................................. 143
Many lone-parent families headed by women with low incomes ........ 144
The Low Income Cut-offs ..................................................................... 145
Homeownership .................................................................................. 145
Housing affordability ........................................................................... 145
Chapter 7:
Women and the Criminal Justice System ............................................ 159
Women as victims of crime ................................................................. 159
The prevalence of spousal violence ..................................................... 159
Aboriginal women more likely to suffer spousal violence .................... 163
Women as victims of stalking .............................................................. 164
Women at greater risk of spousal homicide ......................................... 164
Almost all homicide-suicide victims are wives .................................... 165
Women victims of spousal violence more likely
to turn to formal help agencies ............................................................ 165
Eight in 10 abused women in shelters to escape a
current or former spouse/common law partner .................................... 166
Women as offenders ............................................................................ 168
Young female offenders ....................................................................... 169
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table of contents
Women and homicide ......................................................................... 169
Female offenders in the courts ............................................................. 170
Women small part of adults under correctional supervision ................ 171
Characteristics of women under correctional
supervision in three provinces ............................................................. 172
Women in justice-related occupations ................................................ 173
Chapter 8:
Aboriginal Women in Canada ............................................................. 181
Aboriginal women across the country ................................................. 181
Urban and rural distribution of Aboriginal women .............................. 182
Aboriginal women living on reserve .................................................... 183
Aboriginal women a highly mobile population ................................... 183
Registration under the Indian Act ........................................................ 185
Aboriginal women a relatively young population ................................ 186
Aboriginal languages important ........................................................... 187
Aboriginal women and their families ................................................... 189
High fertility rates among Aboriginal women ...................................... 189
Lower life expectancy among Aboriginal females ................................ 190
Most in good health ............................................................................ 191
Contact with health care professionals ................................................ 194
Smoking .............................................................................................. 195
Spousal Violence ................................................................................. 195
Less likely to have a degree ................................................................. 196
Many attending school ........................................................................ 197
Paid work ............................................................................................ 198
Sales and service most common occupation ....................................... 198
High unemployment rates ................................................................... 199
Incomes lower ..................................................................................... 199
Chapter 9:
Immigrant Women .............................................................................. 211
An increasingly diverse population ...................................................... 211
Foreign-born female population growing rapidly ................................. 211
Higher immigrant flows in the 1990s .................................................. 213
Immigration to Canada ........................................................................ 213
Most women come to Canada with their spouse or family .................. 214
Many are recent arrivals ...................................................................... 215
Primary region of origin for immigrant females is changing ................. 215
Most become Canadian citizens .......................................................... 216
Many in a visible minority ................................................................... 217
A largely urban population .................................................................. 217
An older population ............................................................................ 219
Most living with family members ......................................................... 220
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Table of Contents
Table of contents
Language profile changing .................................................................. 221
Foreign-born women highly educated ................................................. 223
Young female immigrants likely to be attending school ....................... 223
Less likely to be employed .................................................................. 224
Concentrated in traditional female jobs ............................................... 225
High unemployment rates ................................................................... 225
Little difference in earnings ................................................................. 226
Total incomes slightly less ................................................................... 227
More dependent on transfer payments ................................................. 227
Many live in low-income situations ..................................................... 228
Chapter 10: Women in a Visible Minority ............................................................... 239
A growing population .......................................................................... 239
From many different backgrounds ....................................................... 240
Most are foreign born .......................................................................... 241
A highly concentrated population ....................................................... 242
A relatively young population ............................................................. 243
Family status varies by visible minority group ...................................... 243
Most speak English or French .............................................................. 245
A well-educated population ................................................................ 246
Many attending school ........................................................................ 248
Less likely to be employed .................................................................. 249
Higher unemployment rates ................................................................ 249
Majority employed in administrative, clerical, sales,
and service jobs .................................................................................. 250
Many work part time ........................................................................... 250
Few self-employed .............................................................................. 250
Lower employment earnings ............................................................... 252
Relatively low average incomes ........................................................... 253
Most income earned ............................................................................ 253
Many with low incomes ...................................................................... 254
Many experience discrimination ......................................................... 254
Chapter 11: Senior Women .................................................................................... 265
A rapidly growing population .............................................................. 265
Increasing life expectancy ................................................................... 266
Most live in a private household with family ....................................... 266
Many live alone ................................................................................... 268
Family status of foreign-born senior women differs .............................. 268
Seniors living in an institution ............................................................. 268
Death rates among senior women inching up ...................................... 269
Heart disease and cancer main causes of death ................................... 269
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table of contents
The perceived health of seniors ........................................................... 271
Seniors with chronic health conditions ................................................ 271
Senior women with disabilities ............................................................ 272
Senior women experiencing chronic pain ........................................... 273
Senior women suffering injuries .......................................................... 273
Many participate in physical activities ................................................. 273
Low levels of educational attainment .................................................. 274
Internet usage among senior women ................................................... 274
Few senior women employed .............................................................. 275
Volunteer activities .............................................................................. 276
Average income of senior women ....................................................... 278
Dependent on transfer payments ......................................................... 279
Low income among senior women down ............................................ 280
Chapter 12: Women with Disabilities ..................................................................... 291
More women with disabilities ............................................................. 291
Defining disability ............................................................................... 291
Disabilities increase with age .............................................................. 292
Severity of disability ............................................................................ 292
Family status of women with disabilities .............................................. 292
Level of education ............................................................................... 293
Fewer women with disabilities employed ............................................ 294
Employment increases with education ................................................ 294
Most in traditional female jobs ............................................................ 295
Unemployment in women with disabilities ......................................... 295
Income of women with disabilities ...................................................... 296
More dependent on transfers ............................................................... 297
Many with low incomes ...................................................................... 297
Local travel .......................................................................................... 298
8
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Acknowledgements
This report was prepared by the Target Groups Project of Statistics Canada under the
direction of Editor-in-Chief Colin Lindsay with the assistance of Associate Editor Marcia
Almey. The editors gratefully acknowledge the support of Production Co-ordinator
Danielle Baum and Marketing Supervisor Alex Solis. This report could also not have
been produced without the valued assistance of Arleen Jamieson, Mario Lisciotto, Shirley
Li, Rosemary Andrews, Belia Verna, Jennifer Callaghan, Marc Lévesque, and Sylvia
Hébert.
Statistics Canada also acknowledges the generous financial and collaborative
assistance of Status of Women Canada, Health Canada, Citizenship and Immigration
Canada, Social Development Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada, Canadian Heritage, Justice Canada, Foreign Affairs Canada, Agriculture and
Agri-food Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Environment Canada, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, Canada
Revenue Agency, and the Department of National Defence.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
9
Highlights
•
Slightly more than half of all people living in Canada are women or female
children. In 2004, there were a total of 16.1 million females in Canada,
representing 50.4% of the overall population that year. Women constitute a
particularly large segment of the senior population in Canada. In 2004,
women made up 69% of all persons aged 85 and older, 59% of those aged 75
to 84, and 53% of people aged 65 to 74.
•
There were a total of 2.8 million foreign-born females living in Canada in
2001. Together, they made up 19% of the country’s total female population
that year.
•
In 2001, over 2 million women, 14% of the total female population, identified
themselves as being members of a visible minority. Visible minority women
are centered largely in Toronto and Vancouver. That year, 62% of all females
in a visible minority in Canada resided in one of these two metropolitan
areas. Indeed, 37% of all female residents of both cities were part of a visible
minority.
•
In 2001, just under a half million women, 3% of the total female population,
reported they were one of North American Indian, Métis, or Inuit.
•
There has been a sharp drop in the proportion of women living with their
spouse in the past couple of decades. In 2001, 48% of women aged 15 and
over were partners in a husband-wife family, down from 56% in 1981. In the
same period, the proportion of women living in a common-law union more
than doubled, rising from just 4% in 1981 to 9% in 2001.
•
There has also been an increase in the proportion of women who are lone
parents from 5% in the early 1970s to 9% in 2001. Indeed, in 2001, there
were over 1 million female-headed lone-parent families in Canada. That
year, 20% of families with children were headed by a female lone parent,
double the figure in 1971.
•
More women are living alone. In 2001, over one and a half million women,
14% of the total female population aged 15 and over, were living alone,
more than double the total in 1971. Seniors are the most likely women to
live alone. In 2001, 38% of all women aged 65 and over were living on their
own.
•
There has been a dramatic decline in the birth rate among Canadian women
over the course of the past four decades. In 2002, there were just 41 births
for every 1,000 woman in Canada aged 15 to 49, barely a third the figure in
1959. While most of this occurred in the 1960s, the birth rate in Canada
has again edged downward in recent years.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
11
Women in Canada 2005
12
•
The large majority of the female population living at home describe their
general health in positive terms. In 2003, 88% of the female population
aged 12 and over said their health was either excellent (22%), very good
(36%) or good (30%). At the same time, though, 12% reported their health
was either fair or poor. That year, though, 32% of women aged 75 and over
reported their health status as only fair or poor.
•
While most women report their overall health is relatively good, in 2003,
74% of the female population living in a private household had at least one
chronic health condition or problem. Again, the proportion of women who
report chronic or degenerative health problems rises with age.
•
Females make up the majority of the Canadian population with disabilities.
In 2001, 13.3% of Canadian females had a disability. The likelihood of women
having disabilities increases with age. Indeed, that year, 72% of all women
85 years and over had disabilities, while the figures were 50% among women
aged 75 to 84 and 32% for women aged 65 to 74. As well, just over 800,000
women, nearly 7% of all women aged 15 and over, had disabilities which
were considered severe or very severe.
•
Females in Canada have a longer life expectancy than males. Female children
born in 2001, for example, could expect to live an average of 82 years, whereas
the average life expectancy of male children born that year was just 77 years.
Since 1981, however, gains in life expectancy among females have only been
about half those experienced by males.
•
The long-term increase in the life expectancy of females is a reflection of
declines in the overall female death rate. Overall, in 2002, there were 486
deaths for every 100,000 females, down 10% from the figure in 1993, once
the effect of changes in the age structure of the female population have been
accounted for. The decline in the age-standardized death rate for women in
this period was somewhat smaller than that among men, although death
rates among females are still over 50% lower than they are among males.
•
Heart disease and cancer accounted for over half of all female deaths in
2002. There have, however, been considerable differences in the long-term
trends for heart disease and cancer deaths among the female population in
the past two decades. On the one hand, the age-standardized death rate due
to heart disease among women has fallen since the late 1970s, whereas the
rate for cancer has not changed significantly.
•
While there has been no significant change in the overall cancer death rate
among the female population in the past couple of decades, the death rate
due to lung cancer for females in 2001 was more than twice the figure in
1979. In contrast, the age-standardized lung cancer death rate among men
declined 10% in the same period, although the lung cancer death rate among
women is still only about half that of men.
•
There has been a gradual decline in the age-standardized death rate from
breast cancer among the female population in the past two decades, although
breast cancer accounts for the largest share of new cases of cancer among
women.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Highlights
•
There has been a sharp decline in the share of the population which smokes
over the past three decades. In 2003, 21% of all women aged 15 and over
were current smokers, down from 38% in 1970. Among women, young adults
are the most likely to smoke cigarettes. There has, however, been a sharp
decline in the smoking rates among both female teenagers and women aged
20 to 24 in recent years. This reversed the trend in the 1990s when the
percentage of young women smoking increased sharply.
•
There has been a dramatic increase in the proportion of the female population
with a university degree in the past several decades. In 2001, 15% of women
aged 15 and over had a university degree, up from just 3% in 1971. Women,
though, are still slightly less likely than men to have a university degree,
although the gap is currently much smaller than in the past.
•
While almost as many women as men currently are university graduates,
female representation among those with a degree declines sharply among
those with postgraduate training. In 2001, women made up 52% of all those
with a Bachelor’s or first professional degree, whereas they represented just
27% of those with an earned doctorate.
•
The overall difference in the proportions of women and men with a university
degree is likely to close even further in the future as women currently make
up the majority of full-time students in Canadian universities. In the 200102 academic year, 57% of all full-time university students were female, up
from 37% in 1972-73. Again, though, women’s share of full-time university
enrolment declines the higher the level of study.
•
Women also currently make up the majority of full-time students in most
university departments. However, females continue to account for much
smaller shares of full-time enrolment in mathematics and science faculties.
In 2001-02, women made up only 30% of all university students in
mathematics and physical sciences, and just 24% of those in engineering
and applied sciences.
•
The increased participation of women in the paid work force has been one
of the most significant social trends in Canada in the past quarter century.
In 2004, 58% of all women aged 15 and over were part of the paid work
force, up from 42% in 1976. In contrast, the proportion of men who were
employed fell during this period from 73% to 68%. As a result, women
accounted for 47% of the employed workforce in 2004, up from 37% in
1976.
•
There have been particularly dramatic increases in the employment levels of
women with very young children. Indeed, by 2004, 65% of all women with
children under age 3 were employed, more than double the figure in 1976.
Similarly, 70% of women whose youngest child was aged 3 to 5 worked for
pay or profit in 2004, up from 37% in 1976.
•
The share of female lone parents with jobs has risen dramatically over the
last three decades. In 2004, 68% of female lone parents were employed,
whereas the figure was under 50% in 1976.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
13
Women in Canada 2005
14
•
Employed women are far more likely than their male counterparts to lose
time from their jobs because of personal or family responsibilities.
•
Women are also much more likely than their male counterparts to work
part-time. In 2004, 27% of the total female workforce were part-time
employees, compared with just 11% of employed men. Indeed, women
currently account for about seven in 10 of all part-time employees, a figure
which has not changed appreciably since the mid-1970s.
•
The majority of employed women continue to work in occupations in which
women have traditionally been concentrated. In 2004, 67% of all employed
women were working in teaching, nursing and related health occupations,
clerical or other administrative positions, and sales and service occupations.
In fact, there has also been virtually no change in the proportion of women
employed in these traditionally female-dominated occupations over the past
decade.
•
Women have increased their representation in several professional fields in
recent years. Indeed, women currently make up over half those employed in
both diagnostic and treating positions in medicine and related health
professions and in business and financial professional positions.
•
There has also been a long-term increase in the share of women employed
in managerial positions. In 2004, 37% of all those employed in managerial
positions were women, up from 30% in 1987. All of this growth, though,
occurred in the early part of this period. Indeed, the share of management
positions accounted for by women actually dipped slightly in the period
from 1996 to 2004. As well, among managers, women tend to be better
represented in lower-level positions as opposed to those at more senior levels.
Women also continue to remain very much a minority among professionals
employed in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics.
•
While a growing number of women are part of the paid workforce in Canada,
many women also participate in their communities through formal volunteer
activities. In 2003, over 4.5 million Canadian women aged 15 and over, 35%
of the total female population, did unpaid work for a volunteer organization.
That year, women made up 54% of all those doing unpaid volunteer work
through a formal organization.
•
Women generally have lower incomes than men. In 2003, the average annual
pre-tax income of women aged 15 and over from all sources was $24,400,
just 62% the figure for men. The average income of women in 2003, though,
was 13% higher than the figure in 1997, once the effects of inflation have
been factored out, whereas the real average income of men rose 8% in the
same period.
•
The average earnings of employed women are still substantially lower than
those of men, even when employed full-time. In 2003, women working fulltime, full-year had average earnings of $36,500, or 71% what men employed
full-time, full-year made that year. As well, the gap between the earnings of
women and men has not changed substantially in the past decade.
•
Women make up a disproportionate share of the population in Canada with
low incomes. Unattached women are particularly likely to have low incomes.
In 2003, 31% of unattached women aged 16 and over had incomes below
the after-tax Low-Income Cut-offs, while this was the case for 28% of their
male counterparts.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Highlights
•
Seniors are the least likely unattached women to have low incomes. Indeed,
the incidence of low income among unattached senior women has dropped
sharply since the early 1980s. In 2003, 19% of these women were classified
as having after-tax low incomes, down from 57% in 1980.
•
Families headed by female lone parents also have relatively high rates of low
income. In 2003, 38% of all families headed by lone-parent mothers had
incomes which fell below the after-tax Low Income Cut-offs. In comparison,
this was the case for 13% of male lone-parent families and just 7% of nonelderly two-parent families with children. The incidence of low income
among female-headed lone-parent families, however, has declined somewhat
from the period from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s when the figure
hovered around 50%.
•
As a result, lone-parent families headed by women continue to be home to
a disproportionate share of all children living in low-income situations. In
2003, 43% of all children in a low-income family were living with a single
female parent, whereas these families accounted for only 13% of all children
under age 18 that year.
•
Women’s involvement in the criminal justice system has traditionally been
more as victims of crime rather than as perpetrators. In 2004, women were
charged with committing 17% of all crime in Canada, whereas they
represented 51% of all victims of violent crime reported to a sample of police
forces.
•
Women are considerably more likely than men to be victims of violent crimes
such as sexual assault and criminal harassment. Indeed, in 2004, there were
over six times as many female victims of sexual assault as male victims.
Similarly, women were over three times more likely than men to be victims
of criminal harassment.
•
The majority of assaults against women are perpetrated by someone they
know. In 2004, the assailants in 70% of violent incidents committed against
women were either relatives or acquaintances. In fact, women are particularly
likely to be victimized by a current or former spouse, a current or former
partner in a dating relationship, or a family member.
•
Relatively equal proportions of women and men experienced some form of
physical or sexual violence by a common-law or marital partner in the past
five years. There has been no change in the overall level of spousal violence
reported by those who were married or living common-law during the past
five years. However, women and men experience very different types of
spousal violence and the impact of the violence is more serious for women
than men.
•
Women who had been in contact with a previous partner in the past five
years are considerably more likely than those in a current relationship to be
victims of spousal violence. In 2004, 21% of women who had been in contact
with a former spouse in this time period reported some form of abuse, whereas
this was the case for just 3% of women in a current relationship. Aboriginal
women are more than three times more likely to be victims of spousal violence
than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
15
Women in Canada 2005
16
•
Women are also more likely to be victims of stalking than men. In fact, an
estimated 1.4 million women, more than one in 10 of the total female
population, reported that they had been stalked in the past five years in a
way that caused them to fear for their lives or the safety of someone known
to them.
•
Women are only about half as likely as men to be murdered. As with other
types of victimization, however, women are much more likely than male
victims to be killed by someone they know, particularly a family member.
Indeed, 37% of all female homicide victims in 2004 were killed by a spouse
or former spouse. While the number of women killed annually by a current
or former spouse continues to be higher than the number of men killed by a
spouse, the spousal homicide rate has fallen for both women and men over
the past two and a half decades.
•
Women make up less than one in five Canadians charged with a criminal
offense. In 2004, women made up only 18% of adults charged with a criminal
code offence. The share of criminal activity accounted for by women, though,
has risen somewhat in the past few decades.
•
Women between the ages of 15 and 18 years old have much higher levels of
criminal activity than adult women. Crime rates among young women,
though, are still much lower than they are among their male counterparts.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Introduction
The latter part of the 20th century was a period of remarkable change in Canada. In
particular, there was a dramatic evolution in the role of women in Canadian society as
women became increasingly involved in the full range of social and economic aspects of
life in this country. Most notably, women have become an integral part of the paid labour
force, accounting for almost half of all those working for pay or profit. However, with
the new century come new challenges. On the one hand, substantial gender gaps persist
on most major socio-economic variables. In fact, the pace of improvement in many of
these areas has slowed dramatically in recent years. At the same time, vigilance is required
to ensure that past gains on the road to true gender equality in Canada are not lost.
This edition of Women in Canada, the fifth in a series that started in 1985, documents
the current status of women in Canadian society by presenting the most recent and
relevant data on a wide range of issues critical to gender equality. The report presents a
comprehensive portrait of women in Canada today including their demographic profile,
family status, health, educational attainment, labour force characteristics, and income
levels, as well as their involvement in criminal activity as both perpetrators and victims.
In addition, because there are significant differences in the experiences of Canadian
women from different backgrounds, separate chapters are included describing the unique
characteristics of Aboriginal women, immigrant women, women in a visible minority,
senior women and women with disabilities.
The report is primarily national in scope, although many key indicators are
disaggregated by province and by major census metropolitan area. As well, the data
included in this report have been largely drawn from published Statistics Canada sources
such as the Census of Canada, the Labour Force Survey, the Survey of Labour and
Income Dynamics, the General Social Survey and the Canadian Community Health
Survey. The report, though, also includes some previously unreleased data.
While Women in Canada describes the situation of women and men in Canada as
comprehensively as possible, this report is not exhaustive and certain data gaps exist.
Those seeking more information, or with questions about data comparability or quality,
should contact Statistics Canada directly. Specific questions or comments on this report
or its subject matter should be addressed to Colin Lindsay by calling (613) 951-2603 or
by e-mail at [email protected] Further information on these topics may also be attained
by calling the toll-free national Statistics Canada inquiries service at 1 800 263-1136 or
by consulting the Statistics Canada web page at www.statcan.ca.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
17
Chapter 1
The Female Population in Canada
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
Women in the majority
Slightly more than half of all people living in Canada are women or female children. In
2004, there was a total of 16.1 million females in Canada, representing 50.4% of the
overall population that year. (Table 1.1)
The fact that females currently outnumber men is a relatively new phenomenon.
Indeed, as recently as the early 1970s women were in the minority in Canada. In 1971,
for example, 49.8% of the Canadian population were either women or female children,
while the figure was 48.2% in 1931. That females are now in the majority in the Canadian
population has occurred largely because mortality gains among women have been greater
than those among men, with the result that women live considerably longer, on average,
than men. The share of the population accounted for by women, though, reached the
current figure in 1986 and has changed little in the past two decades.
The share of the population accounted for by women is also not expected to change
dramatically over the course of the next few decades. Statistics Canada has projected1
that by 2031 women will still make up 50.4% of the total population, the same as today,
and that by 2051 the figure will have only increased marginally to 50.5%.
While women make up the majority of the population in Canada, the share of the
population accounted for by females is actually relatively small compared with other
industrialized societies. Females currently account for 50.4% of all Canadians, whereas
the figure is over 51% in countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Japan and the United
States, while it is 50.8% in the United Kingdom. The current Canadian figure, though,
is closer to that in Denmark (50.6%), Sweden (50.5%), the Netherlands (50.5%) and
Australia (50.2%), while it is substantially higher than that in countries such as China
and India where women constitute less than half the population. (Chart 1.1)
One reason why women in Canada account for a smaller proportion of the
population than do their counterparts in other industrialized nations is that while the
Canadian population is aging, Canada still has a relatively small senior population
compared with these other countries.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
19
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 1.1
Women as a percentage of the population in Canada
and selected other countries
Italy (2001)
France (2001)
Germany (2001)
United States (2000)
Japan (2001)
United Kingdom (1999)
Denmark (2001)
Sweden (2001)
Netherlands (2001)
Canada (2004)
Australia (2001)
China (2000)
India (2001)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Demography Division, and United Nations, 2001 Demographic Yearbook.
Age distribution
As they have done literally from the moment they were born, women born during the
baby boom years from the late-1940s to the mid-1960s make up a disproportionate
share of the female population in Canada. In 2004, women born during the baby boom
era, who currently range in age from their late 30s to their mid-50s, represented almost
one in three Canadian females. That year, 31% of all females in Canada were between
the ages of 35 and 54. Those in the 35 to 44 age bracket, who made up 16% of the female
population, were the single largest ten-year female age cohort, while women aged 45 to
54 made up another 15%. (Table 1.2)
At the same time, 44% of all females in Canada are under the age of 35. In 2004,
17% of all females were under the age of 15, while 27% were between the ages of 15 and
34. At the other end of the age spectrum, just over one in four females were either
seniors or women in their pre-retirement years. That year, 15% of all females were seniors
aged 65 and over, while 11% were aged 55 to 64.
Senior women,2 however, constitute the fastest growing segment of the female
population. In 2004, there were 2.3 million women in Canada aged 65 and over who
made up 15% of the total female population. This was up from 11% in 1981 and just 5%
in 1921. (Chart 1.2)
20
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
Chart 1.2
Senior women as a percentage of the female population, 1921 to 20511
%
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 1996 2001 2004 2016 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046 2051
1. Projections based on assumptions of medium population growth.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
The share of the female population accounted for by senior women is also expected
to continue to rise during the next several decades. Statistics Canada has projected that
by 2016 18% of all women will be aged 65 and over and that by 2041 27% of all women
will be seniors.
In fact, women constitute a particularly large segment of the senior population in
Canada. In 2004, women made up 57% of all Canadians aged 65 and over, whereas they
represented 51% of those aged 55 to 64 and 50% or less of women in all other age ranges.
Women account for particularly large shares of the oldest segments of the senior
population. In 2004, women made up 69% of all persons aged 85 and older and 59% of
those aged 75 to 84, compared with 53% of people aged 65 to 74.
The fact that women make up such a disproportionate share of the very oldest
segments of the population has major implications. As discussed in greater detail in
Chapter 11, those aged 85 and over are the fastest growing segment of the senior
population. They also tend to be the most vulnerable to serious health problems, as well
as the most likely to experience socio-economic difficulties.
Women in the provinces and territories
Women generally make up larger shares of the population in the eastern provinces
compared with the rest of the country. In 2004, females made up around 51% of all
residents in each of the four Atlantic Provinces, as well as in both Ontario and Quebec.
In contrast, the figure was closer to 50% in each of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British
Columbia, while women were in the minority in Alberta where they made up only 49.5%
of the population that year. (Table 1.3)
Women also make up less than half the population in the territories. In 2004,
about 48% of all people in both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut were female,
while the figure was 49.7% in the Yukon.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
21
Women in Canada 2005
Urban/rural distribution
The large majority of both women and men in Canada live in urban areas. In 2001, 80%
of all women lived in an area classified as urban. In fact, the majority of women, 64%,
lived in a census metropolitan area (CMA), that is, an urban area with a population of at
least 100,000. At the same time, 13% of all females lived in an urban area with a population
between 10,000 and 99,999, while 3% lived in other urban areas. (Table 1.4)
While the majority of the female population are urban residents, one in five women
lives in a rural area. In 2001, 20% of all females lived in an area considered to be rural.
The largest share of these women, 17% that year, were classified as living in a rural nonfarm area, while 2% were rural farm dwellers.
Women represent a relatively large share of the population in urban areas, while
they tend to be under-represented in rural communities. In 2001, women made up over
51% of all those living in urban areas, whereas they represented 49% of the rural nonfarm population, and only 47% of that classified as rural farm.
Women also account for more than half the population in most of the largest census
metropolitan areas in Canada. In 2004, women made up around 51% of residents of each
of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa-Gatineau, and Hamilton. The
exceptions to this pattern were Calgary and Edmonton, where women represented slightly
less than half the population that year. (Chart 1.3)
Chart 1.3
Females as a percentage of the population in selected
census metropolitan areas, 2004
Victoria
Quebec
Halifax
Montréal
St. Catharines-Niagara
London
Ottawa-Gatineau
Winnipeg
Toronto
Hamilton
Vancouver
Edmonton
Calgary
0
5
10
15
20
30
25
35
40
45
50
55
%
Source:
22
Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
Women make up the largest share of the population in Victoria. In 2004, just
under 52% of all Victoria residents were female. This reflects, in large part, the fact that
seniors, of whom women make up a disproportionate share, constitute a relatively large
proportion of Victoria residents. Women also make up particularly large shares of the
population in both Quebec City and Halifax, as well as that in St. Catharines-Niagara
and London.
Residential mobility
As with their male counterparts, the female population in Canada is very mobile. In the
five years between 1996 and 2001, 42% of all women aged 15 and over made at least one
residential move, about the same figure as for men. (Table 1.5)
The majority of women who do move, however, only change residences within the
same community. Between 1996 and 2001, 22% of all women aged 15 and over changed
their place of residence within their community at least once. At the same time, 16% of
all women moved from one community to another: 13% moved within the same province,
while 3% moved from one province to another. Again, though, these figures were almost
exactly the same as those for men.
More foreign-born women
One of the most significant aspects of the female population in Canada in recent years
has been the large flow of new immigrants into the country.3 Indeed, almost one in five
females currently living in Canada was born outside the country. Overall, there were a
total of 2.8 million foreign-born females living in Canada in 2001. Together, they made
up 19% of the country’s total female population that year. (Chart 1.4)
Chart 1.4
Foreign-born females as a percentage of the total female population,
1921 to 2001
%
25
20
15
10
5
0
1921
Source:
1931
1941
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
2001
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
23
Women in Canada 2005
The share of the female population accounted for by those born outside Canada,
in fact, is currently the largest it has been in more than half a century. In 2001, foreignborn females represented 19% of all women living in Canada, up from 16% in 1991 and
14% in 1951. The share of the female population accounted for by those born outside
the country, though, is still lower than it was in the 1920s and 1930s when over 20% of
the female population in Canada was born outside the country. Females also make up
the majority of the foreign-born population in Canada. In 2001, 51.9% of all people
born outside the country were female.
Most females immigrating to Canada come with their family, either as a family
class immigrant themselves or as the spouse or dependant of an economic immigrant. At
the same time, just over one in 10 female immigrants arrived here as an economic-class
immigrant, while another 10% were admitted as refugees.
The number of women admitted to Canada as refugees, though, has declined slightly
in recent years. In 2003, close to 11,600 female refugees were admitted to Canada, down
from 13,000 in 2001 and 14,000 in 2000. The current number of female refugees admitted
to the country, however, is higher than in the late 1990s when an average of fewer than
11,000 females were admitted to Canada as refugees each year.
The recent increase in the size of the foreign-born female population living in
Canada is a reflection of the fact, at least in part, that immigration levels have been
relatively high over the past decade. Indeed, the largest share of the foreign-born female
population arrived here in the past decade. In 2001, there were almost 1 million foreignborn females living in Canada who had arrived in the country between 1991 and 2001.
These recent arrivals made up 34% of all foreign-born females living in Canada that
year. They also made up 6% of the total female population in Canada that year.
There has been an even more dramatic shift in the number of foreign-born females
coming from different regions of the world in recent years. Well over half (58%) of all
female immigrants living in Canada in 2001 who arrived here in the 1990s, for example,
came from Asia, including the Middle East, whereas this was the case for just 3% of
those who arrived prior to 1961. There have also been substantial increases in the number
of female immigrants coming from Africa as well from both the Caribbean and Central
and South America, whereas the numbers from traditional source countries such as the
United Kingdom and other European countries has declined.
Women in the visible minority community
One result of the changing source countries of immigrants to Canada is that there has
also been an increase in the number of women who are members of a visible minority
community.4 In 2001, over 2 million women, 14% of the total female population, identified
themselves as being members of a visible minority. (Table 1.6)
The female visible minority population in Canada, in fact, has grown at a much
faster rate than the number of women not in a visible minority in recent years. Between
1996 and 2001, for example, the number of visible minority females increased by 25%,
whereas the non-visible minority female population rose by only 1%. Indeed, the growth
in the number of visible minority women in the past five years accounted for threequarters of the growth in the overall female population in Canada in this period. As a
result of this trend, the share of the total female population in Canada accounted for by
those in a visible minority rose from 6% in 1986 and 11% in 1996 to 14% in 2001.
The largest number of visible minority women in Canada are Chinese. In 2001,
there were over a half million Chinese women in Canada who made up over a quarter of
the total female visible minority population. In fact, Chinese women represented almost
24
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
4% of all women in Canada that year. At the same time, there were around 450,000
South Asian women, 350,000 Black women, and 175,000 Filipinas. There were also
over 100,000 Latin American and Southeast Asian women, while there were smaller
numbers of Arab (89,000), West Asian (51,000), Korean (52,000) and Japanese (40,000)
women living in Canada. (Table 1.6).
The majority of visible minority females in Canada live in either Ontario or British
Columbia. In 2001, 54% of the female visible minority population in Canada lived in
Ontario, while 21% resided in British Columbia. That year, females in a visible minority
made up 22% of the overall female population of British Columbia and 19% of that of
Ontario.
As well, within Ontario and British Columbia, visible minority women are centered
largely in Toronto and Vancouver. Indeed, in 2001, 62% of all females in a visible minority
in Canada resided in one of these two metropolitan areas, whereas Toronto and Vancouver
accounted for only 16% of the total non-visible minority female population of Canada.
That year, 37% of all female residents of both cities were part of a visible minority.
Aboriginal Women
A substantial number of women in Canada identify with the Aboriginal population.5 In
2001, just under a half million women, 3% of the total female population, reported they
were one of North American Indian, Métis, or Inuit. As with the overall population,
women make up the slight majority of those identifying with the Aboriginal population.
That year, females made up 51% of the total Aboriginal identity population. (Table 1.7)
The female Aboriginal population in Canada is growing substantially faster than
the overall population. The number of females who identified themselves as being North
American Indian, Métis or Inuit in 2001, was 22% higher than the figure in 1996. In
contrast, the non-Aboriginal female population grew by only 3% in the same time period.
As a result of this trend, females who identified themselves as Aboriginal made up 3.3%
of the total female population in 2001, up from 2.8% five years earlier. Demographic
trends such as natural increase accounted for about half the increase in the female
Aboriginal population in this period, while other variables such as the fact that were
fewer incompletely enumerated reserves, as well as an increase in the tendency for women
to identify as Aboriginal, also played a part.
The largest number of women identifying with the Aboriginal population are North
American Indian. In 2001, 314,000 females, 63% of the total female Aboriginal identity
population, were North American Indian, while 29% were Métis, and 5% were Inuit.
Aboriginal people make up a largest share of the provincial population in Manitoba
and Saskatchewan. In 2001, 14% of all female residents of both provinces identified
themselves as Aboriginal, while in the remaining provinces the figure ranged from 5% in
Alberta to just over 1% in both Quebec and Prince Edward Island. At the same time,
Aboriginal people made up 87% of female residents of Nunavut, as well as 52% of those
in the Northwest Territories and 24% of those in the Yukon.
The female Aboriginal population is also relatively young. In 2001, 32% of
Aboriginal females were less than 15 years of age, compared with 19% of their nonAboriginal counterparts. As a result, female Aboriginal children accounted for 6% of all
Canadian girls under the age of 15, whereas Aboriginals made up only 3% of the total
female population, At the same time, young women aged 15-24 made up 17% of the
Aboriginal population, compared with 13% of that of non-Aboriginals.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
25
Women in Canada 2005
Language characteristics of women
English or French are the mother tongue of the majority of Canadian women, although
a growing number have a mother tongue other than one of the official languages. In
2001, 59% of the female population reported that English was their mother tongue, that
is, the language first learned and still understood, while 23% indicated that French was
their mother tongue. At the same time, though, over two and a half million female
Canadians, 18% of the total population, had a mother tongue other than English or
French. (Table 1.8)
Chinese was the language reported most often by females indicating that they had
a mother tongue other than English or French. In 2001, almost 450,000 women, 3% of
the total female population, listed Chinese as their mother tongue, while Italian and
German were each reported by another 2%. At the same time, Punjabi, Spanish,
Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Tagalog, and Ukrainian were each reported by close to 1% of
the overall female population. As well, close to 1% of all females listed an Aboriginal
language as their mother tongue. (Chart 1.5)
Chart 1.5
Percentage of the female population with selected
mother tongues, 2001
English
French
Chinese
Italian
German
Punjabi
Spanish
Polish
Portuguese
Tagalog (Pilipino)
Total Aboriginal
Arabic
Ukrainian
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Census of Canada.
While a growing number of women have a mother tongue other than English or
French, almost all women can speak one or both of Canada’s official languages. In 2001,
81% of Canadian women could carry on a conversation in either English or French only,
while 17% were bilingual. (Table 1.9)
A small proportion of women, however, cannot speak either English or French. In
2001, 2% of women could not speak either official language. Women, in fact, make up a
disproportionate share of the population unable to speak at least one official language.
That year, females made up 61% of all those who reported they could not carry on a
26
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
conversation in either English or French. This reflects, in part, the fact that older persons
are much more likely than their younger counterparts not to be able to speak an official
language, and women make up the majority of people in older age ranges.
While almost all Canadian women can speak one of the two official languages, a
substantial number live in a household in which the primary language is not English or
French. In 2001, one in 10 (10%) women spoke a language other than English or French
in their homes. This figure, however, was almost the same as that for men. (Table 1.10)
Again, Chinese was the most common language spoken at home by Canadian
women other than English or French. In 2001, over 350,000 women spoke Chinese
most often at home, while 100,000 spoke Italian and another 100,000 spoke Punjabi. In
addition, over 50,000 Canadian females spoke one of Arabic, Tagalog, Portuguese, Polish,
German, Vietnamese, or Spanish.6
Religious affiliation of women
The large majority of women report some kind of religious affiliation. In 2001, 84% of
all women aged 15 and over reported they were affiliated with some religious group.
That year, 41% said they were Roman Catholic, while 25% reported they were affiliated
with one of the Protestant denominations. At the same time, those reporting they were
one of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Sikh, or were affiliated with an Eastern
Orthodox religion, made up a total of 5% of the overall adult female population.
(Table 1.11)
Women are generally more likely than men to report a religious affiliation. In
2001, 84% of women, versus 78% of men, said they were affiliated with some religion. In
contrast, women were less likely than men, 16% compared with 22%, not to report any
religious affiliation.
Women are also more likely than their male counterparts to attend religious
functions. In 2003, 51% of all women aged 15 and over, versus 43% of their male
counterparts, indicated they attended religious activities at least a few times a year. Women
are especially more likely than men to attend religious activities on a regular basis. That
year, 21% of women aged 15 and over attended church or other religious activity at least
once a week, compared with only 16% of men. (Table 1.12)
Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Projections are based on an assumption of medium growth in the population.
The senior female population is discussed in more detail in Chapter 11.
The immigrant female population is discussed in more detail in Chapter 9.
Females in a visible minority are discussed in more detail in Chapter 10.
The female Aboriginal population is discussed in more detail in Chapter 8.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
27
Women in Canada 2005
Table 1.1
Total population, 1921 to 2004, and projections to 2051
Males
Total
Females as a
percent of the
population
4,258.2
5,002.2
5,606.1
6,920.6
7,928.9
9,019.4
9,960.5
10,935.2
11,726.0
12,468.8
13,149.1
14,136.7
14,960.0
15,656.8
16,129.8
4,529.2
5,374.5
5,900.6
7,088.8
8,151.9
9,218.9
10,054.3
11,026.8
11,723.8
12,351.6
12,952.1
13,894.6
14,650.8
15,364.4
15,816.5
8,787.4
10,376.7
11,506.7
14,009.4
16,080.8
18,238.2
20,014.9
21,962.0
23,449.8
24,820.4
26,101.2
28,031.4
29,610.8
31,021.3
31,946.3
48.4
48.2
48.7
49.4
49.3
49.4
49.8
49.8
50.0
50.2
50.4
50.4
50.5
50.4
50.4
16,850.2
17,850.4
18,536.4
18,745.4
18,628.3
16,511.6
17,531.4
18,212.3
18,359.5
18,231.7
33,361.7
35,381.7
36,748.7
37,104.9
36,860.0
50.5
50.4
50.4
50.5
50.5
Females
000s
1921
1931
1941
1951
1956
1961
1966
19711
19761
19811
19861
19912
19962
20012
20042
Projections3
2011
2021
2031
2041
2051
1. Adjusted for net census undercoverage and non-permanent residents.
2. Adjusted for net census undercoverage.
3. Projections based on assumptions of medium population growth.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Table 1.2
Population, by age, 20041
Females
Males
000s
%
000s
%
Females as a
percent of the
age group
Under 5
5 to 14
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 to 84
85 and over
827.9
1,966.8
2,122.3
2,166.9
2,564.7
2,419.1
1,716.6
1,162.1
858.5
324.9
5.1
12.2
13.2
13.4
15.9
15.0
10.6
7.2
5.3
2.0
868.0
2,065.6
2,226.8
2,214.2
2,589.6
2,386.8
1,670.1
1,050.8
601.9
142.8
5.4
13.1
14.1
14.0
16.4
15.1
10.6
6.6
3.8
0.9
48.8
48.8
48.8
49.4
49.8
50.3
50.7
52.5
58.8
69.4
Total aged 65 and over
2,345.5
14.5
1,795.4
11.4
56.6
16,129.8
100.0
15,816.5
100.0
50.4
People aged
Total
1. Adjusted for net census undercoverage.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
28
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
Table 1.3
Population, by province and territory, 20041
Females
000s
%
000s
%
Females as a percent
of the provincial/
territorial population
262.9
70.8
478.3
380.5
3,820.6
6,273.3
589.4
501.1
1,585.3
2,116.9
15.5
20.7
14.4
1.6
0.4
3.0
2.4
23.7
38.9
3.7
3.1
9.8
13.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
254.1
67.0
458.6
370.8
3,722.2
6,119.4
580.8
494.3
1,616.6
2,079.4
15.7
22.1
15.3
1.6
0.4
2.9
2.3
23.5
38.7
3.7
3.1
10.2
13.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
50.9
51.4
51.1
50.6
50.7
50.6
50.4
50.3
49.5
50.4
49.7
48.3
48.4
16,129.8
100.0
15,816.5
100.0
50.4
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Total
Males
1. Adjusted for net census undercoverage.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Table 1.4
Urban/rural distribution of the female and male population, 20011
Females
Males
000s
%
000s
%
Females as a
percent of the
population
9,699.0
1,893.4
516.9
12,109.3
64.3
12.6
3.4
80.3
9,210.4
1,774.2
492.0
11,476.6
63.2
12.2
3.4
78.8
51.3
51.6
51.2
51.3
329.9
2,635.6
2,965.4
2.2
17.4
19.7
368.2
2,719.4
3,087.7
2.5
18.7
21.2
47.3
49.2
49.0
15,074.8
100.0
14,564.3
100.0
50.9
Urban areas
Census metropolitan areas2
Census agglomerations3
Other urban areas4
Total urban
Rural
Farm
Non-farm
Total rural
Total
1. Data are not adjusted for net census undercoverage and therefore are not directly comparable with other data in this chapter.
2. Includes urban areas with population of 100,000 and over.
3. Includes urban areas with population between 10,000 and 99,999.
4. Includes urban areas with population under 10,000.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
29
Women in Canada 2005
Table 1.5
Proportion of the female and male population who made a residential move
within the past five years, 2001
Females
Males
000s
%
000s
%
Moved within same community
Moved within province
Interprovincial mover
External migrant
3,187.9
1,831.4
450.9
493.4
22.4
12.9
3.2
3.4
3,063.7
1,745.7
454.8
482.6
22.4
12.8
3.3
3.5
Total movers
5,963.5
41.9
5,746.8
42.0
Non-movers
8,279.6
58.1
7,942.7
58.0
14,243.1
100.0
13,689.4
100.0
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 1.6
Population in the visible minority community, 2001
Females
Source:
000s
As a percent of
all visible
minority
men
As a percent
of all
men in
Canada
Females
as a
percent of
visible
minority
group
3.5
3.0
2.3
1.2
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.6
499.4
465.4
316.1
131.0
105.7
98.3
105.9
57.9
48.5
33.3
83.9
25.7
23.9
16.2
6.7
5.4
5.1
5.4
3.0
2.4
1.7
4.3
3.4
3.2
2.2
0.9
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.6
51.4
49.2
52.3
57.5
51.3
50.6
45.6
47.0
51.8
54.6
51.4
13.5
1,945.5
100.0
13.4
50.8
000s
As a percent of
all visible
minority
women
As a percent
of all
women in
Canada
530.0
451.6
346.1
177.6
111.2
100.6
88.7
51.4
52.2
40.0
88.9
26.0
22.2
17.0
8.7
5.4
4.9
4.4
2.5
2.6
2.0
4.4
2,038.3
100.0
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipino
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Total
Males
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 1.7
Aboriginal identity population, 2001
Females
Males
000s
As a percent
of all men
in Canada
Females
as a percent
of population
of Aboriginal
group
2.1
1.0
0.1
0.1
294.4
146.2
22.6
13.5
2.0
1.0
0.2
0.1
51.6
50.0
50.0
55.0
3.3
476.7
3.3
51.2
000s
As a percent
of all women
in Canada
North American Indian
Métis
Inuit
Other1
314.4
146.1
22.5
16.5
Total Aboriginal identity population
499.6
1.
Includes multiple Aboriginal responses as well as those who do not consider themselves an Aboriginal person but who are Registered Indians and/or
Band/First Nation members.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
30
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 1 / The Female Population in Canada
Table 1.8
Mother tongue of the female and male population,1 2001
Females
English
French
Non-official language
Total
Males
000s
%
000s
%
8,780.9
3,433.4
2,664.3
59.0
23.1
17.9
8,571.4
3,269.9
2,538.0
59.6
22.7
17.7
14,878.6
100.0
14,379.3
100.0
1. Includes only single responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 1.9
Knowledge of official languages of the female and male population, 2001
Females
Males
000s
%
000s
%
English only
French only
Bilingual
Neither official language
10,048.4
2,125.9
2,628.8
271.7
66.7
14.1
17.4
1.8
9,966.2
1,820.7
2,602.8
174.6
68.4
12.5
17.9
1.2
Total
15,074.8
100.0
14,564.3
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 1.10
Home language of the female and male population,1 2001
Females
Males
000s
%
000s
%
English
French
Non-official language
Other2
10,025.4
3,292.0
1,486.1
271.2
66.5
21.8
9.9
1.8
9,749.3
3,155.6
1,402.4
256.9
66.9
21.7
9.6
1.8
Total
15,074.8
100.0
14,564.3
100.0
1. Refers to the language most often spoken in the home.
2. Includes those speaking more than one language equally in the home.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
31
Women in Canada 2005
Table 1.11
Religious affiliation of women and men aged 15 and over, 20031
Women
Men
%
Roman Catholic
40.8
38.1
8.9
7.1
2.1
2.0
2.8
2.0
24.8
7.2
5.4
1.6
1.9
2.2
1.6
20.0
Eastern Orthodox
Jewish
Muslim
Hindu
Buddhist
Sikh
0.9
0.9
1.4
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.8
0.9
2.1
1.1
0.9
0.9
Other/unknown2
12.7
12.8
None
16.3
22.3
Total
100.0
100.0
12,972
12,582
Protestant
United Church
Anglican
Presbyterian
Lutheran
Baptist
Other Protestant
Total Protestant
Total number (000s)
1. Excludes residents of the three territories and institutional residents.
2. Includes not stated.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Table 1.12
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over attending
religious activities, 20031
Women
Men
%
Once a week or more
Once a month or more
A few times a year
Once a year
Not at all
Other2
Total
Total number (000s)
21.4
11.7
18.1
6.1
18.8
23.8
16.0
10.2
17.2
6.4
17.6
32.6
100.0
100.0
12,972
12,582
1. Excludes residents of the three territories and institutional residents.
2. Includes those with no religious affiliation as well not stated.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
32
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2
Family Status
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
Most women live with their families
The vast majority of women in Canada live with members of their family.1 In 2001, 83%
of women aged 15 and over were living with either their immediate or extended family.
In fact, the majority of women are living with their husband or partner. That year, almost
half (48%) of all Canadian women aged 15 and over were living with their husband,
while 9% were living in a common-law relationship. At the same time, another 9% of the
female population over the age of 15 were lone parents, while 14% were daughters living
at home with their parents, and 3% were living with members of their extended family,
such as the family of a daughter or son. (Table 2.1)
The proportion of women living with their family, however, has declined somewhat
since the early 1970s. In 2001, 83% of the female population aged 15 and over was living
with their family, down from 86% in 1981 and 89% in 1971.
There has been a particularly sharp drop in the proportion of women living with
their spouse in the past couple of decades. In 2001, 48% of women aged 15 and over
were partners in a husband-wife family, down from 56% in 1981. In the same period,
though, the proportion of women living in a common-law union more than doubled,
rising from just 4% in 1981 to 9% in 2001.
There has also been an increase in the proportion of women who are lone parents.
In 2001, 9% of all women aged 15 and over were lone parents, up from 5% in the early
1970s. In contrast, the share of women living either at home with their parents or with
members of the extended family has declined. Currently, 14% of the female population
aged 15 and over is living at home with their parents, down from17% in 1971, while the
share living with the family of a son or daughter has fallen from 5% to 3% in the same
period.
Overall, the female population is about as likely as their male counterparts to be
living with their family. In 2001, 83% of women aged 15 and over were living with either
their immediate or extended family, while the figure for males in this age range was 84%.
Women, though, are generally less likely than men to be living with a spouse. That year,
a total of 58% of all women aged 15 and over were either living with their spouse or a
common-law partner, versus 61% of adult men. Females over the age of 15 are also
somewhat more likely than their male counterparts to be living at home with their parents:
14% compared with 9%. On the other hand, a substantially larger share of women than
men, 9% versus just 2%, are lone parents.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
33
Women in Canada 2005
More women living alone
While the large majority of Canadian women live with their family, a growing proportion
lives alone. In 2001, over one and a half million women, 14% of the total female population
aged 15 and over, were living alone. Indeed, the share of adult women living alone has
more than doubled since 1971 when less than 7% lived on their own.
As well, women are more likely to live alone than men. In 2001, 14% of women
aged 15 and over, versus 11% of adult men, were living on their own. The share of both
senior women and men living alone, though, has increased substantially over the past
three decades.
Differences in family status by age
Not surprisingly, there is considerable variation in the family status of women in different
age groups. Women between the ages of 25 and 64, for example, are much more likely
than either younger women or seniors2 to be living with their husband or common-law
partner. In 2001, around 70% of women in both the 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 age categories
were living with either their spouse or common-law partner. Indeed, a majority of women
in both age groups were living with their husband. That year, 66% of women aged 45 to
64 were married, as were 55% of those aged 25 to 44. In contrast, only 43% of women
aged 65 and over were married, while the figure was just 5% among those aged 15 to 24.
In fact, women in the latter age range were almost twice as likely to be living with a
common-law partner (9%) as they were to be married. (Table 2.2)
Women between the ages of 25 and 44 are the most likely women to be living in a
common-law relationship. In 2001, 15% of these women were living with a commonlaw partner, compared with 9% of those aged 15 to 24, 7% of those aged 45 to 64 and just
1% of senior women.
Those aged 25 to 44 are also the most likely women to be lone parents. In 2001,
11% of women in this age range were lone parents, while the figure was 9% among those
aged 45 to 64, 8% among senior women, and 3% among those in the 15 to 24 age range.
In all age groups, though, women were far more likely than their male counterparts to be
lone parents.
On the other hand, seniors are, by far, the most likely women to live alone. In 2001,
38% of all women aged 65 and over were living on their own, compared with just 13% of
those aged 45 to 64, 7% of those aged 25 to 44, and just 3% of 15 to 24-year-olds.
As well, among seniors, women are considerably more likely than men to live alone.
In 2001, 38% of women aged 65 and over, versus just 17% of men in this age range, lived
alone. In contrast, a somewhat smaller share of women aged 25 to 44 than their male
counterparts, 7% versus 12%, lived alone, while there was little difference in the likelihood
of women and men aged either 15 to 25 or 45 to 64 to be living alone.
Senior women are also considerably more likely than their younger counterparts to
live with members of their extended family. In 2001, 8% of women aged 65 and over
lived in an extended family setting, versus 2% or less of women in other age groups.
These senior women were also more likely than men aged 65 and over, 8% versus 3%, to
be living with members of their extended family.
34
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Marriage rate down
The long-term decline in the proportion of women who are spouses in a husband-wife
family reflects, in part, the fact that there has been a substantial drop in the annual
marriage rate in the last three decades. In 2002, there were only 4.7 marriages for every
1,000 people in Canada, down from around 6 marriages per 1,000 population in the
early 1990s, 7 in the late 1980s, and 9 in the early 1970s. (Table 2.3)
Overall, there were just under 147,000 marriages in Canada in 2002. This represents
a 7% decline in the total number of marriages in Canada in the two years since 2000.
The current figure is also 27% less than the peak figure recorded in 1972, when there
were slightly over 200,000 marriages.
Canadians are also marrying at older ages than they did in the past. In 2002, the
average age at first marriage for brides was 28 years, up from 26 in 1990 and 22 in 1971.
In the same period, the average age at first marriage for grooms rose from 24 years in the
early 1970s to around 30 today.
The one thing that has not changed significantly in this regard is the fact that
women still tend to marry at younger ages than men. In 2002, first-time brides were, on
average, 2 years younger than first-time grooms. Indeed, the gap between the ages at
which women and men marry for the first time has consistently been around two years
for over three decades.
There is also some variation in marriage rates across the country. People in Prince
Edward Island, where there were 6.6 marriages per 1,000 people in 2002, are the most
likely Canadians to marry. There were also close to 6 marriages per 1,000 population in
both Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta that year, while the figure was around 5
in most other provinces. (Chart 2.1)
Chart 2.1
Marriages per 1,000 population, by province and territory, 2002
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
1
2
4
3
5
6
7
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84F0212-XPB.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
35
Women in Canada 2005
The major exception to this pattern is in Quebec. In fact, there were only 3 marriages
per 1,000 population in Quebec in 2002. Marriage rates were also relatively low in the
territories where the figure ranged from 4.7 marriages per 1,000 people in the Yukon to
just 2.5 in Nunavut.
The low marriage rate in Quebec is a reflection of the fact that a disproportionate
share of couples in that province are part of a common-law union. Indeed, in 2001, one
in four couples in Quebec (25%), almost twice the national rate of 14%, was living in a
common-law relationship. In contrast, in the remaining provinces, the figure ranged
from 13% in New Brunswick and 12% Alberta to under 10% in each of Ontario, Prince
Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador. (Chart 2.2)
Chart 2.2
Common-law families as a percentage of all families,
by province and territory, 2001
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
5
10
20
15
25
30
35
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Couples in the territories also tend to live in common-law unions. In 2002, over
30% of all couples in Nunavut were part of a common-law union, while the figure was
26% in the Northwest Territories and 23% in the Yukon.
While the overall marriage rate has fallen, more Canadians are marrying for a
second or subsequent time. In 2002, for example, 24% of all brides were either divorced
or widowed, up from around 20% in the early 1980s and less than 10% in the 1960s. The
share of women marrying for a second or subsequent time, though, is currently about the
same as that for men, among whom 25% of grooms in 2002 were marrying for at least
the second time. (Table 2.4)
Divorced people account for all of the growth in the number of Canadians who are
remarrying. Indeed, 22% of women who married in 2002 were divorced, up from around
15% in the early 1980s and just 4% in the 1960s. In contrast, the percentage of women
marrying who are widowed has declined over the past four decades, falling from 5% in
the early 1960s to just 3% today. In fact, in the early 1960s, a greater share of remarriages
involved widowed rather than divorced women.
36
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Divorce rate higher
In contrast to the marriage rate, the incidence of divorce in Canada is currently much
higher than it was in the late 1960s. This has resulted, in part, from revisions in the
legislation regarding divorce in 1968, and again in 1985, which eased restrictions on
marital dissolution. In 2003, there were 224 divorces for every 100,000 people in Canada,
roughly four times the number in 1968 when there were just 55 divorces per 100,000
population. (Table 2.5)
Most of the long-term increase in the incidence of divorce in Canada, however,
occurred in the 1970s. Between 1968 and 1982, for example, the number of divorces per
100,000 people rose from 55 to 280. There was also a substantial rise in the divorce rate
following passage of the revised legislation in 1985. Since the late 1980s, though, the
divorce rate has gradually declined. Indeed, the 2003 rate of 224 divorces per 100,000
population was down 3% from 2000; it was also 15% less than the figure in 1995 and
21% lower than that in 1990.
Divorce rates in Canada are highest in the two western-most provinces. In 2003,
there were 252 divorces per 100,000 population in Alberta and 237 in British Columbia.
In fact, these were the only two provinces in which the divorce rate was above the national
figure of 224 divorces per 100,000 population. In contrast, in the remaining provinces,
the figure ranged from 223 in Quebec to only 128 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
(Chart 2.3)
Chart 2.3
Divorces per 100,000 population, by province and territory, 2003
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
Source:
50
100
150
200
250
300
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84F0213-XPB.
There are also major differences in divorce rates in the territories. There were, for
example, 285 divorces per 100,000 people in the Yukon in 2003, the highest figure in all
of Canada. On the other hand, the figure was just 147 in the Northwest Territories,
while there were only 14 divorces per 100,000 population that year in Nunavut.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
37
Women in Canada 2005
Growing numbers of female lone parents
The long-term increase in divorce rates has affected, in part, the growth in the number
of women who are lone parents. Indeed, there were over 1 million female-headed loneparent families in Canada in 2001, an increase of 13% since 1996. The current figure is
also 35% higher than in 1991 and close to double the number in 1981. (Table 2.6)
The number of male lone parents has also grown in recent decades. In fact, there
were almost a quarter of a million families headed by a male lone parent in 2001, a 28%
increase from 1996. However, women continue to make up the large majority of lone
parents. In 2001, 81% of all one-parent families were headed by women, a figure that has
remained relatively constant since the mid-1970s.
Lone parent families, especially those headed by women, also account for an
increasing share of all families with children in Canada. Indeed, one in five families with
children in 2001 was headed by a female lone parent. The current figure of 20% is up
from 16% in both 1986 and 1991; it is also double the number in 1971 when only 10% of
Canadian families with children were headed by female lone parents.
The largest share of female lone parents are either divorced or separated from their
spouse. In 2001, almost half of all female lone parents were either divorced (30%) or
separated (19%). The share of female lone parents accounted for by divorced and separated
women, though, has fallen in recent years. In 2001, 49% of all female lone parents were
either divorced or separated, down from 54% in 1996. (Table 2.7)
In contrast, a growing proportion of female lone parents are single, never-married
women raising children on their own. In 2001, 29% of female lone parents were single,
up from 24% in 1996 and almost double the figure in 1986, when this was the case for
only 15% of female lone parents. It should be noted, however, that many of these women
may actually have been living in a common-law relationship at the time their children
were born and these relationships have since ended.
As well, single, never-married lone parents of today tend to be older, on average,
than their counterparts were in the past. In 2001, 30% of these lone parents were aged 35
to 44, up from 15% in 1981. In contrast, the proportion of single, never-married female
lone parents aged 15 to 24 dropped from 38% to 20% in this period. (Chart 2.4)
The largest share of single, never-married female lone parents, though, is aged 25
to 34. In 2001, 38% of all single, never-married lone mothers fell in the 25 to 34 age
bracket. This figure, though, was down from 47% in 1991 and 40% in 1981.
There is also some variation in the prevalence of female-headed lone-parent families
across the country. These families, though, account for a relatively large share of families
with children in all provinces. In 2001, 23% of all families with children in Nova Scotia
were lone-parent units headed by women, while the figure was 21% in each of British
Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward
Island, 19% in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, and 18% in Alberta.
(Chart 2.5)
Lone-parent families headed by women also account for relatively large shares of
families with children in the territories. In 2001, 24% of all families with children in the
Yukon were headed by a female lone parent, while the figure was 22% in Nunavut and
21% in the Northwest Territories
38
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Chart 2.4
Age distribution of single, never-married female
lone parents, 1981 to 2001
%
50
45
40
35
30
25
15 to 24
20
25 to 34
15
35 to 44
10
45 to 64
5
65 and over
0
1981
Source:
1991
2001
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Chart 2.5
Female-headed lone-parent families as a percentage of all families
with children, by province and territory, 2001
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
39
Women in Canada 2005
Custody of children in divorce
One reason why women make up such a large proportion of lone parents is that mothers
get custody of the children much more often than fathers when marriages break down.
Mothers, for example, were awarded sole custody in almost half (48%) of all custody
decisions settled in court in 2003,3 whereas fathers were awarded sole custody in only 8%
of these cases. (Table 2.8)
In recent years, though, there has been a dramatic shift toward joint-custody awards.
Indeed, in 2003, 44% of all court-determined divorce cases resulted in a joint-custody
settlement. This was more than double the figure in the mid-1990s and four times that
as recently as the late 1980s. As a result, the share of sole custody awards to the mother
has declined from over 70% in the late 1980s to 44% in 2003. Similarly, the share of
custody awards to the father only has dropped from around 13% to just 8% in the same
period.
Low birth rates
One of the most dramatic trends in family life has been the decline in the birth rate
among Canadian women over the course of the past four decades. In 2002, there were
just 41 births for every 1,000 woman in Canada aged 15 to 49, barely a third the figure
in 1959, when there were 116 births per 1,000 women in this age range. (Chart 2.6)
Most of the long-term decline in the birth rate, however, occurred in the 1960s.
Between 1959 and 1970, for example, the birth rate dropped almost 40% from 116
births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 to just 71. In contrast, there was little change in
the birth rate over the course of the next two decades.
Chart 2.6
Births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49, 1921 to 20021
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
1921
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
1. Data to 1985 do not include Newfoundland.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-210-XPE; and Health Statistics Division.
40
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
After close to two decades of stability, however, the birth rate in Canada has again
edged downward in recent years. There were, for example, 41 births per 1,000 women
aged 15 to 49 in 2002, down from 44 in 1997. The current birth rate is also 29% lower
than the 1990 figure of 57 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49.
One reason for the lower birth rate among women is that many women are waiting
longer to have their children than they did in the past. The average age of women at the
birth of their first child in 2002 was just over 27 years, up from 26 in 1990 and 23 in the
late 1960s. (Chart 2.7)
Women between the ages of 25 and 34 currently have the highest birth rate in
Canada. In 2002, there were 98 children born for every 1,000 women aged 25 to 29 and
91 for those aged 30 to 34. In contrast, there were only 54 for every 1,000 women aged
20 to 24, 36 among women aged 35 to 39, and just 15 among teenagers. (Table 2.9)
Chart 2.7
Average age of mother at birth of first child, 1961 to 2002
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1961
Source:
1964
1967
1970
1973
1976
1979
1982
1985
1988
1991
1994
1997
2000 2002
Statistics Canada, Catalogue nos. 82-553-XPB and 84-210-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
While women aged 25 to 29 have the highest birth rate of any 5-year age category,
there has been a substantial long-term decline in the birth rates among women in this
group in the past several decades. There were 98 births for every 1,000 women aged 25
to 29 in 2002, less than half the figure in the early 1960s when there were over 200 births
for every 1,000 women in this age group. Of note, though, the birth rate among women
in this age group has actually inched up ever so slightly during the early part of the
2000s.
There has been an even more precipitous decline in the birth rate among women
aged 20 to 24 in the past four decades. There were, for example, just 54 births for every
1,000 women in this age group in 2002, down from around 100 in the mid-1970s and
over 200 in the early 1960s. Indeed, women in this age range had the highest birth rate
of any age group in the early 1960s, whereas the birth rate for women in this age range is
currently barely half that of women aged 25 to 34.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
41
Women in Canada 2005
There has also been a dramatic long-term decline in the birth rate among teenaged
women. In 2002, there were just 15 births for every 1,000 females aged 15 to 19, compared
with almost 60 in 1961. As well, much of this decline has occurred in recent years.
Indeed, the birth rate among teenaged women has dropped by 40% since 1994.
Birth rates also declined among women over the age of 30 in the 1960s and 1970s.
In contrast to younger women, though, birth rates among women over the age of 30
have generally risen over the past quarter century. There were, for example, 91 births for
every women aged 30 to 34 in 2002, up from around 65 in the mid-1970s. Similarly,
among women aged 35 to 39, there were 36 births per 1,000 population in 2002, compared
with a figure of less than 20 in the latter part of the 1970s.
There is also considerable variation in birth rates across the country. In 2002, there
were almost 50 births for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 49 in each of Manitoba (49),
Saskatchewan (48), and Alberta (46), while the figure in the remaining provinces ranged
from 41 in Ontario to just 34 in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Chart 2.8)
Chart 2.8
Births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49, by province
and territory, 2002
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
Source:
20
40
60
80
100
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Birth rates are also relatively high in the territories. Indeed, there were almost 100
births for every woman aged 15 to 49 in Nunavut in 2002. There were also 55 births per
1,000 woman aged 15 to 49 in the Northwest Territories that year. Both figures were
well above the national rate of 41. In contrast, the birth rate in the Yukon, at 39 births
per 1,000 women aged 15 to 49, was slightly below the national figure.
42
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Fewer children per family
Partly as a result of the long-term decline in birth rates, Canadian families now have
fewer children living at home than they did in the past. In 2001, there was an average of
just 1.1 children living at home per family, down slightly from 1.2 a decade earlier. The
current figure is also down from 1.4 children per family in 1981 and 1.8 in 1971.
(Table 2.10)
The overall decline in the number of children per Canadian family, though, also
reflects the fact that there has been an increase in the share of families without children
living at home. Families without children living at home, which include both couples
which have never had children, as well as empty-nesters whose children have left home,
made up 37% of all families in 2001, up from 35% in 1991 and 27% in 1971.
Married-couple families generally have more children living at home than either
common-law couples or lone-parent families headed by women. Of families with at
least one child living at home in 2001, married-couple families had an average of 1.9
children at home, compared with 1.7 in common-law families and 1.5 in female-headed
lone-parent households. (Chart 2.9)
Chart 2.9
Average number of children1 living at home per family, by family type, 2001
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
Married
couples
Common-law
couples2
Female-headed
Male-headed
Lone-parent families
1. Includes children who have been married.
2. Includes same-sex couples.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Common-law families and families headed by female lone parents, though, are the
most likely families to have young children. In 1996, 23% of families headed by a commonlaw couple and 21% of female lone parents had at least one child under age 6, compared
with 17% of married-couple families and just 14% of lone-parent families headed by
men. (Chart 2.10)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
43
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 2.10
Percentage of families with children under age 6,
by family type, 2001
25
20
15
10
5
0
Married
couples
Common-law
couples
Femaleheaded
Maleheaded
All
families
Lone-parent families
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Overall, about one in five Canadian families have pre-school aged children. In
2001, 18% of all families had at least child under the age of six. This was down, however,
from 21% just 5 years earlier.
Notes
1.
2.
3.
44
In this context, family refers to a census family. Persons living with their family include
spouses, either married or common law, lone parents, never-married children living at home,
and those in an extended family, such as the family of a daughter or son. Persons not living
with their family include those living alone or with unrelated persons.
More information on the family status of senior women is included in the chapter on Senior
Women in Canada.
Note that these figures only include cases decided by the courts and do not include those in
which custody arrangements were decided outside of court.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Table 2.1
Family status of women and men aged 15 and over, 1971 to 2001
1971
1981
Women
Men
Women
1991
Men
2001
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Living with family
With husband or wife
With common-law partner1
Lone parent
Child living with parents
Living with extended family members
Total living with family
61.7
…
5.1
17.1
5.3
89.2
63.1
…
1.4
22.4
3.8
90.7
56.2
3.8
6.3
15.7
4.3
86.3
58.4
4.0
1.4
20.9
3.4
88.1
52.6
6.7
7.3
13.2
3.9
83.7
55.2
7.1
1.6
18.0
3.1
85.0
48.3
9.4
8.7
14.0
2.6
83.0
51.0
10.0
2.1
19.0
1.9
84.0
4.2
6.6
10.8
4.9
4.4
9.3
3.2
10.6
13.8
4.3
7.7
12.0
3.9
12.3
16.2
5.6
9.4
15.0
3.3
13.7
17.0
4.7
11.3
16.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
7,413.4
7,252.1
9,352.2
9,000.4
Not living with family
Living with non-relatives
Living alone
Total not living with family
Total
Total population (000s)
10,782.6 10,284.8
12,230.9 11,568.1
1. Prior to 1981, common-law families were included with married-couple families. In 2001, same-sex couples were included.
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada.
Table 2.2
Family status of women and men, by age, 2001
People aged
15 to 24
Women
25 to 44
Men
Women
45 to 64
Men
65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Living with family
With husband or wife
With common-law partner1
Lone parent
Child living with parents
Living with extended family members
Total living with family
4.8
9.2
3.4
70.8
1.9
90.1
1.9
5.1
0.4
79.9
2.2
89.4
54.9
15.3
11.3
6.0
1.3
88.8
49.4
16.2
2.2
11.4
2.0
81.3
65.7
6.7
8.7
1.4
2.1
84.6
70.9
8.4
3.0
2.0
1.2
85.6
43.2
1.2
8.0
0.2
7.5
60.1
73.5
2.8
2.2
0.1
2.7
81.4
6.5
3.4
9.9
7.0
3.4
10.5
3.7
7.4
11.2
6.3
12.4
18.7
2.1
13.3
15.4
2.4
11.9
14.4
1.6
38.3
39.9
1.8
16.8
18.6
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1,945.2
2,022.3
4,596.8
4,417.0
3,670.1
3,544.5
2,018.8
1,584.4
Not living with family
Living with non-relatives
Living alone
Total not living with family
Total
Total population (000s)
1. Includes same-sex couples.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
45
Women in Canada 2005
Table 2.3
Marriages and average age at first marriage, 1971 to 2002
Number of
marriages
Marriages
per 1,000
population
Women
Men
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
191,324
200,470
199,064
198,824
197,585
8.9
9.2
9.0
8.7
8.5
22.1
21.7
21.8
21.9
22.6
24.4
24.2
24.2
24.2
24.9
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
186,844
187,344
185,523
187,811
191,069
8.0
7.9
7.7
7.8
7.8
22.8
22.9
23.1
23.2
23.4
25.1
25.2
25.3
25.4
25.5
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
190,082
188,360
184,675
185,597
184,096
7.7
7.5
7.3
7.2
7.1
23.6
23.8
24.1
24.4
24.7
25.7
25.9
26.2
26.5
26.7
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
175,518
182,151
187,728
190,640
187,737
6.7
6.9
7.0
7.0
6.8
24.9
25.3
25.5
25.8
26.0
27.0
27.4
27.6
27.8
27.9
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
172,251
164,573
159,316
159,959
160,251
6.1
5.8
5.6
5.5
5.5
26.2
26.6
26.8
26.9
27.1
28.2
28.5
28.7
28.8
29.0
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
156,691
153,306
152,821
155,742
157,395
5.3
5.1
5.1
5.1
5.1
27.1
26.9
27.1
27.3
27.5
28.8
28.9
29.1
29.3
29.5
2001
2002
146,618
146,738
4.7
4.7
27.7
27.8
29.7
29.8
Source:
Average age at first marriage
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-212-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
46
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Table 2.4
Marital status of brides and bridegrooms, 1961 to 2002
Brides
Single
Widowed
Bridegrooms
Divorced
Total
Single
Widowed
Divorced
Total
%
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
91.1
91.2
90.9
91.1
91.1
5.1
4.9
5.0
4.8
4.6
3.8
3.9
4.1
4.1
4.3
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
91.5
91.6
91.4
91.4
91.5
4.5
4.4
4.4
4.2
4.1
4.0
4.0
4.2
4.4
4.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
91.3
91.3
91.3
89.3
88.9
4.4
4.4
4.3
4.3
4.2
4.3
4.3
4.4
6.4
6.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
91.4
91.6
91.6
89.4
88.8
4.0
3.8
3.7
3.7
3.6
4.6
4.6
4.7
6.9
7.6
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
88.4
88.4
87.5
86.6
85.4
4.1
3.9
3.9
3.8
3.8
7.5
7.7
8.6
9.6
10.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
88.3
88.1
87.7
85.8
84.5
3.6
3.5
3.4
3.4
3.3
8.1
8.4
9.5
10.7
12.1
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
84.2
83.7
83.0
82.5
82.1
3.8
3.7
3.5
3.4
3.2
11.9
12.6
13.4
14.1
14.7
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
83.3
82.7
81.9
81.3
80.7
3.3
3.3
3.2
3.1
3.1
13.3
14.0
14.9
15.6
16.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
81.3
81.2
80.1
79.7
79.7
3.2
2.9
2.9
3.2
2.9
15.5
15.9
17.0
17.1
17.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
80.0
79.4
78.5
78.0
78.2
3.0
2.9
2.8
3.0
2.9
17.0
17.7
18.7
19.0
18.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
78.9
76.5
76.7
76.7
77.4
2.9
3.4
3.0
3.1
2.9
18.2
20.1
20.3
20.2
19.7
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
78.4
76.0
76.2
76.4
76.5
2.9
3.1
2.9
2.9
2.7
18.7
20.9
21.0
20.7
20.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
77.6
77.1
76.9
76.7
76.2
2.9
3.0
2.9
2.9
2.9
19.5
19.9
20.2
20.4
20.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
76.6
76.3
76.0
76.0
75.7
2.8
2.9
2.9
2.9
2.8
20.6
20.9
21.1
21.2
21.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
75.5
75.6
75.5
75.6
75.0
3.0
2.9
2.9
2.8
2.9
21.5
21.5
21.6
21.6
22.1
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
75.0
75.1
75.1
75.1
74.5
3.0
2.9
2.8
2.8
2.8
22.0
21.9
22.1
22.1
22.7
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
2001
2002
75.2
75.6
2.9
2.8
21.8
21.6
100.0
100.0
75.0
75.0
2.9
2.8
22.1
22.2
100.0
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-212-XPB.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
47
Women in Canada 2005
Table 2.5
Number of divorces and divorce rate, 1968 to 2003
Number of
divorces
Divorces per
100,000 population
1968
1969
1970
11,343
26,093
29,775
54.8
124.2
139.8
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
29,685
32,389
36,704
45,019
50,611
137.6
148.4
166.1
200.6
222.0
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
54,207
55,370
57,155
59,474
62,019
235.8
237.7
243.4
251.3
259.1
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
67,671
70,430
68,565
65,170
61,976
278.0
279.5
269.3
253.6
238.9
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
78,304
96,200
83,507
80,998
78,463
298.8
362.3
310.5
295.8
282.3
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
77,020
79,034
78,226
78,880
77,636
273.9
277.9
270.2
269.7
262.2
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
71,528
67,408
69,088
70,910
71,144
241.1
224.7
228.4
232.5
231.2
2001
2002
2003
71,110
70,155
70,828
229.2
223.7
223.7
Year
Sources: Statistics Canada, Catalogue nos. 82-003-XPB and 84-213-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
48
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Table 2.6
Lone-parent families, 1961 to 2001
Female-headed
1961
1966
1971
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
Source:
Male-headed
000s
As a percent
of all families
with children
272.2
300.4
378.1
464.3
589.8
701.9
786.4
945.2
1,065.4
9.0
9.0
10.4
11.6
13.7
15.5
16.4
18.5
20.1
000s
As a percent
of all families
with children
Women as
a percent
of lone
parents
75.2
71.5
100.7
95.0
124.2
151.7
168.2
192.3
245.8
2.5
2.2
2.8
2.4
2.9
3.3
3.5
3.8
4.6
78.4
80.8
79.0
83.0
82.6
82.2
82.4
83.1
81.3
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 93-312-XPB; and Census of Canada.
Table 2.7
Marital status of lone parents, 1981 to 2001
Female lone parents
Male lone parents
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
1981
1986
1991
1996
2001
11.1
25.3
26.3
33.3
4.0
15.0
24.0
30.0
27.4
3.7
19.4
21.0
32.6
23.4
3.6
24.2
20.6
33.1
20.1
1.9
28.5
19.0
29.6
20.8
2.0
4.1
26.6
25.7
30.1
13.4
6.3
26.2
30.9
24.7
12.0
8.1
22.2
33.2
20.6
15.9
11.9
24.8
39.8
19.3
4.2
21.7
22.9
34.4
17.4
3.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total number of lone parents (000s)
589.4
701.8
788.4
945.2
1,065.4
124.4
151.4
165.2
192.3
245.8
Single, never married1
Separated
Divorced
Widowed
Married, but spouse not present
1. Includes those who lived in a now-terminated common-law relationship at the time that their children were born.
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
49
Women in Canada 2005
Table 2.8
Custody of children involved in divorces,1 1978 to 2003
Custody given to
Mother
Father
Joint
Other
person/
agency
No award/
unknown
Total
Total
divorces
involving
custody
decisions
%
1978
1979
1980
78.7
78.8
78.2
15.6
15.8
16.0
----
0.3
0.2
0.2
5.4
5.3
5.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
59,436
57,856
59,600
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
77.9
77.1
74.9
74.3
72.8
15.8
15.6
15.7
15.5
15.2
------
0.3
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
6.0
6.9
9.1
10.0
11.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
62,434
65,441
64,221
60,063
56,336
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
71.9
74.7
75.8
74.1
73.2
15.3
13.6
12.9
12.8
12.3
1.2
7.4
10.1
12.4
14.1
0.4
0.2
0.3
0.2
0.2
11.2
4.0
1.0
0.4
0.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
60,450
53,699
50,249
50,333
48,525
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
73.6
71.9
70.9
69.6
67.6
11.8
11.7
11.4
9.8
10.9
14.2
16.0
17.4
20.4
21.4
0.2
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.3
0.1
---
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
49,868
49,019
48,169
47,667
47,118
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
63.2
61.3
59.5
56.8
53.5
12.1
11.0
9.5
9.3
9.1
24.5
27.6
30.4
33.8
37.2
0.2
0.1
0.4
0.2
0.2
------
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
43,844
39,204
37,851
38,433
37,096
2001
2002
2003
51.2
49.5
47.7
9.0
8.5
8.3
39.7
41.8
43.8
0.2
0.2
0.2
----
100.0
100.0
100.0
36,660
35,153
33,098
1. Refers only to cases decided in court.
Sources: Statistics Canada, Catalogue nos. 82-003S16-XPB, 82-003S17-XPB, 84-205-XPB and 84-213-XPB.
50
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 2 / Family Status
Table 2.9
Age-specific birth rates, 1961 to 20021
Births per 1,000 women aged
15 to 192
20 to 24
25 to 29
30 to 34
35 to 39
40 to 44
45 to 493
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
58.2
55.0
53.1
50.2
49.3
233.6
231.6
226.0
212.8
188.6
219.2
214.6
210.6
203.1
181.9
144.9
143.1
140.3
134.9
119.4
81.1
77.1
75.8
72.0
65.9
28.5
27.6
25.9
25.1
22.0
2.4
2.1
2.1
2.1
2.0
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
48.2
45.2
43.0
42.2
42.8
169.1
161.4
152.6
147.7
143.3
163.5
152.6
148.7
149.8
147.2
103.3
91.8
86.3
85.0
81.8
57.5
50.9
44.8
42.6
39.0
19.1
15.9
13.8
12.5
11.3
1.7
1.5
1.4
1.1
0.9
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
40.1
38.5
37.2
35.3
34.8
134.4
119.8
117.7
113.1
108.4
142.0
137.1
131.6
131.1
128.8
77.3
72.1
67.1
66.6
64.2
33.6
28.9
25.7
23.0
21.4
9.4
7.8
6.4
5.5
4.8
0.6
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.4
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
33.0
31.5
29.3
27.4
27.0
104.5
102.9
98.9
97.5
95.2
126.4
125.5
123.3
125.4
124.1
63.8
65.4
65.5
67.1
66.6
20.9
20.2
18.8
19.1
19.0
4.3
3.6
3.5
3.3
3.0
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
0.2
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
25.9
26.1
24.6
24.0
23.3
91.4
90.5
88.1
84.9
81.5
123.2
120.4
119.9
121.1
120.7
66.7
67.3
69.1
71.5
72.4
19.1
19.9
20.2
21.2
21.6
3.2
3.1
3.0
2.9
3.0
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.1
0.1
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
23.0
22.8
23.0
24.6
25.5
78.7
76.1
76.6
78.5
79.2
119.0
116.7
117.8
119.4
122.6
72.5
73.2
75.5
79.6
83.5
22.3
23.2
24.7
26.0
27.7
3.1
3.3
3.6
3.7
3.8
0.1
0.2
0.2
0.1
0.1
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
26.0
25.7
25.0
25.1
24.5
77.5
75.0
73.0
72.2
70.5
120.3
119.4
114.7
114.0
109.7
83.6
85.3
84.9
86.0
86.8
28.3
28.9
29.5
30.4
31.3
3.9
4.2
4.4
4.7
4.8
0.2
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.2
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
22.3
20.2
20.0
18.9
17.3
68.4
64.1
63.2
61.0
58.3
109.1
103.9
101.6
100.2
96.8
87.0
84.4
84.6
85.9
85.1
32.6
32.5
32.8
33.7
33.9
5.1
5.2
5.2
5.5
5.9
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
2001
2002
16.3
15.0
56.1
54.0
97.9
97.5
89.9
90.9
35.5
36.4
6.1
6.2
0.3
0.2
1. Data to 1990 do not include Newfoundland.
2. Includes births to those under age 15.
3. Includes births to those aged 49 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-210-XPB.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
51
Women in Canada 2005
Table 2.10
Families with children and average number of children per family, 1971 to 20011
Families
With children
living at home
Without children
living at home3
Total
Children
living at
home per
family
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.3
1.2
1.2
1.1
%
1971
1976
1981
1986
1991
1996
20012
73.2
69.9
68.2
67.3
64.9
65.2
63.4
26.8
30.1
31.8
32.7
35.1
34.8
36.5
1. Refers to families with children living at home.
2. In 2001, the definition of children living at home was changed to include those who had married. As well, same-sex couples were counted as families.
3. Includes families who have never had children as well as those whose children have left home.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue nos. 92-935-XPB, 93-312-XPB and 93-823-XPB; and Census of Canada.
52
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3
Health
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
A key determinant of well-being
Throughout their lives – as children, adults and seniors – women face life conditions and
health issues specific to their biology and social circumstances. Women’s health involves
their emotional, social, physical and spiritual well-being and is determined by a complex
combination of the various determinants of health: income and social status, education
and literacy, employment and working conditions, social and physical environments,
personal health practices and coping skills, healthy child development, biology and genetic
endowment, health services, culture and gender. The distinction and interrelationship
between “sex” including biology, physiology, genetics, and “gender” including social roles,
relationships, relative power, and self-definitions, are important considerations when
examining women’s health status in Canada.
It is also essential to recognize the diversity among the women of Canada when
presenting a statistical profile of their health. Women’s health experiences differ within
and between social groups. For example, immigrant women, Aboriginal women, women
in remote and rural areas, women with disabilities, women living in low-income situations,
and lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered women have differential access to health services
and differing health care needs. As well, women make up a substantial majority of the
very oldest Canadians, a population that is generally the most susceptible to serious
health problems. Women are also the primary providers of health care in Canada, either
as health professionals themselves, or as family members providing care and assistance to
sick or elderly relatives, friends, or neighbours.
Women’s self-perceived health
The large majority of the female population living at home describe their general health
in positive terms.1 Indeed, in 2003, 88% of the female population aged 12 and over said
their health was either excellent (22%), very good (36%) or good (30%). However, 12%
reported their health was either fair or poor. (Table 3.1)
Not surprisingly, the likelihood of women having fair or poor health rises with age.
In 2003, 32% of women aged 75 and over2 reported their health status as only fair or
poor, while the figure was 23% among those aged 65 to 74, 19% among those aged 55 to
64 and 13% among 45 to 54-year-olds. In contrast, the share of younger women who
said their health was only fair or poor that year was under 10%.
As well, women are slightly more likely than men to describe their health in negative
terms. In 2003, 12% of the female population aged 12 and over, versus 10% of their male
counterparts, described their health status as either fair or poor. Part of this difference
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
53
Women in Canada 2005
simply reflects the fact that there are more senior women than men in Canada and that
people aged 65 and over are the most likely to report poor health. Indeed, senior women
are about as likely as their male counterparts to indicate that their health status is only
fair or poor. In most other age ranges, though, women are somewhat more likely than
men to report their health status in negative terms.
Women with chronic health conditions
While most women report that their overall health is relatively good, a substantial number
have a chronic health condition as diagnosed by a health professional. In many cases,
these chronic health problems can have a major effect on quality of life, including the
limiting of activities, hospitalizations and even death. In 2003, 74% of the female
population aged 15 and over living in a private household had at least one such chronic
health condition, compared with 64% of their male counterparts. (Table 3.2)
The proportion of women who report chronic or degenerative health problems
rises with age, although the majority of women in all age ranges indicate they have at
least one chronic health condition. In 2003, 94% of women aged 75 and over, 91% of
those aged 65 to 74 and 87% of those aged 55 to 64 reported they had at least one
chronic health problem as diagnosed by a health professional. In younger age groups, the
share of women reporting they suffered from a chronic condition ranged from 77% among
those aged 45 to 54 to 60% of those aged 15 to 24. In addition, women in all age groups
were more likely than their male contemporaries to report health problems.
Non-food allergies, arthritis and rheumatism, and back problems are the health
problems most frequently reported by women. In 2003, 32% of the female population
reported they suffered from non-food allergies, while 22% indicated they had arthritis or
rheumatism and another 22% suffered from back problems. At the same time, 16% of
women reported they suffered from high blood pressure and 15% had recurring migraines,
while smaller percentages reported suffering from food allergies (10%), asthma (10%),
diabetes (5%), or heart disease (5%).
Women are also more likely than men to report most of these chronic health
conditions. For example, in 2003, women were two and a half times more likely than
men to report suffering from recurring migraines. That year, 15% of females aged 15 and
over, versus only 6% of males in this age range, had migraines. At the same time, 32% of
women, versus 23% of men, reported they had non-food allergies, while 22% of females,
compared with 13% of males, had arthritis or rheumatism.
Senior women are generally more likely to report suffering from chronic health
conditions than their younger counterparts. Indeed, in 2003, over half of women aged 65
and over reported suffering from arthritis/rheumatism, while close to 50% had high
blood pressure, whereas this was the case for much smaller percentages of females in age
groups under age 65. On the other hand, the incidence of non-food allergies is higher
among younger females than among those in older age ranges.
Women with disabilities
Women make up the majority of the Canadian population with disabilities.3 In 2001,
54% of those who had a disability were women, whereas females accounted for only 51%
of the total population. That year, 13.3% of Canadian females had a disability, compared
with 11.5% of the male population. (Table 3.3)
The likelihood of women having disabilities increases with age. In 2001, 42% of all
women aged 65 and over had a disability. This was almost twice the figure among women
54
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
aged 55 to 64, 22% of whom had a disability, and well above the figures for women in
younger age groups. That year, for example, 12% of women between the ages of 35 and
54, 5% of those aged 15 to 34, and just 3% of those under the age of 15 were considered
to have a disability.
The prevalence of disabilities also increases among women in older age groups
in the senior population. Indeed, in 2001, 72% of all women aged 85 and over had
disabilities, while the figures were 50% among women aged 75 to 84 and 32% for women
aged 65 to 74.
As reported in the chapter on women with disabilities, the largest proportion of
women with disabilities have a mild disability. Nevertheless, a substantial share - 14% in
2001 - of women aged 15 and over with disabilities had a severe disability. That year, just
over 800,000 women, nearly 7% of all women aged 15 and over, had disabilities which
were considered severe or very severe.
Senior women are more likely than their younger counterparts to have a severe
disability. In 2001, 6% of all women aged 65 and over had a very severe disability, while
12% had a severe disability. These figures were about twice those for women aged 55 to
64 and well above those for females in younger age groups.
High life expectancy
Females in Canada have a longer life expectancy than males. Female children born in
2001, for example, could expect to live an average of 82 years, whereas the average life
expectancy of male children born that year was just 77 years. (Table 3.4)
There has been a dramatic increase in the life expectancy of the female population
in Canada since the early part of the last century. The life expectancy at birth for female
children born in 2001 was 82 years, compared with 79 years for those born in 1981, 74
years for those born in 1961 and just 61 years for those born in 1921.
As well, long-term increases in the life expectancy of females over the course of the
past century have been greater than those for males. Indeed, the life expectancy at birth
of females born in 2001 was almost 22 years longer than that for a female born in 1921,
whereas the life expectancy of males rose by only 18 years in the same period. As a result,
in 2001, newborn female children could expect to live, on average, 5 years longer than
their male counterparts, whereas in 1921 the gap was less than 2 years.
The long-term trend in the life expectancies of females and males, however, masks
the fact that since 1981, gains in life expectancy among females have only been about
half those experienced by males. Indeed, between 1981 and 2001, the life expectancy of
newborn females increased by over three years, whereas the figure among males was up
5 years in the same period.
Compared with other industrialized nations, the life expectancy of females in
Canada is somewhere in the middle. Female children born in Canada in 2001 could
expect to live, on average, 82 years; this was almost three years less than their counterparts
in Japan and a year less than those in Switzerland, Spain and France. On the other hand,
the life expectancy of females in Canada is two years greater than that for females in
both the United Kingdom and the United States. (Chart 3.1)
When measuring life expectancy, it is important to note that measures of life
expectancy are not necessarily indicators of quality of life. As discussed in the chapter on
seniors, women aged 65 and over are particularly likely to live alone and to have low
incomes, or to have chronic or degenerative health problems.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
55
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 3.1
Life expectancy of females at birth in selected
OECD countries, 2001
Japan
Switzerland
Spain
France
Australia
Iceland
Sweden
Canada
Norway
Germany
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States
0
Source:
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
90
80
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division; and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Lower death rates
The long-term increase in the life expectancy of females is a reflection of declines in the
female death rate in recent decades. Overall, in 2002, there were 110,000 deaths among
the female population. This represented 486 deaths for every 100,000 females, down
10% from the figure in 1993, once the effect of changes in the age structure of the female
population was factored in.4 The decline in the age-standardized death rate for women
in this period, though, was somewhat smaller than that among men for whom the agestandardized death rate declined 17% between 1993 and 2002. (Chart 3.2)
Chart 3.2
Age-standardized death rates1 for females and males, 1993 to 2002
Deaths per 100,000 population
1,000
800
600
400
Females
200
Males
0
1993
1996
1999
2002
1. Figures are age-standardized to the 1991 population.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
56
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Age-standardized death rates among females, though, are still considerably lower
than they are among males. In 2002, there were 486 deaths per 100,000 females, 54%
lower than the figure of almost 750 deaths per 100,000 males.
Leading causes of death among women
Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death among women. Indeed, these
two causes accounted for over half of all female deaths in 2002. That year, 28% of all
female deaths were as a result of cancer, while 23% were from heart disease. At the same
time, 8% of female deaths that year were attributed to cerebrovascular disease, while
another 8% were the result of respiratory diseases. (Table 3.5)
There have, however, been considerable differences in the long-term trends for
heart disease and cancer deaths among the female population in the past two decades.
On the one hand, the age-standardized death rate due to heart disease among women
was 61% lower in 2001 than in 1981, whereas there was no change in the cancer death
rate among women in the same period. (Chart 3.3)
Chart 3.3
Cancer and heart disease death rates,1, 2 1981,
1997 and 2001
Deaths per 100,000 population
400
350
300
250
200
150
1981
100
1997
50
2001
0
Heart disease
Cancer
Women
Heart disease
Cancer
Men
1.
2.
Figures are age-standardized to the 1991 population.
Data on heart disease for 1981 and 1997 use ICD-9 codes 390-398, 402, 404, and 410-429; for 2001 they use
ICD-10 codes I00-I09, I11, 113, and I20-I51.
Data on cancer for 1981 and 1997 use ICD-9 codes 140-208 and for 2001, they use ICD-10 codes C00-C97.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
There have, in fact, been declines in deaths due to heart disease among both the
female and male populations in the past two decades. Indeed, for the most part, these
declines have mirrored each other. The death rate due to heart disease among women,
though, is currently only about half that for men.
It should also be noted that there are differences in some of the major characteristics
of heart disease in the female and male populations. Women tend to experience a wider
range of symptoms; they are less likely than men to be investigated and treated for the
disease with medication, surgery and other interventions; and they generally have poorer
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
57
Women in Canada 2005
health outcomes. There are also gender differences in the risk factors for heart disease,
including hypertension, cholesterol levels, cigarette smoking, diabetes, depression, lack
of physical activity and obesity. Some of these, such as hypertension, diabetes and
depression, pose greater risks for women than to men. As well, populations such as
Aboriginal women and South Asian women tend to be more vulnerable to this health
condition.
While the death rate from cancer among females has changed little in the past two
decades, the rate among men has fallen, albeit slowly. Still, the cancer death rate among
females is currently 50% lower than that of males.
There have also been different trends in mortality rates from various cancer types
among women in the past two decades. For example, the death rate due to lung cancer
for females in 2001 was more than twice the figure in 1979. In contrast, the agestandardized lung cancer death rate among men declined 10% in the same period. The
lung cancer death rate among women, though, is still only about half that of men.
(Chart 3.4)
Chart 3.4
Age-standardized lung and breast cancer1 death rates,
1979 to 2001
Deaths per 100,000 population
90
80
Lung – men
70
60
50
40
Breast – women
30
20
Lung – women
10
0
1979
1981
1983
1985
1987
1989
1991
1993
1995
1997
1999
2001
1.
From 1979 to 1999 data on lung cancer use ICD-9 code 162; from 2000 on, they use ICD-10 codes C33-C34.
For breast cancer the ICD-9 codes are 174-175 and the ICD-10 code is C50.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
On the other hand, there has been a gradual decline in the age-standardized death
rate from breast cancer among the female population in the past two decades. In 2001,
the number of deaths from breast cancer for every 100,000 women was about 20% lower
than the figure in 1979, once the impact of changes in the age structure has been
eliminated.
Overall death rates among women also mask the fact that the leading causes of
death vary greatly among women in different age groups. Women between the ages of
30 and 79, for example, are the most likely to die of cancer. In fact, in 2002, over half of
all deaths of women in both the 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 age ranges, as well as almost half
58
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
of those of women aged 40 to 49, were attributable to cancer. At the same time, cancer
accounted for over a third of all deaths of women aged 70 to 79. On the other hand,
heart disease was the leading cause of death among women aged 80 and over, while
females under the age of 30 were the most likely to die in motor vehicle accidents.
(Table 3.5)
There are also differences in the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in
different age groups. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women
between the ages of 30 and 49. In 2002, breast cancer accounted for 28% of all cancer
deaths of women between the ages of 40 and 49 and 26% of those among women aged
30 to 39, whereas lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths among women over
the age of 50. Indeed, lung cancer accounted for over one in four of all cancer deaths
among women in age groups between the ages of 50 and 79 in 2002 and 16% of those
among women aged 80 and over. (Chart 3.5)
Chart 3.5
Percentage of cancer deaths of women from lung and
breast cancer,1 by age, 2002
%
35
30
25
20
15
10
Lung cancer
5
Breast cancer
0
20 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 to 59
60 to 69
70 to 79
80 and over
Women aged
1.
Data on lung cancer use ICD-10 codes C33-C34 for trachea, bronchus and lung. Data on breast cancer use ICD10 codes C50.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Incidence of cancer rising
Recent differences in the growth of the overall cancer death rate among women and
men reflect, at least in part, the fact that there have also been gender differences in the
number of new cancer cases in the past decade.5 The number of cases of cancer detected
for every 100,000 females in 2004 was 3% higher than in 1994, once the impact of
changes in the age structure of the population has been accounted for. In contrast, the
incidence of new cases of cancer among men declined by 8% in the same period.
(Chart 3.6)
The incidence of new cases of cancer, though, is still lower among women than
men. In 2004, there were 351 new cases of cancer detected for every 100,000 females,
28% less than the figure among men, once the impact of differences in the age structures
of the female and male populations was accounted for.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
59
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 3.6
Age-standardized1 incidence rates of all cancers
for women and men, 1976 to 2004
New cases per 100,000 population
600
500
Men
400
Women
300
200
100
0
1976 1978
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990 1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
1. Standardized to the 1991 population.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
While lung cancer currently accounts for more deaths among women than breast
cancer, breast cancer accounts for the largest share of new cases of cancer among women.
There were 106 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed for every 100,000 women in 2004,
more than twice the number of new cases of lung cancer (48) diagnosed for every 100,000
women. Indeed, newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer accounted for 30% of all new
cancer cases diagnosed among women that year. (Chart 3.7)
Chart 3.7
Age-standardized1 incidence rates for selected cancers
for women and men, 1976 to 2004
New cases per 100,000 population
160
Male – prostate
140
120
Female – breast
100
Male – lung
80
Male – colorectal
60
Female – colorectal
40
Female – lung
20
0
1976 1978
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990 1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002 2004
1. Standardized to the 1991 population.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
60
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
The number of new cases of lung cancer being diagnosed among women, though,
is growing faster than other leading types of cancer. Indeed, the age-standardized incidence
rate of new cases of lung cancer among women was 22% higher in 2004 than in 1994,
compared with a growth rate of 7% for new cases of breast cancer, while the incidence of
new cases of colorectal cancer declined slightly in the same period.
As well, the number of new cases of lung cancer continues to rise among women,
while it has declined in the male population. Between 1994 and 2004 the age-standardized
incidence of new cases of lung cancer was 22% higher among women, while the figure
declined 17% among men. Still, there were 33% fewer cases of lung cancer per 100,000
population, 48 versus 72, diagnosed among women than men in 2004.
The current rate of growth in the number of new cases of lung cancer among
women, though, is somewhat slower than in previous decades. Between 1994 and 2004,
the age-standardized incidence rate of new cases of lung cancer among women rose
22%, whereas the figure had almost doubled in the decade beginning in 1976, while it
rose 32% in the ten-year period starting in 1985.
Smoking rates down
It has been speculated that the increase in lung cancer deaths among women is a reflection
of the fact that many women started smoking in the era after the Second World War and
the effects of this trend are now showing up in mortality data. In 2003, 21% of all women
aged 12 and over were current smokers, that is, they smoked on either a daily basis or on
occasion. That year, 16% of the female population smoked daily, while another 5% smoked
occasionally. At the same time, 36% of women were former smokers, while 43% had
never smoked. (Table 3.6)
There has, however, been a sharp decline in the number of smokers in the Canadian
population over the past three decades as the dangers of this practice have become more
widely known. In 2003, 21% of all women aged 15 and over were current smokers, down
from 30% in 1991 and 38% in 1970. The prevalence of smoking has decreased even
more sharply among men, dropping from 55% in 1970 to 25% in 2003. Men, though,
are still somewhat more likely than women to be current smokers. (Chart 3.8)
Among women, young adults are the most likely to smoke cigarettes. In 2003, 31%
of women aged 20 to 24 were either daily or occasional smokers, as were 24% of those
between the ages of 25 and 34 and 22% of female teenagers aged 15 to 19. In contrast,
18% of women aged 55 to 64, along with only 13% of those aged 65 to 74 and just 7% of
those aged 75 and over, smoked either daily or occasionally. (Table 3.6)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
61
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 3.8
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over who were
current smokers, 1970 to 2003
%
60
Men
50
40
Women
30
20
10
0
1970 1974 1975 1977 1978 1979 1981 1983 1985 1986 1988 1989 1990 1991 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003
Source:
Statistics Canada, National Population Health Survey, General Social Survey, and Canadian Community Health
Survey; and Health Canada, Canada's Health Promotion Survey.
The overall smoking rate among women could decrease even further in the future
as there has been a sharp decline in smoking rates among young adults. Among women
aged 20 to 24 in 2003, for example, 31% were either daily or occasional smokers, down
from 36% in 1999. (Chart 3.9)
Chart 3.9
Percentage of women aged 15 to 24 who smoke daily
or occasionally, 1970 to 2003
%
60
50
Women aged 20 to 24
40
30
Women aged 15 to 19
20
10
0
1970 1974 1975 1977 1978 1979 1981 1983 1985 1986 1988 1989 1990 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 1999 2001 2003
Source:
62
Statistics Canada, National Population Health Survey, General Social Survey, and Canadian Community Health
Survey; and Health Canada, Canada's Health Promotion Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
There has been an even steeper decline in the incidence of smoking among teenaged
females in recent years. In 2003, 22% of females aged 15 to 19 were current smokers,
down from 32% in 1999. In fact, the current drop in smoking rates among women in this
age range reversed a worrisome trend in the 1990s when the percentage of 15 to 19year-old females who smoked had risen from just over 20% in 1990 to 32% in 1999.
Breast cancer screening
Mammography is an important preventive practice for the early detection of breast cancer.
At present, guidelines from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
recommend that women aged 50 to 69 undergo a mammogram once every two years, as
there is strong evidence that early detection of breast cancer among women in this age
group reduces the risk of death from this disease. In fact, there has been a substantial
increase among women in this age range having mammograms. In 2003, over 70% of
women in both the 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 age groups had received a mammogram within
the past two years. These figures were up from just 65% for women aged 50 to 59 and
only 57% for those aged 60 to 69 as recently as 1996. (Chart 3.10)
Chart 3.10
Percentage of women aged 50 to 69 who had a mammogram1
within the past two years, 1996, 2000 and 2003
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
1996
20
2000
10
2003
0
50 to 59
60 to 69
Total 50 to 69
Women aged
1. Includes those who had mammograms for routine screening, as well as those who had them for other reasons.
Source: Statistics Canada, National Population Health Survey and Canadian Community Health Survey.
Cervical cancer screening
It is also currently recommended that sexually active women up to age 70 receive a Pap
smear test once every three years to detect cervical cancer. In fact, most women in Canada
had received this test within these guidelines. In 2003, almost three out of four women
between the ages of 18 and 69 had had a Pap smear test within three years. In fact, just
over half of women in this age range had been screened for cervical cancer within the last
year, while another quarter had received their most recent Pap smear within the previous
three years. Still, over one in 10 women reported that they had not received a Pap smear
in the past three years and 14% had never been screened. (Table 3.7)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
63
Women in Canada 2005
Sexually transmitted infections
Sexually transmitted infections are another serious health problem which does not affect
women and men in the same way, largely as a result of differences in the symptoms and
course of these infections.6 In particular, women are far more likely than men to suffer
long-term health consequences as a result of sexually transmitted infections. For example,
sexually transmitted infections in women can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which
can seriously affect reproductive health; these infections may also cause scarring of the
fallopian tubes and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or tubal infertility. It is also
important to note that the data on sexually transmitted infections probably understate
the actual incidence of these conditions, since in many cases the infections are
asymptomatic, especially in women. As such, infected persons may not seek treatment
with the result that the condition is not diagnosed.
The issue of sexually transmitted infections is also of growing concern because
young women are at a particularly high risk of contracting some types of sexually
transmitted infections. This is because many young women reportedly engage in risky
sexual behaviour, including having unprotected sexual relations with different partners.
In fact, the incidence of sexually transmitted infections is generally higher among young
women than their older counterparts. In 2002, there were almost 1,400 cases of chlamydia
diagnosed for every 100,000 women in both the 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 age ranges,
compared with rates of just over 500 cases per 100,000 women aged 25 to 29, 137 for
women aged 30 to 39 and very small numbers in older age ranges. (Table 3.10)
There was a similar pattern for gonorrhea, although females aged 15 to 19 were
somewhat more likely to be diagnosed with this infection than their counterparts aged
20 to 24. On the other hand, women aged 25 to 29 were more likely than women in
other age groups to be diagnosed with syphilis. Rates for syphilis, though, were very low
in all age ranges.
Perhaps because of women’s more frequent contact with health professionals during
their reproductive years, they are generally more likely than men to be diagnosed with
sexually transmitted infections. For example, 15 to 19-year-old women were more than
five times more likely than men in this age range to be diagnosed with chlamydia in
2002, while they were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with gonorrhea.
Women aged 20 to 24 were also more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to
contract a chlamydia infection. However, women in this age range were somewhat less
likely than men to be diagnosed with gonorrhea. Indeed, men were considerably more
likely than women to contract gonorrhea in age groups over the age of 25, whereas
women between the ages of 25 and 39 were more likely than their male counterparts to
get a chlamydia infection.
The incidence of chlamydia infections among women has risen somewhat over the
last decade. In 2002, there were 244 cases of this type of infection for every 100,000
women aged 15 and over, up 28% from 1991. In contrast, the incidence of gonorrhea
among women is currently less than half the rate in the early 1990s. In 2002, there were
17 gonococcal infections for every 100,000 women aged 15 and over, compared with a
rate of 38 in 1991. At the same time, there has been little change in the incidence rate of
syphilis among women in the past decade.
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and HIV infections
Each year a small number of females in Canada are diagnosed with AIDS. As of June
2004, over 1,600 women aged 15 and over had been diagnosed with AIDS, representing
approximately 9% of all AIDS cases reported in Canada. (Table 3.9)
The number of women diagnosed with AIDS, though, has fallen in the past decade.
In the early part of the 2000s, 50 to 60 women aged 15 and over were being diagnosed
with this disease each year, whereas the figure had been well over 100 in the late 1990s.
There has been an even more dramatic decline in the number of men diagnosed with
AIDS, although men continue to make up the large majority of those diagnosed with
AIDS.
Because the time between infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
and the subsequent development of AIDS can be 10 years or more, AIDS case statistics
do not provide a complete picture of the present-day problem, that is, the number of
women with HIV who have the potential to develop AIDS. As of June 2004, 8,400
females had tested positive for HIV. Overall, females accounted for 16% of all those who
have tested positive for HIV. (Table 3.10)
The large majority of women testing positive for HIV are between the ages of 20
and 39. As of June 2004, 35% of all females with HIV were aged 30 to 39 at the time of
diagnosis, while 32% were aged 20 to 29. Another 14% were aged 40 to 49, while smaller
percentages were aged either 50 or over or 20 and under.
Contact with health care professionals
Almost all women visit at least one health care professional over the course of a year. In
2003, 86% of females aged 12 and over had contacted a medical doctor, including a
family doctor or general practitioner or specialist, at least once, while 66% had been to
the dentist. (Table 3.11)
In fact, women are more likely than men to consult a health care provider. In 2003,
86% of females aged 12 and over, versus 74% of their male counterparts, consulted with
a medical doctor, while 66% of females, compared with 61% of males, went to the dentist.
Women aged 65 and over are slightly more likely than younger women to contact
a medical doctor, although close to 90% of women in all age groups over the age of 20
saw a doctor at least once a year in 2003. At the same time, 80% of 15-to-19-year-old
females saw a doctor at least once that year, while the figure was just 69% for girls aged
12 to 14. In contrast, less than half of senior women saw a dentist at least once that year,
whereas in younger age groups the proportion seeing a dentist ranged from 86% of 12 to
14-year-olds to 60% of those aged 55 to 64.
Hospitalizations
Hospitalization rates tend to be higher for the female population than for the male
population.6 In 2002-2003, there were over 10,000 hospital separations7 for every 100,000
women of all ages, compared with just under 7,500 for every 100,000 men. (Table 3.12)
Most of the difference in hospital separation rates for women and men, though, is
accounted for by the large number of female hospitalizations for reasons related to
childbirth. Indeed, childbirth, complications of pregnancy, and puerperium8 are the leading
causes of hospitalization among women. This difference is also reflected in the relatively
large number of hospital visits made by women between the ages of 20 and 34. In 20022003, the hospital separation rate for women aged 25 to 34 was five times that of their
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
65
Women in Canada 2005
male counterparts, while women aged 20 to 24 were almost four times more likely to be
hospitalized than men in this age range.Among the female population, seniors have the
highest rates of hospitalization. In 2002-2003, there were almost 31,000 hospital
separations for every 100,000 women aged 75 and over, and more than 16,000 for women
aged 65 to 74. In contrast, the figure was less than 8,000 for women between the ages of
35 and 64.
Senior women, though, are less likely to be hospitalized than their male counterparts.
Among those aged 75 and over, for example, there were 31,000 hospital separations for
every 100,000 women in 2002-2003, compared with almost 39,000 for men. Similarly,
among those aged 65 to 74, the hospital separation rates were 16,400 for women, versus
21,300 for men. Women aged 45 to 64 were also somewhat less likely than their male
counterparts to be hospitalized, as were females under the age of 15, whereas the opposite
was the case among those in age groups between the ages of 15 and 34.
While senior women are less likely than their male counterparts to be hospitalized,
they tend to remain in hospital for somewhat longer periods. In 2002-2003, the average
length of stay in hospital for females aged 75 and over, for example, was 13 days, versus
11 for men in this age range. On the other hand, women under the age of 65 tend to
remain in hospital for shorter periods than men of the same age.
Hospitalization for reasons of mental health
Women are also more likely than men to be hospitalized because of mental disorders. In
2002-2003, there were 626 separations for mental disorders in psychiatric and general
hospitals for every 100,000 women of all ages, compared with 583 for men. (Table 3.13)
Women in the very oldest age groups are more likely than their younger counterparts
to be hospitalized for mental health reasons. In 2002-2003, there were just under 1,200
hospital separations for mental disorders for every 100,000 women aged 75 and over, a
figure that was almost 50% higher than the next highest rate of just over 800 hospital
separations for mental health reasons among women aged 35 to 44. The hospitalization
rate for senior women for mental health reasons, though, was almost the same as that for
their male counterparts.
As well, women tend to be hospitalized for different mental illnesses than men. In
2002-2003, women were much more likely than men to be hospitalized as a result of
affective psychoses, such as bi-polar disorder, neurotic and personality disorders, and
senile and pre-senile organic conditions. In contrast, women were considerably less likely
than men to be hospitalized for schizophrenic psychoses or for alcohol psychoses.
(Chart 3.11)
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Chart 3.11
Number of hospital separations for mental health disorders,
by cause, 2002 to 2003
Affective psychoses
Other mental disorders
Schizophrenic psychoses
Neurotic and personality
disorders
Other psychoses
Senile and presenile organic
conditions
Alcohol dependance
syndrome
Drug dependence
Alcoholic psychoses
Mental retardation
Unknown
0
5,000
10,000
Women
Source:
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
Men
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Mental health
In fact, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health and
Well-being conducted in 2002, women of all age groups, and particularly young women
aged 15 to 24, are more likely than men to perceive their mental health as fair or poor.
Women also suffer a higher incidence of panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety
disorder, and eating disorders. Research shows that higher rates of abuse, particularly
sexual abuse, among girls and women are a contributing factor to many of these mental
illnesses.
It should also be noted that specific populations of women in Canada may be
particularly vulnerable to certain mental illnesses. For example, new immigrant and refugee
women are likely to experience stress due to relocation, isolation and economic
circumstances, all of which can increase the post-traumatic stress they may already be
experiencing upon arrival. Aboriginal women and lone-parent mothers are likely also
especially vulnerable to life stresses.
While most women cope with life’s challenges, a small, but substantial share of the
female population experience mood disorders. In 2003, 7% of the female population
aged 12 and over reported having a diagnosed mood disorder. This, in fact, was almost
twice the rate for men, just 4% of whom had a mood disorder that year. (Chart 3.12)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
67
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 3.12
Percentage of women and men with a diagnosed mood disorder,1
by age, 2003
%
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
Women
1
Men
0
12 to
14
15 to
17
18 to
19
20 to
24
25 to
34
35 to
44
45 to
54
People aged
55 to
64
65 to
74
75 and Total
over 12 and
over
1.
Includes people who reported that they had a diagnosed mood disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, mania
or dysthymia.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Those between the ages of 35 and 64 are the most likely women to report
experiencing a mood disorder. In 2003, 8% of women in this age range reported being
diagnosed with a mood disorder, while the figure was 7% among those aged 20 to 34,
and 6% for those aged 18 or 19. In contrast, the prevalence of mood disorders was 5% or
less among senior women and younger female teenagers. As well, with the exception of
seniors aged 75 and over, women were considerably more likely than their male
counterparts to report experiencing a mood disorder in all age ranges.
While there are no national statistics in Canada linking the concepts, it is very
likely that the relatively high rates of mood disorders experienced by women between
the ages of 35 and 64 is related to the fact that women in this age range have many
conflicting roles. As reported in the chapter on the work experiences of women, more
and more women, and especially those with children, are participating in the paid work
force. However, even when employed full-time, women are still largely responsible for
the care of their children and families. At the same time, many women in this age range
find themselves part of the “sandwich generation” in that they are not only looking after
their own children and families, but are also responsible for the care of their elderly
parents.
Suicide
While women generally are more likely than men to experience episodes of clinical
depression and to be hospitalized for attempted suicide, they are far less likely than men
to take their own lives. Indeed, in 2002, there were 5 suicides for every 100,000 women,
compared with 18 per 100,000 men. (Chart 3.13)
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Chart 3.13
Suicide rates of women and men, by age, 2002
Deaths per 100,000 population
30
25
20
15
10
Females
5
Males
0
Under
20
20 to
29
30 to
39
40 to
49
50 to
59
60 to
69
70 to
79
80 and
over
Total
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Among the female population, those between the ages of 30 and 60 are the most
likely to take their own lives. In 2002, there were 8 suicides for every 100,000 women
aged 50 to 59 and 7 per 100,000 population aged 30 to 39 and 40 to 49. This compared
with rates of 5 suicides per 100,000 females in both the 20 to 29 and 60 to 69 age groups,
3 per 100,000 population among seniors aged 70 and over, and just 2 among those under
the age of 20. Again, though, women in all age groups are considerably less likely than
their male counterparts to take their own lives. It is important to note, however, that the
overall suicide rate among women masks the fact that the incidence of suicide among
specific groups of women may be much higher than the national rate.
Alternative health care usage
A growing proportion of the female population use alternative health care services such
as massage therapy, acupuncture or homeopaths or naturopaths. In 2003, 17% of women
aged 15 and over had used some of alternative health care service. In fact, women are
considerably more likely to use such services than their male counterparts; that year, just
9% of males aged 15 and over had consulted with an alternative health care service
provider. It should be noted, though, that these data only address use of alternative
practitioners and not the use of natural health products. (Table 3.14)
Those between the ages of 25 and 54 are the most likely women to use an alternative
health care service. In fact, in 2003, over 20% of women in age groups between the ages
of 25 and 54 consulted with an alternative health care practitioner. In contrast, 10% or
less of senior women, as well as those aged 15 to 19, used such health services. In all age
ranges, though, women were considerably more likely than their male counterparts to
use the services of an alternative health care practitioner.
Women’s unique physiology and transitions across the life span including their
reproductive health and menopause, as well as the greater prevalence of chronic conditions
among women than men, are among the factors contributing to greater use of alternative
health care practitioners for prevention of illness and treatment of health conditions.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
69
Women in Canada 2005
Induced abortions
The number of induced abortions performed in Canada has remained relatively stable
over the past decade.9 In 2002, there were 105,000 abortions performed in either hospitals
or clinics on Canadian women. This is up slightly from the early 1990s, but is down
somewhat from the peak years in 1996 and 1997 when there were over 110,000 abortions
were performed in Canada. (Table 3.15)
Fewer abortions, though, are being performed in hospitals, while more are taking
place in clinics. In 2003, 58,000 abortions were performed in Canadian hospitals, whereas
there were over 70,000 hospital abortions performed annually each year between 1989
and 1997, with a peak figure of just under 75,000 recorded in 1996. In contrast, the
number of abortions performed in clinics has risen from just over 30,000 in the early
1990s to 47,000 in 2003.
While this change has occurred, there has been little change in the overall abortion
rate in Canada in the past decade. There were, for example, 15 abortions performed in
either hospitals or clinics for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44, a figure
which has been relatively consistent through the 1990s. Similarly, there has been no
change in the number of abortions expressed as a percentage of all live births in Canada
in recent years.
Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely than women in other age
groups to have induced abortions. In 2003, there were 30 abortions performed for every
1,000 women aged either 18 or 19 or 20 to 24, compared with 22 for women aged 25 to
29, 14 for those aged 30 to 34, and 10 or less among other age groups. (Table 3.16)
Alcohol consumption
The consumption of alcohol is another lifestyle activity that can have an impact on
health. In 2003, 51% of all females aged 12 and over reported they were regular drinkers,
that is, they consumed an alcoholic beverage at least once a month. At the same time,
22% of women were occasional drinkers, while 14% were former drinkers and 13% were
lifetime abstainers. (Table 3.17)
Women, though, are less likely than men to be current drinkers. In 2003, 51% of
females aged 12 and over reported they drank an alcoholic beverage at least once a month,
compared with 69% of their male counterparts.
Young women are generally more likely to drink than seniors or women approaching
their retirement years. In 2003, close to 60% of women in both the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54
age groups were regular drinkers, as were 57% of women aged 25 to 34 and 55% of those
aged 15 to 24. In contrast, this was the case for just 42% of those aged 65 to 74 and only
33% of those aged 75 and over. At all ages, though, women were considerably less likely
than men to be current drinkers.
Women are also less likely than men in all age ranges to be heavy drinkers. In 2003,
12% of females aged 12 and over who were current drinker, versus 29% of their male
counterparts, reported they had had five or more drinks at one sitting at least once a
month. As with males, those under age 35 were the most likely women to be considered
to be heavy drinkers. In 2003, 20% of current drinkers among females in both the 12 to
19 and 20 to 34 age groups qualified as being heavy drinkers, compared with 11% of
those aged 35 to 44, 7% of those aged 45 to 64 and just 2% of seniors. (Chart 3.14)
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Chart 3.14
Percentage1 of women and men who are heavy drinkers,2
by age, 2003
%
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
12 to 19
20 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
Age group
65 and over
Total
12 and
over
1. Expressed as a percentage of of those who are current drinkers.
2. Includes those who reported having five or more drinks on one occasion at least 12 times during the previous year.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Leisure-time physical activity
Less than half of the female population in Canada is physically active during their leisure
time. In 2003, 23% of females aged 12 and over were considered physically active and
25% were moderately active, while 51% were physically inactive. As well, women tend to
be less active than men. That year, 49% of females aged 12 and over reported they were
either very or moderately active during their leisure time, compared with 55% of their
male counterparts. (Table 3.18)
Women in younger age groups tend to be more physically active than older women.
In 2003, for example, 29% of women aged 20 to 24 were very active during their leisure
time, as were 20% or more of those between the ages of 25 and 64. In contrast, this was
the case for just 17% of women aged 65 to 74 and only 10% of those aged 75 and over.
The most active females, though, were those under the age of 20. That year, 46% of girls
aged 12 to 14, and 37% of those aged 15 to 19, were very active in their leisure time. At
all ages, though, women tend to be less active than men.
Females less likely to be overweight
A growing concern among health officials in Canada is the fact that a substantial
proportion of the population is overweight.10 In fact, in 2003, 39% of all females aged 18
and over were considered to be either overweight or obese. That year, 26% were
overweight, while 14% were considered to be obese. There has, however, been little
change in the share of the female population considered to be either overweight or obese
since 1994-1995. (Chart 3. 15)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
71
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 3.15
Percentage of women and men aged 18 and over overweight
or obese,1 1994-95 and 2003
%
50
40
30
20
10
1994-95
2003
0
Obese
Overweight
Women
Overweight
Obese
Men
1.
A person is considered overweight if their body mass index is between 25 and 30; they are considered obese if their
body mass index is over 30. Body mass index is calculated by dividing a person's weight by their height squared.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
As well, females are generally less likely than their male counterparts to be
overweight. In 2003, 39% of the female population aged 18 and over were considered to
be either overweight or obese, whereas this was the case for 57% of males. Most of this
difference, though, is accounted for by those considered to be overweight rather than
obese. Indeed, that year, similar percentages of females (14%) and males (16%) were
considered to be obese.
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Notes
1.
Note that the data in this and subsequent sections refer only to those living at home and do
not include those living in an institution. Given that those living in an institution generally
have more health problems than those living at home, these data tend to underestimate the
totality of health problems among the female population.
2. More information on the health status of senior women is included in Chapter 11 on Senior
Women.
3. More information on the health status of women with disabilities is included in Chapter 12
on Women with Disabilities.
4. Refers to the number of deaths per 100,000 population that would have been observed if the
actual age-specific rates for a particular year had prevailed in the 1991 population. The process
of age-standardization permits comparisons between years, since it accounts for changes
that have occurred over time in the age distribution of the population.
5. It is important to note when considering the diagnosis of new cases of cancer, that increases
may reflect as much improved methods of detection as actual increases in the incidence of
the disease.
6. Data on sexually transmitted infections are considered to underestimate the actual incidence
of these infections since they are asymptomatic, especially in women. As a result, people
may not seek treatment and the disease is not diagnosed.
6. These data refer to general and allied special hospitals in Canada. They do not include cases
treated in psychiatric hospitals, although they do include patients treated in psychiatric units
of general and allied special hospitals.
7. Hospital separations refer to the discharge or death of an inpatient. These statistics, however,
do not reflect the experience of individual patients, since repeat hospitalizations may occur.
8. Includes spontaneous abortion; legally induced abortion; other abortion; other pregnancy
with abortive outcome; normal delivery; hemorrhage of pregnancy; other complications related
to pregnancy; indication for care in pregnancy, labour and delivery; complications occurring
in labour and delivery, and complication of the puerperium.
9. Between 1969 and 1988, Canadian law held that abortion was a criminal act, except when
approved by the committee of an accredited or approved hospital which felt that the life or
the health of the women was in danger. In 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada removed the
existing abortion legislation from the Criminal Code. As a result, induced abortions are
currently a health service governed by the Canada Health Act.
10. A person is considered to be overweight if their body mass index is between 25 and 30; they
are considered to be obese when their body mass index is over 30. Body mass index is measured
by dividing a person’s weight by their height squared.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.1
Self-reported health status of females and males aged 12 and over, by age, 2003
Percent reporting their health as
People aged
Excellent
Very good
Good
Fair
or poor
Total1
24.3
23.3
44.0
42.7
29.3
30.3
2.4
3.4
100.0
100.0
22.0
29.8
42.1
39.7
28.4
25.5
7.5
5.0
100.0
100.0
24.3
28.5
41.1
40.1
28.5
26.3
6.1
5.1
100.0
100.0
28.3
29.8
41.0
40.0
25.2
25.8
5.4
4.3
100.0
100.0
24.9
24.6
38.4
39.4
28.4
29.9
8.2
6.1
100.0
100.0
22.2
21.0
34.5
35.3
30.2
32.8
13.0
11.0
100.0
100.0
17.6
18.3
30.5
31.9
33.2
32.6
18.7
17.2
100.0
100.0
11.8
14.4
27.4
26.7
38.0
36.2
22.7
22.5
100.0
100.0
8.6
10.6
22.1
23.0
36.8
34.5
32.3
31.5
100.0
100.0
21.5
23.2
35.8
36.3
30.3
30.2
12.4
10.3
100.0
100.0
12 to 14
Females
Males
15 to 19
Women
Men
20 to 24
Women
Men
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 12 and over
Women
Men
1. Totals include not stated responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
74
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Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.2
Percentage of the female and male population aged 15 and over diagnosed
with selected chronic health conditions, 2003
People aged
Non-food
allergies
Food
allergies
Arthritis/
rheumatism
Back
problems1
High
blood
pressure
Heart
disease
Migraines
Asthma
Diabetes
Total with
at least one
chronic
health
condition2
%
15 to 24
Women
Men
31.0
27.6
8.6
6.1
2.4
1.3
13.7
9.0
1.4
1.3
0.4
0.7
14.9
6.3
12.7
9.9
0.4
0.5
59.9
51.1
32.0
27.5
10.1
5.9
4.8
3.8
17.6
16.2
2.2
3.2
0.7
0.7
17.7
6.0
10.3
7.3
1.1
0.8
64.1
54.2
32.3
23.6
9.4
5.4
11.0
7.2
20.8
22.6
5.4
7.4
1.4
1.4
18.1
7.6
8.0
5.5
2.5
1.8
68.8
59.1
33.4
20.9
10.0
5.0
24.0
14.6
24.7
23.4
15.4
16.8
2.5
4.3
17.6
7.2
8.8
5.2
4.1
5.2
76.8
66.9
34.2
18.1
10.2
4.5
39.3
24.2
26.9
23.9
30.4
27.8
6.5
11.0
13.5
5.2
9.6
5.9
8.1
11.7
86.5
76.6
29.3
16.4
9.1
4.6
52.1
35.0
25.4
22.3
44.2
37.3
13.3
18.3
8.0
4.2
8.5
6.4
12.0
16.4
91.4
85.5
24.7
15.5
8.1
4.3
57.5
41.7
26.8
20.2
50.4
37.0
23.8
27.4
5.3
F
7.6
7.7
11.8
14.0
94.2
89.6
31.6
22.7
9.5
5.3
21.8
13.3
21.5
19.4
16.1
14.0
4.7
5.7
15.0
6.2
9.5
6.8
4.5
5.2
74.2
64.4
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 15 and over
Women
Men
1. Excludes fibromyalgia and arthritis.
2. Includes chronic conditions not listed above.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
75
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.3
Population with disabilities, by age, 2001
Women
Men
People aged
Number
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
Less than 5
5 to 9
10 to 14
10,180
25,320
32,220
1.3
2.7
3.3
16,030
45,050
52,130
1.9
4.6
5.1
Total less than 15
67,710
2.5
113,220
4.0
184,170
543,600
319,700
4.7
11.5
22.4
166,820
463,100
291,100
4.3
10.2
21.1
1,047,470
10.4
921,020
9.4
65 to 74
75 to 84
85 and over
352,860
357,160
135,940
32.0
49.5
71.8
296,310
243,330
66,240
30.2
48.8
69.3
Total 65 and over
845,960
42.0
605,880
38.5
1,961,150
13.3
1,640,110
11.5
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
Total 15 to 64
Total population
Source:
Number
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 3.4
Life expectancy of females and males at selected ages, 1921 to 2001
Life expectancy in years
At birth
1921
1931
1941
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
1996
20011
At age 20
At age 40
At age 65
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
60.6
62.1
66.3
70.9
74.3
76.4
79.1
80.9
81.2
82.2
58.8
60.0
63.0
66.4
68.4
69.4
71.9
74.6
75.4
77.0
49.1
49.8
51.8
54.4
56.7
58.3
60.2
61.7
61.9
62.8
48.9
49.1
49.6
50.8
51.5
51.8
53.4
55.6
56.3
57.9
32.7
33.0
34.0
35.7
37.4
39.1
40.8
42.2
42.4
43.3
32.1
32.0
31.9
32.4
33.0
33.3
34.7
36.8
37.4
38.8
13.6
13.7
14.1
15.0
16.1
17.6
18.9
19.9
19.9
20.6
13.0
13.0
12.8
13.3
13.6
13.8
14.6
15.7
16.0
17.1
1.
For 2001 life expectancy is based on one year of data, rather than three years as is the case for the other years. As a result, the variability of the estimate
is higher.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue nos. 89-506-XPB and 84-537-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
76
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.5
Deaths per 100,000 females, by age and selected causes, 2002
Deaths per 100,000 females aged
Under 20
20 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 to 59
60 to 69
70 to 79
80 and
over
Total1
Lung cancer
Breast cancer
Colorectal cancer
0
0
0
0.1
0.3
0.1
1.8
5.1
1.3
14.7
19.7
4.8
54.2
45.1
16.6
135.2
74.7
41.6
224.9
113.0
91.6
225.8
206.7
202.3
44.2
31.4
20.6
Total all cancers
2.3
5.5
19.4
69.7
200.9
470.6
865.0
1,444.3
193.8
0.9
0.3
0.8
0
4.3
1.1
0.3
0.7
0.1
6.9
3.2
1.9
1.2
1.3
4.4
11.9
4.7
3.2
4.0
4.8
35.6
12.3
12.3
8.2
5.5
131.4
37.7
58.8
14.8
6.4
533.1
174.4
200.2
20.5
9.8
2,696.6
980.4
822.0
19.4
13.6
163.0
57.2
54.0
5.2
5.8
37.9
32.4
61.8
141.4
349.6
906.4
2,417.3
9,207.9
696.8
Cancer
Heart disease
Cerebrovascular disease
Respiratory disease
Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
Motor vehicle accidents
Total all causes
1. Includes those for whom no age was stated.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
77
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.6
Smoking status, by age, 2003
Daily
smoker
People aged
Occasional
smoker
Former
smoker
Never
smoked
%
12 to 14
Females
Males
2.2
1.0
1.7
1.9
6.1
6.0
89.9
91.0
13.6
14.0
8.6
7.8
18.6
20.0
59.2
58.2
21.7
24.3
9.3
11.4
27.5
27.4
41.4
36.9
17.3
23.4
6.9
8.9
33.8
32.8
42.0
34.7
20.4
25.3
5.0
5.9
39.6
40.1
35.0
28.7
20.4
23.3
3.6
4.3
42.9
50.7
33.2
21.7
16.0
17.3
2.4
2.9
45.8
60.2
35.7
19.6
11.0
11.7
2.0
2.1
43.2
67.3
43.8
18.9
6.2
7.1
1.2
0.7
40.4
73.6
52.1
18.6
16.3
19.5
4.7
5.6
36.4
42.6
42.6
32.3
15 to 19
Women
Men
20 to 24
Women
Men
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 12 and over
Women
Men
Source:
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
78
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Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.7
Percentage of women aged 18 to 69 receiving a Pap smear test,
by age and timing of the most recent test, 2003
Percent of women who
ever had a PAP smear test
Timing of most recent test for those
ever tested
Less than
a year
No1
Yes
1 to 3 year
3 or
more years
%
Women aged
18 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 69
47.4
70.8
87.1
91.7
91.2
91.2
87.0
53.1
29.4
13.0
8.4
9.0
9.1
13.6
84.1
78.0
68.0
60.1
54.2
49.2
37.3
15.0
20.4
25.8
27.7
28.2
26.8
27.3
F
1.6
6.2
12.2
17.6
24.0
35.4
Total aged 18 to 69
85.1
13.5
59.2
26.4
14.4
1. Includes not stated responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Table 3.8
Rates for reported sexually transmitted infections, by age, 1991 and 20021
Cases per 100,000 population
Women
Gonococcal
infections
Men
Chlamydia
infections
Syphilis
Gonococcal
infections
Chlamydia
infections
Syphilis2
1991
2002
1991
2002
1993
2002
1991
2002
1991
2002
1993
2002
115.5
93.4
36.7
13.0
2.9
0.2
100.5
82.7
35.0
12.3
2.1
0.1
1,095.1
925.0
295.6
78.4
12.9
1.0
1,378.6
1,383.3
510.6
137.1
18.6
0.8
1.4
2.4
0.9
0.6
0.2
0.2
0.5
2.3
2.7
1.0
0.3
0
58.1
107.4
70.6
33.6
10.7
2.1
42.8
100.8
72.7
53.0
16.6
2.5
176.9
327.6
145.9
46.2
10.4
1.1
255.2
608.2
344.8
122.3
26.2
2.9
0.2
1.3
1.4
1.2
0.9
0.3
0.5
1.7
3.0
6.9
3.2
0.5
37.9
17.2
190.4
244.1
0.5
0.6
51.0
28.7
63.6
112.1
0.7
2.5
People aged
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 59
60 and over
Total2
1. Data for 2002 are preliminary.
2. Includes people less than age 15.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, 2002 Surveillance Report.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
79
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.9
Number of reported AIDS cases among women and men, by year of diagnosis,1
1979 to 20042
People aged 15 and over
1979 to 1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
20043
Total
Children under age 15
Women
Men
Women as a
percent of total
Females
Males
829
130
145
104
99
84
55
60
54
62
13
12,216
1,494
1,021
613
535
440
403
326
303
184
50
6.4
8.0
12.4
14.5
15.6
16.0
12.0
15.5
15.1
25.2
20.6
67
11
6
6
4
3
3
1
2
2
1
75
16
8
8
1
4
2
2
3
1
0
1,635
17,585
8.5
106
120
1.
Due to delays and underreporting, the number of AIDS cases diagnosed during any period of time, especially in recent years, often exceeds the number
of AIDS cases actually reported.
2. Includes only to June 30, 2004.
3. Preliminary data.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, HIV and AIDS in Canada: Surveillance Report to June 30, 2004.
Table 3.10
Positive HIV test reports among women and men between 1985 and 2004,1
by age at the time of diagnosis
Women
Men
Number
of cases
%
Number
of cases
%
Under 15
15 to 19
20 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
50 and over
273
299
2,671
2,943
1,165
527
3.3
3.6
31.9
35.1
13.9
6.3
395
399
9,972
17,180
9,118
3,655
0.9
0.9
21.9
37.8
20.1
8.0
Total2
8,383
100.0
45,439
100.0
People aged
1. Includes test results to June 30, 2004.
2. Totals include 505 females and 4,720 males for whom no age was reported.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, HIV and AIDS in Canada: Surveillance Report to June 30, 2004.
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Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.11
Percentage of females and males who consulted with a medical doctor or
dentist in the past 12 months, by type of professional, 2003
Percent of people consulting with
Medical doctors1
Dental professionals2
Females
Males
Females
Males
12 to 14
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 and over
68.5
80.4
87.2
86.7
84.7
85.6
88.3
90.0
89.9
68.9
69.1
66.1
66.0
71.8
75.7
82.9
87.8
90.7
86.3
78.7
66.5
66.8
72.2
69.7
60.4
49.0
41.1
82.9
73.5
57.2
56.7
65.0
65.8
57.1
47.5
42.4
Total aged 12 and over
85.6
74.3
65.9
61.3
People aged
1. Includes family or general practitioners as well as specialists.
2. Includes dentists and orthodontists.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Table 3.12
Separation rates for females and males for acute-care hospitals,1 by age, 2002-032
Separations per
100,000 population
Average number
of days spent in hospital
per separation
Females
Males
Females
Males
Under 1 year3
1 to 4
5 to 14
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
65 to 74
75 and over
17,304
4,570
2,028
5,196
9,821
14,639
7,472
7,797
16,376
30,816
22,616
5,867
2,365
2,857
2,803
2,938
3,934
8,417
21,343
38,780
5.7
2.9
3.9
4.2
3.4
3.3
4.8
7.1
9.4
12.8
5.5
2.9
3.6
5.6
6.4
6.1
6.3
7.1
8.8
11.2
Total
10,104
7,487
7.0
7.8
People aged
1. Excludes rehab and chronic care hospitals.
2. Data for 2002-03 exclude Nunavut.
3. Excludes newborn hospitalizations.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
81
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.13
Hospital separations for mental health reasons,1 by age, 2002-03
Females
Males
Number of
separations
Separations
per 100,000
population
Number of
separations
Separations
per 100,000
population
Under 15
3,039
106.4
2,990
99.7
15 to 19
7,701
740.8
6,381
580.6
20 to 24
6,633
627.7
8,451
765.0
25 to 34
14,482
672.4
16,198
735.0
35 to 44
21,329
811.9
20,330
766.6
45 to 64
26,136
673.4
22,616
593.8
65 to 74
6,832
597.0
5,829
569.2
75 and over
13,278
1,187.9
8,043
1,180.3
Total
99,430
626.2
90,838
583.4
People aged2
1.
Includes hospitalizations in psychiatric and general hospitals for mental health reasons. Refers to hospitalizations ending in fiscal 2001-02.
Hospitalizations with a length of stay of more than 10 years are excluded.
2. Age at admission.
Source: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
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Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.14
Proportion of women and men using alternative health care, by age, 2003
Percentage consulting
People aged
Massage
therapist
Acupuncturist
Homeopath
or naturopath
Any alternative
therapy
6.5
2.2
1.3
0.8
1.6
0.8
9.2
3.9
11.0
4.2
2.1
1.2
2.7
F
16.2
7.0
15.4
8.3
2.8
1.8
3.6
1.7
21.0
12.0
14.6
8.0
3.3
1.8
3.9
1.4
21.2
11.9
12.6
6.4
4.0
2.3
4.5
1.5
20.5
10.5
8.0
3.9
3.7
1.9
3.0
1.4
15.0
7.6
4.5
1.7
2.5
1.3
2.1
0.8
9.5
4.2
2.3
1.2
1.8
1.7
0.8
F
5.3
4.0
10.8
5.5
3.0
1.7
3.2
1.3
16.6
8.9
15 to 19
Women
Men
20 to 24
Women
Men
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 15 and over
Women
Men
Source:
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
83
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.15
Induced abortions, 1975 to 2002
Performed in hospitals1
Performed in clinics2
Number per
Number
Number per
Number per
100 live births
Number per
100 live births
1,000 women
to women
1,000 women
to women
aged 15 to 44
aged 15 to 44
aged 15 to 44
aged 15 to 44
Number
1975
49,311
9.6
13.7
..
..
..
1976
54,478
10.3
15.1
..
..
..
1977
57,564
10.6
15.9
..
..
..
1978
62,290
11.3
17.4
2,618
0.5
0.7
1979
65,043
11.6
17.8
3,629
0.6
1.0
1980
65,751
11.5
17.7
4,704
0.8
1.3
1981
65,053
11.1
17.5
4,207
0.7
1.1
1982
66,254
11.1
17.8
4,506
0.7
1.2
1983
61,750
10.2
16.5
3,635
0.6
1.0
1984
62,247
10.2
16.5
3,571
0.6
0.9
1985
62,712
10.2
16.7
3,706
0.6
1.0
1986
63,462
10.2
17.0
3,498
0.6
0.9
1987
63,585
10.2
17.2
3,681
0.7
1.0
1988
66,137
10.6
17.6
4,617
0.7
1.2
1989
70,705
11.2
18.0
7,059
1.1
1.8
1990
71,092
11.2
17.5
20,236
3.2
5.0
19913
70,277
10.9
17.5
23,343
3.6
5.8
1992
70,408
10.4
17.7
31,151
4.6
7.8
1993
72,434
10.6
18.7
31,508
4.6
8.1
1994
71,630
10.5
18.6
34,287
5.0
8.9
1995
70,549
10.3
18.7
35,650
5.2
9.4
1996
74,555
11.0
20.4
36,803
5.4
10.0
1997
71,795
10.5
20.6
39,621
5.8
11.4
1998
68,273
10.0
19.9
41,761
6.1
12.2
1999
63,815
9.4
18.9
41,620
6.1
12.3
2000
63,507
9.3
19.4
41,705
6.1
12.7
2001
61,227
9.0
18.3
45,016
6.6
13.5
20024
58,254
8.5
17.8
46,748
6.8
14.2
1.
2.
Includes only therapeutic abortions performed on Canadian residents in Canadian hospitals.
Prior to 1990, the data are for Quebec only. For 1990, the data are for six provinces (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and
British Columbia). Data for 1991 to 1995 include Alberta, and data for 1994 and 1995 include New Brunswick.
3. Figures underreported for British Columbia.
4. For 2002, Nunavut residents are excluded due to incomplete reporting.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-219-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
84
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Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.16
Induced abortion rates,1 by age, 1974 to 20022
Therapeutic abortions per 1,000 females aged
3
15 to 17
18 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 29
30 to 34
35 to 39
40 and over4
1974
2.7
11.6
17.4
14.7
10.3
7.6
5.6
2.8
1975
2.7
11.7
17.6
14.4
10.6
7.3
5.3
2.6
1976
3.1
12.1
18.9
15.6
11.4
7.7
5.4
2.7
1977
3.0
12.2
19.3
15.9
11.3
7.6
5.0
2.4
1978
2.8
13.0
21.9
17.8
12.3
8.1
5.3
2.5
1979
3.1
13.7
22.3
18.7
12.6
8.2
5.0
2.2
1980
2.9
13.8
22.9
19.1
12.8
8.4
4.9
2.3
1981
3.1
13.3
22.3
18.9
12.8
8.3
4.8
2.1
1982
3.1
13.3
22.9
20.0
13.2
8.8
5.0
2.1
1983
3.0
12.0
20.3
18.7
12.2
8.3
4.8
1.9
1984
2.7
12.0
20.2
18.9
12.4
8.1
5.0
1.8
1985
2.9
11.7
20.6
18.9
12.3
8.1
4.9
1.8
1986
2.4
11.6
21.6
19.2
12.4
8.3
4.9
1.7
1987
2.4
11.3
22.3
19.4
12.6
8.3
5.0
1.8
1988
2.4
11.4
22.9
20.8
13.1
8.6
5.1
1.8
1989
2.5
11.8
24.5
22.6
14.5
9.4
5.8
2.0
1990
3.2
13.8
27.1
26.9
17.1
11.3
6.8
2.1
1991
2.7
13.9
27.6
27.8
17.8
11.7
7.2
2.3
1992
3.2
14.5
29.4
30.2
19.3
12.6
7.7
2.7
1993
3.5
14.7
31.0
31.1
20.2
13.0
7.6
2.6
1994
2.9
15.3
32.1
31.5
21.2
12.8
8.0
2.6
1995
2.8
13.7
33.1
32.6
21.7
13.5
8.1
2.8
1996
2.8
14.2
34.0
33.8
22.6
14.0
8.3
2.9
1997
2.7
13.7
33.5
34.2
22.8
14.1
8.3
2.9
1998
2.4
13.3
33.8
33.9
22.0
14.2
8.5
2.9
1999
2.3
12.1
32.9
32.6
21.3
13.7
8.0
2.9
2000
1.9
12.1
32.0
32.3
21.2
14.1
8.0
2.9
2001
2.1
11.7
30.9
31.7
21.6
14.6
8.4
3.0
20025
1.7
10.4
30.2
30.8
21.5
14.4
8.6
3.2
Under 15
1.
Induced abortion is defined as the medical termination of pregnancy. Equivalent terms include: artificial abortion, therapeutic abortion, voluntary
termination of pregnancy, elective termination of pregnancy, and active termination of pregnancy. Only counts of legally induced abortions are included.
2. For the 1994 to 1997 data years, a large number of abortions were reported to the Therapeutic Abortion Survey without any information on the age of
the woman. Age groups have now been estimated for induced abortions at the Canada, provincial and territorial level. As a result of these new
estimations, any previously released age group statistics at the Canada level will not match the latest Canada level statistics.
3. Rates for the ‘Under 15 years’ age group are based on the population of females aged 14.
4. Rates for the ’40 years and over’ age group are based on the population of females aged 40-44.
5. For 2002, Nunavut residents are excluded due to incomplete reporting.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-219-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
85
Women in Canada 2005
Table 3.17
Percentage of women and men who consume alcohol, by age and
type of drinker, 2003
Regular
drinker1
People aged
Occasional
drinker2
Former
drinker
Never
drank
Total3
%
12 to 14
Females
Males
4.6
6.0
14.7
12.6
7.1
10.5
73.7
70.8
100.0
100.0
55.3
67.9
22.7
15.0
7.8
5.7
14.3
11.3
100.0
100.0
57.0
78.6
25.2
11.6
10.1
5.4
7.7
4.4
100.0
100.0
59.6
75.5
22.0
12.0
11.2
8.1
7.2
4.4
100.0
100.0
59.0
73.7
21.0
12.0
13.0
11.0
7.0
3.3
100.0
100.0
50.9
71.2
22.4
12.1
18.0
13.6
8.7
3.0
100.0
100.0
41.9
64.2
23.5
13.7
21.9
17.4
12.7
4.7
100.0
100.0
32.8
55.9
22.1
16.1
27.9
22.4
17.2
5.7
100.0
100.0
51.4
68.5
22.3
12.8
13.6
10.0
12.7
8.6
100.0
100.0
15 to 24
Women
Men
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 12 and over
Women
Men
1. Includes people who had less than one drink a month during the 12 months before the survey.
2. Includes people who drank once a month or more during the 12 months before the survey.
3. Totals exclude not stated responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
86
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 3 / Health
Table 3.18
Percentage of females and males participating in leisure-time physical activity,1
by age and level of activity, 20032
People aged
Physically
active
Moderately
active
Physically
inactive
%
12 to 14
Females
Males
45.7
57.7
27.5
21.6
26.8
20.7
37.3
56.0
25.2
20.0
37.5
24.0
28.7
40.1
25.6
24.9
45.8
35.0
21.4
31.0
27.1
24.4
51.4
44.5
23.3
25.3
25.0
24.9
51.7
49.8
20.0
21.9
27.2
26.0
52.9
52.1
20.7
24.3
26.1
23.9
53.1
51.7
17.4
27.2
24.3
26.1
58.2
46.6
9.6
19.8
17.4
23.0
72.9
57.2
23.2
30.7
25.4
24.4
51.4
44.9
15 to 19
Women
Men
20 to 24
Women
Men
25 to 34
Women
Men
35 to 44
Women
Men
45 to 54
Women
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
65 to 74
Women
Men
75 and over
Women
Men
Total aged 12 and over
Women
Men
1.
Respondents are classified as active, moderately active or inactive based on an index of average daily physical activity over the past 3 months. The index
is calculated as the sum of the average daily energy expenditures of all activities. People who consume 3.0kcal/kg/day or more are considered active,
while those who consume 1.5 - 2.9 kcal/kg/day are moderately active and those who use less than 1.5 kcal per day are inactive.
2. Totals exclude not stated responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
87
Chapter 4
Education
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
Increasing educational attainment
More than half of all women in Canada have had some form of postsecondary educational
training. As of 2001, 15% of women aged 15 and over had a university degree, while 17%
had a college certificate or diploma, 8% had a trades certificate and 11% had some other
form of educational experience past high school. At the same time, though, 21% of
women had attended, but had not graduated from, high school, while 10% had not gone
past grade 8. (Table 4.1)
There has been a dramatic increase in the proportion of the female population
with a university degree in the past several decades. Indeed, this has been one of the real
success stories for Canadian women. In 2001, 15% of women aged 15 and over had a
university degree, up from 10% in 1991 and just 3% in 1971. (Chart 4.1)
Chart 4.1
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over with
a university degree, 1971 to 2001
%
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
Women
2
Men
0
1971
Source:
1986
1991
1996
2001
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
89
Women in Canada 2005
Women, though, are still slightly less likely than men to have a university degree,
although the gap is currently much smaller than in the past. In 2001, 15% of women
aged 15 and over had a university degree, whereas the figure was 16% for their male
counterparts. In contrast, in 1971, the percentage of women with a degree (3%) had
been less than half the figure for men (7%).
While almost as many women as men currently are university graduates, female
representation among those with a degree declines sharply among those with postgraduate
training. In 2001, women made up 52% of all those with a Bachelor’s or first professional
degree, whereas they represented 44% of those with a Master’s degree and just 27% of
those with an earned doctorate. (Table 4.1)
Among those with non-university forms of postsecondary training, women are
more likely than men to have graduated from a community college. In 2001, 17% of
women, versus 13% of men, had credentials from a community college. Women were
also somewhat more likely than men to be high school graduates, while they were less
likely to have a trades certificate or diploma. That year, just 8% of women aged 15 and
over, versus 14% of their male counterparts, had completed a trade school program.
Young women better educated
As with men, educational attainment levels among women have increased with each
succeeding generation. As of 2001, two out of three (67%) women aged 20 to 24 had
some form of postsecondary educational training, not including those with a certificate
or diploma from a trade school, whereas this was the case for 60% of women aged 25 to
44, 44% of those aged 45 to 64, and just 22% of senior women. (Table 4.2)
At the same time, the share of women who have not gone beyond high school
increases sharply with age. In 2001, just 26% of females aged 20 to 24 had either only
finished high school or had not attended high school at all. In contrast, 73% of women
aged 65 and over had not completed high school; indeed, 60% of senior women had not
attended high school at all.
Women in younger age ranges are also currently better educated than their male
contemporaries. Among those aged 20 to 24 in 2001, 14% of women, compared with 8%
of men in this age range, were university graduates, while 24% of these women, versus
17% of men, had a certificate or diploma from a community college. On the other hand,
just 26% of women in this age range had not gone beyond high school, compared with
36% of males. Indeed, 19% of men aged 20 to 24, versus 13% of women, had never
attended high school.
There was a similar pattern among those aged 25 to 44, although the gaps between
the educational attainment levels of women and men were not quite as pronounced as
they were among those aged 20 to 24. In 2001, for example, 23% of women aged 25 to
44 had a degree, compared with 21% of men.
In contrast to trends in the younger population, women in older age ranges tend to
not be as well educated as their male counterparts. Among seniors, women were only
half as likely as men to be university graduates in 2001, while 60% of women aged 65
and over, versus 54% of senior men, had never attended high school.
Provincial differences in university graduation rates
Women in Ontario are more likely to have a university degree than their counterparts in
other provinces. In 2001, 17% of the female population aged 15 and over in Ontario had
a degree, while the figure in the remaining provinces ranged from 15% in both British
90
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Columbia and Alberta to just 10% in Newfoundland and Labrador. Women in Ontario,
British Columbia and Quebec, though, were somewhat less likely than their male
counterparts to have a university degree that year, whereas in the remaining provinces
women were generally about as likely as men to be university graduates. (Chart 4.2)
Chart 4.2
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over with a university degree,
by province and territory, 2001
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
0
5
Women
Source:
10
%
15
20
Men
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
A relatively large proportion of women in both the Yukon and Northwest territories
also have university degrees. In fact, in 2001, 17% of females aged 15 and over in the
Yukon, the same share as in Ontario, were university graduates. At the same time, 15%
of women in the Northwest Territories, about the national average, were university
graduates, whereas the figure in Nunavut, 8%, was the lowest in the country. In each of
the territories, though, women were somewhat more likely to have a university degree
than their male counterparts.
Women majority in full-time university studies
The overall difference in the proportions of women and men with a university degree is
likely to close even further in the future as women currently make up the majority of
full-time students in Canadian universities. In the 2001/02 academic year, 57% of all
full-time university students were female, up from 52% in 1992/93 and 37% in 1972/73.
(Table 4.3)
Women’s share of full-time university enrolment, however, declines the higher the
level of study. In 2001/02, women made up 58% of all students in Bachelor’s and first
professional degree programs, compared 51% of those in Master’s programs and 46% of
those working toward their doctorate.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
91
Women in Canada 2005
The share of enrolment accounted for by women in graduate level programs, though,
has increased substantially over the past two decades. In 2001/02, women accounted for
46% of all doctoral candidates, up from 35% in 1992/93 and 31% in 1981/82. The current
figure is also over twice the figure recorded in 1972/73, when women made up less than
one in five (19%) of all doctoral candidates. During the same period, women’s share of
total enrolment among Master’s students also nearly doubled, rising from 27% to 51%.
Women also currently make up the majority of full-time students in most university
departments. In 2001/02, almost eight out of 10 of all students in education (78%) were
female, while the figure was 75% in health-related programs, 66% in fine and applied
arts, and around 60% in each of the social sciences, humanities and agricultural and
biological sciences. (Table 4.4)
Women also constitute a majority of doctoral students in several of these fields of
study. In fact, in 2001/02, women made up 68% of full-time doctoral candidates in
education, around 60% of those in both fine and applied arts and the health sciences,
56% of those in the social sciences, and 50% in the humanities.
At the same time, though, women continue to account for much smaller shares of
full-time enrolment in mathematics and science faculties. In 2001/02, women made up
only 30% of all university students in mathematics and physical sciences, and just 24% of
those in engineering and applied sciences.
The proportion of women in both these highly-technical areas of study, though,
has increased since the early 1970s. In 2001/02, women made up 24% of students in
engineering and applied sciences, up from 3% in 1972/73, while in the same period,
women’s share of enrolment in mathematics and physical sciences rose from 19% to
30%. (Chart 4.3)
Chart 4.3
Women as a percentage of full-time university enrolment in mathematics/
physical sciences and engineering/applied sciences, 1972-73 to 2001-02
%
35
30
25
20
15
10
Mathematics/
physical sciences
5
Engineering/
applied sciences
0
1972-73
Source:
92
1981-82
1992-93
1997-98
2001-02
Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Most of the increase in the number of women enrolled in mathematics and physical
sciences occurred in the 1970s. Indeed, there have only been modest gains in the share of
students studying in these areas accounted for by women since the early 1980s. Between
1972/73 and 1981/82, for example, the share of students in these faculties accounted for
by women rose over seven percentage points from 19% to 27%. In contrast, in the next
two decades, the figure rose only a total of four percentage points to 30%.
While there was also a substantial jump in the share of engineering and applied
sciences students accounted for by women in the 1970s, there has also been relatively
strong growth in the number of women in these faculties in the past couple of decades.
In 2001/02, 24% of all of full-time students in these faculties were women, up from 18%
in 1992/93, 11% in 1981/82, and just 3% in 1972/73. (Chart 4.3).
Part-time university enrolment of women
A substantial number of women currently attend university on a part-time basis. In
2001/02, 150,000 women were enrolled in university programs on a part-time basis. As
with those enrolled full-time, women make up the majority of part-time university
students. That year, females made up 60% of all part-time university students, while they
represented 57% of all full-time university enrolment. (Chart 4.4)
Chart 4.4
Part-time university enrolment, by level, 2001-02
160,000
140,000
120,000
100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
Women
20,000
Men
0
Undergraduate
Source:
Graduate
Total
Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
Women also make up the majority of part-time university students at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2001/02, 61% of part-time undergraduate students
were female, as were 58% of those at the graduate level.
The proportion of female university students enrolled on a part-time basis, however,
has declined somewhat in recent years. In 2001/02, 31% of all female university students
were studying part-time, down from 34% in 1997/98. This resulted from the fact that
the actual number of women enrolled as part-time university students was unchanged in
this period while the number of women enrolled on a full-time basis increased.
The share of female university students enrolled on part-time basis, though, is still
higher than that for men. In 2001/02, 31% of all women enrolled in a university program
were studying part-time, compared with 27% of male students.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
93
Women in Canada 2005
Women majority in community college
Women also currently make up the majority of students enrolled at the community college
level. In 1999/2000, just over 220,000 women were enrolled full-time in a community
college program. These women made up 54% of all full-time students in these facilities
that year. (Table 4.5)
In fact, there has been little change in the share of community college enrolment
accounted for by women over the past quarter century. In 1999/2000, females made up
54% of all community college students, a figure that is only slightly higher than that
recorded in the period from 1976/77 through 1997/98. (Chart 4.5)
Chart 4.5
Women as a percentage of full-time community college enrolment,1
1976-77 to 1999-2000
%
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1976-77
1981-82
1991-92
1997-98
1999-2000
1. Refers to enrolment in career programs only.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 81-229-XPB; and Centre for Education Statistics.
As in universities, women make up the majority of students in most fields of study
at the community college level. Indeed, in 1999/2000, women accounted for around
nine out of 10 full-time college students enrolled in each of secretarial science (93%),
educational and counselling services (92%), and nursing programs (89%), while they
represented 80% of those in health sciences other than nursing, 70% of those in the
social sciences, and 66% of those in the humanities. In contrast, women accounted for
less than half (46%) of full-time community college enrolment in natural science and
primary industry programs. They also made up only 24% of those in mathematics and
computer science, and just 15% of students in engineering and other technologies.
(Table 4.5)
Continuing education
A substantial number of employed women take courses designed to upgrade their job
skills. In 2002, almost 2.5 million employed women, 37% of the total number of women
with jobs, were participating in some kind of job-related education or training program.
In fact, working women were somewhat more likely to participate in a job-related
education or training program than their male counterparts, 33% of whom were in such
programs that year. (Table 4.6)
94
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Most women participating in job-related training are enrolled in non-academic
courses oriented towards improving their employment skills. In 2002, 31% of all employed
women were taking courses of this nature, while 10% were taking courses designed to
upgrade their academic qualifications. Both figures were somewhat higher than those
for their male counterparts.
Apprenticeship training
Women continue to make up a very small proportion of those registered in apprenticeship
programs1 in what have been traditionally male-dominated trades. In 2002, just 2% of all
apprentices registered in 15 predominant trades2 were women. (Table 4.7)
The total number of women participating in these programs, however, has risen in
the past decade and a half. In 2002, just over 3,000 women were registered in
apprenticeship programs in the 15 predominant trades, up from under 1,000 in 1988. As
a result, the share of these positions occupied by women has inched up from around half
a per cent in the late 1980s to the current figure of 2%.
Of apprentices in the 15 identified trades, women make up the largest share of
those in painter/decorator programs. In 2002, women made up 8% of those enrolled in
this program, while they represented around 3% of those apprenticing as one of welders,
machinists, or industrial electricians. In contrast, women made up only around 1% or
less of those enrolled in programs for millwrights, bricklayers, plumbers, heavy duty
equipment operators, auto body mechanics, and refrigeration and air conditioning
repairpersons.
However, there have been increases in the representation of women in some of
these apprenticeship programs in the past decade. The share of women working as painting
and decorating apprentices, for example, doubled between 1997 and 2002, rising from
4% to 8% in just five years. In the same period, the share of apprentices accounted by
women tripled among both industrial electricians and pipe fitters, while the figure almost
doubled among welders. On the other hand, there was little change in female participation
in the other programs listed in the past five years.
Literacy skills
Women have somewhat higher literacy skills, on average, than the male population. In
2003, 19% of women aged 16 and over, compared with only 16% of men, performed at
the highest levels of the international Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey. At the same
time, though, about the same shares of women and men had very limited reading skills.
That year, 20% of both the female and male populations aged 16 and over were only able
to perform simple reading tasks such as locating one piece of information in a text.
(Chart 4.6)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
95
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 4.6
Prose literacy levels1 of women and men aged 16 and over, 2003
%
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
Level 1
Level 3
Level 2
Level 4/5
1.
Tasks at Level 1 require the reader to perform simple reading skills such as locating and matching a single piece of
information in a text. Those at Level 2 require the reader to locate one or more pieces of information in a text, but
several detractors may be present or low-level inferences may be required. Tasks at Level 3 require the reader to
search for information that requires low-level inferences or that meets specified conditions. Tasks at Level 4/5
require the reader to perform multi-feature matching or provide responses where the requested information must
be identified through text-bases references, or to search for information in dense text that contains a number of
plausible detractors.
Source: Statistics Canada, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey.
Older women are much more likely than their younger counterparts to have literacy
difficulties. Indeed, in 2003, over half (53%) of women aged 66 and over had very limited
reading skills, compared with 26% of women aged 56 to 65, 15% of those aged 46 to 55,
13% of those aged 36 to 45, and 10% or less of those in age groups under age 35.
(Chart 4.7)
Chart 4.7
Percentage of women and men at the lowest prose level, 2003
%
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
16 to 25
26 to 35
36 to 45
46 to 55
56 to 65
66 and over
People aged
Source:
96
Statistics Canada, Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Senior women are also slightly more likely than their male counterparts to have
literacy problems. In 2003, 53% of women aged 66 and over had limited reading skills,
while the figure was 49% among men in this age range. In contrast, with the exception of
those aged 26 to 35, women in younger age groups are generally less likely than men in
these age ranges to have difficulty reading.
Most use the internet
Two out of three women in Canada use the Internet. In 2003, 68% of women aged 15
and over reported that they used the Internet during the previous 12 months. The
proportion of women using the Internet, though, was slightly below the figure for men,
72% of whom reported using the Internet in the same period. (Chart 4.8)
Chart 4.8
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over who reported
using the Internet in the previous 12 months, 2003
%
100
80
60
40
20
Women
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
People aged
Source:
65 and over
Total 15
and over
Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Not surprisingly, reported Internet use by women is highest among those in younger
age groups. Indeed, in 2003, 94% of women aged 15 to 24 said they had used the Internet
within the previous year, while the figure was 84% among those aged 25 to 44. In contrast,
just 63% of women aged 45 to 64 had used the Internet in the previous 12 months, while
the figure was only 14% among senior women.
Young women are about as likely as their male counterparts to use the Internet.
Indeed, in 2003, 94% of both women and men aged 15 to 25 reported using the Internet
within the previous year. There was a similar trend among those aged 25 to 44, while in
older age ranges women were somewhat less likely than their male counterparts to use
the Internet. Among seniors, for example, just 14% of women, about half the figure for
men aged 65 and over (27%), had used the Internet the previous year,
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
97
Women in Canada 2005
There is a similar pattern for email usage. In 2003, 64% of women aged 15 and
over reported they had used email in the previous 12 months, a couple of percentage
points below the figure for men (66%). Again, young women were the most likely to
have used electronic mail, while few senior women used this technology. Indeed, that
year, just 15% of women aged 65 and over had used email in the previous year. (Chart 4.9)
Chart 4.9
Percentage of women and men who reported using email
in the previous 12 months, 2003
%
100
80
60
40
Women
20
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total 15
and over
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Notes
1.
98
Apprenticeship training involves a contract between an apprentice and an employer, registered
with a province, in which the employer provides the apprentice with training and experience
for a trade. Programs vary in length from one to five years, depending on the trade. Registered
apprenticeship combines on-the-job experience with six to eight week periods of in-class
training. There are 180 established trades in Canada that have recognized registered
apprenticeship programs. The 15 trades discussed in this section are among those with the
largest number of participants. There are also two trades—hair stylists and cooks—which do
attract a large number of female applicants.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Table 4.1
Educational attainment of people aged 15 and over, 2001
Women
000s
%
000s
%
Women as a
percent of
the total
Less than grade 9
Some secondary school
High school graduate
Some postsecondary
Trades certificate/diploma
College certificate/diploma
University certificate/diploma below bachelor’s degree
1,246.5
2,568.1
1,847.8
1,351.2
955.4
2,123.3
359.3
10.2
20.9
15.1
11.0
7.8
17.3
2.9
1,104.0
2,558.3
1,520.1
1,239.0
1,643.4
1,455.1
242.2
9.4
22.0
13.1
10.7
14.1
12.5
2.1
53.0
50.1
54.9
52.2
36.8
59.3
59.7
University graduate
Bachelor’s/first professional degree
Master’s
Doctorate
Total with university degree
1,505.8
282.5
34.7
1,823.0
12.3
2.3
0.3
14.9
1,411.2
359.5
93.9
1,864.7
12.1
3.1
0.8
16.0
51.6
44.0
27.0
49.4
12,274.6
100.0
11,626.8
100.0
51.4
Educational attainment
Total
Source:
Men
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 4.2
Educational attainment of women and men, by age, 2001
People aged
20 to 24
Educational attainment
Women
25 to 44
Men
Women
45 to 64
Men
65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Less than high school graduation
High school graduate
Trades certificate/diploma
Some postsecondary
Postsecondary certificate/diploma
University degree
13.4
12.7
6.9
29.4
23.7
13.8
19.2
17.2
9.4
29.1
16.8
8.4
15.9
14.3
9.8
11.0
26.2
22.8
19.5
13.3
16.2
10.9
19.3
20.8
29.6
17.5
8.7
8.0
21.4
14.7
28.3
12.7
17.0
7.6
15.0
19.4
59.7
12.9
5.2
6.2
11.4
4.6
54.2
8.9
13.4
5.2
7.7
10.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total population (000s)
963.3
980.5
4,607.9
4,439.2
3,680.0
3,561.2
2,032.8
1,592.1
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
99
Women in Canada 2005
Table 4.3
Full-time university enrolment of women, by level, 1972-73 to 2001-02
1972-73
Bachelor’s/first
professional degree
Master’s
Doctorate
Total
Source:
1981-82
1992-93
000s
%
Women
as a
percent
of total
in level
98.1
5.2
1.9
93.3
4.9
1.8
38.4
27.1
18.8
154.9
11.3
3.2
91.4
6.7
1.9
46.7
41.1
31.0
249.8
18.9
7.4
90.4
6.9
2.7
53.5
46.2
35.2
293.4
25.1
11.3
89.0
7.6
3.4
57.7
51.4
45.9
105.1
100.0
37.0
169.4
100.0
45.8
276.1
100.0
52.2
329.8
100.0
56.7
000s
%
Women
as a
percent
of total
in level
000s
2001-02
%
Women
as a
percent
of total
in level
000s
%
Women
as a
percent
of total
in level
Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
Table 4.4
Women as a percentage of full-time university enrolment, by level
and field of study, 2001-02
Bachelor’s and
first professional
degree
Field of study
Master’s
Doctorate
Total
%
Education
Fine/applied arts
Humanities
Social sciences
Agricultural/biological sciences
Engineering/applied sciences
Health professions
Mathematics/physical sciences
78.5
66.7
60.8
61.0
63.1
23.7
76.2
29.8
76.0
62.1
59.0
51.9
56.4
28.7
74.4
35.3
68.3
61.4
50.4
56.4
44.8
19.1
58.8
27.2
77.9
66.3
60.3
60.1
60.7
24.0
75.4
30.2
Total1
57.7
51.4
45.9
56.7
1. Includes those with no specialization and those for whom no specialization was stated.
Source: Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
100
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 4 / Education
Table 4.5
Full-time community college enrolment1 of women,
by field of study, 1999-2000
Women enrolled
Field of study
000s
%
Women as a
percent of
total in field
Fine/applied arts
Arts and sciences
Humanities
Secretarial science
Other business/commerce
Mathematics/computer science
Engineering/applied science
Nursing
Other health sciences
Natural sciences/primary industries
Education/counselling services
Other social sciences/services
17.9
66.0
2.2
9.0
38.2
7.2
8.1
13.5
12.4
7.1
9.0
29.4
8.1
29.9
1.0
4.1
17.3
3.3
3.7
6.1
5.7
3.2
4.1
13.3
58.4
58.4
66.3
92.8
54.7
23.7
15.4
89.0
80.0
46.2
92.4
70.1
220.6
100.0
54.0
Total2
1. Refers to enrolment in career programs only.
2. Includes other and not reported.
Source: Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
Table 4.6
Participation of employed women and men in job-related education or
training programs, 2002
Women
Men
000s
As a percent
of all employed
women
000s
As a percent
of all employed
men
Academic programs
Other courses
641
2,046
9.8
31.3
538
2,060
7.3
27.8
Total1
2,429
37.2
2,410
32.5
1. Columns add up to more than total because respondents could take both types of programs.
Source: Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
101
Women in Canada 2005
Table 4.7
Enrolment of women in apprenticeship programs in selected trades,
1988, 1992, 1997 and 2002
1988
Number of
women
enrolled
Program
1992
As a
percent
of total
enrolled in
program
1997
Number of
women
enrolled
As a
percent
of total
enrolled in
program
2002
Number of
women
enrolled
As a
percent
of total
enrolled in
program
Number of
women
enrolled
As a
percent
of total
enrolled in
program
Bricklayer
Carpenter
Electrician – construction
Electrician – industrial
Heavy-duty equipment mechanic
Millwright
Machinist
Motor vehicle body repair
Motor vehicle mechanic
Painter/decorator
Plumber
Refrigeration/air conditioning
Sheet metal worker
Steam/pipe fitters
Welder
7
125
143
73
15
29
76
28
84
53
28
7
16
33
41
0.2
0.5
0.7
1.0
0.3
0.5
1.9
0.7
0.4
1.8
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.4
1.2
22
385
305
56
14
56
126
56
255
124
46
23
29
45
37
0.6
1.4
1.3
0.6
0.3
0.7
3.8
1.5
1.4
3.6
0.6
0.8
0.5
0.4
0.9
17
396
388
69
27
65
102
47
273
91
66
26
58
35
122
0.9
2.1
2.0
1.1
0.6
1.0
2.4
1.4
1.6
3.9
1.0
0.8
1.3
0.5
1.9
35
496
675
221
44
116
146
43
321
265
113
26
88
136
328
1.2
1.8
2.3
2.9
0.7
1.4
2.6
1.3
1.7
7.6
1.2
0.6
1.6
1.5
3.3
Total
758
0.6
1,579
1.2
1,782
1.6
3,053
2.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, Centre for Education Statistics.
102
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5
Paid and Unpaid Work
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
More women employed
The increased participation of women in the paid work force has been one of the most
significant social trends in Canada in the past quarter century.1 In fact, there were 7.5
million Canadian women with jobs in 2004, twice the figure in the mid-1970s. Overall,
58% of all women aged 15 and over currently are part of the paid work force, up from
42% in 1976. In contrast, the proportion of men who were employed fell during this
period from 73% to 68%. As a result, women accounted for 47% of the employed workforce
in 2004, up from 37% in 1976. (Table 5.1)
There was a particularly sharp rise in the employment of women during the 1970s
and 1980s. The share of women with jobs rose from 42% in 1976 to 54% in 1990. In
contrast, there was little change in the female employment rate during the first half of
the 1990s as a result of the recession in this period. Indeed, the proportion of women
who were employed in 1996 (52%) was actually a couple of percentage points below the
1990 figure. The employment level of women, though, began to rebound in the mid1990s and has increased every year since.
The employment level of men has also increased in recent years, reversing the long
downward trend in the share of men with jobs. By the early 1990s, just 65% of men aged
15 and over were participating in the paid work force, down from 73% in the late 1970s.
Since 1995, however, there has been slow, but steady growth in the proportion of the
adult male population with jobs. The current percentage of men with jobs (68%), though,
is still well below the figure in the late 1970s.
Provincial variations in employment
Women in Alberta are more likely than those in other provinces to be employed. In
2004, 64% of women aged 15 and over in Alberta had jobs, while the figure was 60% in
Manitoba, 59% in both Ontario and Saskatchewan, 57% in Prince Edward Island, 56%
in both Quebec and British Columbia, 55% in New Brunswick, and 54% in Nova Scotia.
At the same time, Newfoundland and Labrador, where just 47% of women were employed
that year, was the only province in which fewer than half of women were part of the paid
work force. (Table 5.2)
While the employment levels of women in the western provinces and Ontario
tend to be somewhat higher than those in Quebec and the Atlantic region, the gap has
closed in the past decade. Between 1995 and 2004, for example, the share of women
aged 15 and over with jobs rose almost 9 percentage points in Nova Scotia, while the
figure was up 8 percentage points in both Quebec and New Brunswick and 7 in both
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
103
Women in Canada 2005
Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. In contrast, employment levels
of women are currently around 5 percentage points higher than they were a decade ago
in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, while there was a 4 percentage increase in
Alberta. The smallest growth in employment among women occurred in British
Columbia, where 56% of women were employed in 2004, up only two percentage points
from 54% in 1995.
In all provinces, though, women are less likely than men to be employed. In Alberta,
for example, 64% of women aged 15 and over were part of the paid work force in 2004,
compared with 76% of men, a difference of 12 percentage points. There was also an 11
percentage point gap in the employment rates of women and men in both Manitoba and
Saskatchewan, while the difference in the remaining provinces ranged from 10 percentage
points in both Ontario and Quebec to just 6 in each of New Brunswick and Prince
Edward Island.
The gaps in employment levels of women and men across the country, though, are
much smaller than they have been in the past. As recently as a decade ago, the share of
women aged 15 and over who were employed was well over 10 percentage points below
that for their male counterparts in just about every province, while in 1976 the gap was
around 30 percentage points right across the country.
Educational attainment and employment
Not surprisingly, the likelihood of women being employed increases dramatically the
higher their level of educational attainment. In 2004, 75% of women with a university
degree, and 69% of those with a certificate or diploma from a community college, were
part of the paid workforce, compared with 60% of high school graduates, 37% of women
who had attended, but had not completed high school, and just 16% of those who had
not gone beyond Grade 8. (Table 5.3)
Regardless of their level of educational attainment, however, women are still
somewhat less likely than their male counterparts to be employed. Among people with a
university degree, for example, 75% of women, versus 79% of men, had jobs in 2004.
Similarly, among those with a non-university certificate or diploma, 69% of women,
compared with 77% of men, were employed that year.
Age and employment
Currently those between the ages of 25 and 54 have the highest employment levels
among women. In 2004, 77% of women aged 25 to 44 and 76% of those aged 45 to 54
were part of the paid workforce, compared with 58% of younger women aged 15 to 24
and 46% of those aged 54 to 65. (Table 5.4)
The current situation contrasts sharply with that in the mid-1970s, when women
aged 15 to 24 were slightly more likely than their older counterparts to be employed. In
the intervening years, though, there have been dramatic increases in the labour force
participation rates of women over the age of 25, while the employment rate of women
aged 15 to 24 has changed little. In 2004, 76% of women aged 45 to 54 were employed,
up from just 46% in 1976. There was a similar rise in the employment levels of women
aged 25 to 44, while the share of women aged 55 to 64 participating in the paid workforce
rose from 30% to 46% in the same period. On the other hand, the share of women aged
15 to 24 who were employed rose only from 51% to 58% in the past three decades.
Despite these trends, women between the ages of 25 and 54 are still considerably
less likely than their male counterparts to be employed. In 2004, 77% of 25- to 44-year104
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
old women had jobs, compared with 86% of men in this age group. Similarly, 76% of
women aged 45 to 54 were employed that year, compared with 85% of their male
counterparts. These gaps, however, have closed significantly since the mid-1970s, when
women in these age ranges were only about half as likely as their male counterparts to be
employed.
Women aged 55 to 64 are also substantially less likely to be employed than men in
this age range, although this gap has narrowed over the past two decades. On the one
hand, there has been a substantial increase in employment rates among women aged 55
to 64. In 2004, 46% of these women were part of the paid workforce, up from 30% in
1976. In contrast, the proportion of men aged 55 to 64 who are currently part of the paid
work force is over 10 percentage points less than it was in the mid-1970s. Indeed, in
2004, 62% of men in this age range were employed, versus 73% in 1976. However, after
almost two full decades of decline, the share of men aged 55 to 64 who are employed has
risen since the mid-1990s, when just 53% of these men were employed. As a result of
these trends, women aged 55 to 64 were still considerably less likely than men in this age
range to be employed in 2004: 46% versus 62%. This is less than half the gap, though,
that existed in 1976.
In contrast to older age groups, employment rates are similar for women and men
aged 15 to 24. In fact, in 2004, 58% of both females and males in this age range were
employed. This also represents a change from 1976, when young women were somewhat
less likely than their male counterparts to be employed: 51% versus 60%.
Employment and presence of children
There has been particularly sharp growth in the employment rate of women with children
in the past two decades. In 2004, 73% of all women with children under age 16 living at
home were part of the employed workforce, up from 39% in 1976. Women with children,
though, are still less likely to be employed than women without children. In 2004, 79%
of women under age 55 without children living at home had jobs. (Table 5.5)
There have been particularly dramatic increases in the employment levels of women
with very young children. Indeed, by 2004, 65% of all women with children under age 3
were employed, more than double the figure in 1976 when just 28% were employed.
Similarly, 70% of women whose youngest child was aged 3 to 5 worked for pay or profit
in 2004, up from 37% in 1976.
Women with pre-school-aged children, though, are still less likely than those with
school-aged children to be employed. Overall, in 2004, 67% of women with children
under age 6 were employed, compared with 77% of those whose youngest child was aged
6 to 15.
The vast majority of employed women with children hold full-time jobs. Indeed,
in 2004, almost three out of four employed women with at least one child under age 16
at home were employed full time, that is, they worked 30 or more hours per week at their
jobs. That year, 74% of all employed women with at least one child under the age of 16
at home were part of the paid workforce. (Chart 5.1)
In addition, the age of the children appears to have very little impact on the
likelihood of mothers being employed full-time. Indeed, 74% of employed women whose
youngest child was under 3 years of age had full-time jobs in 2004, while the figures
were 71% for those whose youngest child was aged 3 to 5 and 75% for those whose
youngest child was between the ages of 6 and 15.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
105
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 5.1
Percentage of employed mothers working full-time,
by age of youngest child, 2004
Youngest child
less than 3
Youngest child
aged 3 to 5
Total with children
less than age 6
Youngest child
aged 6 to 15
Total with children
less than age 16
10
0
20
40
30
50
60
70
80
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Employment of female lone parents
Female lone parents are somewhat less likely than mothers in two-parent
families to be employed. In 2004, 68% of female lone parents with children
less than age 16 living at home were employed, compared with 73% of their
counterparts in two-parent families. (Chart 5.2)
Chart 5.2
Employment of women with children, by family status, 1976 to 2004
%
80
70
Women in two-parent families
60
50
Female lone parents
40
30
20
10
0
1976 1978
Source:
106
1980
1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992
1994
1996
1998 2000
2002 2004
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
As with their married counterparts, the share of female lone parents
with jobs has risen dramatically over the last three decades. In 2004, 68% of
female lone parents were employed, whereas the figure was under 50% in
1976. There has, in fact, been particularly sharp growth in the employment
levels of female lone parents since the early 1990s when fewer than half were
employed. This reflects, in part, the fact that there were was a substantial
drop in employment among lone mothers during the recession in the early
1990s, a trend contrary to that observed among mothers in two-parent
families.
The employment of female lone parents is also very much influenced by
the presence of young children. In 2004, less than half (46%) of lone mothers
with children under age 3 were employed, compared with 63% of those
whose youngest child was aged 3 to 5 and 75% of those whose youngest
child was between the ages of 6 and 15. (Chart 5.3)
Chart 5.3
Employment of mothers, by age of youngest child and
family status, 2004
Youngest child
less than 3
Youngest child
aged 3 to 5
Total with children
less than age 6
Youngest child
aged 6 to 15
Total with children
less than age 16
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
%
Female lone parents
Source:
Women in two-parent families
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Female lone parents with very young children are also considerably less
likely to be employed than their counterparts in two-parent families. Among
women with a child under the age of 3, 46% of female lone parents,
compared with 67% of those with a spouse, were employed in 2004. There
was a smaller gap, 63% versus 71%, among those whose youngest child was
aged 3 to 5, while there was almost no difference in employment rates of
female lone parents (75%) and women with a spouse (78%) whose youngest
child was between the ages of 6 and 15.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
107
Women in Canada 2005
Child care
There has been a substantial increase in the number of licensed child care
spaces available to families in the past several decades. By 2003, there were
almost 750,000 licensed child care spaces in Canada, 59% more than in
1998. The current figure is also twice that in the early 1990s and close to
seven times greater than that in 1980. (Table 5.6)
Recent increases in the number of child care spaces, in fact, are more
than double those that occurred throughout most of the 1990s. In the two
year period between 2001 and 2003, the number of spaces increased by
around 13% per year, compared with increases of 6% per year between 1990
and 1998. The current growth rate in the number of child care spaces,
though, is still smaller than that in the period from 1982 to 1987 when the
number of available spaces grew by close to 20% per year.
The majority of licensed day-care spaces in Canada are in regular daycare centres. In 2003, 82% of all licensed day-care spots were in regular daycare centres, while 18% were licensed spots in a family home. Increases in
the number of spaces in family day-care settings, though, accounted for a
disproportionate share of the overall increase in the number of available daycare spaces in recent years. Between 2001 and 2003, the number of family
day-care spaces increased by 54%, while the number of regular day-care
spaces rose by only 21%. Indeed, in this period, growth in the number of
family day-care spaces accounted for 31% of the overall increase in the
number of day-care spaces available to Canadian families.
Most regular day-care centre spaces are in non-profit centres. In 2003,
79% of all day-care centre spaces were in non-profit centres, while 21% were
in commercial centres. As well, these non-profit centres have accounted for
most of the growth in the overall number of day-care centre spaces in recent
years. In fact, 87% of the increase in the number of day-care centre spaces
between 1996 and 2003 occurred in non-profit centres. (Chart 5.4)
Chart 5.4
Sponsorship of day care centres,1 2003
Non-profit
Commercial
1. Excludes New Brunswick and British Columbia.
Source: Childcare Resource and Research Unit, University of Toronto, Status of Child Care in Canada.
108
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Absences from work due to other responsibilities
Employed women are far more likely than their male counterparts to lose time from
their jobs because of personal or family responsibilities, including maternity leave. During
an average week in 2004, for example, 5% of all full-time female paid employees lost
some time from work for these reasons, compared with just 2% of male employees. Overall
that year, female employees missed an average of 10 days due to these commitments, up
from around four days per year in the mid-1980s and just two days in the late 1970s.
Employed men, on the other hand, missed only about a day and a half of work, on
average, because of personal or family responsibilities in 2004, a figure that has risen
only marginally since the late 1970s. (Table 5.7)
Part-time employment
Women are much more likely than their male counterparts to work part-time, that is,
work less than 30 hours per week. In 2004, over 2 million employed Canadian women,
27% of the total female workforce, were part-time employees, compared with just 11%
of employed men. The overall share of employed women working part-time, though, is
currently somewhat lower than it was throughout the 1990s when around 29% of
employed females worked part-time. Still women currently account for about seven in
10 of all part-time employees, a figure which has not changed appreciably since the mid1970s. (Table 5.8)
Young women are the most likely to work part-time. Indeed, in 2004, over half
(52%) of employed women aged 15 to 24 worked part-time, compared with 21% of
those between the ages of 25 and 54 and 30% of those aged 55-64. (Table 5.9)
Women in all age groups, though, are far more likely than their male counterparts
to work part-time. This is especially true of women between the ages of 25 and 54. In
2004, over 20% of women in both the 25 to 44 and 45 to 54 age ranges worked parttime, compared with less than 5% of men in each of these groups. At the same time,
women aged 55 to 64 were about three times as likely as men in this age range to work
part-time: 30% versus 11%. Meanwhile, employed women under age 25 are also more
likely than their male counterparts to work part-time. However, because large numbers
of young men also are employed part-time, the gap is not as dramatic as that in older age
groups. That year, 52% of employed women aged 15 to 24 worked part-time, while the
figure was 37% among young male employees.
Most women work part-time either because they do not want full-time employment
or because part-time work is more appropriate for their personal situation. In 2004, 27%
of women employed part-time reported they did not want full-time work, while 25%
indicated they were going to school, 14% said they did so because they were either
caring for children, and 4% did so because of other personal or family responsibilities.
(Table 5.10)
Women, in fact, are far more likely than men to work part-time because of child
care or other personal or family responsibilities. In 2004, a total of 18% of employed
women said they worked part-time either because of child care or other personal or
family responsibilities, compared with only 2% of males employed part-time. Women
were also somewhat more likely than men to have worked part-time that year because of
personal preference: 27% versus 23%. In contrast, men were far more likely than women
to work part-time because they were going to school; that year, 42% of male part-time
workers did so because of their educational status, compared with 25% of female parttimers.
At the same time, a substantial number of women work part-time because they
cannot find full-time employment. In 2004, 26% of all female part-time employees
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
109
Women in Canada 2005
indicated that they wanted full-time employment, but could only find part-time work.
Women, though, were about as likely as men to work part-time involuntarily, as 28% of
male part-time employees also wanted full-time work that year.
The reasons women work part-time vary considerably by age. Women aged 25 to
44, for example, were more likely than other women to work part-time in 2004 because
of personal or family responsibilities. Indeed, that year, 34% of women in this age range
worked part-time because of child care responsibilities, compared with just 5% of those
aged 45 and over and only 2% of those in the 15 to 24 age bracket. At the same time,
women aged 25 to 44 were also more likely than other women to work part-time because
they couldn’t find full-time employment. In contrast, women aged 15 to 24 were the
most likely to work part-time because they were going to school, while those aged 45
and over were the most likely not to want full-time employment.
Self-employment
Currently, over one in 10 employed women in Canada is self-employed. In 2004, almost
840,000 women, 11% of all employed women, were self-employed, up from 9% in 1976.
The share of employed women who work for themselves, though, peaked in the latter
part of the 1990s, when over 13% of women with jobs were self-employed, and has
edged downwards since. (Table 5.11)
There has been a similar trend among employed men, although men are still more
likely than women to be self-employed. In 2004, 11% of self-employed women worked
for themselves, compared with 19% of employed men. Overall, women accounted for
34% of all self-employed workers in 2004, up from 31% in 1990 and 26% in 1976, but
down slightly from a peak of 36% in 1998.
Self-employed women are also less likely than their male counterparts to run an
incorporated business. In 2004, just 29% of self-employed women ran an incorporated
business, compared with 43% of their male counterparts. In contrast, 68% of self-employed
women, versus 56% of their male counterparts, ran unincorporated businesses. (Chart 5.5)
Chart 5.5
Percentage of self-employed women and men in incorporated
and unincorporated businesses,1 2004
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
Incorporated
10
Unincorporated
0
Women
Men
1. Includes those with and without paid employees.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
110
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Temporary work
Women are slightly more likely than men to have temporary employment, that is, they
are working at a job with a predetermined end date. In 2004, 14% of female employees,
compared with 12% of male employees, had a temporary work arrangement. (Chart 5.6)
Chart 5.6
Percentage of employed women and men with temporary
work, by age, 2004
%
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
45 and over
25 to 44
Total
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Women aged 15 to 24 are much more likely than older workers to have temporary
jobs. In 2004, 30% of these young female employees had temporary work, compared
with just 11% of employed women aged 25 to 44 and 9% of those aged 45 and over. At
all ages, though, employed women were slightly more likely than their male counterparts
to be in a temporary work arrangement.
More multiple jobholders
A small, but growing share of employed women in Canada hold more than one job. In
2004, 6% of employed women were multiple jobholders, up from 4% in 1987. As well,
women were slightly more likely to be multiple jobholders than men in 2004: 6% versus
4%. That year, women accounted for 55% of all multiple jobholders, up from 42% in
1987. (Table 5.12)
Young women are especially likely to hold more than one job. In 2004, 8% of
employed women aged 15 to 24 were multiple jobholders, compared with 6% of those
aged 25 to 44 and 5% of those aged 45 and over. Again, though, employed women in all
age ranges were more likely than their male counterparts to have more than one job.
Women in unions
There has been a dramatic increase in the share of women who are unionized over the
past three decades. In 2004, 32% of female employees belonged to a union, double the
figure in 1966 when just 16% of female workers were unionized. This contrasts sharply
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
111
Women in Canada 2005
with the experience of male employees, whose union membership declined in the same
period, dropping from over just 40% in the late 1960s to 32% in 2004. In fact, unionization
rates among women and men are currently almost exactly the same. (Chart 5.7)
Chart 5.7
Percentage of female and male workers unionized, 1966 to 2004
%
45
40
Men
35
30
25
Women
20
15
10
5
0
1966 1968 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004
Source:
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey; and CALURA.
Among female workers, those over the age of 25 are more likely to be unionized
than their younger counterparts. In 2004, 37% of female employees aged 55 and over
were unionized, while the figure was 35% for those aged 25 to 54. In contrast, just 14%
of young female workers aged 15 to 24 were union members. (Chart 5.8)
Chart 5.8
Percentage of female and male workers unionized, by age, 2004
%
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
Source:
112
25 to 54
55 and over
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Occupational distribution
The majority of employed women continue to work in occupations in which women
have traditionally been concentrated. In 2004, 67% of all employed women were working
in teaching, nursing and related health occupations, clerical or other administrative
positions, and sales and service occupations. This compared with just 30% of employed
men. (Table 5.13)
There has also been virtually no change in the proportion of women employed in
these traditionally female-dominated occupations over the past decade. In fact, the share
of female workers employed in these areas in 2004 was almost exactly the same as that in
1996. In contrast, the percentage of women working in these traditional female-dominated
occupational groupings had declined in the previous decade from 72% in 1987 to 67% in
1996.
Women also continue to account for large shares of total employment in each of
these occupational groups. In 2004, women made up 87% of all nurses and health-related
therapists, 75% of clerks and other administrators, 65% of teachers, and 57% of those
working in sales and service.
At the same time, though, women have increased their representation in several
professional fields in recent years. Indeed, women currently make up well over half those
employed in diagnostic and treating positions in medicine and related health professions.
In 2004, 55% of all doctors and dentists in Canada were female, up from 43% in 1987.
Women also currently make up over half of those employed as business and financial
professionals. In 2004, women made up 51% of those employed in these occupations, up
from 38% in 1987. Women also continue to make up a growing share of professionals
employed in social science or religious occupations. In 2004, women represented 72% of
all those employed in these areas, compared with 62% in 1987.
There has also been a long-term increase in the share of women employed in
managerial positions. In 2004, 37% of all those employed in managerial positions were
women, up from 30% in 1987. All of this growth, though, occurred in the early part of
this period. Indeed, the share of management positions accounted for by women actually
dipped slightly in the period from 1996 to 2004.
As well, among managers, women tend to be better represented in lower-level
positions as opposed to those at more senior levels. In 2004, women made up only 22%
of senior managers, compared with 38% of managers at other levels. Even more
significantly perhaps, female representation at senior management levels has actually
declined in the past decade. In 2004, women made up 22% of senior managers in Canada,
whereas in 1996, the figure had been 27%.
Women also continue to remain very much a minority among professionals
employed in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. In 2004, just 21% of
professionals in these occupations were women, a figure which has changed little since
1987 when women accounted for just under 20% of professionals in these highly technical
fields. In addition, it is unlikely that female representation in these occupations will
increase in the near future, because, as reported in Chapter 4, women continue to account
for relatively small shares of total university enrolments in these fields.
There are also relatively few women employed in most goods-producing occupations
in which few women have traditionally worked. In 2004, 31% of workers in manufacturing
were women, as were 19% of those in primary industries and just 7% of those in
transportation, trades, and construction work. The representation of women has grown
somewhat in the latter category since the late 1980s, while there has been almost no
change in the representation of women in either manufacturing or primary occupations
in the past two decades.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
113
Women in Canada 2005
Women in agriculture
Women currently make up about one in four farm operators in Canada. In
2001, there were just over 90,000 female farm operators who represented
26% of all farm operators in the country. In contrast, women made up 34%
of all those classified as self-employed and 47% of all labour force
participants. (Table 5.14)
Female farm operators are also considerably older, on average, than
other female labour force participants in Canada. In 2004, 30% of all female
farmers were aged 55 and older, compared with 19% of all self-employed
women and just 10% of all female labour force participants. In contrast, only
12% of female farmers were under age 35, versus 20% of the self-employed
female workforce and 39% of all female labour force participants.
The large majority of female farm operators share the responsibilities of
management with at least one partner. In 2001, 78% of female operators
were partners on two-operator farms and 9% managed farms with three or
more operators, while only 13% managed farms on their own. In contrast,
55% of male farm operators managed farms on their own, while 36% were
partners on a two-operator farm and 9% were involved in multi-owner
farms. (Chart 5.9)
Chart 5.9
Farm operators, by number of operators, 2001
Women
Men
One-operator
farm
Two-operator
farm
Three-operator
farm
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Agriculture.
Unemployment rates lower
Female labour force participants are generally less likely to be unemployed than their
male counterparts.2 In 2004, 549,000 women, 6.8% of all female labour force participants,
were unemployed, compared with 7.5% of their male counterparts. In fact, the
unemployment rate has been lower among women than men since the late 1980s, whereas
the reverse was the case for much of the period from 1976 to 1989. (Table 5.15)
114
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
As with the male workforce, young women are considerably more likely than those
in older age ranges to be unemployed. In 2004, 11.8% of female labour force participants
aged 15 to 24 were unemployed, compared with just 6.4% of those aged 25 to 44 and
5.2% of those aged 45 to 64. (Table 5.16)
Young women, though, are still considerably less likely than young men to be
unemployed. In 2004, 11.8% of female labour force participants aged 15 to 24 were
unemployed, whereas the figure was 14.9% among males in this age group. In contrast,
women in both the 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 age ranges were about as likely to be unemployed
as men in these age ranges.
Women in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec generally have higher unemployment
rates than their counterparts in Ontario and the Western provinces. In 2004, 14.2% of
female labour force participants in Newfoundland and Labrador were unemployed, while
the figure was 10.6% in Prince Edward Island, and around 8% in each of New Brunswick,
Nova Scotia, and Quebec. In contrast, the female unemployment in the rest of the country
ranged from 7.1% in British Columbia to just 4.7% in both Alberta and British Columbia.
(Table 5.17)
Unemployment rates among women in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, however,
are considerably below than those of their male counterparts. In Newfoundland and
Labrador, for example, 14.2% of female labour force participants were unemployed in
2004, compared with 17.0% of men. At the same time, the gap in the unemployment
rate of women and men in the other provinces in the Atlantic region and Quebec ranged
from 3.0 percentage points in New Brunswick to 1.3 percentage points in Quebec. In
contrast, with the exception of Saskatchewan where the female unemployment rate was
1.2 percentage points lower than that of men, the unemployment rate of women was
within a percentage point of that of men in each of Ontario and the western provinces.
In fact, in both Alberta and British Columbia, the unemployment rate of women was
essentially the same as that for men.
The largest number of unemployed women either lost, or were laid off from, their
last job. In 2004, 40% of all unemployed women fell into this category. Another 26% of
unemployed women were labour force re-entrants who had not worked for pay or profit
in the last year, while 10% were new job-market entrants who had not previously been
employed. At the same time, 6% of unemployed women had left their last job because
they were going to school, 3% had left because of personal or family responsibilities, and
another 3% had left because of personal illness. (Table 5.18)
Unemployed women, though, are generally less likely their male counterparts to
have lost, or been laid off from, their last job. In 2004, 40% of unemployed women,
versus 50% of unemployed men, had lost their job or been laid off. On the other hand,
unemployed women were more likely than men to have been either new job-market
entrants who had never worked for pay or profit or labour force re-entrants who had not
been employed in the previous year. Unemployed women, though, were also more likely
than their male counterparts to have left their last job because of personal or family
responsibilities: 3% versus 1%.
Employment Insurance recipients
While the unemployment rate of women has declined in recent years, the number of
women receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits has actually increased through
the early part of the 2000s. In 2004, an average of 440,000 women received such benefits
each month, up from 314,000 in 2000. The current number of women receiving EI
benefits, though, remains well below the peak figure of 616,400 recorded in 1992 at the
height of the recession in the early 1990s. (Table 5.19)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
115
Women in Canada 2005
The trend in the number of women receiving EI benefits contrasts sharply with
that of men. Indeed, while the number of female EI beneficiaries has increased in the
2000s, the figure for men has generally been rather stable. As a result, women made up
over half (53%) of all EI beneficiaries in 2004, up from around 47% in the late 1990s and
less than 40% in the early 1980s.
Increases in the number of women receiving Employment Insurance benefits have
been accounted for largely by those receiving maternity or parental benefits. As a result,
by 2004, 40% of all female EI beneficiaries were receiving either maternity or parental
benefits. In fact, women are far more likely than men to receive family-related EI benefits.
In 2004, 40% of all women receiving EI got maternity or parental benefits, compared
with just 2% of male beneficiaries. Still, almost exactly half of all women receiving EI got
regular benefits, while 8% got sickness benefits, and 2% received training benefits. At
the same time, very small percentages received work-sharing, job-creation, fishing, or
self-employment assistance benefits. (Table 5.20)
Volunteer work
While a growing number of women are part of the paid workforce in Canada, many
women also participate in their communities through formal volunteer activities. In 2003,
over 4.5 million Canadian women aged 15 and over, 35% of the total female population,
did unpaid work for a volunteer organization. (Chart 5.10)
Chart 5.10
Percentage of women and men doing unpaid volunteer work
for an organization,1 by age, 2003
%
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
54 to 64
65 to 74
Age group
75 and
over
Total 15
and over
1. Refers to volunteer work done in the 12 months prior to the survey.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
116
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
In fact, women make up the largest part of the volunteer workforce in Canada. In
2003, 35% of women aged 15 and over participated in a volunteer organization, compared
with 31% of men. That year, women made up 54% of all those doing unpaid volunteer
work through a formal organization.
Among women, those between the ages of 35 and 44, as well as 15 to 24-year-olds,
are the most likely to participate in formal volunteer activities. In 2003, 39% of women
in both age ranges did unpaid work for a volunteer organization, while the figures were
38% for those aged 45 to 54, 37% for those aged 55 to 64, 33% for seniors aged 65 to 74
and 32% for women aged 25 to 34. With the exception of senior women, many of whom
are precluded from participating in volunteer activities because of poor health, women
in all age ranges were more likely than their male counterparts to participate in formal
volunteer activities.
As well, most women who do volunteer spend considerable amounts of time on
these activities. In 2003, of women who did unpaid volunteer work for an organization,
21% did more than 15 hours of work per month, while 38% put in between five and 15
hours. There was, however, little difference in the time female and male volunteers devote
to these types of activities. (Chart 5.11)
Chart 5.11
Time distribution of women and men doing unpaid volunteer work
for an organization,1 2003
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
Less than 1
1 to 4
5 to 15
Over 15 hours
Hours per month
1. Includes only those who did volunteer work.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Among women that volunteer, those in older age ranges tend to devote the most
time to these types of activities. In 2003, 29% of female volunteers aged 65 and over
averaged over 15 hours a month on unpaid volunteer work activities, while this was the
case for 26% of female volunteers aged 55 to 64. In contrast, only around 20% or less of
female volunteers in younger age ranges spent more than 15 hours per week on these
types of activities. (Chart 5.12)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
117
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 5.12
Percentage of women and men doing unpaid volunteer work for
an organization spending more than 15 hours per month
on these activities, 2003
%
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
54 to 64
65 to 74
Age group
75 and
over1
Total 15
and over
1. The figure for males aged 75 and over should be used with caution.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Notes
1.
2.
118
The total entity of work covers a range of activities including participation in the paid
workforce, as well as generally unpaid activities such domestic work and volunteering. For
the most part, this chapter focuses on paid work activities, although there is short section on
volunteer work. The topic of household work was covered extensively in the 2000 edition of
Women in Canada.
However, there are currently no new national data on unpaid household work activities.
New data on this topic, though, should be available in 2006 from the General Social Survey.
The issue of unpaid household work, of course, is crucial to understanding the work experience
of women. Indeed, while the majority of women, even those with young children, are now
part of the paid work force, women are still largely responsible for the care of their children
and families.
People are considered unemployed if they are not working for pay or profit, but are available
for work during the reference week and who either: 1) have actively looked for work in the
previous month; 2) are on temporary lay-off with an expectation of recall; or 3) have not
actively looked for work, but have a new job to start within the next four weeks. The
unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the
labour force.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.1
Employment trends of women and men aged 15 and over, 1976 to 2004
Women
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source:
Men
Total
employed
000s
Percent of
all women
employed
Total
employed
000s
Percent of
all men
employed
Women as
a percent
of total
employment
3,618.2
3,729.3
3,904.2
4,139.9
4,348.1
4,556.6
4,513.0
4,605.7
4,749.5
4,942.7
5,126.5
5,309.6
5,528.8
5,698.8
5,803.8
5,784.1
5,762.0
5,792.3
5,907.1
6,021.2
6,087.4
6,218.9
6,413.6
6,596.3
6,788.6
6,911.5
7,126.4
7,320.7
7,470.1
41.9
42.3
43.4
45.1
46.4
47.7
46.5
46.8
47.7
49.0
50.2
51.3
52.7
53.5
53.7
52.7
51.9
51.4
51.8
52.1
52.0
52.5
53.6
54.5
55.4
55.6
56.6
57.4
57.8
6,129.3
6,187.9
6,316.0
6,528.7
6,635.9
6,748.4
6,430.7
6,416.3
6,552.2
6,684.5
6,860.1
7,024.4
7,179.6
7,286.9
7,275.1
7,066.9
6,957.6
6,989.3
7,136.6
7,249.8
7,304.3
7,457.6
7,605.6
7,793.6
7,970.0
8,035.2
8,181.5
8,344.3
8,479.6
72.7
71.9
72.0
73.1
72.8
72.8
68.4
67.4
68.0
68.5
69.5
70.3
70.9
71.1
69.9
66.9
65.0
64.5
65.1
65.3
64.9
65.4
65.9
66.7
67.3
66.8
67.1
67.6
67.8
37.1
37.6
38.2
38.8
39.6
40.3
41.2
41.8
42.0
42.5
42.8
43.0
43.5
43.9
44.4
45.0
45.3
45.3
45.3
45.4
45.4
45.4
45.7
45.8
46.0
46.2
46.6
46.7
46.8
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Table 5.2
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over employed, by province, 1976 to 2004
1976
Women
1985
Men
Women
1990
Men
Women
1995
2004
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
27.7
38.0
36.0
34.0
37.4
45.8
44.5
41.1
49.2
41.9
57.5
66.3
65.8
62.2
70.5
75.3
73.8
75.1
80.0
71.3
34.5
44.2
41.9
39.8
44.4
53.3
50.8
49.6
56.4
46.5
52.0
61.9
61.3
56.9
65.4
72.8
70.2
70.9
74.5
64.1
40.8
49.4
47.7
45.9
48.5
57.6
54.7
53.7
59.9
53.7
53.3
62.8
63.3
60.0
67.0
73.1
70.3
70.3
75.3
68.8
39.4
50.6
45.7
47.1
47.9
53.4
55.1
54.4
60.1
54.3
47.9
60.2
58.8
57.8
62.1
66.2
68.3
69.0
73.0
67.2
46.7
57.4
54.2
54.8
55.5
58.8
60.2
59.1
64.2
56.3
53.7
63.0
62.8
60.8
65.3
69.0
70.7
69.9
76.1
65.4
Canada
41.9
72.7
49.0
68.5
53.7
69.9
52.1
65.3
57.8
67.8
Source:
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
119
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.3
Percentage of women and men employed, by age and educational attainment, 2004
People aged
15 to 24
Educational attainment
25 to 44
45 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
Less than Grade 9
Some secondary school
High school graduate
Some postsecondary
Postsecondary certificate or diploma1
University degree
24.8
41.5
69.9
60.3
76.4
75.7
32.2
43.2
71.6
59.1
76.7
70.2
40.5
57.5
73.7
73.4
82.0
82.1
Total
58.4
57.8
77.1
Total
Women
Men
Women
Men
61.5
76.0
86.7
83.5
89.7
89.0
12.6
27.5
47.6
51.8
54.4
65.2
25.3
46.8
61.7
59.0
64.5
68.9
15.8
37.4
59.6
61.7
69.0
75.3
30.3
52.1
73.5
67.0
77.0
78.8
86.3
43.3
56.4
57.8
67.8
%
1. Includes trades certificate.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Table 5.4
Percentage of women and men employed, by age, 1976 to 2004
People aged
15 to 24
Women
25 to 44
Men
Women
45 to 54
Men
55 to 64
Women
Men
Women
Men
45.6
45.4
46.5
48.2
49.8
51.8
51.5
52.8
53.3
56.4
55.9
58.5
61.3
63.3
63.9
64.2
64.9
65.2
65.5
66.5
66.0
67.7
69.4
70.5
71.4
72.3
74.3
75.4
76.2
88.9
87.8
88.0
88.2
88.1
88.4
85.1
84.8
84.0
84.3
85.7
86.7
86.6
86.8
85.5
84.1
82.4
81.8
82.3
82.7
82.1
82.4
82.6
83.5
84.2
84.0
84.2
84.5
85.3
30.3
29.7
29.4
31.4
30.9
31.1
30.7
30.0
29.9
30.8
30.3
31.6
32.3
31.7
32.8
32.3
32.5
32.3
33.7
33.2
33.5
33.8
35.8
37.0
39.1
39.4
41.4
45.3
46.2
72.9
71.0
70.8
71.3
71.2
70.4
67.0
65.2
64.4
62.8
62.3
61.1
61.1
60.8
59.9
57.0
55.2
53.9
53.6
53.1
53.4
54.9
54.5
56.5
57.3
57.3
58.9
60.8
62.0
%
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source:
51.4
51.6
52.4
54.6
56.1
57.2
53.9
53.9
55.0
56.2
58.1
59.4
61.0
61.9
59.9
57.6
55.1
53.2
53.3
53.1
51.9
50.2
52.0
53.7
55.7
56.2
57.6
58.5
58.4
59.9
59.8
60.4
63.1
63.4
63.5
56.1
55.3
57.3
58.6
60.6
62.5
64.0
64.7
62.6
57.1
54.4
53.4
54.1
54.3
53.2
52.7
53.0
55.4
56.8
56.6
57.4
57.9
57.8
50.0
51.3
53.6
55.7
58.0
60.3
59.7
60.5
62.1
63.7
66.4
67.5
69.3
70.5
71.5
70.4
69.3
69.1
69.5
70.3
70.8
71.9
73.0
74.2
75.1
75.3
75.9
76.2
77.1
90.9
90.0
90.0
90.7
90.2
90.1
85.5
84.0
84.5
85.4
86.3
87.1
87.9
87.8
86.7
83.6
81.4
81.7
82.4
83.0
82.8
84.0
85.2
85.8
86.5
85.9
85.6
86.1
86.3
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
120
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.5
Percentage of women with children employed, by age of youngest child, 1976 to 2004
Youngest
child under
age 3
Youngest
child
aged 3 to 5
Total with
youngest
child under
age 6
Youngest
child
aged 6 to 15
Total with
children
under
age 16
Total under
age 55 without
children under
age 16 living
at home
39.1
40.4
42.6
44.6
47.1
49.3
48.8
49.8
51.6
53.9
56.6
58.2
60.4
62.2
62.9
62.7
62.0
62.3
62.7
63.7
64.4
65.7
66.8
68.3
69.2
70.1
71.4
71.6
72.5
60.9
61.2
62.3
64.1
65.2
66.0
64.9
65.7
66.1
67.7
69.1
69.9
71.7
72.7
73.4
72.5
71.5
71.5
72.0
72.8
72.2
73.2
74.6
75.9
76.3
76.8
77.9
79.0
79.4
%
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source:
27.6
29.3
32.0
34.6
36.9
39.3
39.4
42.2
44.1
46.7
49.3
50.2
51.8
52.8
53.3
54.3
53.9
54.4
55.5
55.9
57.7
58.6
59.0
59.9
60.3
61.3
61.9
62.7
64.5
36.8
37.9
40.6
42.9
45.2
46.7
46.5
47.9
49.1
52.0
54.4
56.1
58.1
59.2
59.5
60.0
59.3
59.3
59.1
60.1
60.3
61.9
63.7
65.9
67.3
67.0
68.1
68.4
69.5
31.4
32.7
35.4
37.8
40.1
42.1
42.1
44.4
46.1
48.7
51.3
52.6
54.3
55.3
55.7
56.4
56.0
56.3
57.0
57.6
58.8
60.0
61.0
62.5
63.2
63.7
64.5
65.1
66.6
46.4
47.5
49.2
50.9
53.5
56.2
55.3
55.0
57.0
59.1
61.8
63.8
66.4
69.0
70.1
68.9
67.9
68.4
68.4
69.7
69.7
71.0
72.0
73.3
74.4
75.3
77.0
76.7
77.1
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
121
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.6
Licensed day care spaces, by type, 1971 to 2003
1971
1975
1980
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
2001
2003
Regular day care
Family day care
Total
16,791
65,281
98,238
109,535
123,292
149,965
169,751
197,802
216,685
232,787
259,891
282,465
292,338
302,790
308,424
332,173
346,810
366,451
374,040
397,970
505,743
611,639
600
4,671
10,903
14,427
15,778
21,689
22,623
22,715
26,860
30,839
38,192
38,159
40,744
47,890
54,394
62,115
65,933
69,027
69,070
71,020
86,816
133,615
17,391
69,952
109,141
123,962
139,070
171,654
192,374
220,517
243,545
263,626
298,083
320,624
333,082
350,680
362,818
394,788
412,743
435,478
443,110
468,990
592,559
745,254
Sources: Health and Welfare Canada, Status of Day Care in Canada; and Human Resources and Development Canada, and Childcare Resource and Research Unit,
University of Toronto, Status of Child Care in Canada.
122
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.7
Absences of paid employees from work due to personal or family reasons,1 1976 to 2004
Women
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Men
Percent of
employed
losing time
per week
Average
days lost
per year
Percent of
employed
losing time
per week
Average
days lost
per year
1.7
1.7
1.7
2.0
2.1
2.2
2.1
2.4
2.6
2.6
2.6
2.6
2.9
3.2
3.2
3.1
3.0
3.2
3.3
3.3
3.4
3.4
3.3
3.4
3.4
3.7
4.6
4.5
4.8
1.9
1.9
2.0
2.8
2.9
3.1
3.0
3.8
4.1
4.0
4.3
4.3
4.7
5.2
5.4
5.7
6.0
6.6
6.5
6.7
6.6
6.4
6.2
6.6
6.2
7.0
8.5
9.1
9.7
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.3
1.1
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.2
1.1
1.3
1.4
1.4
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.2
1.1
1.2
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.9
1.8
1.9
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.9
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.3
1.6
1.5
1.6
1. Includes maternity leave.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
123
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.8
Part-time employment of women and men, 1976 to 2004
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Women
employed
part-time
000s
Percent of
women
employed
part-time1
Percent of
men
employed
part-time1
Women as
a percent of
total part-time
employment
854.2
906.2
952.8
1,040.3
1,117.1
1,187.4
1,229.3
1,287.8
1,309.5
1,396.9
1,417.1
1,446.4
1,512.0
1,522.8
1,551.7
1,617.8
1,626.5
1,678.4
1,704.5
1,716.4
1,771.0
1,828.9
1,839.0
1,842.1
1,848.1
1,864.3
1,974.4
2,039.8
2,028.2
23.6
24.3
24.4
25.1
25.7
26.1
27.2
28.0
27.6
28.3
27.6
27.2
27.3
26.7
26.7
28.0
28.2
29.0
28.9
28.5
29.1
29.4
28.7
27.9
27.2
27.0
27.7
27.9
27.2
5.9
6.2
6.3
6.5
6.8
7.2
8.0
8.7
8.9
8.8
8.9
8.6
8.7
8.7
9.2
10.1
10.5
11.1
10.8
10.7
10.8
10.6
10.5
10.3
10.3
10.4
11.0
11.1
10.9
70.1
70.2
70.6
70.9
71.2
70.9
70.6
69.7
69.2
70.3
69.8
70.4
70.8
70.5
69.9
69.3
68.9
68.3
68.9
68.8
69.2
69.9
69.6
69.6
69.2
68.9
68.8
68.8
68.8
1. Expressed as a percentage of total employed.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
124
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.9
Percentage of employed women and men working part-time,1 by age, 1976 to 2004
People aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 54
Women
Men
Women
Men
24.8
25.6
26.1
27.6
27.9
29.0
32.3
34.3
35.6
36.8
37.4
37.6
38.3
39.3
40.7
45.1
47.1
50.2
51.0
51.2
53.0
53.9
53.2
51.6
51.0
50.4
52.4
52.8
52.2
17.9
18.4
18.5
19.0
19.8
21.3
24.6
26.7
27.4
27.7
28.3
27.8
29.4
30.0
32.3
36.4
38.7
40.7
39.2
39.3
38.6
37.6
37.7
37.2
36.6
36.8
37.6
37.6
37.4
21.8
22.3
22.1
22.4
23.0
23.1
23.3
23.9
22.8
23.7
22.8
22.3
22.2
21.3
21.4
22.3
22.5
23.0
22.8
22.7
23.1
23.6
22.7
22.2
21.3
21.1
21.2
21.2
20.5
1.5
1.8
1.7
1.7
1.9
2.1
2.6
3.2
3.2
3.2
3.2
3.1
2.9
2.9
3.3
3.9
4.3
5.1
4.8
4.7
5.1
5.0
4.9
4.4
4.4
4.7
4.9
4.9
4.7
55 to 64
Women
Men
Women
Men
24.0
25.0
25.7
26.2
27.0
27.3
28.0
27.9
27.1
27.4
26.8
25.6
26.3
24.2
24.2
24.1
23.6
23.8
23.2
22.3
23.3
23.7
23.0
22.0
21.4
21.3
21.4
21.3
20.6
1.4
1.7
1.8
1.8
2.0
2.1
2.6
2.9
2.9
2.9
2.8
2.7
2.4
2.8
2.7
3.4
3.6
3.7
3.9
4.3
4.3
4.4
4.4
4.3
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.7
4.2
24.7
25.7
25.8
26.1
27.7
27.6
29.6
30.0
30.2
29.8
30.4
31.7
31.2
32.5
31.2
32.2
32.7
33.6
34.3
32.7
32.7
32.7
32.6
31.5
30.1
29.2
31.3
31.0
29.6
3.7
3.7
4.2
4.7
4.4
4.3
5.0
6.2
5.7
6.0
6.7
6.5
7.0
7.0
7.3
8.6
8.9
9.2
9.7
9.6
10.0
10.3
10.5
10.3
10.4
9.9
10.8
10.7
10.6
%
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
1. Expressed as a percentage of total employed.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
125
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.10
Reasons for part-time work, by age, 2004
Women aged
Men aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 and
over
Total
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 and
over
Total
0.6
1.7
0.8
70.9
5.7
0.4
19.9
2.7
33.7
4.4
6.7
18.6
1.3
32.6
6.0
4.9
5.7
0.7
56.8
1.1
24.9
3.1
14.3
3.7
24.7
27.1
0.9
26.1
0.8
F
0.4
75.0
4.5
F
19.0
5.7
3.2
2.0
17.4
18.4
2.6
50.7
7.8
0.8
1.7
0.8
59.7
1.6
27.6
3.8
0.9
1.1
41.9
23.2
1.1
28.0
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total employed part-time (000s)
% employed part-time2
631.1
52.2
733.4
20.5
663.6
24.7
2,028.2
27.2
467.6
37.4
189.7
4.7
264.0
8.2
921.3
10.9
%
Own illness
Caring for children
Other personal/family responsibilities
Going to school
Personal preference
Other voluntary
Other1
1. Includes business conditions and unable to find full-time work.
2. Expressed as a percentage of total employed.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Table 5.11
Self-employment trends among women and men, 1976 to 2004
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Self-employed
women
000s
Self-employed
men
000s
Percent of
women
self-employed1
Percent of
men
self-employed1
Women as a
percent of total
self-employment
311.6
329.8
353.1
380.1
391.7
404.6
426.5
448.7
473.3
537.2
498.5
518.0
542.9
556.9
575.5
583.8
614.0
657.8
683.4
703.4
750.4
833.3
864.8
859.7
840.2
773.8
817.0
830.2
839.3
873.4
880.4
910.3
944.6
971.9
1,020.6
1,056.7
1,094.5
1,096.4
1,188.9
1,175.6
1,195.2
1,237.5
1,234.2
1,266.0
1,311.9
1,315.5
1,365.5
1,354.6
1,375.6
1,422.3
1,519.5
1,554.6
1,592.5
1,544.8
1,504.2
1,502.0
1,569.6
1,612.6
8.6
8.8
9.0
9.2
9.0
8.9
9.4
9.7
10.0
10.9
9.7
9.8
9.8
9.8
9.9
10.1
10.7
11.4
11.6
11.7
12.3
13.4
13.4
13.0
12.4
11.2
11.4
11.3
11.2
14.2
14.2
14.4
14.4
14.6
15.1
16.4
17.1
16.7
17.8
17.1
17.0
17.2
16.9
17.4
18.6
18.9
19.5
19.0
19.0
19.4
20.4
20.4
20.4
19.4
18.7
18.4
18.8
19.0
26.3
27.2
27.9
28.7
28.7
28.4
28.8
29.1
30.2
31.1
29.8
30.2
30.4
31.1
31.3
30.8
31.8
32.5
33.5
33.8
34.5
35.4
35.7
35.1
35.2
34.0
35.2
34.6
34.2
1. Expressed as a percentage of total employed.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
126
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.12
Multiple job holders as a percentage of total employed women and men, by age, 1987 to 2004
People aged
15 to 24
Women
25 to 44
Men
Women
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women as a
percent of
multiple
job holders
3.0
3.3
3.6
3.7
4.0
4.4
4.4
4.2
4.2
4.4
4.4
4.3
4.5
4.7
4.6
5.1
5.0
5.0
3.6
4.0
4.2
3.9
4.0
3.9
4.1
3.9
3.7
3.9
3.8
4.1
3.8
3.5
3.5
3.8
3.7
3.4
4.0
4.4
4.6
5.0
5.0
5.1
5.3
5.4
5.4
5.8
5.8
5.6
5.6
5.6
5.5
5.8
5.8
5.9
4.2
4.4
4.6
4.7
4.6
4.6
4.8
4.6
4.4
4.6
4.6
4.4
4.4
4.2
4.1
4.4
4.3
4.3
41.8
43.4
43.6
45.7
47.0
48.1
47.8
49.4
50.4
51.1
51.3
51.5
51.7
53.2
53.6
53.4
54.4
54.8
45 and over
Men
Total
%
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source:
4.5
5.4
5.4
5.6
5.6
6.2
7.1
7.7
7.6
8.4
8.0
8.2
7.7
7.6
7.8
7.8
8.3
8.4
4.7
5.0
4.6
4.9
4.9
5.3
5.4
5.2
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.2
5.4
5.1
4.9
5.2
5.3
5.4
4.1
4.6
4.7
5.2
5.2
5.1
5.1
5.3
5.4
5.7
6.0
5.7
5.7
5.5
5.3
5.7
5.6
5.8
4.3
4.6
4.9
5.0
4.8
4.7
5.0
4.8
4.7
4.8
4.9
4.5
4.6
4.4
4.2
4.7
4.4
4.6
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
127
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.13
Distribution of employment of women and men, by occupation,
1987, 1996 and 2004
1987
Women
1996
Women as
a percent
of total
employed
in occuMen
pation
2004
Women as
a percent
of total
employed
in occuMen
pation
Women
Women as
a percent
of total
employed
in occuMen
pation
Women
%
Managerial
Senior management
Other management
Total management
Professional
Business and finance
Natural sciences/engineering/mathematics
Social sciences/religion
Teaching
Doctors/dentists/other health
Nursing/therapy/other health-related
Artistic/literary/recreational
Total professional
Clerical and administrative
Sales and service
Primary
Trades, transport and construction
Processing, manufacturing and utilities
Total1
Total employed (000s)
0.3
5.7
6.0
0.8
9.8
10.6
21.1
30.7
30.1
0.3
7.9
8.2
0.7
10.9
11.6
27.3
37.6
37.1
0.3
6.7
7.0
1.0
9.8
10.8
22.1
37.7
36.6
1.9
2.3
4.3
3.8
0.9
8.3
2.7
24.1
29.7
30.0
2.3
2.1
5.8
2.3
7.0
2.0
2.6
0.9
0.9
2.1
17.9
7.9
18.4
7.2
28.9
9.1
38.3
19.5
61.5
52.3
43.0
87.1
48.5
50.4
73.9
55.2
19.7
5.2
32.3
2.9
2.3
6.1
5.0
1.1
8.0
3.2
28.4
25.7
28.8
2.1
2.1
4.7
2.7
8.0
2.3
2.8
1.1
1.0
2.4
20.2
7.1
19.2
6.4
26.6
8.9
47.1
19.2
69.2
60.1
46.7
87.4
51.5
54.0
75.2
55.6
20.8
6.1
30.7
3.2
3.0
6.2
5.2
1.4
8.7
3.3
31.0
24.3
29.2
1.4
2.2
4.8
2.7
9.7
2.2
2.5
1.0
1.1
2.6
21.8
7.2
19.6
5.2
26.1
9.3
51.3
21.2
71.6
64.6
55.0
87.2
52.8
55.6
74.9
56.7
19.4
7.0
31.1
100.0
100.0
43.0
100.0
100.0
45.4
100.0
100.0
46.8
5,309.6
7,024.4
--
6,087.4
7,304.3
--
7,470.1
8,479.6
--
1. Includes occupations that are not classified.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Table 5.14
Distribution of farm operators, self-employed workers, and total labour force
participants, by age, 2001
Women
People aged
Men
Farm
operators
Total
selfemployed1
Labour
force participants
Farm
operators
Total
selfemployed1
Labour
force participants
11.5
28.8
29.9
29.8
20.0
32.4
28.3
19.4
38.6
28.2
23.2
10.0
11.5
24.1
27.6
36.7
16.2
28.3
28.8
26.7
36.8
27.1
22.8
13.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
91.2
630.4
7,420.1
255.0
1,230.8
8,452.0
%
Under 35
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 and over
Total
Total number (000s)
1. Includes people in incorporated and unincorporated businesses.
Sources: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada and 2001 Census of Agriculture.
128
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.15
Unemployment trends of women and men, 1976 to 2004
Women
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Source:
Men
Total
unemployed
Unemployment
rate
Total
unemployed
Unemployment
rate
000s
%
000s
%
323.4
376.5
412.1
394.1
395.0
410.1
543.2
602.2
605.6
590.8
560.2
537.1
493.9
482.2
512.6
622.2
655.6
695.6
644.0
610.4
629.9
613.8
562.2
522.5
487.6
508.7
546.6
566.5
548.9
8.2
9.2
9.5
8.7
8.3
8.3
10.7
11.6
11.3
10.7
9.9
9.2
8.2
7.8
8.1
9.7
10.2
10.7
9.8
9.2
9.4
9.0
8.1
7.3
6.7
6.9
7.1
7.2
6.8
420.3
491.5
522.2
474.1
500.3
520.7
815.0
903.5
840.6
794.3
725.3
655.4
576.8
582.6
648.8
858.4
953.4
952.3
874.9
791.7
813.0
768.2
715.4
662.7
596.0
655.3
725.6
722.4
684.8
6.4
7.4
7.6
6.8
7.0
7.2
11.2
12.3
11.4
10.6
9.6
8.5
7.4
7.4
8.2
10.8
12.1
12.0
10.9
9.8
10.0
9.3
8.6
7.8
7.0
7.5
8.1
8.0
7.5
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
129
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.16
Unemployment rates of women and men, by age, 1976 to 2004
Labour force participants aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
Total1
45 to 64
Women
Men
Women
Men
11.6
13.0
13.3
12.4
12.2
11.7
15.5
16.4
15.4
14.3
13.3
12.0
10.5
9.7
11.0
12.8
14.5
14.5
13.7
13.3
13.8
15.2
13.6
12.7
11.4
11.1
11.7
11.8
11.8
13.0
14.5
14.6
12.9
13.4
13.7
20.7
21.8
19.1
17.6
16.2
14.4
12.4
12.2
13.6
18.5
19.8
19.7
17.9
16.3
16.9
17.2
16.6
15.2
13.8
14.5
15.3
15.3
14.9
7.4
8.0
8.6
7.7
7.0
7.5
9.6
10.5
10.6
10.2
9.3
8.7
8.0
7.9
7.9
9.4
9.7
10.3
9.5
8.8
8.9
8.2
7.3
6.7
6.0
6.3
6.7
6.8
6.4
4.7
5.4
5.7
5.1
5.4
5.5
9.4
10.7
10.1
9.4
8.5
7.6
6.7
6.8
7.7
10.2
11.6
11.3
10.2
9.3
9.5
8.6
7.6
6.9
6.0
6.7
7.3
6.9
6.6
Women
Men
Women
Men
5.0
6.1
6.3
5.6
5.8
5.2
7.1
8.1
8.2
7.8
7.5
7.6
6.7
6.0
6.3
8.0
8.2
9.1
7.9
7.5
7.6
7.0
6.3
5.6
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.5
5.2
3.8
4.6
5.1
4.4
4.3
4.4
7.0
8.0
7.8
7.7
6.6
6.2
5.5
5.5
5.9
7.6
8.7
9.1
8.6
7.6
7.6
7.0
6.6
5.9
5.2
5.6
6.2
6.2
5.5
8.2
9.2
9.5
8.7
8.3
8.3
10.7
11.6
11.3
10.7
9.9
9.2
8.2
7.8
8.1
9.7
10.2
10.7
9.8
9.2
9.4
9.0
8.1
7.3
6.7
6.9
7.1
7.2
6.8
6.4
7.4
7.6
6.8
7.0
7.2
11.2
12.3
11.4
10.6
9.6
8.5
7.4
7.4
8.2
10.8
12.1
12.0
10.9
9.8
10.0
9.3
8.6
7.8
7.0
7.5
8.1
8.0
7.5
%
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
1. Includes those aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
130
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 5 / Paid and Unpaid Work
Table 5.17
Unemployment rates of women and men, by age and province, 2004
Labour force participants aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
Total1
45 to 64
Women
Men
Women
Men
19.0
15.6
12.5
12.6
12.3
12.4
10.3
8.7
7.7
12.5
25.4
19.4
17.7
17.9
16.4
15.8
11.8
11.7
9.2
14.4
14.2
10.1
7.8
7.7
7.1
6.2
4.4
4.5
4.5
6.2
16.7
10.8
8.5
11.0
8.5
5.8
4.8
5.2
3.9
6.4
Women
Men
Women
Men
11.8
9.1
6.2
7.1
6.5
4.5
3.2
2.9
3.4
5.7
14.1
9.9
7.7
8.8
7.0
4.6
3.6
4.1
3.2
5.7
14.2
10.6
8.0
8.2
7.8
6.6
5.0
4.7
4.7
7.1
17.0
12.0
9.6
11.2
9.1
6.9
5.6
5.9
4.6
7.3
%
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
1. Includes those aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Table 5.18
Unemployed women and men, by reason for leaving last job, 2004
Women
Own illness/disability
Personal/family reasons
Going to school
Lost job/laid off
Retired
Other reasons
Had not worked in last year
Never worked
Total
Source:
Men
000s
%
000s
%
14.3
15.3
31.3
219.8
2.7
71.0
140.8
53.6
548.9
2.6
2.8
5.7
40.0
0.4
12.9
25.7
9.8
100.0
15.0
6.9
38.7
344.1
5.3
79.7
146.7
48.6
684.8
2.2
1.0
5.7
50.2
0.8
11.6
21.4
7.1
100.0
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
131
Women in Canada 2005
Table 5.19
Employment Insurance beneficiaries, 1981 to 2004
Women
Men
Women as a
percent of total
beneficiaries
411.9
694.7
754.8
698.0
648.9
613.0
559.4
538.4
543.8
610.3
769.1
771.9
708.4
591.8
502.9
475.9
401.4
398.2
372.3
340.9
378.1
403.6
403.9
385.4
42.8
38.9
39.5
41.6
43.3
44.0
45.8
46.9
47.2
45.6
43.7
44.4
45.2
46.9
47.4
47.8
48.3
46.6
46.8
47.9
48.6
51.3
52.0
53.3
000s
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
308.4
443.0
493.2
496.4
496.3
482.5
473.6
476.2
485.9
510.6
596.2
616.4
583.4
523.0
454.1
435.5
374.4
347.0
327.9
313.5
357.6
425.2
437.4
440.0
Sources: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 73-202-XPB; and Labour Statistics Division.
Table 5.20
Employment Insurance beneficiaries, by type of benefit, 2004
Women
000s
%
000s
%
Women as a
percent of total
beneficiaries
Regular
Parental/Adoption
Maternity
Training
Sickness
Work sharing
Job creation
Fishing
Self-employment assistance
218.4
118.7
56.6
8.0
33.1
0.9
0.5
2.8
0.9
49.7
27.0
12.9
1.8
7.5
0.2
0.1
0.6
0.2
322.4
9.5
0.0
14.4
22.6
1.9
0.4
12.4
1.6
83.7
2.4
0.0
3.7
5.9
0.4
0.1
3.2
0.4
40.4
92.6
100.0
35.8
59.4
33.1
51.4
18.4
36.9
Total
440.0
100.0
385.4
100.0
53.3
Type of benefit
Source:
Men
Statistics Canada, Labour Statistics Division.
132
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6
Income and Earnings
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
Women’s incomes lower
Women generally have lower incomes than men. In 2003, the average annual pre-tax
income of women aged 16 and over from all sources, including employment earnings,
government transfer payments, investment income, and other money income, was $24,400.
This was just 62% the figure for men, who had an average income of $39,300 that year.
(Chart 6.1)
It should be noted that in analyzing income data for individuals, payments for
some government transfer programs, including social assistance, child tax benefits, and
seniors benefits, are not taxable and are allocated to only one family member depending
on variables such as age, income, and gender. As such, readers should be aware that these
transfers are not equally divided among family members.
Chart 6.1
Average income of women and men, 1993, 1997 and 20031
Constant 2003 $
45,000
40,000
35,000
30,000
25,000
20,000
15,000
10,000
5,000
0
1993
1997
2003
Women
1.
Data for 1993 and 1997 include 15-year-olds
Source:
Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
1993
1997
2003
Men
133
Women in Canada 2005
The average incomes of women, however, have risen somewhat faster than those of
men in recent years. In fact, the average income of women in 2003 was 13% higher than
the figure in 1997, once the effects of inflation have been factored out. In contrast, the
real average income of men rose 8% in the same period.
Income by age
Women between the ages of 35 and 54 have higher incomes than women in other age
groups. In fact, in 2003, women in both the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups had average
incomes of around $31,000, while the figure among women in other age groups ranged
from $25,400 among those aged 25 to 34 to only $13,000 for women aged 20 to 24 and
under $6,000 for teenaged women aged 16 to 19. (Table 6.1)
At all ages women’s incomes are lower than those of men, although there is
considerable variation in the gap between the incomes of women and men in different
age ranges. Among those aged 55 to 64, for example, the income of women from all
sources was barely over half that of men in their pre-retirement years. Similarly, the
average incomes of women between the ages of 35 to 54, again the age range in which
women’s incomes are the highest, were around 60% those of their male counterparts,
while the figure was close to 70% for both women aged 25 to 34 and seniors. In contrast,
the average incomes of women aged 20 to 24 were over 80% those of males in this age
range, while the figure was almost 90% for teenagers. In both these latter cases, though,
the incomes of females were relatively close to those of males, in large part, because the
incomes of both women and men in these age ranges tend to be low.
Incomes vary by province
Women in Ontario have the highest average income of women in Canada, while those
in the Atlantic provinces have the lowest. In 2003, women living in Ontario had an
average income of $26,100, while the figure was $24,100 in Alberta, and around 23,500
in each of Quebec and the other western provinces. In contrast, in the Atlantic region,
the average income of women ranged from $21,500 in Nova Scotia to only $19,000 in
Newfoundland and Labrador. (Table 6.2)
The average incomes of women, though, are well below those of men in all provinces.
The biggest gap is in Alberta, where the incomes of women in 2003 were just 56% those
of their male counterparts. The figure was also just 60% in Ontario, while in the remaining
provinces it ranged from 63% in Nova Scotia to highs of 68% in both Manitoba and
Saskatchewan.
Incomes of lone-parent families up
The income situation of women also varies greatly depending on their family status.
Most notably, lone-parent families headed by women have, by far, the lowest incomes of
all family types. In 2003, families headed by female lone parents under age 65 had an
average income of $32,500, 38% the figure for non-elderly two-spouse families with
children and less than 60% that of lone-parent families headed by men who had an
average income of $54,700. (Table 6.3)
The average incomes of female-headed lone-parent families, though, are somewhat
higher than they have been in the recent past. The average income of these families in
2003, for example, was 18% higher than in 1997 once the impact of inflation had been
accounted for. This followed almost two decades in which there was almost no change at
all in the real incomes of lone-parent families headed by women. Indeed, the average
134
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
income of these families in 1997 was actually almost $2,000 less than the figure in 1980,
even with the impact of inflation taken into account.
However, after several years of relatively substantial growth, the average incomes
of lone-parent families headed by women have dropped in the last two years. Indeed, the
average income of these families peaked in 2001 at just under $35,000, but by 2003 had
fallen 7% to the current figure of $32,500. In contrast, the average incomes of other
families such as two-parent families with children and lone-parent families headed by
men both continued to rise in the same period.
Relatively low incomes among unattached women
The incomes of unattached women, including those who either live alone or in a household
where they are not related to other household members, also tend to be relatively low.
The average income from all sources of unattached women aged 16 and over with at
least some income was $28,100 in 2003, almost $6,000 less on average per person than
unattached men who had an average income of close to $34,000 that year. (Table 6.4)
Unattached women between the ages of 35 and 54 have higher average incomes
than either their younger or older counterparts. In 2003, unattached women aged 45 to
54 had average incomes of over $43,000, while the figure was $37,200 for those aged 35
to 44. In contrast, in other age ranges, the figure ranged from just over $30,000 for those
aged 25 to 34 to only $12,400 for unattached women under the age of 25.
As a general rule, the incomes of unattached women are below those of their male
counterparts regardless of age. The exception, though, are unattached women aged 45 to
54 whose average incomes are actually higher than unattached men in this age range.
On the other hand, the average incomes of unattached women in other age ranges were
less than those of unattached men in the same age group, although in almost all age
ranges the gap was relatively small. That year, for example, the average income of
unattached women as a percentage of that of men ranged from 87% among those aged
25 to 34 to 71% for those under the age of 25.
Major sources of income
Earnings from employment, including wages and salaries, as well as net income from
self-employment, make up the largest source of the income of women in Canada. In
2003, 70% of all the income of women came from these sources, while 17% came from
government transfer programs,1 6% was income from private retirement pensions, 4%
came from investments, while 3% was money from other sources.2 (Table 6.5)
While employment earnings account for the largest share of the income of women,
70% in 2003, this figure is below that of men who received almost 80% of all their
income from these sources. In addition, in terms of the actual dollars involved, women
received, on average, over $14,000 less in employment earnings per person that year than
did men.
In contrast, women receive a larger portion of their total income than men from
government transfer payments. In 2003, 17% of the total income of women came from
transfer payments, double the figure of men who received only 9% of their total income
from these sources.
In terms of the actual dollars, however, women received only about $800 more in
transfer payments than men in 2003. That year, women received, on average, $4,200 in
benefits from government transfer programs, compared with $3,400, on average, for
men.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
135
Women in Canada 2005
Old Age Security (OAS) payments, including Guaranteed Income Supplements
(GIS), make up the single largest component of government transfer benefits received
by women. In 2003, 5% of all the income of women came from this source, including 4%
in regular OAS benefits and another 1% as GIS supplements. At the same time, 4% of
all women’s income came from the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans, while 3% were
Child Tax benefits, 2% were social assistance benefits, and another 2% were employment
insurance payouts.
The overall composition of the income of women and men in all age groups, however,
masks the fact that there are considerable differences between the primary sources of
income of seniors and those under the age of 65.3 In 2003, for example, well over half
(55%) the income of senior women in Canada came from government transfer programs,
compared with 15% of that of women aged 55 to 64, and 10% or less of that of women
in age ranges under age 65. (Chart 6.2)
Chart 6.2
Government transfer payments as a percentage of the total income
of women and men, by age group, 2003
%
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
16 to 24
55 to 64
25 to 54
65 and over
Age group
Source:
Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Lone-parent families more dependent on transfers
Government transfer payments also make up a relatively large share of the income of
lone-parent families headed by women. In 2003, 27% of all income of these families,
versus 11% of that of male-headed lone-parent families and just 6% of that for twoparent families with children, came from transfer payments. (Table 6.6)
As with other families, earnings make up the largest share of the income of femaleheaded lone-parent families, although these families get a much smaller share of their
income from employment-related sources than other non-elderly families. In 2003, just
63% of the income of female-headed lone-parent families came from either wages and
salaries or net income from self-employment, compared with 86% of that of families
with a lone male head and over 90% of that of two-parent families with children.
136
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Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Women contributing to pension plans
There have been some interesting changes in the pattern of women and men
contributing to the various forms of retirement pension plans in recent years.
On the one hand, a slightly greater proportion of women are now covered by
employer-sponsored pension plans than two decades ago. In 2002, 39% of all
employed women were members of such plans, compared with from 38% in
1980. (Table 6.7)
In contrast, the proportion of men covered by employer-sponsored
plans has dropped sharply in the same period, falling from 54% in 1980 to
40% in 2002. As a result, the proportion of female workers currently covered
by a private pension is virtually the same as that for men. Indeed, by 2002,
women made up 46% of all workers covered by employer-sponsored
pensions, compared with just 31% in 1980.
The overall long-term increase in the proportion of employed women
contributing to an employer-sponsored pension plan, though, masks the fact
that the share of women participating in these plans has declined in the past
decade. Indeed, the proportion of employed women contributing to a private
pension plan peaked at around 42% in the early 1990s and dropped to the
current figure of 39% by the late 1990s. On the other hand, there has been
almost no change in the share of women participating in these plans in the
2000s. In contrast, the share of employed men participating in these plans
declined fairly consistently right through this period.
There has also been an increase in the proportion of women in Canada
contributing to the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan in the past two decades as
more women have joined the paid workforce. In 2002, 68% of all women
aged 20 to 64 contributed to this program, up from 57% in 1981. In
contrast, the share of working-aged men participating in this program has
fallen in the same period, although the share of men currently contributing
to these plans (74%) is still higher than that for women. (Chart 6.3)
Chart 6.3
Contributors to Canada/Quebec Pension Plans as
a percentage of women and men aged 20 to 64,
1981 to 2002
%
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
1981
Source:
1992
1997
2002
Canada Revenue Agency, Taxation Statistics; and Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
137
Women in Canada 2005
There has also been an increase in the proportion of women
contributing to Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) in the last
two decades. In 2002, 2.8 million women reported contributing to an RRSP.
That year, 24% of all female taxfilers were RRSP contributors, up from less
than 20% in 1990 and just 10% in 1982. (Table 6.8)
Women, though, are still somewhat less likely than men to contribute to an
RRSP. In 2002, 24% of female taxfilers contributed to an RRSP, compared
with 29% of their male counterparts.
Women also tend to contribute less to their RRSPs than men, although
since RRSP contribution limits are linked to earnings, this difference may
simply reflect the fact that women’s earnings are also lower, on average, than
men’s. In 2002, women who purchased an RRSP contributed an average of
just under $3,500, about $1,400 less than the average contribution for men.
(Chart 6.4)
Chart 6.4
Average RRSP contributions of women and men in
constant 2002 dollars, 1982 to 2002
Constant 2002 $
6,000
5,000
Men
4,000
3,000
Women
2,000
1,000
0
1982
Source:
1984
1986
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
Canada Revenue Agency, Taxation Statistics.
The average RRSP contribution made by women has increased in the
past decade or so. After accounting for inflation, the average contribution of
women to their RRSP was 27% higher in 2002 than in 1991. Trends in the
RRSP contribution levels of women, though, generally mirror those of men.
Indeed, the average contribution by men rose 23% in the same period.
Average earnings still lower
The average earnings of employed women are still substantially lower than those of men.
In 2003, employed women had average earnings of just under $25,000, a figure that was
only 64% that of all men with jobs. (Table 6.9)
138
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Even when employed on a full-time, full-year basis the earnings of women remain
well below those of their male counterparts. In 2003, women working full-time, fullyear had average earnings of $36,500, or 71% what men employed full-time, full-year
made that year.
As well, while there have been some year-to-year fluctuations, the gap between the
earnings of women and men has not changed substantially in the past decade. Indeed,
the current difference is actually slightly lower than the peak figure of 72% recorded in
the mid-1990s. This is in contrast to the two previous decades when women’s earnings
as a percentage of those of men rose relatively quickly.
Earnings and education
Not surprisingly, women’s earnings rise sharply the higher their level of educational
attainment. Female university graduates working full-time, full-year, for example, earned
an average of $53,400 in 2003, whereas no other educational grouping of women made
over $35,000 that year. Indeed, women with less than a Grade 9 education earned only
$21,700 that year. (Table 6.10)
Still, whatever their level of educational attainment, women’s earnings are well
below those of their male counterparts. In fact, with the exception of the relatively small
group of those with only some postsecondary education, the earnings of women employed
on a full-time, full-year basis in 2003 were only about 70% those of their male colleagues
at all levels of education.
Earnings and occupation
As with men, women in professional and related occupations generally have considerably
higher incomes than women in other occupational groups. In 2003, women employed
on a full-time, full-year basis as either social sciences or health professionals had average
earnings of over $60,000, while those employed in the natural sciences or as business and
finance professionals made over $55,000. At the same time, women in management
positions, as well as teachers, had annual earnings close to $50,000 that year. In contrast,
the average annual earnings of women employed full-time, full-year in non-professional
occupations ranged from just under $36,000 for those employed in administrative positions
and $33,300 for those in clerical jobs to just over $19,000 for those working in primary
industries. (Table 6.11)
Women’s earnings, though, are well below those of men in all occupational categories;
there is, however, no real pattern in this diversity. Among those in professional categories,
for example, the 2003 earnings ratio for women and men employed full-time, full-year
was around 80% for those working in either the natural sciences or as artistic and
recreational professionals, while the figure was close to 70% among those employed in
teaching or the social sciences. In contrast, women in managerial positions, as well as
business and financial professionals, had earnings which were only about 60% those of
their male counterparts. At the same time, the figure among professionals employed in
health-related professions was under 50%. However, this figure is skewed by the fact
that almost all men in this field are employed as doctors or other diagnosing professionals,
while many women are employed as lower-paid nurses.
There is also considerable diversity in the gap between women’s and men’s earnings
in non-professional occupations. In these areas, women’s earnings as a percentage of
those of men in 2003 ranged from close to 80% for those employed full-time full-year in
clerical positions to under 60% for those employed in jobs in each of the sales and service,
trades or transportation, and manufacturing sectors.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
139
Women in Canada 2005
Earnings and age
The earnings of women tend to be higher for those over the age of 35 than their younger
counterparts. In 2003, women between the ages of 35 and 54 employed full-time, fullyear had average earnings of $40,000, while the figure was $36,000 for those aged 55
and over. In contrast, the average earnings of women employed full-time were around
$32,000 for those aged 25 to 34 and under $20,000 for those aged 16 to 24. (Table 6.12)
The earnings of women compared to those of men, however, tend to be highest in
younger age groups. In 2003, the female-to-male earnings ratio for those working fulltime, full-year was 81% among those aged 16 to 24 and close to 75% for women aged
either 25 to 34 or 35 to 44, compared with under 70% for both those aged 45 to 54 and
55 and over.
Earnings and marital status
Overall, there is little variation in the earnings of women depending on their marital
status. In 2003, women employed full-time who were either separated, divorced or
widowed had average earnings of $37,600, compared with $36,800 for married women
and $34,600 for single, never-married females. (Table 6.12)
The earnings of single, never-married women, though, are relatively close to those
of their male counterparts. In 2003, the earnings of single women employed on a fulltime, full-year basis were 94% those of single men. In fact, among single, never-married
people over the age of 45, women actually make more than men.
In contrast, married women make considerably less than their partners. Indeed, in
2003, the earnings of married women employed on a full-time, full-year basis were just
65% those of married men, while the figure was 77% among other women. As well, in
both cases the earnings of women were substantially below those of their male counterparts
in almost all age categories.
Earnings of wives in dual-earner families
The influx of married women into the labour force over the past three decades has resulted
in an increase in the number of dual-earner families. In 2003, both spouses were employed
in 66% of all two-spouse families, including both married and common-law couples,
double the figure in 1967 when both spouses were employed in just 33% of such families.
However, almost all of this increase occurred prior to 1990, although there was also a
modest increase in the late 1990s. (Chart 6.5)
There has also been little change in the share of total family earnings being
contributed by wives in recent years. In 2003, wives’ earnings represented 34% of the
income of dual-earner families, a figure that has not changed appreciably since 1998. In
contrast, this figure had grown rather consistently in the preceding three decades, rising
from 26% in 1967 to 34% in 2003. (Chart 6.6)
140
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Chart 6.5
Dual-earner families as a percentage of all husband-wife
families,1 1967 to 2003
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1967
1975
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990 1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
1. Includes those in common-law unions.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Chart 6.6
Earnings of wives as a percentage of total income in
dual-earner families,1 1967 to 2003
%
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1967 1985 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
1. Includes those in common-law unions.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
There has, however, been a modest increase in the percentage of wives who earn
more than their husbands in the past several decades. In 2003, 28% of wives in dualearner families had employment earnings that were greater than those of their husbands,
up from 23% in 1991 and just 11% in 1967. (Chart 6.7)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
141
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 6.7
Percentage of dual-earner families in which wives
earned more than husbands, 1967 to 2003
%
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
1967
Source:
1979
1982
1985
1988
1991
1994
1997
2000
2003
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 13-215-XPB; and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
The relative importance of wives’ earnings to total family income is reflected in the
percentage of families whose income would fall below the Low Income Cut-offs were it
not for the contribution of wives’ earnings. In 2003, just over 120,000 dual-earner families,
3% of the total, had low incomes. It is estimated, however, that if wives’ earnings were
deducted from the income of these families, the number of these families with low incomes
would jump to over 400,000, or 9% of the total. (Chart 6.8)
Chart 6.8
Percentage of dual-earner families1 with low income after tax,
by presence of wives’ earnings, 2003
%
10
9
8
7
6
5
404,000 families
4
3
2
1
122,000 families
0
With wives' earnings
Without wives' earnings
1. Includes those in common-law unions.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
142
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Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Women with low incomes
Women make up a disproportionate share of the population in Canada with low incomes.
In 2003, 1.9 million females, 12% of the total female population, were living in an aftertax low-income situation. At the same time, 11% of the male population had low incomes.
That year, females accounted for 53% of all Canadians classified as having low incomes.
(Table 6.13)
The proportion of the female population classified as living in a low-income situation
is currently somewhat lower than it has been throughout the past couple of decades. In
2003, 12% of all females were considered to be living in a low-income situation, once
taxes had been factored in, whereas the figure had been as high as 17% in the mid-1990s.
There has been a particularly sharp drop in low-income rates among senior women.
In 2003, just 9% of women aged 65 and over lived in an after-tax low-income situation,
compared with over 25% in the early 1980s when senior women were by far the most
likely age group to be considered to have low incomes. Indeed, women aged 65 and over
are currently actually less likely than their counterparts under age 65 to live in a lowincome situation. (Table 6.14)
The share of senior women with low incomes, though, is still twice as high as that
of senior men. In 2003, 9% of women aged 65 and over, versus just over 4% of their male
counterparts, lived in an after-tax low-income situation. Women between the ages of 18
and 64 were also somewhat more likely to have low incomes than their male counterparts
in 2003: 13% versus 11%. In contrast, female children were slightly less likely than male
children to live in a low-income family that year.
Low income and family status
Unattached women are particularly likely to have low incomes. In 2003, 31% of unattached
women aged 16 and over had incomes below the after-tax Low Income Cut-offs, while
this was the case for 28% of their male counterparts. (Chart 6.9)
Chart 6.9
Percentage of unattached women and men living with
low incomes after tax, by age, 2003
%
70
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
16 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
People aged
Source:
65 and
over
Total 16
and over
Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
143
Women in Canada 2005
Young adults are the most likely unattached women to have low incomes. Indeed,
in 2003, 65% of women aged 16 to 24 living alone were considered to have low incomes,
once taxes had been accounted for. At the same time, this was the case for 38% of
unattached women aged 55 to 64, 30% of those between the ages of 35 and 54, 24% of
those aged 25 to 34, and just 19% of seniors.
As reported in Chapter 11 on Senior Women, the incidence of low income among
unattached senior women has dropped sharply since the early 1980s. In 2003, 19% of
these women were classified as having after-tax low incomes, down from 57% in 1980.
Despite the dramatic decline in low-income rates among unattached senior women,
they are still considerably more likely than unattached senior men to have incomes below
the after-tax Low Income Cut-offs. In 2003, 19% of unattached women aged 65 and
over had after-low incomes, compared with 15% of unattached senior men. Young
unattached women, as well as those aged 35 to 44, were also more likely to have low
incomes than their male counterparts, whereas there was little difference in the lowincome rates among unattached women and men in other age ranges.
Many lone-parent families headed by women with low incomes
Families headed by female lone parents also have relatively high rates of low income. In
2003, 38% of all families headed by lone-parent mothers had incomes which fell below
the after-tax Low Income Cut-offs. In comparison, this was the case for 13% of male
lone-parent families and just 7% of non-elderly two-parent families with children.
(Table 6.15)
The incidence of low income among female-headed lone-parent families, however,
has declined somewhat in recent years. In 2003, 38% of these families had after-tax low
incomes, whereas in the period from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, the figure hovered
around 50%.
Despite the overall decline in the incidence of low-income among lone-parent
families headed by women, these families continue to be home to a disproportionate
share of all children living in low-income situations. In 2003, 43% of all children in a
low-income family were living with a single female parent, whereas these families
accounted for only 13% of all children under age 18 that year. (Chart 6.10)
Chart 6.10
Children in lone-parent families headed by women as a
percentage of all low-income1 children, 2003
%
50
40
30
20
10
0
As a percent of all children
As a percent of all children
in low-income families
1. Refers to low-income status after tax.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
144
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
The Low Income Cut-offs
Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs are used to classify families and
unattached individuals into “low-income” and “other” groups. Families or
individuals are classified as “low income” if they spend, on average, at least
20 percentage points more of their pre-tax income than the Canadian
average on food, shelter, and clothing. Using 1992 as the base year, families
and individuals with incomes below the Low Income Cut-offs usually spend
more than 54.7% of their income on these items and are considered to be in
straitened circumstances. The number of people in the family and the size
of the urban or rural area where the family resides are also taken into
consideration.
Note, however, that Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs are not
official poverty lines. They have no officially recognized status as such, nor
does Statistics Canada promote their use as poverty lines.
Homeownership
Women’s homeownership characteristics are related, in large part, to their family status.
Women living in two-spouse families, for example, are far more likely than other women
to own their own homes. In 2003, 80% of women who were partners in a husband-wife
family4 lived in an owner-occupied home, compared with 45% of female lone parents.
At the same time, just over half (53%) of female seniors who lived alone and just 38% of
unattached women aged 15 to 64 owned their homes. (Table 6.16)
Female lone parents are also less likely than male lone parents to own their homes.
In 1997, 45% of female lone parents were homeowners, compared with 66% of families
headed by male lone parents. On the other hand, unattached women aged 65 and over
were only slightly less likely than their male counterparts to own their homes, 53%
versus 56%, while among unattached individuals under age 65, women were slightly
more likely than men, 38% compared with 35%, to be homeowners.
While relatively few unattached women own their homes, a large proportion of
those who are homeowners have paid off their mortgages. This is especially true of
unattached senior women. In 2003, exactly 50% of all unattached females aged 65 and
over owned their homes outright, while only 3% had a mortgage. At the same time, close
to half of female lone-parent homeowners were also mortgage-free. That year, 21% of all
female lone parents owned a home without a mortgage, while 25% still had a mortgage.
In fact, female lone parents were about as likely as their male counterparts to own a
mortgage-free home.
Housing affordability
Many women experience housing affordability problems,5 especially unattached women
and female lone parents who rent their homes. Indeed, in 2003, 72% of unattached
women aged 65 and over who rented were considered to have housing affordability
problems. Similarly, 42% of renter families headed by female lone parents had housing
affordability problems, as did 38% of unattached female renters under the age of 65.
(Chart 6.11)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
145
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 6.11
Percentage of women and men paying 30% or more of total gross
household income on shelter costs, by household type, 2003
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
Renters
10
Owners
0
Two-spouse
families
Female
head
Lone-parent
families
Source:
Women
Men
Under age 65
Women
Men
Aged 65 and over
Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending.
In fact, in those categories in which statistical comparisons are possible, females
are more likely than their respective male counterparts to experience housing affordability
problems. Among unattached seniors who rented in 2003, for example, 72% of women,
versus 58% of men, were considered to have housing affordability problems. Similarly,
among unattached homeowners under age 65, 24% of women, compared with 11% of
males, had housing affordability problems.
Women who own their homes are considerably less likely than those who rent to
have housing affordability problems. Still, among women who owned their homes in
2003, 24% of unattached women under age 65, 20% of unattached seniors, and 17% of
female lone parents had housing affordability problems. In contrast, only 8% of women
in two-partner households which owned their home were considered to have housing
affordability problems. As well, as with renters, female homeowners in these groups
were more likely than their male counterparts to have housing affordability problems.
146
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Government transfer payments include all social welfare payments from federal, provincial,
and municipal governments, including Child Tax Benefits, Old Age Security and Guaranteed
Income Supplements, Spouse’s Allowances, Canada and Quebec Pension Plan benefits,
Employment Insurance, worker’s compensation, training allowances, veteran’s pensions, social
assistance, and pensions to the blind and persons with disabilities. Refundable tax credits
and Goods and Services Tax Credits are included as income.
Other money income includes alimony and child support payments, annuities, superannuation,
scholarships, and other items not included in other categories.
The income of senior women and men is discussed in more detail in the chapter on Senior
Women.
Includes those living in a common-law relationship.
Those with housing affordability problems include families and unattached individuals that
spend 30% or more of their total household income on shelter costs. It should be noted,
however, that those paying 30% or more of their income on shelter may not necessarily have
a housing affordability problem; some, for example, may be paying down their mortgage
quickly.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
147
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.1
Average income of women and men,1 by age, 2003
Men
Women’s income as
a percent of men’s
5,700
13,200
25,400
30,700
31,400
23,200
20,600
6,500
16,200
37,000
49,200
53,300
45,100
30,900
87.7
81.4
68.6
62.4
58.9
51.4
66.7
24,400
39,300
62.1
People aged
Women
16 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
Total aged 16 and over
$
%
1. Includes only people with income in 2003.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Table 6.2
Average income of women and men,1 by province, 2003
Women
Men
Women’s income as
a percent of men’s
$
%
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
19,000
20,300
21,500
20,700
23,600
26,100
23,400
23,600
24,100
23,500
29,700
30,100
34,200
31,200
35,500
43,600
34,500
34,500
43,200
37,400
64.0
67.4
62.9
66.3
66.4
59.9
67.8
68.4
55.8
62.8
Canada
24,400
39,300
62.1
1. Includes only people with income in 2003.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
148
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Table 6.3
Average family income, by family type, 1980 to 2003
Non-elderly families1
Two-parent
families
with
children2
Married
couples
without
children
Lone-parent families2
Other
couples3
Female
head
Male
head
Other
families
Elderly
families4
46,800
52,900
48,200
44,000
47,100
45,100
46,400
57,500
50,000
62,000
46,300
46,700
47,900
41,400
41,500
42,200
46,300
45,900
48,800
49,700
54,200
51,000
51,200
54,700
49,800
53,800
53,000
47,700
50,900
50,400
53,900
53,200
54,700
56,700
55,100
53,300
47,900
51,500
52,000
51,400
58,300
57,000
61,500
62,200
64,700
64,800
66,600
61,100
45,500
43,400
45,700
42,500
45,800
46,300
46,200
44,800
46,000
51,700
50,400
49,300
47,600
48,300
48,000
50,400
46,300
46,600
47,300
49,100
49,400
49,600
50,200
50,200
Constant 2003 $
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
70,100
69,300
67,700
67,400
67,700
69,600
71,000
72,700
74,000
76,100
74,300
72,400
72,800
71,100
72,400
72,200
72,400
74,700
78,100
80,100
83,300
84,300
84,700
85,600
66,900
63,700
61,200
61,700
61,200
62,500
62,500
64,900
67,200
66,200
64,800
64,000
66,100
64,200
62,300
63,500
66,200
69,300
70,300
69,600
70,500
74,900
73,400
70,900
90,600
91,700
89,300
85,400
83,200
86,800
91,400
89,700
92,000
94,300
94,400
89,300
88,700
88,900
89,900
88,400
92,400
92,100
94,600
99,100
105,400
102,100
101,600
101,200
29,400
29,300
27,000
26,600
27,800
27,800
27,600
28,400
28,800
31,000
28,100
27,300
28,600
27,300
28,200
29,000
27,500
27,500
30,000
31,000
33,400
34,900
32,300
32,500
1. Includes families with major income earner less than age 65.
2. Includes families with children less than age 18 living at home.
3. Includes families with children aged 18 and over and/or other relatives.
4. Includes families with major income earner aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Table 6.4
Average income of unattached women and men,1 by age, 2003
Men
Women’s income as
a percent of men’s
12,355
30,054
37,160
43,256E
27,674
25,136
24,830
17,450
34,457
43,421
37,642
33,543
31,942
29,640
70.8
87.2
85.6
114.9
82.5
78.7
83.8
28,144
33,924
83.0
People aged
Women
16 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 59
60 to 64
65 and over
Total aged 16 and over
$
%
1. Includes only people with income in 2003.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
149
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.5
Composition of income of women and men with income, 2003
Women
Men
$
%
$
%
Wages and salaries
Net income from self-employment
15,766
1,386
64.6
5.7
28,406
2,894
72.2
7.4
Total employment income
17,153
70.3
31,300
79.6
981
4.0
1,139
2.9
1,456
6.0
2,880
7.3
640
2.6
626
1.6
881
291
1,059
486
522
611
114
120
80
3.6
1.2
4.3
2.0
2.1
2.5
0.5
0.5
0.3
670
138
1,230
218
603
31
287
123
76
1.7
0.3
3.1
0.6
1.5
0.1
0.7
0.3
0.2
4,166
17.1
3,378
8.6
24,400
100.0
39,300
100.0
Investment income
Retirement pensions
Other income
Income from government transfers
Old Age Security
Guaranteed Income Supplement/Spouse’s Allowance
Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefits
Social assistance
Employment insurance benefits
Child tax benefits
Workers compensation benefits
GST/HST credit
Provincial/territorial tax credits
Total government transfers
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Table 6.6
Composition of family income, by family structure, 2003
Non-elderly families1
Two-parent
families
with
children2
Married
couples
without
children
Lone-parent families2
Other
couples3
Female
head
Male
head
Other
families
Elderly
families4
%
Wages and salaries
Net income from
self-employment
Investment income
Retirement income
Transfer payments
Other income
Total
Total income ($)
82.4
74.7
78.6
59.8
79.2
71.6
9.9
8.1
1.6
0.6
6.0
1.3
6.7
3.4
7.2
5.6
2.3
7.8
2.8
3.7
5.5
1.7
3.1
0.8
0.8
26.7
8.9
6.8
1.4
0.3
10.7
1.5
5.0
2.0
4.1
14.8
2.5
2.9
10.1
33.7
41.6
1.7
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
85,560
70,929
101,231
32,505
54,665
61,103
50,242
1. Includes families with major income earner less than age 65.
2. Includes families with children less than age 18 living at home.
3. Includes families with children aged 18 and over and/or other relatives.
4. Includes families with major income earner aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
150
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Table 6.7
Membership in employer-sponsored pension plans, 1980 to 20021
Women
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1989
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Men
000s
Percentage of
employed paid
female workers
1,378
1,477
1,525
1,621
1,763
1,981
2,189
2,220
2,249
2,240
2,255
2,250
2,247
2,272
2,363
2,447
2,505
2,565
37.6
36.2
37.3
37.0
37.2
37.4
40.8
41.6
41.9
41.1
40.6
40.3
39.9
39.1
39.3
39.3
39.2
39.2
000s
Percentage of
employed paid
male workers
Women as
a percent
of all plan
members
3,098
3,181
3,039
3,047
3,082
3,128
3,129
3,025
2,966
2,930
2,895
2,866
2,842
2,819
2,905
2,984
2,966
2,962
54.2
53.7
54.7
52.9
51.0
47.0
49.2
48.1
46.8
45.3
44.0
43.4
42.9
41.9
41.9
41.8
40.9
39.9
30.8
31.7
33.4
34.7
36.4
38.8
41.2
42.3
43.1
43.3
43.8
44.0
44.2
44.6
44.9
45.1
45.8
46.4
1. At January 1st of each year.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 74-401-XPB; and Income Statistics Division.
Table 6.8
Contributors to Registered Retirement Savings Plans, 1982 to 2002
Women
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
Source:
Men
000s
Percentage
of all female
taxfilers
706.7
823.4
960.6
1,085.5
1,241.9
1,364.2
1,510.5
1,690.9
1,704.8
1,928.8
2,052.2
2,190.2
2,292.2
2,499.4
2,655.7
2,762.4
2,748.4
2,830.2
2,895.0
2,878.7
2,763.3
9.7
11.3
12.9
14.2
15.6
16.5
17.6
19.1
18.4
20.3
21.1
22.2
22.7
24.3
25.3
25.9
25.2
25.3
25.4
24.9
23.7
000s
Percentage
of all male
taxfilers
Women as a
percent of all
contributors
1,393.6
1,505.8
1,684.4
1,807.7
1,974.4
2,119.5
2,291.7
2,470.6
2,435.1
2,688.8
2,784.2
2,942.0
3,075.4
3,228.3
3,344.3
3,423.3
3,412.7
3,481.1
3,520.3
3,436.0
3,274.0
17.5
18.8
20.8
21.9
23.1
24.1
25.4
26.7
25.6
28.1
28.6
29.6
30.5
31.6
32.4
32.8
32.5
32.5
32.4
31.2
29.3
33.6
35.4
36.3
37.5
38.6
39.2
39.7
40.6
41.2
41.8
42.4
42.7
42.7
43.6
44.3
44.7
44.6
44.8
45.1
45.6
45.8
Canada Revenue Agency, Taxation Statistics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
151
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.9
Average annual earnings1 of women and men, by employment status,
1967 to 2003
Full-time, full-year workers
Women
Men
Earnings
ratio2
36,400
39,700
43,100
44,600
45,400
47,300
48,500
51,900
48,200
49,000
47,600
48,500
47,600
47,100
48,000
46,800
46,900
47,100
47,700
48,300
48,100
48,400
48,100
48,600
48,100
48,900
48,200
47,400
49,700
50,700
51,300
51,200
52,300
52,400
51,700
58.4
58.7
59.7
59.8
59.3
59.6
60.2
59.1
62.1
63.0
63.4
64.0
63.5
63.8
64.4
65.3
64.8
65.6
65.8
65.2
65.8
66.8
68.7
70.3
71.3
68.5
72.4
72.3
68.3
71.9
68.4
70.6
69.9
70.2
70.5
$
1967
1969
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
21,300
23,300
25,700
26,700
26,900
28,100
29,200
30,700
29,900
30,900
30,200
31,100
30,200
30,000
30,900
30,600
30,400
30,900
31,400
31,500
31,700
32,400
33,000
34,200
34,300
33,500
34,900
34,300
34,000
36,500
35,000
36,200
36,500
36,800
36,500
Other workers
Women
%
Men
Earnings
ratio2
15,100
19,800
17,000
17,000
17,200
18,400
19,200
20,400
17,900
17,700
18,600
17,200
17,700
16,300
15,600
15,500
14,900
15,500
15,200
15,500
16,300
15,900
15,100
14,200
14,500
14,200
14,500
15,800
15,400
16,900
16,500
20,000
17,500
17,200
16,000
50.6
46.0
50.4
51.7
52.2
53.4
50.6
52.4
60.8
58.7
58.0
61.8
62.2
63.2
62.4
70.0
70.7
74.0
76.6
74.7
73.9
70.5
70.1
76.3
73.6
78.4
76.4
76.0
81.1
72.7
77.2
68.2
78.4
78.1
80.6
$
7,600
9,100
8,600
8,800
9,000
9,800
9,700
10,700
10,900
10,400
10,800
10,600
11,000
10,300
9,700
10,800
10,500
11,500
11,600
11,600
12,000
11,200
10,600
10,900
10,700
11,100
11,100
12,000
12,500
12,300
12,700
13,700
13,700
13,500
12,900
All earners
Women
%
Men
Earnings
ratio2
30,200
32,300
34,700
35,900
36,600
37,400
38,300
40,800
38,700
38,600
38,400
38,500
37,600
35,800
36,000
35,300
36,200
36,600
36,900
37,800
38,000
37,100
36,000
35,600
35,700
36,700
36,100
36,100
37,000
38,100
38,800
40,100
40,000
40,000
39,100
46.1
45.7
46.9
46.1
46.3
47.4
48.1
46.7
50.8
50.8
51.6
51.3
53.2
54.8
54.8
57.2
56.0
57.2
57.4
57.2
58.9
58.4
60.1
61.9
62.5
60.5
63.4
63.1
61.9
62.8
62.6
61.7
62.1
62.8
63.6
$
13,900
14,800
16,200
16,600
16,900
17,800
18,400
19,100
19,700
19,600
19,800
19,800
20,000
19,600
19,700
20,200
20,200
21,000
21,200
21,700
22,400
21,700
21,700
22,100
22,300
22,200
22,900
22,700
22,900
23,900
24,300
24,700
24,800
25,100
24,800
%
1. Expressed in constant 2003 dollars.
2. Represents women’s earnings as a percentage of those of men.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
152
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Table 6.10
Average annual earnings of women and men employed full-time, full-year,
by educational attainment, 2003
Educational attainment
Women
Women’s income as
a percent of men’s
Men
$
%
Less than grade 9
Some secondary school
Secondary school graduate
Some postsecondary
Postsecondary certificate or diploma
University degree
21,700
22,900
30,500
31,500
34,200
53,400
31,200
40,000
43,000
41,600
49,800
77,500
69.4
57.3
71.0
75.6
68.6
68.9
Total
36,500
51,700
70.5
Source:
Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Table 6.11
Average annual earnings of women and men, by occupation, 2003
Full-time, full-year workers
Women
Men
$
All workers
Earnings
ratio1
Women
%
Men
$
Earnings
ratio1
%
Managerial
Administrative
Professionals
Business/finance
Natural sciences
Social sciences/religion
Teaching
Medicine/health2
Artistic/recreational
Clerical
Sales/service
Trades/transportation
Primary
Manufacturing
46,600
35,500
69,000
55,700
67.4
63.7
41,700
30,300
69,700
50,800
59.9
59.7
55,800
55,300
63,900
47,500
61,100
33,600
33,300
24,100
24,800
19,200
26,200
80,400
66,500
91,200
63,300
116,300
41,900
41,800
43,300
43,500
31,500
45,100
69.3
83.1
70.0
75.0
52.5
80.0
79.7
55.7
57.1
60.8
58.1
48,500
49,200
53,400
35,900
51,200
25,500
25,900
15,300
18,600
14,400
20,200
79,200
60,200
80,500
50,800
111,400
32,500
33,300
29,200
36,000
25,500
38,100
61.1
81.7
66.3
70.7
45.9
78.4
77.6
52.2
51.5
56.4
53.0
Total
36,500
51,700
70.5
24,800
39,100
63.6
1. Represents women’s earnings as a percentage of those of men.
2. Includes registered nurses and nurse supervisors.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
153
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.12
Average annual earnings of full-time, full-year workers, by age and marital status, 2003
Single
Married
Other1
Total
%
19,200
23,300
82.2
21,500
30,500
70.4
F
F
..
19,700
24,400
80.9
%
33,300
37,900
87.9
31,500
47,100
66.7
31,500
36,000
87.6
32,100
43,100
74.4
%
40,000
45,500
87.8
40,300
57,400
70.3
37,700
50,700
74.4
40,000
54,900
72.8
%
57,600 E
43,900
131.2
38,200
63,100
60.6
39,700
50,900
78.0
40,300
60,200
67.0
%
39,500
35,800
110.4
35,100
53,400
65.7
37,900
51,300
74.0
36,100
52,700
68.6
%
34,600
37,000
93.6
36,800
56,400
65.3
37,600
48,600
77.4
36,500
51,700
70.5
People aged
16 to 24
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
25 to 34
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
35 to 44
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
45 to 54
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
55 and over
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
Total aged 16 and over
Women
Men
Earnings ratio2
1. Includes separated/divorced and widowed.
2. Represents women’s earnings as a percentage of those of men.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
154
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Table 6.13
Females and males1 with low incomes after tax,2 1980 to 2003
Females
with low
income
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
Percentage
of females
with low
income
Males
with low
income
Percentage
of males
with low
income
Females as
a percent of
all people with
low income
000s
%
000s
%
%
1,635
1,626
1,715
1,918
1,913
1,839
1,708
1,710
1,637
1,551
1,799
1,958
1,996
2,182
2,139
2,255
2,420
2,400
2,150
2,033
2,055
1,849
1,908
1,878
13.5
13.3
13.8
15.3
15.1
14.4
13.2
13.1
12.4
11.5
13.2
14.2
14.3
15.4
14.9
15.6
16.5
16.3
14.5
13.6
13.6
12.1
12.4
12.1
1,172
1,197
1,331
1,560
1,538
1,451
1,390
1,364
1,209
1,153
1,392
1,642
1,681
1,822
1,760
1,931
2,135
2,074
1,875
1,817
1,686
1,545
1,628
1,674
9.8
9.9
10.9
12.6
12.3
11.5
10.9
10.6
9.3
8.7
10.4
12.1
12.2
13.1
12.5
13.6
14.9
14.3
12.8
12.4
11.4
10.3
10.7
10.9
58.2
57.6
56.3
55.1
55.4
55.9
55.1
55.6
57.5
57.4
56.4
54.4
54.3
54.4
54.9
53.9
53.1
53.6
53.4
52.8
54.9
54.4
54.0
52.9
1. Includes children under age 18.
2. Based on Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs, 1992 base.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
155
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.14
Percentage of females and males living in a low-income situation
after tax,1 by age, 1980 to 2003
People aged
Under 18
18 to 64
Female
Male
Women
12.5
12.7
14.5
15.4
15.9
15.6
13.5
13.7
12.4
11.8
14.3
14.7
14.8
17.1
16.3
17.9
18.1
17.5
14.9
14.1
14.2
12.2
11.8
12.1
11.6
12.1
13.6
15.8
16.0
15.5
13.9
13.5
11.9
11.6
13.2
15.2
15.1
16.4
15.4
17.3
19.1
18.0
16.0
14.7
13.4
12.0
12.7
12.6
11.8
11.4
11.9
13.7
13.9
13.1
12.3
12.2
11.4
10.8
12.5
13.9
14.2
14.9
15.0
15.4
16.6
16.7
15.0
14.0
14.1
12.8
13.1
12.7
65 and over
Men
Women
Men
8.3
8.4
9.8
11.3
11.1
10.3
10.1
9.9
8.6
8.0
10.0
11.7
12.2
12.8
12.7
13.7
14.8
14.3
12.9
12.7
11.8
10.6
11.0
11.4
26.7
26.3
23.8
24.4
20.7
19.3
17.6
16.7
17.5
15.1
14.4
14.5
13.4
14.8
11.9
12.2
13.0
11.8
11.1
10.3
10.0
8.3
9.7
8.7
14.5
14.2
9.8
12.6
10.3
8.4
8.1
7.2
6.8
6.1
5.9
6.6
5.1
7.1
4.1
3.8
5.6
5.6
5.4
4.7
4.6
4.6
4.9
4.4
%
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
1. Based on Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs, 1992 base.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
156
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 6 / Income and Earnings
Table 6.15
Percentage of families with low income after tax,1 by family type, 1980 to 2003
Non-elderly families2
Two-parent
families
with
children3
Married
couples
without
children
Lone-parent families3
Other
couples4
Female
head
Male
head
Other
families
Elderly
families5
21.5
11.6
18.9
24.4
21.3
21.2
17.5
12.9
17.5
11.7
18.1
21.3
13.1
20.1
28.2
22.9
24.8
21.4
16.8
18.1
12.3
12.3
12.2
12.6
17.8
12.1
14.7
19.2
14.9
14.3
12.4
12.9
12.5
9.5
14.1
13.1
17.4
15.3
15.7
13.6
14.7
14.5
14.2
12.0
10.8
8.7
10.8
11.6
7.2
9.4
5.7
6.9
6.9
4.8
5.1
4.2
4.8
3.7
2.6
3.0
2.9
4.4
2.8
2.4
3.3
3.9
3.9
2.9
3.1
2.5
2.9
2.7
%
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
6.9
7.2
8.2
9.2
9.2
8.8
8.2
7.7
6.3
6.3
7.2
8.3
7.8
9.5
9.2
10.7
10.8
10.3
8.5
8.1
8.3
6.9
6.5
6.6
4.6
5.0
5.7
6.7
7.0
5.9
5.9
6.3
5.1
5.1
6.9
7.9
6.6
8.0
7.8
8.1
8.4
7.6
6.7
8.0
6.9
6.4
7.1
6.5
2.0
2.1
3.2
3.3
4.2
2.9
2.9
2.6
1.8
1.8
2.4
2.9
4.1
3.1
4.2
4.2
4.3
4.1
4.1
3.1
4.3
4.8
5.0
5.0
47.7
46.0
49.1
52.1
53.0
53.5
49.0
49.5
46.5
42.5
48.6
50.0
46.6
46.8
46.7
48.5
52.7
49.3
42.9
39.4
36.3
33.8
39.4
38.4
1. Based on Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs, 1992 base.
2. Includes families with major income earner less than age 65.
3. Includes families with children less than age 18 living at home.
4. Includes families with children aged 18 and over and/or other relatives.
5. Includes families with major income earner aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
157
Women in Canada 2005
Table 6.16
Housing tenure, by household type, 2003
Single-family households
One-person households
Lone-parent familes
Two-spouse
families1
Female
head
Under age 65
Male
head
Aged 65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Tenure
Owned with mortgage
Owned without mortgage
Total owned
44.8
34.9
79.7
24.8
20.5
45.3
45.1
20.9
66.0
21.4
16.7
38.1
19.7
14.9
34.6
2.6
50.1
52.8
F
51.1
55.8
Rented
20.3
54.7
34.0
61.9
65.4
47.2
44.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
6,642.1
932.9
211.8
822.2
1,188.9
779.6
276.4
Total
Total households (000s)
1. Includes couples with and without children present in the household.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending.
158
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7
Women and the Criminal
Justice System
By Maggie Charmant, Andrea Taylor-Butts, Cory Aston, Sara Johnson,
Karen Mihorean, and Valerie Pottie-Bunge
Women as victims of crime
Traditionally, women’s involvement in the criminal justice system has been more as victims
of crime rather than as perpetrators. In 2004, women were charged with committing
17% of all crime in Canada, whereas they represented about half (51%) of all victims of
violent crime reported to a sample of police forces.1 (Table 7.1)
Common assaults make up the largest share of violent offences committed against
women. In 2004, 53% of all women who were victims of a violent offence were victims of
a common assault, while 13% were victims of a sexual assault, 11% were victims of an
assault with a weapon causing bodily harm, 10% were victims of criminal harassment,
and 8% were robbery victims.
When looking at gender difference, women are considerably more likely than men
to be victims of violent crimes such as sexual assault and criminal harassment. In 2004,
there were over six times as many female victims of sexual assault as male victims. Similarly,
women were over three times more likely than men to be victims of criminal harassment.
According to police-reported data, women are more likely to be victimized by
someone they know than their male counterparts. In 2004, relatives or acquaintances
made up 70% of the assailants in violent incidents against women, compared with 46%
of those committed against men. In contrast, female victims were only half as likely as
male victims, 22% versus 42%, to be victimized by a stranger.
In comparison with men, female victims of violent crime are more often victimized
by a current or former spouse, a current or former partner in a dating relationship, or a
family member. In 2004, 40% of female victims were victimized by someone with whom
they had a relationship at one point in time, through either marriage or dating, compared
with 8% of male victims. Another 8% of females were victimized by other family members,
such as aunts, uncles, sisters, or brothers, while close friends or business acquaintances
represented 8% of the perpetrators of violent crimes against women. In comparison, 5%
of male victims of violent crime were victimized by family member other than a spouse
or dating partner, while 10% were victimized by a friend or business acquaintance.
The prevalence of spousal violence
Statistics Canada has collected data on spousal violence against women and men through
the General Social Surveys on Victimization in 1999 and again in 2004. What both
these surveys indicated was that relatively equal proportions of women and men
experienced some form of physical or sexual violence by a common-law or marital partner
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
159
Women in Canada 2005
in the five years prior to the survey. However, women and men experience very different
types of spousal violence and the impact of the violence is more serious for women than
men.
There has been no change in the overall level of spousal violence reported by those
who were married or living common-law during the past five years. In 2004, 653,000
women aged 15 and over, 7% of those in either a current or previous marital or commonlaw union, experienced spousal violence in the past five years. This estimate was basically
unchanged from 1999. As well, the percentage of women reporting spousal violence by a
spouse or common-law partner was about the same as that for their male counterparts,
6% of whom reported such violence in 2004.2
Women who had been in contact with a previous partner in the five-year period
before the survey are considerately more likely than those in a current relationship to be
victims of spousal violence. In 2004, 21% of women who had been in contact with a
former spouse in this time period reported some form of abuse, whereas this was the case
for 3% of women in a current relationship. (Chart 7.1)
Chart 7.1
Proportion of women and men reporting spousal violence1
in the previous 5 years, 1999 and 2004
%
30
25
20
15
10
Current unions
5
Previous unions
0
Total
2004
1999
Females
1999
2004
Males
1. Includes common-law partners. Excludes people who refused to state their marital status.
Source: Statistics Canada, 1999 and 2004 General Social Survey.
Women were also somewhat more likely than their male counterparts to be victims
of spousal violence from a former spouse or partner. In 2004, 16% of men who had been
in contact with their former spouse or partner self-reported violence and 4% of men in
current relationships indicated experiencing violence.3 In contrast, there was almost no
difference in the rates of spousal violence reported by women and men in a current
relationship.
The proportion of women experiencing spousal violence at the hands of a former
spouse or partner, though, has declined in recent years. As indicated above, in 2004,
21% of women who had been in contact with a previous partner in the five-year period
before the survey reported some form of abuse, down from 28% in 1999. Similarly, the
share of men reporting some form of spousal abuse from a former partner declined from
22% to 16% in the same period.
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Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
While the overall incidence rates of spousal violence experienced by women and
men are similar, women are more likely to experience more serious forms of violence.
The greatest proportion of both abused women and men indicated that the most serious
violence they experienced was being pushed, shoved or slapped (40% and 34%). However,
23% of female victims of spousal violence reported that the most serious violence used
against them involved being beaten, choked, or threatened with or had a gun or knife
used against them, compared with 15% of their male counterparts. At the same time,
16% of female victims, versus a statistically insignificant share of male victims, reported
they had been sexually assaulted. Men victims, on the other hand, were more likely than
women victims to report that the most serious violence they experienced was being kicked,
bitten, hit or hit with something: 34% versus 10%. (Chart 7.2)
Chart 7.2
Most serious form of spousal violence1 reported by women
and men in the past 5 years, 2004
Threatened, threw something
Pushed, shoved, slapped
Kicked, bit, hit, hit with something
Beaten, choked, threatened with
gun/knife, or sexual assaulted
Sexually assaulted
F
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
%
Females
Males
1.
Figures may not add up to 100 due to rounding. Includes women and men who experienced violence by a current
or previous partner in the past 5-year period.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2004 General Social Survey.
Women are also more likely than men to experience repeated violence at the hands
of a current or former partner. In 2004, 57% of female victims reported that they had
been victimized more than once, compared with 50% of male victims. As well, women
were almost twice as likely to report that they had been the targets of more than 10
violent incidents at the hands of their partner, than were of male victims ( 21% versus 11%).
Since women are more likely than men to report more serious types of violence, as
well as repeated episodes of violence by a marital or common-law partner, it is not
surprising that women are also more likely to suffer physical injury. In 2004, over four in
10 (44%) of female victims reported they had been injured as a result of the violence,
whereas this was the case for 19% of male spousal-violence victims. (Table 7.3)
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161
Women in Canada 2005
Women are also more likely than men to seek medical attention as a result of
spousal violence. In 2004, 13% of women who had been victims of spousal violence in
the five-year period prior to the survey indicated that they had sought medical attention,
compared with 2% of male victims.
Female victims of spousal violence were also more than three times more likely
than male victims to fear for their lives. In 2004, 34% of female victims of spousal violence,
versus 10% of their male counterparts, said that they had feared for their lives at some
point.
Among female victims of spousal violence cuts and bruises are the injuries most
frequently reported. Of female victims of spousal violence in the five years prior to the
2004 survey who had been injured, 95% said they had been bruised, while 35% had been
cut. (Chart 7.3)
Chart 7.3
Types of injuries suffered by women and men injured in incidents
of spousal violence in the past 5 years, 2004
% of spousal violence victims injured
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
Female
20
10
F
0
Bruise
Source:
Cuts/
Scratches/
Burns
Fractures
F
Broken
bones
F
Internal
injuries
Male
Miscarriage
Statistics Canada, 1999 and 2004 General Social Survey.
While women who had been injured were more likely to say that they had been
bruised than men, men were more likely to have been cut. These results are consistent
with police-reported data that reveal that women in cases of spousal violence are more
likely to rely on weapons than men, while men are more likely to use physical force.
At the same time, female victims of spousal violence are more likely than their
male counterparts to report severe injuries, such as fractures and broken bones. As well,
approximately 8% of women who were injured reported that they had suffered a
miscarriage because of the violence.
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Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Aboriginal women more likely to suffer spousal violence
Aboriginal women are more than three times more likely to report being
victims of spousal violence than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.4 In
2004, 24% of Aboriginal women reported they had been the victims of some
form of spousal violence in the previous five years, compared with 7% of
non-Aboriginal women. (Chart 7.4)
Chart 7.4
Rates of spousal violence1 reported by Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal women and men, 1999 and 2004
%
30
25
20
E
15
E
10
Female
5
0
Male
1999
2004
Aboriginal
1999
2004
Non-Aboriginal
1. Includes common-law partners but excludes those who refused to state their marital status.
Source: Statistics Canada, 1999 and 2004 General Social Survey.
Female Aboriginal victims of spousal violence also experience more serious
forms of violence at the hands of their intimate partners than do nonAboriginal women. For example, in 2004, 41% of female Aboriginal victims
stated that they had either been beaten, choked, sexually assaulted,
threatened, or had a gun or knife used against them, versus 27% of nonAboriginal female victims.
While spousal violence may often not leave a physical mark or injury, it can have
lasting emotional impact for both male and female victims. For example, female victims
of spousal violence were much more likely than male victims to report they were either
fearful in general because of the violence, or depressed, or suffered from anxiety attacks.
In fact, 30% of all female victims of spousal violence in the five-year period prior to
2004, compared with 5% of their male counterparts, said they were fearful in general
because of the violence. At the same time, over twice as many female victims (21%) as
male victims (9%) suffered from anxiety or depression because of the attacks. Women
were also more likely than male victims of spousal violence to report being more cautious/
aware after the attacks; to have sleeping problems; feeling ashamed or guilty; afraid for
the children; more self-reliant; and to have problems relating to other men/women. In
contrast, only 6% of female victims of spousal violence in the five-year period prior to
2004 said not much when asked how the violence affected them overall, whereas 30% of
male victims gave this as a response.
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163
Women in Canada 2005
Women as victims of stalking
Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior that involves repeated and
unwanted intrusive actions which bring about fear and intimidation for its
victims. Examples of stalking include being followed or spied on, or
receiving threatening and/or unwanted phone calls, e-mails, letters, and
unwanted gifts.
Statistics Canada measured the prevalence of stalking for the first time
in the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization and found that
women are more likely to be victims of stalking than men. In fact, an
estimated 1.4 million women, more than one in 10 of the total female
population, reported that they had been stalked in the five years preceding
the survey in a way that caused them to fear for their lives or the safety of
someone known to them. In 2004, 11% of all women reported that they had
experienced stalking in the previous five years, compared with 7% of the
male population.
More than one-half (52%) of female stalking victims reported that their
stalker phoned them repeatedly or made silent or obscene phone calls, while
34% reported being spied on and another 34% said they had been
intimidated or threatened.
Results from the 2004 GSS clearly indicate that stalking victims know
their stalkers. Female stalking victims were most often harassed by a friend
(22%), or an intimate partner, that is either a current or former partner
(20%), or a person known only by sight (12%). In fact, female stalking
victims were almost twice as likely as their male counterparts to be stalked
by a current or former intimate partner, 20% versus 11%, while they were
also somewhat more likely, 16% compared with 12%, to be harassed by
someone known only by sight. In contrast, male stalking victims were
slightly more likely than female victims to be stalked by a friend: 25%
versus 22%.
Women at greater risk of spousal homicide.
Women are less than half as likely as men to be murdered (Table 7.4). As with other
types of victimization, however, women are much more likely than male victims to be
killed by someone they know rather than by a stranger. Indeed, in 2004, 94% of female
homicide victims were killed by either a family member or other acquaintance, whereas
this was the case for 79% of male victims. In contrast, only 6% of female homicide
victims were killed by a stranger, versus 21% of their male counterparts.
Specifically, of all solved homicides in 2004 with a female victim, 59% were
committed by a family member. Indeed, 37% of all female homicide victims that year
were killed by a current spouse (28%) or ex-spouse (9%). In contrast, only 4% of male
homicide victims were killed by their spouse or former spouse. In fact, women made up
84% of all victims of spousal homicide in 2004, whereas they accounted for only 28% of
all other homicide victims.
While the number of women killed annually by a current or former spouse continues
to be higher than the number of men killed by a spouse, the spousal homicide rate has
fallen for both women and men over the past two and a half decades. In 2004, for example,
seven wives were murdered for every million couples, half the figure in 1977. In the same
period, the incidence of spousal homicide among men dipped by over 60%. (Chart 7.5)
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Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Chart 7.5
Spousal homicide rate,1 1977 to 2003
Per million spouses
16
14
Female victims
12
10
8
6
Male victims
4
2
0
1977
1979
1981
1983
1985
1987
1989
1991
1993
1995
1997
1999
2001
2003
1. Rate per 1,000,000 legally married, common-law, separated and divorced couples 15 years of age and older.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division and Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Almost all spousal homicide-suicide victims are wives
Between 1961 and 2004, there were a total of 873 spousal homicides in Canada5 in
which the chargeable suspect committed suicide.6 Of these spousal murder-suicides,
wives were the victims in 97% of the cases, whereas husbands were the victims in only 3%.
As well, many instances of homicide-suicide involve a history of spousal violence.
Of the 271 men7 accused of spousal homicide-suicides between 1991 and 2004, police
reported that four out of 10 (43%) had a known history of family violence. This was
especially pronounced for separated couples. There was, for example, a known history of
family violence in 64% of cases of homicide-suicide between 1991 and 2004 in which
the couple was separated.
Women victims of spousal violence more likely to turn to
formal help agencies
Since women who are victims of spousal violence are more likely than male victims to be
injured and to suffer more serious and repeated incidents of violence, it is not surprising
that a larger proportion of female spousal-violence victims seek out help from various
formal helping agencies or supports. They are also more likely to turn to the police and
obtain restraining orders against their partner than male spousal-violence victims.
According to the 2004 General Social Survey, female victims of spousal violence
are more than twice as likely as male victims to turn to a social service agency for help.
That year, almost half of all female victims of spousal violence (47%), versus only 20% of
male victims, turned to a social agency for support.
Female victims of spousal violence are the most likely to use the services of a
counsellor or psychologist. In 2004, 28% of women victimized by spousal violence
contacted one of these types of professionals, while 11% stayed at a transition home,
10% used a crisis centre or crisis line, 9% got help from a community or family centre,
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165
Women in Canada 2005
8% employed the services of a women’s centre, and 5% turned to a police or court-based
victim service.8
In addition, cases of spousal violence perpetrated against women are much more
likely than those committed against men to come to the attention of the police. In 2004,
37% of all incidents of spousal violence committed against women were reported to the
police, versus 17% of cases in which a male was the victim.
According to the 2004 GSS there are differences in the actions that police take in
cases of spousal violence depending on whether the victim is female or male. For example,
in almost half of all cases involving a female victim (48%), the abuser was removed from
the home by police, compared with 32% of cases involving a male victim. Similarly,
police made an arrest or laid a charge in 41% of instances of wife assault, twice the figure
in which the husband was the victim (21%). (Chart 7.6)
Chart 7.6
Police action in cases of spousal assault, 2004
Visit the scene
Make a report/investigation
Give warning
Take abuser away
Arrest/lay charges
Other action
0
10
Female victim
Source:
20
30
40
50
60
% of cases reported to the police
70
80
90
Male victim
Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
There was also a significant difference in the likelihood of female and male victims
of spousal violence seeking restraining or protective orders from the courts. For example,
in 2004, female victims of spousal violence who had reported the violence to the police
were more than twice as likely to seek the protection of a restraining or protective order
as were their male counterparts: 38% versus 15%.9
Eight in 10 abused women in shelters were there to escape a
current or former spouse/common law partner
In Canada, the establishment of shelters as a refuge for women fleeing abusive situations
dates back to the 1970s. Since then, the number of shelters has increased considerably,
rising from fewer than 20 known facilities in operation that provided residential services
to abused women and their children in 1975 to over 500 by 2004.
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Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
According to the Transition Home Survey, a national survey of 473 facilities
providing residential services to abused women and their children, there were more than
95,000 admissions of women and dependent children to shelters across Canada between
April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004.
While some residents may have used shelters for reasons other than to escape
domestic violence, such as lack of affordable or available housing, drug or alcohol addiction,
or mental health problems, the majority of women and children admitted to shelters
were fleeing an abusive situation. Specifically, a one-day snapshot of shelters indicates
that more than three-quarters (76%) of women and 88% of children staying in shelters
on April 14, 2004, were there to escape abuse.
Most abused women were fleeing the abuse of a current or former spouse/common
law partner. Of women fleeing abuse staying in a shelter on April 14, 2004, 38% were
fleeing a common-law partner, while 28% were escaping a marital spouse, and 13% were
fleeing from a former spouse or partner. (Chart 7.7)
Chart 7.7
Distribution of abused women in shelters on April 14, 2004,
by relationship to abuser
%
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Spouse
Common-law
partner
Ex-spouse/
Ex-partner
Dating/
Ex-dating
Relative
Other
Relationship
unknown
Relationship between abused woman and abuser
Source:
Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Due to the often cyclical nature of domestic violence, women involved in abusive
relationships are often caught in a revolving door of abuse and refuge. Data from the
Transition Home Survey show that nearly one-third (31%) of all women in shelters on
April 14, 2004 had been there before, with nearly 90% of re-admissions occurring within
the previous year. Specifically, four in 10 women had been to the shelter in which they
were currently staying once before during the previous year and nearly the same proportion
(38%) had two to four prior admissions, while 9% had been re-admitted five or more
times in the previous year.
Most women leaving shelters do not plan to return to their abusive spouse or partner.
Of the women who left a shelter on April 14, 2004, only about one in 10 (11%) planned
to return to their spouse or partner, while 62% intended to depart for another destination.
Specifically, over one-fifth (21%) of women leaving on that day left for another shelter10
and nearly the same proportion left for new accommodations without their spouse or
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167
Women in Canada 2005
partner (18%). At the same time, one in 10 women (11%) went to stay with friends or
relatives, while 5% returned home without their spouse or partner and 7% left for some
other housing arrangement. The destination of the remaining 27% of women leaving
these shelters that day was unknown.
In addition to the residential services offered by shelters, there are a number of
non-residential agencies to which victims of domestic violence can turn for help. For
instance, according to the Victim Services Survey, about two-thirds of victim services
agencies across Canada are mandated to serve adult victims of spousal abuse and 63%
targeted adult victims of other domestic violence.11 Many of these agencies assist victims
of domestic violence by offering information, emotional support, liaison services, safety
planning, court accompaniment, as well as a variety of other services.
According to the one-day snapshot of the Victim Services Survey taken October
22, 2003, one-third of all victims of all types of crime served by victim services agencies
were the victims of spousal violence, and 94% of these victims were female.
Women as offenders
The level of women’s involvement in criminal activities is relatively low in comparison to
their male counterparts. In 2004, women made up 18% of adults charged with criminal
code offences. That year, just over 75,000 adult women were charged with a criminal
code offence. (Table 7.5)
Women as a proportion of adults charged with criminal activity has risen somewhat
in the past few decades. In 2004, women made up 18% of all adults charged with a
criminal code offence, up from 14% in 1977. (Chart 7.8)
Chart 7.8
Women as a percentage of adults charged with all criminal code offences,1
1977 to 2004
%
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1977
1980
1983
1986
1989
1992
1995
1998
2001
2004
1. Excludes traffic offences.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
168
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Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Women generally make up a greater share of those charged with property offences
than violent offences. In 2004, women represented 23% of those charged with property
offences, versus 16% of those charged with a violent crime. In fact, women are consistently
more likely than men to be charged with property offences than they are with violent
offences such as homicide, assault, sexual assault or robbery. That year, for example, 32%
of all adult women charged with a crime were charged with a property offence, compared
with 22% of men. (Table 7.5)
Moreover, the vast majority of property crimes for which women are charged involve
either theft under $5,000 or fraud. In 2004, 31% of all criminal code offences charged
against women were for these offences, compared with only 17% of charges against men.
In contrast, men were more likely than women to be charged with break and enter and
other types of personal theft.
As with men, common assaults make up the large majority of violent charges against
women. In 2004, 62% of all violent charges against women were for common assault.
That year, women made up 18% of all those charged with simple assault. In contrast, the
proportion of women charged with most other forms of violent crimes such as robbery
(11%) and sexual assault (2%) was very low. The exception to this pattern is the relatively
rare crime of abduction in which 56% of persons charged were female.
Adult women also account for a relatively large share of those charged with
prostitution. In 2004, just under half (47%) of adults charged with prostitution were
women. On the other hand, women made up only 15% of those charged with drug
offences that year.
Young female offenders
Women between the ages of 15 and 18 years old have much higher levels of criminal
activity than adult women. In 2004, there were 2,898 crimes for every 100,000 women
15 to 18, compared with a rate of 631 per 100,000 among women aged 19 and over. In
fact, women aged 15 to 18 committed 22% of all property offences and 19% of violent
offences that year, whereas they only represented 5% of the total population.
Crime rates among young women, though, are still much lower than they are among
their male counterparts. In 2004, there were 2,147 crimes per 100,000 charged against
females aged 15 to 18, compared with a rate of 10,084 among young men in this age
range.
Young women are more proportionally likely than their older counterparts to engage
in violent crimes. Women aged 12 to 17, for example, made up 26% of all youths charged
with violent offences, whereas adult women made up only 16% of those aged 18 and
over charged with violent crimes. At the same time, young women aged 12 to 17 made
up 28% of youths charged with property crimes.
Women and homicide
Women make up a relatively small share of people accused of homicide. Among the 622
homicide incidents reported by police in 2004, only one in 10 of those accused of these
crimes was female. That year, there were 58 women accused of committing a homicide,
compared with 508 accused men.
Adult women under the age of 40 are the most likely to be accused of murder. In
2004, there were 0.9 murder charges for every 100,000 women aged 18 to 24, 25 to 29
and 30 to 39, whereas the murder rates were 0.2 or below for those in older age ranges.
In all age ranges, homicide rates for women are well below those of men. (Chart 7.9)
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169
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 7.9
Women and men charged with homicide per 100,000 population,
by age, 2004
%
14
12
10
8
6
4
Females
2
Males
0
12 to 17
18 to 24
25 to 29
30 to 39
40 to 49
Age group
Source:
50 to 59
60 and
over
Total
Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Female offenders in the courts
Since women make up a minority of those charged with criminal activity, they also
represent a relatively small proportion of those dealt with by the courts. In 2003/04,
15% of the cases completed in adult criminal courts involved female defendants. As
well, women who do appear in court are somewhat less likely than their male counterparts
to be found guilty. In 2003/04, just over half (51%) of the cases against women resulted
in a conviction, compared with a figure of 59% for men.
In addition, because women generally commit less serious crimes than men, they
are more likely than their male counterparts to be sentenced to probation. In 2003/04,
40% of women convicted of an offence were given probation as their most serious sentence,
compared with 29% of men found guilty. In contrast, women were less likely than their
male counterparts to be sentenced to prison: 26% versus 38%. (Chart 7.10)
Women who are sent to jail typically receive shorter sentences than their male
counterparts. In 2003, for example, the mean term for women sent to prison was 63 days,
nearly half the figure for men whose mean prison term was 120 days. The fact that
women receive shorter sentences than men is consistent across all offences, with the
exception of attempted murder, criminal harassment, and drug trafficking.
170
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Chart 7.10
Distribution of most serious sentence of adult offenders,1
2002-03
%
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Females
5
Males
0
Prison
Probation
Fine
Conditional
sentences
Other2
1.
Based on the most serious sentence for those aged 18 years and over. The data represent approximately 80% of the
caseload in adult provincial/territorial criminal courts.
2. Includes restitution and compensation.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Women small part of adults under correctional supervision
Women have historically represented a relatively small proportion of the correctional
population in Canada. In 2003/04, women represented just 9% of those admitted to
provincial or territorial custodial institutions. They also made up 17% of probation intakes.
Both figures have varied little over the last 10 years.
Women constitute an even smaller proportion of admissions to the federal
corrections system. In 2003/04, just 6% of those admitted to federal penitentiary were
female, although this is double the figure in 1994/95 when women made up 3% of those
admitted to federal penitentiaries.
Aboriginal representation among women admitted to provincial and territorial
institutions was higher than that of men. In 2003/04, 27%12 of remanded women and
31% of provincially/territorially sentenced women were Aboriginal. In comparison, 16%
of male remand admissions and 20% of male sentenced custody admissions were
Aboriginal. It is also important to note that this Aboriginal representation among women
has increased substantially from ten years ago, from 17% in 1994/95 to 27% in 2003/04
for remand, and from 26% to 31% for provincial/territorial sentenced admissions.
Women held in provincial and territorial correctional institutions were slightly
older than men. For example, 65% of women admitted to remand and 63% of women
admitted to sentenced custody were between the ages of 25 and 44. This compared to
58% of male admissions to remand and 56% of male sentenced admissions. Slightly
fewer women admitted to remand or sentenced custody were 18 to 24 years or 45 years
or older.
As described earlier, women represent a relatively small proportion of those dealt
with by the courts, proportionately fewer convictions, and receive shorter prison sentences
than men. This finding is echoed in the amount of time that women serve in provincial
or territorial institutions compared to men, where a larger proportion of men serve longer
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
171
Women in Canada 2005
periods in sentenced custody than women. In 2003/04, while 70% of women admitted
to sentenced custody spent 31 days or less in provincial or territorial institutions, only
54% of sentenced men had served 31 days or less in prison. In addition, women were
more likely than men to have spent shorter periods of time in remand. For example,
62% of women compared to 54% of men had spent 7 days or less on remand.
Characteristics of Women under Correctional
Supervision in Three Provinces
In total 1,908 women were under adult correctional supervision in
Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in 2003/
04, compared to 11,140 males in these provincial correctional systems.13
Among the total of 1,908 women supervised in correctional services in these
jurisdictions during 2003/04, the most common legal status was consistently
probation (58%, 1,089). The next most common legal status was sentenced
custody (19%, 361), followed by remand (16%, 310) and conditional
sentences (16%, 307).
Women were approximately the same age (31 years of age), had similar
marital statuses, and had completed a similar level of education as men in
these correctional systems. However, relative to males, females were
substantially less likely to be employed (28% versus 45%), but considerably
more likely to have an ‘other – not employed’ status at admission. This refers
to those who were not in the work force for unknown reasons, but excludes
those who were students or retirees. It is particularly notable that only 11%
of women held in remand were employed as compared to one-quarter or
more of all other legal statuses (25% - sentenced custody, 30% - conditional
sentences, 33% - probation).
Approximately three out of ten (30%) women in the correctional system
of these three jurisdictions had a violent offence as their most serious
offence, compared to nearly four out of ten men (37%). On the other hand,
more women than men had a property offence as their most serious offence
(33% versus 20%).
Offence profiles of women in remand, sentenced custody and probation
showed some important differences. For example, 44% of women remanded
to custody had a violent offence, of which almost half were for serious
violent offences. Approximately one-third of female probationers had a
violent offence, of which more than half were for common assault. In
comparison, about 23% of those serving conditional sentences and 21% of
those serving a period of sentenced custody had a violent offence as their
most serious offence.
Women were most likely to be serving conditional sentences (45%) or
probation (39%) for property related offences. In comparison,
approximately one-quarter (27%) of women in remand or in sentenced
custody had property offences as their most serious offence. About onequarter (22%) of women in sentenced custody had a criminal code traffic
offence, such as dangerous driving causing death, and driving while
intoxicated, as their most serious offence. This was more than double the
proportion of those on conditional sentences (8%), probation (6%) or
remand (1%).
172
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Women in justice-related occupations
The number of females working as police officers, judges, lawyers, paralegals, probation
and parole officers, and correctional service officers has grown over the past decades. By
2004, there were nearly 10,000 female police officers, constituting nearly 17% of all
police officers in Canada. This is up from just 4% in 1986 and 12% as recently as 1998.
(Table 7.6).
In fact, women have accounted for almost all the growth in the number of police
officers in recent years. In the period between 2000 and 2004, the number of female
officers increased 29%, while the number of male officers inched up by only 3%. Currently,
there are nearly five times as many women working as police officers as there were two
decades ago. In comparison, the number of male officers has remained fairly stable over
this same time period.
Canada has also done well in the recruitment of female police officers when
compared with other nations. In an international comparison of 25 countries with the
highest percentage of female police officers in 2000, Canada ranked seventh,14 ahead of
the United States which ranked 13th, but behind countries such as Sweden, Norway and
England and Wales.
There have also been increases in the representation of women among higher police
ranks. In 2004, women represented 5% of senior officers,15 up from 2% in the late 1990s
and less than 1% in the early 1990s. Indeed, the number of women among senior officers
has increased ten-fold since 1991. In the same period, women as a proportion of noncommissioned police officers16 has risen from a half a per cent in the mid 1980s to
almost 10% today.
As a result of female police recruitment in recent years, female officers tend to be
younger than their male counterparts. In 2001, more than half of all female police officers
were under the age of 35, compared to less than a third of male officers. However, with
the growing representation of women among police officers and continued careers in
law enforcement, as evidenced by their advancement into higher police ranks, this age
difference between female and male officers is expected to diminish.
Female police officers also tend to have higher levels of education, on average, than
do their male counterparts. In 2001, about one-quarter (27%) of female officers had
earned a university degree, compared with 17% of male officers. At the same time, though,
female (42%) and male (41%) officers were about as likely to have earned a college
diploma or certificate.
The higher level of educational attainment for female police officers might be
explained, at least partially, by the fact that police departments across the country generally
recruit officers with higher levels of educational achievement. However, even among
police recruits under the age of 25, the most likely to have recently entered policing,
female police officers still have higher levels of education than their male counterparts.
There has also been notable growth in the number of women working in other
occupations in the field of criminal justice, such as judges, lawyers, paralegals, probation
and parole officers, and correctional service officers. In 2001, women made up 21% of
judges, up from 14% a decade earlier. Similarly, more than a third (35%) of lawyers and
Quebec notaries were women in 2001, up from 27% in 1991. Women have also become
prominent among correctional service workers. In 2001, 29% of correctional officers
were women, up from 22% in 1991. (Table 7.7)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
173
Women in Canada 2005
Women continue to make up the majority of paralegals and probation and parole
officers. Indeed, in 2001, 81% of paralegals were female, up from 76% a decade earlier.
At the same time, women made up 54% of all probation and parole officers in 2001,
compared with 50% in 1991.
Maggie Charmant, Andrea Taylor-Butts, Cory Aston, Sara Johnson, Karen
Mihorean, and Valerie Pottie-Bunge are analysts with the Canadian Centre for Justice
Statistics
Notes
1.
174
These data are from a non-random sample of 120 police agencies, representing 58% of the national volume of
crime.
2.
The difference between these numbers is statistically significant.
3.
There is no statistical difference between the 3% of women in current relationships who experienced violence
and the 4% of men in current relationships who experienced violence.
4.
Readers are cautioned that the results of the survey describe rates of violence committed against those who
self-identified as Aboriginal, but they do not distinguish the identity of the perpetrator. In addition, this
analysis does not include data from the three territories where high concentrations of Aboriginal people live.
Ideally, the following analysis examining spousal violence rates of Aboriginal people would be conducted by
comparing groups with similar socio-economic conditions. However, the sample size of the GSS is too small
to support such detailed analysis.
5.
This is an underestimate of the actual number of homicide victims during this time period because prior to
1974, infanticides and manslaughters were not recorded by the Homicide Survey.
6.
For the purpose of this discussion, a homicide-suicide is defined as those homicide incidents cleared by suicide
by police. The term homicide-suicide is used as opposed to murder-suicide because in the Canadian context,
“murder” refers to a restricted set of incidents that do not include infanticide or manslaughter. As suicides
following infanticides and manslaughters are included in this examination, we have chosen to refer to the
general phenomenon as homicide-suicide.
7.
Another 17 cases were excluded for having an unknown history of domestic violence. Since 1991 the Homicide
Survey has been collecting data on whether or not a history of family violence between the suspect and victim
was previously known to the police. It is important to note that the Homicide Survey does not identify the
perpetrator of the violence, only that a history or pattern of violence between one of the victims and the
accused person was present.
8.
Only those victims who turn to the criminal justice system for help would have access to police-based or courtbased victim services.
9.
Use with caution, coefficient of variation is high (16.6% to 33.3%).
10.
This figure includes second stage housing, another emergency shelter or an out-of-province/territory shelter.
11.
Adult victims of other domestic violence include adults who have experienced violence in the home by someone
with whom they reside, other than by a partner. This includes adult secondary victims who have witnessed
domestic violence, including witnessing partner abuse among a couple (e.g. an adult child who has witnessed
the abuse of their mother by their father; a mother who has witnessed the abuse of her adult daughter by her
son-in-law, etc.).
12.
In order to allow for year-to-year comparisons, these values exclude Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince
Edward Island, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories and Nunavut due to missing data for some years.
13.
This represents the unique number of people who were involved in correctional services in 2003/04. However,
persons may be involved in more than one type of correctional supervision in 2003/04, and therefore, counts
are not mutually exclusive.
14.
Economic and Social Data Ranking, OECD: Share of female police personnel, 2000; United Nations Office
on Drugs and Crime.
15.
Senior officers include police officers who have achieved the rank of lieutenant or higher.
16.
Non-commissioned officers include police officers between the rank of constable and lieutenant, such as sergeant
and corporal.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Table 7.1
Victims of selected violent crimes, by type of crime, 20041
Female victims
Male victims
Total
%
Total
%
Female victims
as a percent of
all victims
Homicide
Attempted murder
Sexual assaults – all levels
Other sexual offences
Aggravated assault
Assault with a weapon causing bodily harm
Common assault
Other assaults
Kidnapping/abduction2
Robbery
Extortion
Criminal harassment
Other violent offences
122
139
11,738
1,273
330
10,009
48,439
380
2,111
7,715
191
9,145
147
0.1
0.2
12.8
1.4
0.4
10.9
52.8
0.4
2.3
8.4
0.2
10.0
0.2
244
387
1,900
356
1,278
19,138
46,146
1,014
929
13,930
498
2,838
162
0.3
0.4
2.2
0.4
1.4
21.7
52.4
1.2
0.2
15.8
0.6
3.2
0.2
33.3
26.4
86.1
78.1
20.5
34.3
51.2
27.3
69.4
35.6
27.7
76.3
47.6
Total
91,739
100.0
88,820
100.0
50.8
1.
These data are from a non-random sample of 120 police agencies, representing 58% of the national volume of crime. Incidents where the age of the
victim is unknown were excluded.
2. Includes kidnapping; abduction under 14, not parent/guardian; abduction under 16; removal of children from Canada; abduction under 14 contravening
a custody order; abduction under 14, by parent/guardian
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Table 7.2
Age distribution of victims of selected violent crime, by type of offence, 20041
Female victims
Male victims
Aged
Aged
Under 12
12 to 17
18 and over
Total
Under 12
12 to 17
18 and over
Total
11
4
18
42
5
4
3
6
9
1
1
1
39
..
4
34
40
11
14
14
13
13
11
11
9
11
89
93
47
17
84
83
83
81
78
88
88
90
50
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
5
1
49
66
2
4
7
4
19
2
1
2
49
2
7
27
25
11
16
19
4
13
25
17
10
8
93
93
23
9
87
80
73
91
67
74
81
87
43
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
6
16
78
100
7
19
74
100
%
Homicide
Attempted murder
Sexual assaults – all levels
Other sexual offences
Aggravated assault
Assault with a weapon causing bodily harm
Common assault
Other assaults
Kidnapping/abduction2
Robbery
Extortion
Criminal harassment
Other violent offences
Total
1.
These data are from a non-random sample of 120 police agencies, representing 58% of the national volume of crime. Incidents where the age of the
victim is unknown were excluded.
2. Includes kidnapping; abduction under 14, not parent/guardian; abduction under 16; removal of children from Canada; abduction under 14 contravening
a custody order; abduction under 14, by parent/guardian
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
175
Women in Canada 2005
Table 7.3
Severity of spousal violence reported by female and male victims
in the past five years, 1999 and 20041
Female victims
1999
Male victims
2004
1999
2004
Severity of the violence
Total
(000s)
%
Total
(000s)
%
Total
(000s)
%
Total
(000s)
%
Percent injured
Physical injury
No physical injury
Not stated/Don’t know
Total
279
396
15
690
40.4
57.4
2.2E
100.0
285
368
F
653
43.6
56.4
F
100.0
72
462
15
549
13.1
84.2
3.0
100.0
101
444
F
546
18.5
81.3
F
100.0
Percent receiving medical attention
Received medical attention
Did not receive medical attention
No physical injury
Not stated/Don’t know
Total
104
174
396
16
690
15.1
25.2
57.0
2E
100.0
85
199
368
F
653
13.0
30.5
56.4
F
100.0
15
57
462
15
549
2.7E
10.4
84.0
3E
100.0
13
88
444
F
546
2.3E
16.1
81.3
F
100.0
Percent fearing for their lives
Feared for their life
Did not fear for their life
Not stated/Don’t know
Total
259
414
16
690
37.5
60.0
2.3E
100.0
224
426
F
653
34.3
65.2
F
100.0
41
490
19
549
7.4E
89.2
3.4E
100.0
54
489
F
546
9.9
89.6
F
100.0
Total spousal violence
690
100.0
653
100.0
549
100.0
546
100.0
1. Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding.
Source: Statistics Canada, 1999 and 2004 General Social Survey.
176
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Table 7.4
Female and male victims of homicide, by relation to accused, 2004
Female victims
Male victims
Number
%5
Number
%5
47
15
62
27.6
8.8
36.5
11
1
12
3.8
0.3
4.1
19
8
11
38
11.2
4.7
6.5
22.4
17
9
22
48
5.8
3.1
7.6
16.5
100
58.8
60
20.6
Acquaintances
Intimate Relationship2
Criminal relationship3
Casual acquaintance
Other aquaintances4
13
9
22
16
7.6
5.3
12.9
9.4
9
29
93
39
3.1
10.0
32.0
13.4
Total acquaintances
60
35.3
170
58.4
Other
Stranger
10
5.9
61
21.0
170
100.0
291
100.0
28
...
133
...
198
...
424
...
Relationship of accused to victim
Family
Spousal relationship
Spouse
Ex-spouse
Total spouse
Non-spousal relationship
Parent
Child
Other family relation1
Total non-spousal
Total family
Total solved homicides
Unsolved homicides
Total homicides
1. Other family includes siblings and all others related by bood, marriage (including common-law), adoption or foster care.
2. Intimate relationships include boyfriends, girlfriends, extra-marital lovers, estranged lovers etc.
3. Criminal relationships include prostitutes, drug dealers and their clients.
4. Other acquaintances include close friends, neighbours, authority figures and business relationships.
5. All percentages are in terms of solved homicides.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
177
Women in Canada 2005
Table 7.5
Adult women and men charged, by type of crime, 2004
Women
Men
Total
charged
Percent of
adults charged
Total
charged
Percent of
adults charged
Violent offences
Homicide
Attempted murder
Sexual assault
Other sexual offences
Assault
Abduction
Robbery
49
55
124
22
16,332
67
750
10.2
10.5
1.8
3.5
17.5
55.8
10.5
432
467
6,752
605
76,864
53
6,374
89.8
89.4
98.2
96.4
82.4
44.2
89.4
Total violent offences
18,989
16.2
98,168
83.8
1,595
773
414
16,797
3,808
6,356
8.1
9.7
25.4
29.3
18.8
30.0
18,095
7,156
1,217
40,545
16,414
14,868
91.9
90.3
74.6
70.7
81.2
70.1
29,743
23.2
98,290
76.8
Other Criminal Code
Prostitution
Bail Violations
Mischief
Other
1,806
12,908
1,816
10,543
47.2
18.5
13.1
13.6
2,017
56,731
12,038
67,091
52.8
81.4
86.9
86.4
Total other Criminal Code offences
27,073
16.4
137,877
83.6
Total Criminal Code offences (excluding traffic)
75,805
18.4
334,335
81.5
6,817
789
14.7
13.9
39,638
4,894
85.3
86.1
93,643
17.3
446,413
82.7
Property offences
Breaking and entering
Motor vehicle theft
Theft over $5,000
Theft under $5,000
Possession of stolen goods
Fraud
Total property crimes
Other Federal Statutes
Drug offences
Other
Total all offences (including traffic)
1. Includes level 1,2 and 3.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
178
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 7 / Women and the Criminal Justice System
Table 7.6
Women as a percentage of police officers, by level, 1986 to 2004
Non-commissioned
officers2
Senior officers1
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Constables
Total
Number
Percent of
all officers
Number
Percent of
all officers
Number
Percent of
all officers
Number
Percent of
all officers
6
5
4
8
10
11
20
33
33
38
39
47
48
60
67
77
94
113
129
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.7
1.2
1.3
1.6
1.7
2.1
2.2
2.8
3.1
3.5
4.0
4.7
5.2
64
82
110
156
177
196
233
265
312
379
408
458
510
633
740
858
978
1110
1300
0.5
0.6
0.8
1.1
1.3
1.4
1.6
1.8
2.2
2.7
3.0
3.4
3.9
4.7
5.5
6.3
7.1
7.7
8.9
1,924
2,218
2,594
2,979
3,386
3,757
4,033
4,263
4,711
4,961
5,187
5,586
6,128
6,459
6,843
7,338
7,846
8,129
8,468
5.4
6.1
7.0
7.9
8.6
9.5
10.2
10.8
12.0
12.8
13.5
14.3
15.5
16.2
17.0
17.8
18.6
19.1
19.8
1,994
2,305
2,708
3,143
3,573
3,964
4,286
4,561
5,056
5,378
5,634
6,091
6,686
7,152
7,650
8,273
8,918
9,352
9,897
3.9
4.4
5.1
5.8
6.4
7.0
7.5
8.0
9.1
9.8
10.4
11.1
12.2
12.9
13.7
14.5
15.3
15.7
16.5
1. Senior officers include officers who have achieved the rank of lieutenant or higher.
2. Non-commissioned officers include personnel between the rank of constable and lieutenant, such as sergeant and corporal.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.
Table 7.7
Women as a percentage of those employed in justice-related occupations,
1991 and 2001
1991
Occupation
Judges
Lawyers and notaries
Paralegal and related occupations
Probation and parole officers
Correctional service officers
Source:
2001
Number
As a percent
of total
Number
As a percent
of total
345
14,845
12,835
1,885
3,960
14
27
76
50
22
620
23,185
24,415
3,735
5,415
21
35
81
54
29
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
179
Chapter 8
Aboriginal Women in Canada
By Vivian O’Donnell
The female Aboriginal population is another key element of the mosaic that is the overall
female population in Canada. In 2001, there were just under a half a million Aboriginal
females in Canada. Together, these Aboriginal women made up 3% of the total female
population that year.1 (Table 8.1)
In fact, the female Aboriginal population is growing much more rapidly than the
rest of the female population in Canada. In the period from 1996 to 2001, the number of
Aboriginal females rose by 22%, compared to a 4% growth rate in the non-Aboriginal
female population.
The Aboriginal population in Canada consists of three broad groups: North
American Indians, Métis and Inuit. In 2001, 63% of Aboriginal women reported being
North American Indian, while 29% were Métis and 5% were Inuit. The remaining 3%
either reported belonging to more than one Aboriginal group, or they did not identify
with an Aboriginal group, but reported having registered Indian status and/or band
membership.
As with the overall population, women make up the slight majority of Aboriginal
people in Canada. In 2001, women made up 51% of the total Aboriginal population.
That year, 52% of the total North American Indian population in Canada was female,
while the figure was around 50% for both the Métis and Inuit groups.
Aboriginal women across the country
Aboriginal women account for the largest shares of the overall female provincial
populations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 2001, Aboriginal women made up 14%
of all females in both these provinces, while the figure was 6% in Alberta, 4% in both
British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and 2% or less in the remaining
provinces. (Table 8.2)
Aboriginal women make up much larger shares of the population living in the
territories. In 2001, 87% of women in Nunavut were Aboriginal, as were 52% of those in
the Northwest Territories and 24% of those in the Yukon.
In terms of actual numbers, however, the largest number of Aboriginal women in
Canada live in Ontario. In 2001, there were just over 97,000 Aboriginal women in Ontario.
That year, 20% of all Aboriginal females lived in Ontario, while 17% resided in British
Columbia, 16% lived in Alberta, 15% in Manitoba, 13% in Saskatchewan, 8% in Québec,
and 5% in the Atlantic provinces. The remaining 5% of the female Aboriginal population
lived in one of the territories.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
181
Women in Canada 2005
There is considerable variation, however, in the distribution of women in the
different Aboriginal groups across the country. The largest shares of North American
Indian women in 2001, for example, lived in either Ontario (22%) or British Columbia
(19%), while Alberta (23%) and Manitoba (20%) were home to the largest concentrations
of Métis women. In contrast, almost half (49%) of Inuit women lived in Nunavut that
year, while 21% lived in Quebec. (Table 8.3)
Urban and rural distribution of Aboriginal women
The majority of Aboriginal women live in off-reserve areas. Indeed, in 2001, 72% of
Aboriginal women lived in non-reserve communities, while only 28% lived on reserve.
Aboriginal women are also slightly more likely to live off reserve than Aboriginal men,
70% of whom did not live on a reserve that year. (Table 8.4)
In fact, just over half of the female Aboriginal population lives in an urban area. In
2001, 30% of all Aboriginal females lived in a Census Metropolitan Area, that is, a city
with more than 100,000 residents, while 23% lived in other urban areas. Aboriginal
women, though, were only about half as likely as other women to live in a Census
Metropolitan Area, while they were slightly more likely to reside in smaller urban areas.
Among Aboriginal women, Métis women are the most urbanized. In 2001, 69% of
Métis women were living in cities and towns, compared with 45% of North American
Indian women and just 29% of Inuit women.
The largest concentrations of Aboriginal women are found in Saskatoon, Winnipeg,
Regina and Thunder Bay. In 2001, 10% of the total female population in Saskatoon was
Aboriginal, as was 9% of that in each of Winnipeg and Regina and 7% of that in Thunder
Bay. Aboriginal women also accounted for 5% of the total female population in Edmonton,
while they made up 3% of the female population in Victoria and 2% of that in both
Calgary and Vancouver, 1% of that in Ottawa-Gatineau, and less than 1% of that in both
Toronto and Montreal. (Chart 8.1)
Chart 8.1
Aboriginal females as a percentage of the total female population
in selected Census Metropolitan Areas, 2001
Saskatoon
Winnipeg
Regina
Thunder Bay
Edmonton
Victoria
Calgary
Vancouver
Ottawa-Gatineau
Toronto
Montreal
0
2
4
6
8
10
%
Source:
182
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Winnipeg is the urban centre with the largest actual number of Aboriginal women.
In 2001, there were almost 30,000 Aboriginal women living in Winnipeg, while there
were 22,000 Aboriginal women living in Edmonton, 19,000 in Vancouver, and
approximately 11,000 in each of Calgary, Saskatoon and Toronto.
Aboriginal women living on reserve
Just over one in four Aboriginal women lives on a reserve. In 2001, 140,000 Aboriginal
females, 28% of the total, lived on a reserve. Aboriginal women, though, were slightly
less likely than their male counterparts to live on a reserve. That year, 30% of Aboriginal
males resided on a reserve. Indeed, women made up less than half (49%) the on-reserve
Aboriginal population in 2001, whereas they accounted for 51% of the total Aboriginal
population. As well, the vast majority of Aboriginal women living in reserve communities
– 95% that year - were North American Indians.
Aboriginal women a highly mobile population
Aboriginal women are generally more likely to change their place of residence than nonAboriginal women. Between 1996 and 2001, over half of Aboriginal women (52%)
changed residences at least once, compared with 42% of non-Aboriginal women.
(Chart 8.2)
Chart 8.2
Percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal females and males
who made a residential move in the past 5 years, 2001
%
60
50
40
30
20
Female
10
Male
0
Aboriginal
Source:
Non-Aboriginal
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Aboriginal women living in urban areas are the most likely to make a residential
move. Between 1996 and 2001, 66% of Aboriginal women living in a Census Metropolitan
Area made at least one residential move, compared with 41% of those living in a rural
non-reserve area and only 36% of their counterparts living on a reserve. (Chart 8.3)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
183
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 8.3
Percentage of Aboriginal females and males who moved in
the past five years, by area of residence, 2001
%
70
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
On-reserve
Rural non-reserve
Urban non-CMA
Urban CMA
Area of residence
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Aboriginal women between the ages of 15 and 44 are particularly likely to move.
Between 1996 and 2001, roughly 60% of Aboriginal women aged either 15 to 24 or 25
to 44 changed residence at least once. This compared with 36% of Aboriginal women
aged 45 to 64 and 24% of those aged 65 and over. (Chart 8.4)
Chart 8.4
Percentage of Aboriginal women and men who moved in
the past five years, by age, 2001
%
70
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Age group
Source:
184
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Aboriginal females aged 15 to 24 are somewhat more mobile than their male
counterparts. In the 1996 to 2001 period, 59% of Aboriginal females in this age range
made at least one residential move, compared with 50% of males aged 15 to 24. In
contrast, there were few differences in the likelihood of Aboriginal females and males in
other age groups having made a residential move in this period.
Registration under the Indian Act
Bill C-31 legislative changes to the Indian Act
It should be noted that in the past, legislation regarding the registration of
Indian people treated women and men differently. Prior to 1985, under
certain provisions in the Indian Act, status Indian women who married nonstatus men (Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal) lost their registered Indian
status, and as a result, their First Nation (band) membership. As well, these
women could no longer pass registered Indian status on to their children.
The opposite was true for status Indian men. Non-status women
(Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal) who married status Indian men were
automatically conferred Indian status.
Changes were made to the Indian Act in 1985 through Bill C-31, which
allowed many women and their children to reclaim Indian status, and, in
some cases, their First Nation (band) membership. Others who had
voluntarily or involuntarily lost their Indian status through other provisions
of the Indian Act could also apply to have their status restored.
Bill C-31 introduced new inheritance rules regarding the passing of
registered Indian status from parents to children. Both parents now must
have registered Indian status to pass Indian status on to their children. An
exception occurs when at least one parent has been registered under section
6(1) of the legislation. In this case, if one parent is registered under 6(1) and
the other parent is not registered, children remain eligible for registration
under section 6(2). However, a parent registered under 6(2) can not pass
registered Indian status to a child unless the other parent is also a status
Indian.
A majority of Aboriginal women are registered under the Indian Act. In
2001, almost 290,000 Aboriginal females, 58% of the total, were registered,
as were 56% of Aboriginal males. There is considerable variation, though, in
the shares of the different Aboriginal groups who are registered under the
Indian Act. That year, 83% of North American Indian women had registered
Indian status, whereas the figures were only 11% of Métis women and 2% of
Inuit women. (Chart 8.5)
The registered Indian population has undergone significant growth in the
past couple of decades. In fact, females have accounted for a
disproportionate share of this growth since the early 1980s. Between 1981
and 2001, for example, there was a 98% rise in the number of women with
registered Indian status, while the number of registered Indian males rose by
88% in the same period. Legislative changes to the Indian Act have likely
made a contribution to this growth, along with factors such as high birth
rates, longer life expectancy and improved enumeration. (Table 8.5)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
185
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 8.5
Percentage of Aboriginal females and males who are registered
under the Indian Act of Canada, by group, 2001
%
100
80
60
40
20
Female
Male
0
Total
Aboriginal
Source:
North American
Indian
Métis
Inuit
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
The growth of the registered Indian population is particularly evident in off reserve
areas. Indeed, the number of female registered Indians living off reserve rose by 141%
between 1981 and 2001, while the number of their male counterparts grew by 135% in
the same period.
In light of the inheritance rules governing registered Indian status, “out-marriage
rates” among registered Indians will affect the growth of the registered Indian population
in years to come. According to a recent study, the proportion of births eligible for
registration for the on-reserve population could decrease from around 99% in 2000 to
87% by 2021. For the off reserve population, the proportion of births eligible for
registration will be even lower, dropping from 79% in 2000 to 52% by 2021.2
Aboriginal women a relatively young population
The female Aboriginal population in Canada is relatively young. In 2001, 32% of female
Aboriginals were under 15 years of age, compared with only 18% of their non-Aboriginal
counterparts. At the same time, those aged 15 to 24 made up 17% of the female Aboriginal
population, compared with 13% of non-Aboriginal females. (Table 8.6)
Among the different Aboriginal groups, the Inuit female population is the youngest.
In 2001, 38% of the Inuit female population was under the age of 15, while the figure
was 33% among North American Indian females and 28% among the Métis female
population.
In contrast, relatively few Aboriginal women are seniors. In 2001, just 4% of
Aboriginal women were aged 65 and over, compared with 14% of non-Aboriginal women.
As with the non-Aboriginal population, women account for the majority of Aboriginal
seniors. That year, 53% of all Aboriginal people aged 65 and over were female. In particular,
women made up 54% of North American Indian seniors and 52% of Métis aged 65 and
over, whereas only 45% of the Inuit population aged 65 years and over was female.
186
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Aboriginal languages important
Either English or French is the mother tongue, that is, the language first learned and
still understood, of the majority of Aboriginal females. In 2001, 74% of all Aboriginal
females reported that English was their mother tongue, while another 6% said French
was their mother tongue. At the same time, though, the mother tongue of 20% of the
female Aboriginal population was an Aboriginal language.
However, the proportion of Aboriginal women who are able to speak an Aboriginal
language is actually somewhat larger than the share whose mother tongue is an Aboriginal
language. In 2001, 24% of Aboriginal women said they could converse in an Aboriginal
language, whereas only 20% reported one of these languages was their mother tongue.
This may indicate that some Aboriginal women are learning an Aboriginal language
later in life, which is consistent with findings from the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey
that indicated that Aboriginal languages are important to Aboriginal women. In fact,
63% of Aboriginal women living off reserve reported that learning, relearning or
maintaining their Aboriginal language was very or somewhat important. This is a higher
percentage than for Aboriginal men living off reserve, 55% of whom rated Aboriginal
languages as very or somewhat important.
Older Aboriginal women are considerably more likely than their younger
counterparts to be able to speak an Aboriginal language. In 2001, 43% of Aboriginal
women aged 65 and over reported they could speak an Aboriginal language, as did 32%
of those aged 45 to 64. In contrast, this was the case for 25% of those aged 25 to 44, 20%
of those aged 15 to 24 and just 19% of those under the age of 15. (Chart 8.6)
Chart 8.6
Percentage of Aboriginal females able to speak an Aboriginal language,
by age, 2001
%
50
40
30
20
10
0
Under 15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total
Aboriginal women aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
187
Women in Canada 2005
Among Aboriginal women, the Inuit are by far the most likely to be able to speak
an Aboriginal language. In 2001, 71% of Inuit women reported they were able to speak
an Aboriginal language, whereas only 30% of North American Indian women and 5% of
Métis women were able to converse in an Aboriginal language. (Chart 8.7)
Chart 8.7
Percentage of Aboriginal women and men who can speak an
Aboriginal language, by group, 2001
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
Women
10
Men
0
North American Indian
Source:
Inuit
Métis
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
There are also major differences in the ability to speak an Aboriginal language
depending on where Aboriginal women live. In 2001, approximately half (49%) of
Aboriginal women living on reserve reported that they were able to speak an Aboriginal
language, whereas the figure dropped to 24% among Aboriginal women living in rural
areas, 13% of those in smaller urban settings, and just 9% of Aboriginal women living in
Census Metropolitan Areas. (Chart 8.8)
Chart 8.8
Percentage of Aboriginal women able to speak an Aboriginal language,
by area of residence, 2001
%
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
On-reserve
Source:
188
Census Metropolitan
Area
Other urban
Rural
Total
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
A substantial proportion of Aboriginal females also speak an Aboriginal language
at home. In 2001, 6% of Aboriginal women spoke only an Aboriginal language at home,
while an additional 12% spoke an Aboriginal language in combination with another
language such as English or French at home. English, though, is the language spoken
most often at home for the majority (75%) of Aboriginal women, while a small share
(4%) speak French most often at home. (Table 8.7)
Inuit women are the most likely to speak an Aboriginal language at home. In 2001,
65% of Inuit females spoke either only an Aboriginal language (31%) or an Aboriginal
language in combination with another language (34%) in their homes. In contrast, 23%
of North American Indian females spoke an Aboriginal either exclusively or in
combination with another language at home, while the figure was just 3% for Métis
women.
Aboriginal women and their families
A relatively large proportion of Aboriginal women in Canada live with either their
immediate or extended family. In 2001, 87% of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over
lived with family members, compared with 83% of both non-Aboriginal women and
Aboriginal men. (Table 8.8)
Among Aboriginal women, the Inuit are the most likely to live with family members.
In 2001, 94% of Inuit women lived with either their immediate or extended families,
while the figures were 88% for North American Indian women and 84% for Métis women.
Aboriginal women, though, are less likely than non-Aboriginal women to be living
in husband-wife families. In 2001, just 32% of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over,
versus 49% of non-Aboriginal women, lived with their husband. In contrast, Aboriginal
women were about twice as likely as non-Aboriginal women, 17% versus 9%, to be living
in a common-law relationship.
Aboriginal women are also much more likely to be lone parents than non-Aboriginal
women. In 2001, 19% of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over were heading families on
their own, compared with 8% of non-Aboriginal women.
Among Aboriginal women, North American Indians are the most likely to be lone
parents. In 2001, 21% of North American Indian women over the age of 15 were lone
parents, while this was the case for 17% of Inuit women and 16% of Métis women.
As well, lone-parent families headed by Aboriginal women tend to be larger than
those headed by their non-Aboriginal counterparts. In 2001, 22% of Aboriginal female
lone parents had three or more children, more than twice the figure for their nonAboriginal counterparts, just 10% of whom had three or more children.
On the other hand, relatively few Aboriginal women live alone. In 2001, just 9% of
Aboriginal women lived alone, compared with 14% of non-Aboriginal women. Among
Aboriginal women, Métis women were the most likely to live alone. That year, 10% of
Métis women, versus 8% of North American Indian women and just 4% of Inuit women,
lived by themselves.
High fertility rates among Aboriginal women
Fertility rates are much higher among Aboriginal women than other Canadian women.
In the 1996 to 2001 period, the fertility rate of Aboriginal women was 2.6 children, that
is, they could expect to have that many children, on average, over the course of their
lifetime. This compared with a figure of 1.5 among all Canadian women (Chart 8.9)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
189
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 8.9
Fertility rates of Aboriginal and all Canadian women,
by group, 1996 to 2001
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0
North American
Indian
Source:
Métis
Inuit
Total
Aboriginal
Total
Canadian
Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Among Aboriginal women, the Inuit have the highest fertility rate. In the 1996 to
2001 period, the fertility rate for Inuit women was estimated to be 3.4 children, compared
with rates of 2.9 children for North American Indian women and 2.2 for Métis women.
While Aboriginal fertility rates are higher than those for the total Canadian
population, there has been a substantial decline in fertility rates among Aboriginal women
over the past three decades. Indeed, the Aboriginal fertility rate has dropped by half
since the end of the 1960s, falling from 5.5 children per woman to the current figure
of 2.6.
Lower life expectancy among Aboriginal females
The life expectancy of Aboriginal women is well below that of non-Aboriginal women.
In 2001, the estimated life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal females was 76.8 years,
over five years below that of their non-Aboriginal counterparts who could expect to live,
on average, just over 82 years. (Chart 8.10)
As with their non-Aboriginal counterparts, the life expectancy of Aboriginal women
is longer than that of Aboriginal men. In 2001, Aboriginal females had a life expectancy
at birth of 76.8 years, compared with 70.9 years for Aboriginal males.
Among the female Aboriginal population, Métis and North American Indian
women have longer life expectancies than their Inuit counterparts. In 2001, Métis women
had a life expectancy of 77.7 years, while the figure for North American Indian women
was 76.7 years. In contrast, Inuit women had a life expectancy of just 71.7 years. In all
three groups, though, women had considerably longer life expectancies than men.
190
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Chart 8.10
Life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and all Canadian
females and males, by group, 2001
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
Female
10
Male
0
North American
Indian
Source:
Métis
Inuit
Total
Aboriginal
Total
Canadian
Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Most in good health
The majority of Aboriginal women describe their health in positive terms. As reported
in the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 54% of Aboriginal women living in off-reserve
areas reported that their health was either excellent or very good. The share of Aboriginal
women describing their health in these terms, though, was smaller than the figure for all
Canadian women, 59% of whom described their health as either excellent or very good.
(Chart 8.11)
Chart 8.11
Percentage of off-reserve Aboriginal and all Canadian women
reporting excellent or very good health status, by age, 2001
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
Off-reserve
Aboriginal women
20
10
Total Canadian
women
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
Age group
Source:
65 and over
Total 15
and over
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and 2000/2001 Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
191
Women in Canada 2005
There are particularly wide gaps between the self-perceived health ratings of
Aboriginal women and the total Canadian female population in older age groups. Among
women aged 65 and over, just 23% of Aboriginal women, versus 36% of all senior women,
described their health as either excellent or very good. Similarly, only 41% of Aboriginal
women aged 45 to 64, compared with 55% of all women in this age range, reported their
health as either excellent or very good.
At the same time, older Aboriginal women are far more likely than all women to
report their health as only fair or poor. In 2001, 45% of off-reserve Aboriginal women
aged 65 and over described their health as fair or poor, compared with 29% of the total
female senior population. A similar picture emerges among women aged 45 to 64 among
whom 33% of Aboriginal women, versus only 16% of women in the total population,
said their health was only fair or poor. (Chart 8.12)
Chart 8.12
Percentage of off-reserve Aboriginal and all Canadian women
reporting fair or poor health, by age, 2001
%
50
40
30
20
Off-reserve
Aboriginal women
10
Total Canadian
women
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
Age group
Source:
65 and over
Total 15
and over
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and 2000/2001 Canadian Community Health Survey.
In contrast, there are much smaller gaps in the self-perceived health status of
Aboriginal females living off reserve and their counterparts in the overall population in
younger age ranges. In 2001, 65% of Aboriginal females aged 15 to 24, along with 67%
of all females in this age range, described their health as either excellent or very good,
while just 7% of Aboriginal women in this age range said their health was only fair or
poor, almost the same figure as for all young women in the age range (6%).
While the majority of Aboriginal women living off-reserve report their health status
in generally positive terms, more than half have a chronic health condition. In 2001,
52% of Aboriginal women living off reserve had been diagnosed with a chronic condition
by a health professional. This compared with 44% of the male Aboriginal population.
(Chart 8.13)
192
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Chart 8.13
Percentage of Aboriginal women and men living off-reserve diagnosed
with at least one chronic health condition, by age, 2001
%
100
80
60
40
20
Women
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total
Age group
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.
As with the overall female population, the percentage of Aboriginal women living
off reserve with a chronic condition rises in the older age groups. Indeed, in 2001, 88%
of Aboriginal women aged 65 and over living off reserve had been diagnosed by a health
professional with at least one chronic health condition, while the figure in other age
groups ranged from 74% among those aged 45 to 64 to 32% among those aged 15 to 24.
In all age groups, though, women were more likely than their male counterparts to have
been diagnosed with a chronic health condition.
As with the overall population, arthritis or rheumatism is the most common chronic
condition diagnosed among Aboriginal women. In 2001, 23% of Aboriginal women
aged 15 and over living off reserve had been diagnosed with arthritis or rheumatism,
while 14% had asthma, 13% had high blood pressure, 12% had stomach problems or
intestinal ulcers, and 7% had heart problems.
Rates of diabetes are also considerably higher for the off reserve Aboriginal
population than for the total Canadian population. In 2001, 7% of the female Aboriginal
off reserve population aged 15 and over had been diagnosed with diabetes, compared
with 3% of the total Canadian female population.3 Health Canada has raised diabetes as
a significant concern for the Aboriginal population because of “early onset, greater severity
at diagnosis, high rates of complications, lack of accessible services, increasing trends,
and increasing prevalence of risk factors for a population already at risk.”4
Diabetes is particularly prevalent among older Aboriginal women. In 2001, 24% of
the off-reserve female Aboriginal population aged 65 and over had diabetes, compared
with 11% of all senior women in Canada. Senior Aboriginal women were also somewhat
more likely to have diabetes than senior Aboriginal men, 20% of whom had this condition
that year.
Diabetes among the off-reserve Aboriginal population is most prevalent in the
North American Indian population. In 2001, 8% of the female North American Indian
population aged 15 and over had been diagnosed with diabetes, while the figure was 6%
among Métis women and just 2% among Inuit women.
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193
Women in Canada 2005
Results from the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey conducted
in 2002-2003 indicated that diabetes is particularly prevalent in First Nation communities.
Indeed, 15% of adults over age 20 in these communities have been diagnosed with
diabetes.5
Contact with health care professionals
As with the overall population, Aboriginal women are generally more likely than their
male counterparts to have contact with health professionals. In 2001, 80% of Aboriginal
women living off reserve reported that they had seen or talked to a family doctor or
general practitioner in the 12 months prior to the survey, whereas just 64% of Aboriginal
men had done so. That year, higher percentages of Aboriginal women than Aboriginal
men had seen a dentist (56% versus 48%), eye doctor (40% versus 32%), nurse (28%
versus 22%), or social worker, counselor or psychologist (18% versus 10%). Aboriginal
women were also twice as likely as men, 8% versus 4%, to have seen a traditional Aboriginal
healer. (Table 8.9)
Where Aboriginal women live has an impact on their contact with health
professionals. The 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey found that Aboriginal women who
live in the Far North had less contact with family doctors and general practitioners than
Aboriginal women living in other off-reserve areas. That year, about 50% of Aboriginal
women in the Canadian Arctic had seen or talked on the telephone with a family doctor
about their health, compared with 82% of those in urban areas and 78% in rural areas. In
contrast, Aboriginal women living in the Canadian Arctic were much more likely to
have had contact with nurses as opposed to other types of health professionals. These
differences are likely due to the type of health care professionals available to people
living in the Canadian Arctic. (Chart 8.14)
Chart 8.14
Percentage of Aboriginal women 15 years and over
living off-reserve who have had contact with a health professional
in previous year, by region, 2001
%
100
80
60
40
20
0
Family doctor
or general
practicioner
Urban
Source:
194
Dentist or
orthodontist
Rural
Eye doctor
(ophthalmologist,
optometrist)
Other medical
doctor (such as
a surgeon,
allergist or
orthopedist)
Nurse
Social worker,
counselor or
psychologist
Traditional
healer
North
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Smoking
Aboriginal women are considerably more likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts
to smoke. In 2001, 39% of all Aboriginal women aged 15 and over reported they smoked
daily, compared with just 20% of the overall Canadian female population. (Table 8.10)
As with the overall population, younger Aboriginal women are more likely to smoke
than their older counterparts. In 2001, around 40% of Aboriginal women living off reserve
between the ages of 15 and 34 smoked daily, whereas the proportion of women smoking
daily in older age groups ranged from 36% among those aged 45 to 64 to just 21%
among those aged 65 and over.
Among the off-reserve Aboriginal population, Inuit women are most likely to be
smokers. In 2001, 60% of Inuit women reported that they smoked daily, compared with
around 38% of both North American Indian and Métis women. In fact, the share of
Inuit women who smoked daily was three times the proportion of daily smokers in the
total Canadian female population (20%).
Results from the 2002-2003 First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey
indicate that smoking rates are particularly high in reserve communities. That year, 58%
of women over the age of 20 in First Nation communities smoked regularly or occasionally.
Spousal Violence
Results of the 2004 General Social Survey6 suggest that violence in marriages and
common-law unions is a reality that many Aboriginal women face. Indeed, 24% of
Aboriginal women, three times the figure among their non-Aboriginal counterparts (8%),
experienced spousal violence from either a current or previous marital or common-law
partner in five-year period prior to the survey.7 At the same time, 18% of Aboriginal
men reported being victims of some form of spousal abuse.
Aboriginal spousal violence victims are also more likely than non-Aboriginal victims
to experience serious forms of violence at the hands of their intimate partners. In the
five-year period prior to the survey, over half (54%) of Aboriginal women who were
victims of spousal violence reported experiencing severe and potentially life threatening
violence, including being beaten or choked; threatened with, or had a gun or knife used
against them; or had been sexually assaulted. This compared with 37% of non-Aboriginal
female victims of spousal abuse. Further, a higher proportion of female Aboriginal spousal
violence victims (43%) reported being injured, compared with non-Aboriginal victims
(31%). As well, 33% of female Aboriginal spousal violence victims experienced violence
serious enough to fear for their lives, compared with 22% of non-Aboriginal victims.
Aboriginal women are also twice as likely as other women to experience emotional
abuse from either a current or previous marital or common-law partner. In the five-year
period prior to the survey, 36% of Aboriginal women, compared with 17% of their nonAboriginal counterparts, reported experiencing emotional abuse from a partner. Aboriginal
women, though, were about as likely to indicate they had suffered from emotional abuse
from a partner as Aboriginal men for whom the figure was 37%. The report indicates
that while survey questions regarding emotional abuse are not used to determine rates of
spousal violence, they are important in that they provide a context in which violence may
occur, as research has shown that emotional abuse is often a precursor to physical violence
in a relationship.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
195
Women in Canada 2005
Less likely to have a degree
There is a particularly large gap between the shares of Aboriginal and nonAboriginal women with university degrees. In 2001, only 7% of Aboriginal women aged
25 and over had a university degree, compared with 17% of their non-Aboriginal
counterparts. Aboriginal women, though, were slightly more likely to have a university
degree than Aboriginal men, only 5% of whom had completed university. Indeed, women
made up 62% of Aboriginal people aged 25 and over with a university degree that year.
(Table 8.11)
At the same time, Aboriginal women are about as likely as other women to have a
diploma or certificate from a community college. In 2001, 17% of Aboriginal women
aged 25 and over were community college graduates, while the figure was 18% among
non-Aboriginal women in this age range. Aboriginal women were also more likely than
Aboriginal men, 17% versus 11%, to have a community college certificate or dipoloma.
On the other hand, four in 10 Aboriginal women have not completed high school.
In 2001, 40% of Aboriginal women aged 25 and over had not graduated from high
school, whereas the figure was 29% among non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women,
though, were somewhat less likely than Aboriginal men to have not completed high
school: 40% versus 44%.
According to a recent study of the off-reserve Aboriginal population,8 the most
common reason that young Aboriginal women aged 15 to 19 gave for leaving elementary
or secondary school prior to completion was ‘pregnancy or the need to care for children.’
Indeed, one in five (20%) female Aboriginal school leavers in this age group gave this
reason. The second most common reason was “boredom” (15%). In contrast, nearly onequarter (24%) of young Aboriginal men living off reserve cited ‘boredom’ as the reason
for leaving school early and 19% said that they wanted to work. Boredom or lost interest
was also the top reason given by non-Aboriginal youth who had left elementary or high
school prior to completion. 9
Aboriginal women also continue to face barriers in attaining post-secondary
schooling. Of Aboriginal women aged 25 to 44 living off reserve who had started, but
had not completed a post-secondary program, 34% reported family responsibilities as
the reason they had not finished their post-secondary schooling, while 21% reported
financial reasons, 12% lost interest/motivation and 8% got a job or had to work. For
Aboriginal men in this age range living off reserve who had not completed their postsecondary schooling, financial reasons (24%) was the most commonly reported reason,
while only 11% cited family responsibilities as the reason. (Chart 8.15)
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Chart 8.15
Reasons Aboriginal women and men aged 25 to 44 years living
off reserve did not complete post-secondary schooling, 20011
%
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
Lost interest/
motivation
Financial
reasons
Family
responsibilities
Got a job/
had to work
1. Respondents could give more than one reason.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.
Many attending school
While the overall educational attainment levels of Aboriginal women are relatively low,
Aboriginal women are attending school at higher rates than both non-Aboriginal women
and Aboriginal men. In 2001, 23% of Aboriginal women 15 years of age and older were
attending school on either a full-time or part-time basis, compared with 17% of their
non-Aboriginal counterparts. (Chart 8.16)
Chart 8.16
Percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women aged 15 and over
attending school full-time or part-time, 2001
%
70
60
50
40
30
20
Aboriginal
10
Non-Aboriginal
0
15 to 24
Source:
25 to 44
45 to 64
Age group
65 and over
Total
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
197
Women in Canada 2005
Among young adults, though, Aboriginal females are less likely than other women
to be attending school. In 2001, only about half (53%) of Aboriginal women aged 15 to
24 were attending school, compared with 66% of non-Aboriginal women in the same
age group.
However, Aboriginal women are more likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts
to return to school at later ages to complete their education. In 2001, 17% of Aboriginal
women aged 25 to 44 and 7% of those aged 45 to 64 were attending school either full- or
part-time, versus only 13% and 4% of non-Aboriginal women in the corresponding age
groups.
The relatively high school-attendance figures for Aboriginal women in age groups
over the age of 25 is further reflected in a recent study from Manitoba which shows that
Aboriginal people tend to delay entry into post-secondary schooling.10 The study found
that Aboriginal graduates were less likely than non-Aboriginal graduates to have entered
their program directly from secondary school. The study found that only 17% of
Manitoban Aboriginal graduates had gone on to college directly from secondary school,
compared to 25% of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. At the bachelor level, about
30% of Aboriginal graduates were enrolled in secondary school in the 12 months prior
to enrollment in their post-secondary program, compared with nearly 60% of nonAboriginal graduates.
Paid work
Aboriginal women are generally less likely than their non-Aboriginal counterparts to be
part of the paid work force. In 2001, 47% of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over were
employed, compared with 56% of non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women were also
less likely than their male counterparts, 47% versus 53%, to be employed that year.
(Table 8.12).
Among Aboriginal women, the Métis are the most likely to be part of the paid
work force. Indeed, in 2001, 56% of these women were employed, the same figure as for
the non-Aboriginal female population. In contrast, just 48% of Inuit women, and only
43% of North American Indian females, were employed that year.
As with the overall population, Aboriginal women aged 25 to 44 are more likely to
be employed than both their younger and older counterparts. In 2001, 58% of Aboriginal
women aged 25 to 44 were employed, compared with 50% of those aged 45 to 64 and
35% of those aged 15 to 24. At all ages, though, Aboriginal women were less likely to be
employed than either Aboriginal men or non-Aboriginal women. The gap between the
employment rates of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women was particularly large in
the 15 to 24 age group in which 35% of Aboriginal women, versus 57% of non-Aboriginal
women, were employed.
As with the rest of the population, a large proportion of Aboriginal women with
jobs work part-time or part-year. Of those who were part of the paid work force in 2000,
57% of Aboriginal women worked part-time or part-year, compared with 54% of
Aboriginal men and 49% of non-Aboriginal women.
Sales and service most common occupation
As with other women, Aboriginal women are heavily concentrated in low-paying
occupations traditionally held by women. Of all Aboriginal women who were employed
at some point in 2000, 60% worked either in sales or service or in business, finance or
administration jobs. That year, 37% of all employed Aboriginal women worked in sales
198
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
or service, while 23% had administrative jobs. In fact, Aboriginal women were more
than twice as likely to work in these occupations as Aboriginal men, only 26% of whom
were employed in these sectors. (Table 8.13)
The share of Aboriginal women in these occupations, though, is only slightly higher
than the figure for non-Aboriginal women. In 2000, 60% of employed Aboriginal women
worked in sales and service or administrative jobs, while the figure was 57% for employed
non-Aboriginal women.
Aboriginal women are also about as likely as both their non-Aboriginal counterparts
and Aboriginal men to be employed in management occupations. In 2001, 6% of
Aboriginal women had managerial positions, whereas the figure was 7% for Aboriginal
men and 8% for non-Aboriginal women.
High unemployment rates
Unemployment rates among female Aboriginal labour force participants are twice those
of their non-Aboriginal counterparts. In 2001, 17% of Aboriginal women in the labour
force were unemployed, compared with a rate of 7% for non-Aboriginal women. The
unemployment rate among Aboriginal women, though, was lower than that experienced
by Aboriginal men, 21% of whom were unemployed that year. (Table 8.14)
As with the overall population, unemployment rates among Aboriginal women are
highest for young adults. In 2001, 25% of female Aboriginal labour force participants
aged 15 to 24 were unemployed, compared with 16% of those aged 25 to 44 and 11% of
those aged 45 to 64. In each group, though, unemployment rates among Aboriginal
women were around double those for non-Aboriginal women. However, they were lower
than those for Aboriginal men.
Among Aboriginal women, those living on reserves experience the highest
unemployment rates. In 2001, 22% of female Aboriginal labour force participants living
in reserve areas were unemployed, while figures were 17% for those living in small and
mid-sized urban centres, 16% for those living in rural non-reserve locales, and 14% for
those living in major metropolitan areas. (Table 8.15)
When looking at the unemployment rate, however, it is important to realize that it
does not always reflect the complex work situation of Aboriginal people, especially those
living in rural or remote communities. Official unemployment rates, for example, may
not always reflect work that is carried out for which no payment is received. Work of this
type is common in many Aboriginal communities where large amounts of time are spent
fishing, trapping, hunting, sewing, and caring for children of friends and family members.
Also, there is much seasonal work in many Aboriginal communities.
Incomes lower
The incomes of Aboriginal women in Canada tend to be relatively low. In 2000, the
median income of Aboriginal women was $12,300, about $5,000 less than the figure for
non-Aboriginal women who had a median income of $17,300 that year. The median
income of Aboriginal women was also about $3,000 less than that of Aboriginal men for
whom the figure was $15,500.11 (Chart 8.17)
As with other variables, the income of Aboriginal women varies depending on
their area of residence. In 2000, those living on reserve had the lowest median income
among Aboriginal women at just under $11,000, while those living in Census
Metropolitan Areas had the highest median income at almost $14,000.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
199
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 8.17
Median income of Aboriginal women and men, by group, 2000
$
35,000
30,000
25,000
Aboriginal
20,000
North American
Indian
15,000
Métis
10,000
Inuit
5,000
Non-Aboriginal
0
Women
Source:
Men
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
The largest share of the income of Aboriginal women comes from employment
sources. In 2000, 68% of all the income of Aboriginal women came from employment
income. This figure, however, was less than those for both non-Aboriginal women (72%)
and Aboriginal men (81%).
In contrast, Aboriginal women get a larger share of their incomes from government
transfer payments including unemployment insurance and social welfare benefits. In
2000, 27% of the total income of Aboriginal women came from these sources, compared
with 16% of that of both non-Aboriginal women and Aboriginal men.
Aboriginal women also experience relatively high rates of low income.12 In 2000,
36% of all Aboriginal females were classified as living in a household with incomes
below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs. This was more than double the figure
for non-Aboriginal women, 17% of whom had low incomes that year. The share of
Aboriginal women with low incomes was also higher than that for Aboriginal men (32%).
(Chart 8.18)
200
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Chart 8.18
Percentage of Aboriginal females with low incomes,1 by group, 2000
%
50
40
30
20
10
0
North
American
Indian
Source:
Métis
Inuit
Total
Aboriginal
women
Total
Aboriginal
men
Total nonAboriginal
women
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Among Aboriginal females, North American Indians are the most likely to have
low incomes. In 2000, 42% of North American Indian females had incomes below the
Low Income Cut-offs, while the figures were 30% among Métis women and 26% for
Inuit females.
Vivian O’Donnell is an analyst with Statistics Canada’s Aboriginal Statistics
Program
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
201
Women in Canada 2005
Notes
1.
The data in this chapter refer to the Aboriginal identity population, that is, those who
identified themselves as one of North American Indian, Métis and Inuit. Also included are
those who did not identity with an Aboriginal group, but who reported having registered
Indian status or Band/First Nation membership.
2. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Registered Indian Population Projections for Canada
and Regions, 2000 to 2021.
3. The rate of diabetes for the total Canadian population has been age standardized to reflect
differences between the age structures of the off-reserve Aboriginal and overall populations.
4. Health Canada, Diabetes Among Aboriginal People in Canada: The Evidence.
5. First Nations Centre, National Aboriginal Health Organization, Preliminary Findings of
the First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS) 2002-03: Adult Survey.
6. AuCoin, Kathy (ed.). Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2005. Statistics Canada:
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE) July 2005.
7. The results of the survey describe rates of violence committed against those who self-identified
as Aboriginal, but do not distinguish the identity of the perpetrator. In addition, this analysis
does not include the Northwest Territories, the Yukon or Nunavut, where high concentrations
of Aboriginal people live. To measure spousal violence through the General Social Survey on
Victimization, a scale of 10 questions was asked of all respondents who were married or
living common-law at the time of the survey interview, or who had been married or in a
common-law relationship in the 5-year period preceding the survey and who had had contact
with their ex-partner during that 5-year period. The scale of questions included both measures
of physical and sexual violence as defined by the Criminal Code that could be acted upon by
the police.
8. Statistics Canada, Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001: Well-being of the non-reserve Aboriginal
Population. (Catalogue No. 89-589-XIE)
9. Data is from Statistics Canada’s 2000 Youth in Transition Survey and refers to youth 18-20
years of age.
10. Vaillancourt, Chantal, Manitoba postsecondary graduates from the Class of 2000: how did
they fare? Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics – Research Papers.
Statistics Canada (Catalogue no. 81-595-MIE2005029) May 2005.
11. Median income is calculated from the unrounded number of individuals with income in that
group. This concept and procedure applies to total income, employment income, wages and
salaries, and any other component of income. The median income marks the midpoint; in
other words, it is the point where the incomes of half of individuals fall below the median,
and half are above the median.
12. Includes people with incomes below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs. For a definition
see Chapter 5. It should be noted that the calculations of the Low Income Cut-offs do not
include people living on Indian reserves, as well as those living in the territories.
202
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Table 8.1
Female and male Aboriginal populations, by group, 2001
Aboriginal
females as a
percent of
total female
population
of Canada
Number
%
Number
%
Females as a
percent of
the total
Aboriginal
group
North American Indian
Métis
Inuit
Multiple Aboriginal
Other1
314,420
146,130
22,510
3,525
13,020
62.9
29.2
4.5
0.7
2.6
294,435
146,180
22,560
3,140
10,390
61.8
30.7
4.7
0.7
2.2
51.6
50.0
49.9
52.9
55.6
2.1
1.0
0.1
-0.1
Total Aboriginal identity population
499,605
100.0
476,700
100.0
51.2
3.3
Females
Males
1. Includes those who do not consider themselves an Aboriginal person but who have registered Indian status and/or First Nation (Band) membership.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.2
Female and male Aboriginal populations, by province and territory, 2001
Number
%
Number
%
Females as
a percent of
the total
Aboriginal
population
group
in region
9,375
715
8,690
8,335
40,410
97,180
77,015
66,895
80,275
86,805
3,355
9,370
11,195
1.9
0.1
1.7
1.7
8.1
19.5
15.4
13.4
16.1
17.4
0.7
1.9
2.2
9,400
635
8,320
8,655
38,995
91,135
73,030
63,295
75,950
83,220
3,190
9,355
11,520
2.0
0.1
1.7
1.8
8.2
19.1
15.3
13.3
15.9
17.5
0.7
2.0
2.4
49.9
53.0
51.1
49.1
50.9
51.6
51.3
51.4
51.4
51.1
51.3
50.0
49.3
3.6
1.0
1.9
2.3
1.1
1.7
13.7
13.7
5.5
4.4
23.6
51.7
86.8
499,605
100.0
476,700
100.0
51.2
3.3
Females
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon Territory
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
Source:
Males
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
203
Aboriginal
females as a
percent of
total female
population
in region
Women in Canada 2005
Table 8.3
Provincial and territorial distribution of the female Aboriginal population, by group, 2001
Inuit
Total
Aboriginal
female
population1
1.8
0.1
1.0
1.3
5.2
16.3
19.6
15.2
22.9
15.1
0.2
1.2
-100.0
10.0
0.1
0.8
0.2
21.1
3.2
0.8
0.4
2.6
2.1
0.3
8.9
49.4
100.0
1.9
0.1
1.7
1.7
8.1
19.5
15.4
13.4
16.1
17.4
0.7
1.9
2.2
100.0
146,130
22,510
499,605
North
American
Indian
Metis
1.1
0.2
2.1
1.9
8.4
21.8
14.9
13.7
14.0
19.3
0.9
1.7
-100.0
314,420
%
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon Territory
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
Canada
Total
1.
Includes multiple Aboriginal responses, as well as those who did not identify with an Aboriginal group but who reported having registered Indian status
and/or First Nation/band membership
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.4
Area of residence of the female and male Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal populations, 2001
Aboriginal people
Non-Aboriginal people
Female
Male
Female
Male
On reserve
28.2
30.4
0.1
0.1
Off-reserve
Rural
Urban
Census metropolitan areas
Other urban areas
71.8
19.5
52.3
29.7
22.6
69.5
20.7
48.8
27.5
21.3
99.9
18.8
81.1
62.2
18.9
99.9
20.2
79.6
61.2
18.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
204
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Table 8.5
Registered Indian population, 1981, 1991 and 2001
1981
1991
2001
Growth rate
1981 to 2001
On-reserve
Male
Female
170,055
87,835
82,220
184,710
95,055
89,660
274,215
139,185
135,030
61.3
58.5
64.2
Off-reserve
Male
Female
119,120
54,940
64,180
201,090
89,870
111,225
283,955
129,245
154,715
138.4
135.2
141.1
Total – on and off reserve
Male
Female
289,175
142,770
146,400
385,805
184,920
200,885
558,175
268,430
289,745
93.0
88.0
97.9
Source:
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Table 8.6
Age distribution of female Aboriginal population, by group, 2001
Total
Aboriginal
North
American
Indian
Métis
Inuit
Total nonAboriginal
%
Females aged
Under 15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 65
65 and over
Total
Total population
31.7
17.1
31.2
15.7
4.3
33.4
16.8
30.6
14.9
4.3
28.1
18.0
32.3
17.2
4.5
38.0
17.9
29.8
11.4
2.8
18.1
12.8
30.5
24.7
13.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
499,605
314,420
146,130
22,510
14,575,150
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
205
Women in Canada 2005
Table 8.7
Home language of Aboriginal females and males, by group, 2001
Home language
English
only
French
only
Aboriginal
only
Aboriginal
and English
or French
or both
Other
Total
%
North American Indian
Women
Men
72.6
72.9
72.3
2.8
2.9
2.7
7.6
7.2
8.0
15.5
15.3
15.6
1.6
1.6
1.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
Métis
Women
Men
85.2
85.4
85.0
5.8
5.5
6.1
0.7
0.7
0.7
2.2
2.1
2.2
6.1
6.3
5.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
Inuit
Women
Men
33.2
33.4
33.0
0.7
0.7
0.6
32.0
31.1
32.8
33.2
33.7
32.8
0.9
1.1
0.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total Aboriginal population1
Women
Men
74.8
75.0
74.6
3.8
3.8
3.9
6.5
6.2
6.8
11.9
11.9
11.9
3.0
3.1
2.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
1.
Includes multiple Aboriginal responses, as well as those who did not identify with an Aboriginal group but who reported having registered Indian status
and/or First Nation/band membership.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.8
Family status of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over, by group, 2001
Total
Aboriginal
North
American
Indian
Métis
Inuit
Total nonAboriginal
%
Living with family
With husband or wife
With common-law partner
Lone parent
Child living with parents
Living with extended family members
Total living with family
31.7
17.1
19.4
15.4
3.4
87.0
29.7
18.0
21.3
15.3
3.8
88.2
35.2
14.5
16.0
15.8
2.7
84.2
32.1
23.0
16.9
18.5
3.1
93.6
48.7
9.2
8.4
13.9
2.6
82.9
8.7
4.3
13.0
8.1
3.7
11.8
10.2
5.6
15.8
3.9
2.5
6.4
13.8
3.3
17.1
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total population (000’s)
340.1
208.8
104.8
13.9
11,890.8
Not living with family
Living alone
Living with non-relatives
Total not living with family
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Table 8.9
Percentage of Aboriginal women and men aged 15 and over living off-reserve
having contact with health professionals in past 12 months, 2001
Aboriginal
women
Aboriginal
men
%
Percentage who have seen or talked on the telephone
about their physical, emotional or mental health in the
past 12 months with the following health professionals
Family doctor or general practicioner
Dentist or orthodontist
Eye doctor (ophthalmologist, optometrist)
Nurse
Other medical doctor (such as a surgeon, allergist or orthopedist)
Social worker, counselor or psychologist
Chiropractor
Physiotherapist or occupational therapist
Traditional healer
Source:
80
56
40
28
24
18
14
10
8
64
48
32
22
18
10
12
10
4
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey.
Table 8.10
Percentage of Aboriginal women aged 15 and over living off reserve
who smoke daily, by age and group, 2001
Total
Aboriginal
women
North
American
Indian
women
Métis
women
Inuit
women
Total
Canadian
women
%
People aged
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total
Source:
39
39
41
42
36
21
38
38
40
42
38
20
34
42
44
42
34
24
62
70
62
64
48
30
19
24
22
25
21
10
39
38
38
60
20
Statistics Canada, 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and 2000/2001 Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
207
Women in Canada 2005
Table 8.11
Highest level of schooling of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
women and men aged 25 and over, 2001
Aboriginal people
Women
Non-Aboriginal people
Men
Women
Men
%
Highest level of schooling
Less than high school graduation certificate
High school graduation certificate only
Some postsecondary education
Trades certificate or diploma
College certificate or diploma
University certificate or diploma below bachelor’s degree
University degree
40.1
9.1
13.4
11.3
17.3
2.2
6.6
44.1
9.0
11.6
18.9
10.6
1.2
4.5
29.2
15.3
8.8
8.4
18.4
3.2
16.6
28.2
12.4
8.7
16.0
13.6
2.3
18.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
255,520
227,765
10,065,140
9,364,735
Total
Total population 25 years and over
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.12
Percentage of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people employed, by age and group, 2001
North
American
Indian
Total
Aboriginal
Métis
Total
non-Aboriginal
Inuit
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
Women
Men
35.0
58.0
49.8
5.6
37.6
64.7
56.9
10.6
28.0
53.7
46.3
5.4
30.4
59.2
52.6
9.1
48.7
66.7
56.0
6.0
52.2
75.7
63.4
12.9
33.5
59.6
49.8
10.3
32.6
61.0
58.7
15.5
56.6
75.8
61.0
4.8
56.9
86.2
75.1
13.0
47.1
52.5
42.5
47.0
55.9
63.0
48.0
49.2
56.3
67.6
People aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 8 / Aboriginal Women in Canada
Table 8.13
Occupational distribution of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women and men, 2001
Aboriginal people
Non-Aboriginal people
Women
Men
Women
Men
37.1
22.9
15.0
6.1
6.0
3.3
3.3
2.5
2.2
1.6
20.5
5.3
4.9
7.2
1.0
8.5
34.5
2.1
11.5
4.6
28.8
27.9
10.9
8.0
8.9
5.0
2.2
3.3
2.1
3.0
18.9
9.1
4.9
12.7
2.1
8.8
25.5
2.4
6.1
9.6
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Sales and service
Business, finance and administration
Social science, education, government service and religion
Management
Health
Processing, manufacturing and utilities
Trades, transport and equipment operators and related
Art, culture, recreation and sport
Primary industry
Natural and applied sciences and related
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.14
Unemployment rates of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal labour force participants,
by age, 2001
Aboriginal people
Women
Non-Aboriginal people
Men
Women
Men
%
People aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total aged 15 and over
Source:
24.7
16.0
11.2
10.1
27.9
20.7
17.5
14.2
12.6
6.4
5.0
5.9
13.9
6.3
5.7
4.5
16.7
21.4
7.0
7.2
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 8.15
Unemployment rates of Aboriginal women, by group and area of residence, 2001
Total
Aboriginal
North
American
Indian
On reserve
22
22
Off reserve
Census metropolitan areas
Other urban areas
Total urban areas
Rural
15
14
17
15
16
Total
17
Inuit
Total nonAboriginal
19
17
10
18
16
21
18
17
12
11
13
12
14
20
24
18
20
20
7
7
8
7
8
19
12
20
7
Métis
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
209
Chapter 9
Immigrant Women
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
An increasingly diverse population
Diversity is one of the defining characteristics of Canadian society. Over the last two
centuries, the linguistic, cultural and religious make-up of the country has significantly
changed in the wake of various waves of immigrants, first, mostly from Europe; and
more recently from a wider range of societies including many non-European countries.
The diversity that marks Canadian society has had a positive effect on the country
as new skills and ways of looking at the world have been adapted from succeeding waves
of newcomers. The diverse nature of the country, however, can also introduce tensions
into the social fabric as different groups struggle to adjust to their new social milieu
while at the same time trying to maintain their cultural identity in a rapidly changing
environment.
In this scenario, it is very likely that foreign-born women face a particularly complex
set of hurdles in their attempt to adapt to Canadian society. On the one hand, they have
to cope with all the problems associated with adjusting to, what for many, may be a
completely new lifestyle. At the same time, these women may also have to overcome
many of the gender-related inequalities which women in Canada have traditionally
experienced.
Foreign-born female population growing rapidly
Perhaps the most significant aspect of the growing diversity of Canadian society has
been the large flow of new immigrants into the country in recent decades. Indeed, almost
one in five females currently living in Canada was born outside the country. Overall,
there were a total of 2.8 million foreign-born females living in Canada in 2001. Together,
they made up 19% of the country’s total female population that year.
In fact, the number of foreign-born females living in Canada has grown considerably
more rapidly than the native-born female population in recent years. Between 1996 and
2001, for example, the foreign-born female population in Canada increased by 10%,
almost four times faster than did the Canadian-born female population which grew by
less than 3% per year in the same period. (Chart 9.1)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
211
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 9.1
Growth rates of the foreign-born and native-born female
populations, 1996 to 2001
%
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Foreign-born
Source:
Born in Canada
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
As a result of this trend, the share of the female population accounted for by foreignborn women is currently the largest it has been in more than half a century. In 2001,
females born outside the country represented 19% of all women living in Canada, up
from 16% in 1991, and 14% in 1951. The share of the female population accounted for
by those born outside the country, though, is still lower than in the 1920s and 1930s
when over 20% of the female population in Canada was born outside the country.
(Chart 9.2)
Chart 9.2
Foreign-born females as a percentage of the total female
population, 1921 to 2001
%
25
%
20
15
10
5
0
1921
Source:
212
1931
1941
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
2001
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Higher immigrant flows in the 1990s
The recent increase in the size of the foreign-born female population reflects, in part,
the fact that immigration levels have been relatively high over the past decade. Since the
early 1990s, for example, an average of almost 225,000 immigrants has been admitted to
the country each year, compared with only about 126,000 per year during the previous
decade. (Chart 9.3)
Chart 9.3
Total number of immigrants arriving in Canada between 1980 and 2003
300,000
250,000
Total immigrants
200,000
150,000
100,000
Female immigrants
50,000
0
1980
Source:
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
It should be noted, though, that increases in the relative size of the foreign-born
population also reflect a decline in the birth rate among those born in Canada in recent
decades. In fact, immigration currently accounts for about half of all population growth
in Canada. It is also projected that by the second decade of the new century all population
growth will be the result of immigration.
Women comprise just over half of all people who immigrate to Canada. In the
period 1994 to 2003, for example, a total of just over 1.1 million females were admitted
to Canada as immigrants. These women made up 51% of all immigrants admitted to
Canada in this period. (Table 9.1)
Immigration to Canada
The foreign-born population in Canada includes those who have landedimmigrant status, whether or not they have acquired Canadian citizenship.
Note, though, that children born in Canada to immigrant parents are not
included in the immigrant population.
The number of immigrants entering Canada each year is largely
determined by government policies controlling admissions. Since the late
1970s, Canada’s immigration policy has been guided by three broad
objectives: (1) to reunite families, (2) to foster a strong and viable economy
in all regions of Canada, and (3) to fulfil Canada’s international legal
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
213
Women in Canada 2005
obligations and to maintain compassionate and humanitarian traditions with
respect to refugees. These objectives are reflected in the primary categories
under which people are admitted to Canada each year as permanent
residents: family, economic, and refugee.
The family class of immigrants includes people sponsored to come to
Canada by close relatives who are already living here. Economic immigrants
include skilled workers and business immigrants, such as investors,
entrepreneurs, and the self-employed, as well as spouses and dependants of
these persons. Economic immigrants are selected for immigration on the
basis of their labour market skills. Since 1967, skilled workers have been
rated on a “point ” system based on their age, education, training,
occupational skills, demand for their occupation in Canada, existence of prearranged employment, and knowledge of English or French.
The refugee class includes people who are unable or unwilling to return
to their home country because of fear of persecution for reasons of race,
religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social
group. As well, the refugee category includes people displaced by
emergency situations and people whom Canada has recognized as being in
a special class for humanitarian reasons.
It should also be noted that considerable caution should be exercised in
comparing overall trends for the foreign-born population with those of the
rest of the population. In particular, the assessment of causal factors will be
difficult to impute because the data presented in this chapter have not been
weighted to account for differences in key variables such age and education.
Most women come to Canada with their spouse or family
The majority of females immigrating to Canada come with their family. Of all foreignborn females admitted to Canada in the decade between 1994 and 2003, 36% were
considered family class immigrants, while another 37% came as the spouse or dependant
of an economic immigrant. At the same time, just over one in 10 female immigrants
arrived as an economic immigrant themselves, while another 10% were admitted as
refugees.
The number of women admitted to Canada as refugees, though, has declined slightly
in recent years. In 2003, close to 11,600 female refugees were admitted to Canada, down
from 13,000 in 2001 and 14,000 in 2000. The current number of female refugees admitted
to the country, though, is higher than in the late 1990s when an average of fewer than
11,000 females were admitted to Canada as refugees each year. (Chart 9.4)
Female immigrants are also somewhat less likely than male immigrants to be
admitted to Canada as refugees. In the decade between 1994 and 2003, 10% of female
immigrants, versus 13% of male immigrants, were admitted to Canada for humanitarian
reasons. (Table 9.1)
Female immigrants are also only about a third as likely to be admitted to Canada
as the principal applicant in the economic class. In the period 1994 to 2003, for example,
only 11% of female immigrants were so classified, compared with 33% of male entrants.
In contrast, female immigrants are considerably more likely than males to be admitted
to Canada as family members. Between 1994 and 2003, 72% of female immigrants came
to Canada as either family class immigrants or spouses or dependents of economic class
applicants, whereas this was the case for just over 50% of their male counterparts.
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Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Chart 9.4
Females admitted to Canada as refugees, 1994 to 2003
16,000
14,000
12,000
10,000
8,000
6,000
4,000
2,000
0
1994
Source:
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Many are recent arrivals
The largest share of the foreign-born female population arrived here in the past decade.
In 2001, there were almost 1 million foreign-born females living in Canada who had
arrived in the country between 1991 and 2001. These recent arrivals made up 34% of all
foreign-born females living in Canada that year. Indeed, foreign-born women who arrived
here in the past decade made up 6% of the total female Canadian population. Of the
remaining foreign-born female population, 19% had arrived here between 1981 and
1990, while 17% came in the 1970s, 14% came between 1961 and 1970, and 16% arrived
before 1961. (Table 9.2)
Primary region of origin for immigrant females is changing
There has been an even more dramatic shift in the number of foreign-born females
coming from different regions of the world in recent years. In fact, well over half (58%)
of all female immigrants living in Canada in 2001 who arrived here in the 1990s came
from Asia, including the Middle East, whereas this was the case for just 3% of those who
arrived prior to 1961. There was a similar trend for female immigrants coming from
Africa. Of all foreign-born female residents who arrived here in the past decade, 7%
were from Africa, whereas this region accounted for less than 1% of those who arrived
prior to 1961. (Table 9.3)
The share of female immigrants currently coming to Canada from both the
Caribbean and Central and South America is also much higher than it was before 1961
when these areas accounted for less than 1% of female immigration. In contrast, women
from the Caribbean made up 5% of all female immigrants to Canada who arrived between
1991 and 2001, while the figure was 6% for those from Central and South America.
Neither of these latter figures, though, are highs for that particular region. Indeed, female
immigrants from the Caribbean made up 11% of all female immigrants in the 1970s,
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
215
Women in Canada 2005
while the current figure for those from Central and South America is down somewhat
from a high of 10% in the 1980s.
At the same time, there have been sharp declines in the shares of foreign-born
females coming from traditional source regions such as the United Kingdom or other
European countries. Indeed, just 19% of all immigrant females living in Canada in 2001
who arrived the previous decade were from either the United Kingdom or other European
nation, whereas this was the case for 90% of immigrant women who had arrived before
1961.
Despite these changes, the largest share of foreign-born females currently living in
Canada is still European. Of all immigrant females living in Canada in 2001, 41% were
from either the United Kingdom or other European country, while 36% were from Asia
or the Middle East. At the same time, smaller shares originated in the Caribbean or
Bermuda (6%), Central or South America (6%), Africa (5%) or the United States (5%).
Most become Canadian citizens
The vast majority of female immigrants to Canada have become citizens.1 Indeed, by
2001, 83% of female immigrants eligible to have applied for citizenship had become
naturalized Canadian citizens. (Chart 9.5)
Chart 9.5
Proportion of eligible female immigrants who have become naturalized
Canadian citizens, by period of immigration, 2001
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
1996 to 1997
Total foreignborn women
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Not surprisingly, immigrants who have resided in Canada for many years are more
likely to have obtained Canadian citizenship than newer residents. More than nine out
of 10 women who immigrated to this country before 1961 were Canadian citizens by
2001, along with 86% of those who arrived here between 1961 and 1980, and 85% of
those who immigrated between 1981 and 1991. Still, well over half (58%) of women
who had arrived in Canada as recently as 1996 and 1997 had become citizens by 2001.
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Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Female immigrants, however, are slightly less likely to have obtained Canadian
citizenship than male immigrants. By 2001, 83% of all foreign-born women living in
Canada who were eligible to apply for citizenship had done so, compared with 85% of all
eligible immigrant men. Among recent immigrants, though, eligible women (58%) were
about as likely as men (57%) to have obtained Canadian citizenship by 2001.
Many in a visible minority
Almost half the foreign-born female population in Canada is a part of a visible minority.
Of immigrant women living in Canada in 2001, 49% were considered to be a visible
minority.2 That year, there were almost 1.5 million foreign-born women in a visible
minority living in Canada. Together, they made up 9% of the total female population in
Canada. (Chart 9.6)
Chart 9.6
Proportion of foreign-born women who are in a visible minority,
by period of immigration, 2001
Period of arrival
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2001
Total foreignborn females
Non-immigrant
females
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Not surprisingly, given recent trends in the primary source countries of immigration
to Canada, recent arrivals in Canada are far more likely to be part of a visible minority
than those who have been in the country for longer periods. Indeed, almost three-quarters
(74%) of foreign-born females who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2001 are visible
minorities, whereas this is the case for only 19% of those who arrived here in the 1960s
and just 3% of those who arrived in Canada before 1961.
A largely urban population
Immigrants to Canada tend to settle in the country’s largest metropolitan areas. In 2001,
for example, 62% of the foreign-born female population in Canada lived in Toronto,
Vancouver, or Montreal. In contrast, these three urban areas were home to only 27% of
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
217
Women in Canada 2005
their Canadian-born counterparts. That year, 38% of all immigrant women lived in
Toronto, while 14% resided in Vancouver and 11% made Montreal their home. (Table 9.4)
Recent arrivals are even more likely to be centred in one of these three urban areas.
Indeed, 73% of foreign-born females who arrived in Canada in the last decade resided in
the Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal metropolitan areas in 2001. That year, 43% of all
foreign-born women living in Canada who arrived in the last decade made Toronto their
home, while 18% resided in Vancouver and 11% lived in Montreal.
Foreign-born women make up particularly large shares of the overall female
populations of both Toronto and Vancouver. In 2001, 45% of all female residents of
Toronto, and 39% of those in Vancouver, were born outside the country. In fact, that
year, 17% of all female residents of both Toronto and Vancouver were immigrants who
had arrived in the country within the past decade. (Chart 9.7)
Chart 9.7
Foreign-born females as a percentage of the total female population in
selected Census Metropolitan Areas, 2001
Toronto
Vancouver
Hamilton
Calgary
London
Edmonton
St. Catharines - Niagara
Montréal
Ottawa - Gatineau
Winnipeg
Halifax
Québec
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
%
Recent arrivals1
All foreign-born females
1. Includes those who arrived between 1991 and the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Foreign-born females, though, also make up relatively large shares of the overall
female population in several other major urban areas. In 2001, for example, 24% of female
residents of Hamilton were born outside the country, while the figure was 21% in Calgary,
18% in each of Edmonton, Montreal and Ottawa-Gatineau, and 17% in Winnipeg.
The tendency for immigrants to settle in either Toronto or Vancouver is further
reflected in the fact that foreign-born women also account for relatively large shares of
the overall female populations of Ontario and British Columbia. Indeed, immigrants
made up 27% of all female residents in both provinces in 2001. Immigrants also made up
15% of the female population of Alberta that year, while the figure was 12% in Manitoba
and 10% in each of Quebec and the Yukon. In contrast, the figure was well under 10% in
the remaining provinces and territories. (Chart 9.8)
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Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Chart 9.8
Foreign-born females as a percentage of the total female population,
by province and territory, 2001
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
%
Recent arrivals1
All foreign-born females
1. Includes those who arrived between 1991 and the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
An older population
The foreign-born female population tends to be older, on average, than the overall female
population in Canada. In particular, immigrant women are considerably more likely than
their non-immigrant counterparts to be in their prime working years. In 2001, 67% of
all foreign-born women were between the ages of 25 and 64, compared with 52% of
native-born women. That year, roughly one in three (34%) immigrant women was aged
25 to 44, while another third (33%) was between the ages of 45 and 64. (Table 9.5)
Women born outside the country are also more likely than other women to be
seniors. In 2001, 20% of all immigrant women in Canada were aged 65 and over, compared
with 12% of their native-born counterparts. As with the overall population, women
represent a disproportionate share of the foreign-born senior population. That year, women
made up 54% of the immigrant population aged 65 and over living in Canada, although
this was somewhat lower than the figure in the non-immigrant population in which
57% of seniors were women.3
In contrast, young people make up relatively small shares of the foreign-born female
population. In 2001, just 14% of all immigrant females were under the age of 25, compared
with 36% of their non-immigrant counterparts. That year, 6% of female immigrants,
versus 22% of the non-immigrant female population, were under the age of 15, while 8%
of female immigrants, compared with 14% of non-immigrants, were aged 15 to 24.
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219
Women in Canada 2005
Most living with family members
The large majority of foreign-born women live with their families. Indeed, in 2001, 86%
of immigrant women aged 15 and over were living in some form of family setting. That
year, 59% were living with their husband, 3% were in a common-law relationship, 9%
were lone parents, 10% were daughters living with their parents, and 5% were living with
other relatives. (Table 9.6)
Foreign-born women, in fact, are somewhat more likely than those born in Canada
to live with family members. In 2001, 86% of immigrant women aged 15 and over lived
in some form of family setting, compared with 82% of other women in this age range.
Foreign-born women were particularly more likely than their native-born counterparts,
59% versus 45%, to be living with their spouse. On the other hand, foreign-born women
are much less likely than other women to be living in a common-law relationship. That
year, 3% of women aged 15 and over born outside the country were partners in a commonlaw relationship, compared with 11% of other women.
Foreign-born women are slightly more likely than those born in Canada to be lone
parents. In 2001, 9% of foreign-born women aged 15 and were lone parents, about one
percentage point higher than the figure for their Canadian-born counterparts. Among
foreign-born women, though, recent arrivals to Canada are somewhat less likely to be
lone parents than immigrant women who have been in the country for longer periods.
That year, for example, 8% of immigrant women aged 15 and over who arrived in Canada
between 1991 and 2001 were lone parents.
As with their native-born counterparts, foreign-born women are much more likely
than their male counterparts to be a lone parent. In 2001, women made up 83% of all
lone parents born outside the country, a figure slightly higher than that in the nonimmigrant population in which women made up 81% of all lone parents. Women make
up an even greater share of lone parents among recent arrivals to Canada; that year, 86%
of lone parents who had immigrated to Canada between 1991 and 2001 were female.
(Chart 9.9)
Chart 9.9
Women as a percentage of lone parents, by immigrant status, 2001
%
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
All immigrants
Recent immigrants1
Non-immigrants
1. Includes those who arrived between 1991 and the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
220
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Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Language profile changing
A substantial majority of the foreign-born female population in Canada has a mother
tongue other than one of the two official languages. In 2001, 69% of all immigrant
women aged 15 and over had a mother tongue, that is, the first language spoken and still
understood, other than English or French. In contrast, English was the mother tongue
of 28% of these women, while only 3% reported French was their mother tongue.
(Table 9.7)
Again, in large part because of changes in the primary countries of origin of recent
immigrants to Canada, new arrivals are somewhat more likely than those who have been
in the country for longer periods to have a mother tongue other than English or French.
In 2001, 83% of foreign-born women aged 15 and over who arrived in Canada in the
previous decade had a mother tongue other than one of the two official languages, while
the figure was 73% for those who arrived in the 1980s, and around 60% for those who
arrived here before 1981.
While the majority of foreign-born women have a mother tongue other than English
or French, almost all of these women can speak at least one of Canada’s official languages.
In 2001, 92% of foreign-born women aged 15 and over reported they could carry on a
conversation in either English or French, or both. That year, 77% could conduct a
conversation in English only, while 3% spoke French only and 11% were bilingual. At
the same time, though, 8% of immigrant women could not conduct a conversation in
either official language. (Table 9.8)
Not surprisingly, among foreign-born women, recent arrivals are somewhat more
likely than those who have been in the country for longer periods to be unable to speak
either English or French. In 2001, 12% of foreign-born women who arrived here between
1991 and 2001 were unable to conduct a conversation in either English or French,
compared with 9% of those who arrived in the 1980s, 7% of those who arrived between
1971 and 1980, and less than 5% of those who arrived before 1971. Still, the large majority
of even the most recent arrivals are able to speak English or French. That year, 88% of
immigrant females who arrived in the past decade said they were able to carry on a
conversation in at least one official language.
Foreign-born women are also somewhat more likely than their male counterparts
to be unable to speak an official language. In 2001, 8% of all foreign-born women aged
15 and older could not conduct a conversation in either French or English, compared
with 5% of immigrant men. Similarly, among those who arrived in Canada between
1991 and 2001, 12% of women, versus 8% of men, were unable to speak either official
language.
Senior immigrant women are particularly likely to be unable to speak either English
or French. In fact, in 2001, 18% of foreign-born women aged 65 and over could not
carry on a conversation in one of Canada’s two official languages, whereas this was the
case for only 8% of those aged 45 to 64 and 5% or less of those in younger age ranges. As
well, senior immigrant women were also considerably more likely than their male
counterparts, 18% versus 11%, to be unable to carry on a conversation in English or
French that year. (Chart 9.10)
While the large majority of foreign-born women are able to speak at least one of
Canada’s official languages, a substantial proportion still speak a non-official language
in their home. Indeed, in 2001, 47% of all foreign-born women aged 15 and over spoke
a language other than English or French most often in their home. Again, recent arrivals
were the most likely to speak a non-official language in their home. That year, 68% of
immigrant women who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2001 spoke a language
other than English or French most often in their home, whereas the figure among earlier
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221
Women in Canada 2005
arrivals ranged from just over half (52%) of those who arrived in the 1980s to less than a
quarter (23%) of those who had arrived before 1961. (Chart 9.11)
Chart 9.10
Percentage of the foreign-born population not able to speak
English or French, 2001
%
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
Women
2
Men
0
Under 15
Source:
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Chart 9.11
Percentage of foreign-born women speaking a non-official language
most often at home, by period of immigration, 2001
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Before 1961
Source:
222
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2001
Total immigrant
women
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
A substantial minority of foreign-born women also speak a language other than
English or French at work. In 2001, 6% of all employed immigrant women spoke a
language other than one of the two official languages most often at work, while another
2% spoke another language in combination with English or French or both.
Foreign-born women highly educated
Women born outside Canada are more likely than their native-born counterparts to
have completed university. In 2001, 18% of all foreign-born women had a university
degree, compared with 14% of Canadian-born women. Immigrant women, though, have
lower levels of formal education than immigrant men, 24% of whom had a degree that
year. This contrasts with the Canadian-born population among which women are currently
about as likely as men to have earned a university degree. (Table 9.9)
Foreign-born women are also more likely than other Canadian women to have an
advanced university degree. In 2001, 6% of immigrant women had a Master’s degree or
an earned doctorate, compared with 4% of women born in Canada. Again, though,
foreign-born women were considerably less likely than male immigrants to have an
advanced degree. Indeed, that year, almost 10% of foreign-born men had post-graduate
qualifications.
Among the foreign-born female population, recent arrivals are particularly likely
to have university qualifications. In 2001, 26% of female immigrants who arrived in
Canada in the previous decade had a university degree. Indeed, close to one in 10 of
these women had graduated with a degree higher than the bachelor’s level.
It should be noted, though, that data on the educational status of the foreign-born
population do not take into account whether the highest level of formal training was
completed before they came to Canada or once they arrived here. As well, those who
had completed their educations prior to coming to Canada often experience some
difficulties getting their credentials recognized upon arrival in Canada.
While a relatively large number of foreign-born women have postsecondary
qualifications, almost one in three of these women never attended high school. In 2001,
33% of immigrant women aged 15 and over had not completed high school, a slightly
higher figure than among non-immigrant women (31%). Immigrant women, though,
were more likely not to have attended high school than their male counterparts, among
whom the figure was 28%.
On the other hand, relatively few recent female immigrants have not attended
high school. That year, 27% of foreign-born women aged 15 and over who arrived between
1991 and 2001 had not attended high school, compared with 33% of all immigrant
women.
Young female immigrants likely to be attending school
A relatively large proportion of young female immigrants are attending school. In 2001,
83% of foreign-born females aged 15 to 19 were attending school on either a full or parttime basis, compared with 78% of their non-immigrant counterparts. Similarly, among
20 to 24-year-old females, 58% of those born outside Canada were in some form of
educational program that year, versus 50% of those born in Canada. (Table 9.10)
Overall, young foreign-born women are about as likely as their male counterparts
to be going to school. This contrasts with trends among the rest of the population where
rates of school attendance are substantially higher among young women than they are
for young men.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
223
Women in Canada 2005
Less likely to be employed
While foreign-born women are generally better educated than their Canadian-born
counterparts, those born elsewhere are less likely to be employed. Among women between
the ages of 25 and 64, for example, only 64% of those born outside the country were part
of the paid workforce in 2001, compared with 70% of non-immigrant women. As with
other women, foreign-born women are also considerably less likely to be employed than
their male counterparts, 80% of whom were part of the paid workforce that year.
(Chart 9.12)
Chart 9.12
Percentage of foreign-born women aged 25 to 64 employed,
by period of immigration, 20011
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born women
Non-immigrant women
Foreign-born men who
arrived 1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born men
Non-immigrant men
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
%
1. Excludes immigrants who arrived in 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Among the foreign-born female population, recent arrivals in Canada are the least
likely to be employed. Indeed, in 2001, just 58% of women between the ages of 25 and
64 who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2001 were part of the paid workforce,
compared with around 70% or more of those who arrived here in the 1970s and 1980s
and 63% of those who arrived in the country between 1961 and 1970.
As well, as with other women in Canada, a relatively large proportion of foreignborn women work on a part-time or part-year basis. In 2001, 47% of all employed
immigrant women between the ages of 25 and 64 worked primarily on a non-standard
schedule. This was slightly higher than the figure among their non-immigrant
counterparts, 45% of whom worked on a largely part-time, part-year basis that year.
Foreign-born women were also much more likely to have a non-standard work
arrangement than immigrant men, just 34% of whom were employed on a primarily
part-time, part-year basis that year. (Table 9.11)
Among immigrant women, the most recent arrivals are the most likely to work
part-time. Indeed, in 2001, well over half (56%) of all employed foreign-born women
224
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
who arrived in the preceding decade worked on a primarily part-time basis, whereas this
was the case for less than 45% of immigrant women who arrived here prior to 1991.
Concentrated in traditional female jobs
As with the overall female workforce in Canada, the majority of foreign-born female
workers are concentrated in occupations traditionally held by women. In 2001, for
example, 46% of all foreign-born women who participated in the paid workforce worked
in either administrative or clerical jobs or in sales or service positions, although this was
somewhat below the figure for Canadian-born women, 49% of whom were employed in
these areas. In contrast, the share of immigrant women working in these types of jobs
was almost double that for their male counterparts; that year, just 22% of employed
foreign-born men had jobs in these areas. (Table 9.12)
Foreign-born women are over-represented among women employed in the
manufacturing sector. In 2001, 11% of all employed women born outside Canada worked
in manufacturing jobs, compared with just 4% of women born in Canada. In contrast,
immigrant women tend to be underrepresented in the ranks of females employed in
professional occupations in education, government, social services, religion, recreation,
and culture, while they are about as likely as other women to be employed as professionals
in the health sector or in management jobs. Foreign-born women, though, were less
likely to be employed as managers than immigrant men. That year, 9% of employed
immigrant women worked in management positions, versus 15% of foreign-born men.
Foreign-born women also make up a somewhat disproportionate share of women
employed in occupations in the natural and applied sciences. In 2001, 4% of employed
foreign-born women worked in these types of jobs, versus 3% of their counterparts born
in Canada. Immigrant women, though, were still considerably less likely to work in
these high-end jobs than their male counterparts, 14% of whom were employed in sciencerelated jobs.
High unemployment rates
Foreign-born women have relatively high unemployment rates. In 2001, 8.1% of all
female labour force participants born outside the country were classified as unemployed,
compared with 7.0% of those born in Canada. Immigrant women are also somewhat
more likely to be unemployed than male immigrants, among whom the figure was 6.8%
that year. (Chart 9.13)
Among foreign-born women, recent arrivals are the most likely to be unemployed.
Indeed, 12.1% of female labour force participants who immigrated to Canada in the past
decade were unemployed in 2001, compared with 7.8% of those who arrived in 19811990 and 5% or less of those who came to Canada before 1981. The most recent female
immigrant labour force participants are also considerably more likely to be unemployed
than their male counterparts, 9.7% of whom were unemployed in 2001.
As with the overall female population, young immigrant females are much more
likely to be unemployed than their older counterparts. In 2001, 14.9% of foreign-born
female labour force participants aged 15 to 24 were unemployed, compared with 8.9% of
those between the ages of 25 and 44 and 5.7% of those aged 45 to 64. Young female
immigrants also have a substantially higher unemployment rate than their counterparts
born in Canada, 12.7% of whom were unemployed that year. On the other hand, there
was almost no difference in the unemployment rates of young female and male immigrants.
This contrasts with the situation among the non-immigrant population in which young
women aged 15 to 24 are less likely than men in this age range to be unemployed.
(Table 9.13)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
225
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 9.13
Unemployment rates of foreign-born women, by period of
immigration, 20011
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born women
Non-immigrant women
Foreign-born men who
arrived 1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born men
Non-immigrant men
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
%
1. Excludes immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Little difference in earnings
Immigrant women with jobs generally earn about the same as other women in Canada.
Foreign-born women employed on a full-time, full-year basis in 2000, for example, earned
an average of $34,500, only about $500 less per person than the figure for their Canadianborn counterparts. Like Canadian-born women, though, immigrant women earn
considerably less than their male counterparts. That year, the earnings of foreign-born
women employed on a full-time, full-year basis were just 70% those of their male
counterparts, while the figure was 71% among the non-immigrant population.
(Chart 9.14)
The average earnings of recently arrived immigrant women, however, are relatively
low. Foreign-born women who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2000 averaged a
little over $28,000 for full-year, full-time employment in 2000, roughly 20% below the
figures for both all immigrant and non-immigrant women. As with other women, however,
the earnings of recently arrived foreign-born women were about 70% those of their male
counterparts.
226
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Chart 9.14
Average employment income of foreign-born women aged 15 and over
who were employed full-year, full-time in 2000,1 by period of immigration
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born women
Non-immigrant women
Foreign-born men who
arrived 1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born men
Non-immigrant men
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
$
1. Excludes immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Total incomes slightly less
Similar to trends in earnings, the average total income from all sources of foreign-born
women is slightly lower than that of their Canadian-born counterparts. Among women
aged 15 and over, those born outside Canada had an average income from all sources,
including employment earnings, investment income and transfer payments, of $22,400
in 2000. This compared with $23,100 for those born in Canada. As with Canadianborn women, however, foreign-born women have considerably lower total incomes than
immigrant men. In fact, the average income of female immigrants aged 15 and older was
just 61% that of their male counterparts that year, about the same as the figure (62%)
among the Canadian-born population. (Table 9.14)
As well, foreign-born women who arrived in Canada in the past decade have
particularly low incomes. Indeed, women aged 15 and older who immigrated to Canada
in the last decade had an average income of only $16,700 in 2000, around $6,000 less
than the figure for both the overall female immigrant population, as well as Canadianborn women.
More dependent on transfer payments
Foreign-born women generally receive a slightly larger proportion of their total income
from government transfer payments, including family allowances, employment insurance,
and other types of social assistance, than their Canadian-born counterparts. In 2000,
transfer payments accounted for 19% of the total income of female immigrants aged 15
and older, compared with 16% of that of females born in Canada. Foreign-born women
also receive a larger share of their income from transfer payments than male immigrants,
just 10% of whose income that year came from government sources. (Table 9.15)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
227
Women in Canada 2005
Senior immigrant women receive a particularly large share of their income from
government transfer payments. In 2001, 59% of the income of immigrant women aged
65 and over came from these sources, while the figure was 57% among Canadian-born
senior women. Foreign-born women aged 25 to 44 also receive a somewhat higher share
of their incomes from government assistance programs than their non-immigrant
counterparts, whereas the opposite is the case among both those aged 15 to 24 and 45 to
64. As well, immigrant women under the age of 65 who arrived in Canada in the past
decade also receive a particularly large share of their income in the form of government
assistance, whereas this was not the case among recently-arrived senior women.3
Many live in low-income situations
A relatively large proportion of the foreign-born female population in Canada have
incomes which fall below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs. In 2000, 23% of all
foreign-born females lived in a low-income situation, compared with just 16% of their
Canadian-born counterparts. Immigrant females were also more likely to be classified as
living in a low-income situation than were male immigrants, 20% of whom were part of
a low-income household that year. (Chart 9.15)
Chart 9.15
Proportion of the female foreign-born population living in a low-income
situation, by period of immigration, 2000
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born women
Non-immigrant women
Foreign - born men who
arrived 1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born men
Non-immigrant men
S
0
S i i C
5
d
2001 C
15
10
fC
d
20
25
30
35
40
%
Source:
228
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Females who immigrated to Canada most recently are particularly likely to be
living in a low-income situation. In 2000, 35% of females who immigrated here between
1991 and 2000 were living in a low-income household, compared with 21% of women
who immigrated between 1981 and 1990, and fewer than two in 10 of women who
arrived in Canada before 1981.
As well, among the female immigrant population, children are the most likely to
live in a low-income situation. Indeed, in 2000, 42% of female immigrants under the age
of 15 were living in a low-income household. This was well over twice the figure for their
non-immigrant counterparts, 17% of whom were classified as living in a low-income
situation that year. Young immigrant women aged 15 to 24, as well as those between the
ages of 25 and 44, were also much more likely to be living in low income situations than
were their non-immigrant counterparts that year, whereas there were much smaller gaps
among those over the age of 45. (Chart 9.16)
Chart 9.16
Proportion of the population living in a low-income
situation, by age, 20001
Under 15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
0
5
10
15
25
20
30
35
40
45
%
Foreign-born females
Non-immigrant females
Foreign-born males
1. Excludes immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
229
Women in Canada 2005
Notes
1.
2.
3.
230
Immigrants who wish to become a Canadian citizen must apply for it. This process of
obtaining citizenship is called naturalization. In order to apply for Canadian citizenship,
immigrants must: be 18 years of age; be a legal permanent resident in Canada; have lived in
Canada for three years out of the four years right before the day of application; be able to
communicate in English or French; and, have knowledge of Canada, including the rights
and responsibilities of citizenship.
The female visible minority population is profiled in more detail in Chapter 10. The
Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples,
who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour”. The visible minority population includes
the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab/West Asian, Filipino, Southeast
Asian, Latin American, Japanese, Korean and Pacific Islander.
More details on the foreign-born female senior population are provided in Chapter 12.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Table 9.1
Immigrants arriving in Canada, by immigrant class, 1994 to 2003
1994 to 20031
Female
Immigrant class
Male
Number
%
Number
%
269,197
131,352
400,549
24.2
11.8
35.9
168,777
98,238
267,015
16.0
9.3
25.2
123,657
417,396
11.1
37.4
349,865
264,264
33.1
25.0
116,945
10.4
137,719
13.0
41,558
3.7
22,956
2.2
14,465
1.3
15,742
1.4
1,114,570
100.0
1,057,561
100.0
Family class
Immediate family
Parents and grandparents
Total family class
Economic class2
Principal applicants in economic class
Dependants of principal applicants in economic class
Refugees3
Other
4
Backlog and not stated
Total
1. Between 1994 and 2003, gender was unknown for 120 immigrants.
2. Includes skilled workers and business people, along with their dependants.
3. Includes government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, refugees landed in Canada (asylum), and dependants abroad.
4. Includes live-in caregivers and their dependants, deferred removal order and post-determination refugees, retirees, and provincial/territorial nominees.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Table 9.2
The foreign-born female population, by period of immigration, 2001
Total
population
As a percent
of all people
in group
As a percent
of all females
in Canada
As a percent
of all foreignborn females
461,095
381,835
486,930
538,735
957,275
51.5
51.2
52.0
51.7
52.3
3.1
2.5
3.2
3.6
6.4
16.3
13.5
17.2
19.1
33.9
2,825,870
51.9
18.7
100.0
98,685
49.7
0.7
…
Non-immigrants
12,150,200
50.6
80.6
…
Total
15,074,755
50.9
100.0
…
Foreign-born females who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20011
Total foreign-born females
Non-permanent residents
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
231
Women in Canada 2005
Table 9.3
Region of birth of female immigrants, by period of immigration, 2001
Period of arrival
1
1981 to 1990
1971 to 1980
United States
2.9
4.6
7.4
Central and South America
6.4
9.9
Caribbean and Bermuda
4.9
Region of birth
1991 to 2001
1961 to 1970
Before 1961
Total
6.7
4.8
4.8
6.8
2.4
0.7
5.7
7.4
10.6
6.2
0.8
5.9
2.2
3.0
9.3
4.8
19.3
5.9
4.4
9.6
5.0
24.8
13.0
5.9
3.3
13.1
35.4
21.9
11.7
5.2
29.9
68.7
26.8
26.8
15.1
21.4
90.1
11.4
8.8
8.7
12.4
41.3
7.2
5.2
5.5
2.9
0.4
4.8
8.1
23.4
11.5
15.3
58.4
6.3
15.4
16.0
9.2
46.9
2.8
10.6
11.3
8.0
32.7
1.5
5.1
2.4
2.9
11.9
0.4
1.7
0.3
0.3
2.7
4.7
13.7
9.3
8.8
36.4
0.8
1.1
1.5
1.2
0.4
1.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Europe
United Kingdom
Other Northern and Western Europe
Eastern Europe
Southern Europe
Total Europe
Africa
Asia
West Central Asia and the Middle East
Eastern Asia
South-East Asia
Southern Asia
Total Asia
Oceania and other
Total
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
232
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Table 9.4
The foreign-born female population in selected Census Metropolitan Areas, 2001
Immigrants
Arrived
1991 to 20011
Arrived
before 1991
Total
immigrants
Nonimmigrants
Census Metropolitan Areas
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
Number
%
Toronto
Vancouver
Montreal
Calgary
Ottawa2
Edmonton
Hamilton
Winnipeg
Kitchener
London
St. Catharines - Niagara
Windsor
Victoria
Oshawa
Abbotsford
Halifax
Other CMAs
413,510
171,495
110,000
36,335
33,125
24,260
18,630
13,730
13,580
10,125
5,315
12,185
5,365
3,790
5,330
3,945
18,650
43.2
17.9
11.4
3.8
3.4
2.5
1.9
1.4
1.4
1.1
0.6
1.3
0.6
0.4
0.6
0.4
1.9
647,060
214,790
206,540
64,995
53,510
61,095
61,950
42,965
32,810
31,550
29,415
22,470
25,770
20,015
11,040
8,455
45,915
34.6
11.4
11.1
3.4
2.9
3.3
3.3
2.3
1.8
1.7
1.6
1.2
1.4
1.1
0.6
0.4
2.4
1,060,570
386,285
316,545
101,340
86,635
85,350
80,590
56,690
46,395
41,675
34,720
34,655
31,135
23,800
16,385
12,390
64,545
37.5
13.7
11.2
3.6
3.1
3.0
2.9
2.0
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.2
1.1
0.8
0.6
0.4
2.3
1,288,390
600,160
1,407,495
366,505
315,370
378,840
251,770
281,265
160,165
176,810
155,020
118,845
127,895
124,870
56,380
171,155
1,213,920
10.6
4.9
11.6
3.0
2.6
3.1
2.1
2.3
1.3
1.4
1.3
1.0
1.1
1.0
0.4
1.4
10.0
Total CMAs
899,355
93.9
1,580,345
84.6
2,479,705
87.7
7,194,855
59.2
Total urban areas
930,645
97.2
1,733,365
92.8
2,664,015
94.3
9,291,435
76.4
Total rural areas
26,630
2.8
135,230
7.2
161,855
5.7
2,858,765
23.5
957,275
100.0
1,868,585
100.0
2,825,870
100.0
12,150,200
100.0
Canada
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
2. Does not include Gatineau, Quebec.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.5
Age distribution of the foreign-born female population, by period of immigration, 2001
People aged
Under 15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
%
Foreign-born females who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20011
Total foreign-born females
Non-immigrant females
Non-immigrant males
Foreign-born males
…
…
…
2.2
15.1
…
…
1.6
14.1
15.4
1.3
18.8
34.7
46.6
47.6
36.9
56.6
49.7
26.4
16.4
61.7
24.6
13.9
10.6
5.4
5.5
8.2
33.7
32.8
19.7
21.6
14.0
29.7
22.6
12.1
6.1
9.1
32.7
34.0
18.0
23.3
14.9
29.8
22.4
9.4
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
233
Women in Canada 2005
Table 9.6
Family status of foreign-born women aged 15 and over, 2001
Recent
immigrants1
Immigrants
Nonimmigrants
%
Living with family
Wives
Common-law partners
Lone parents
Daughters living with parents
Living with extended family
Total living with family
59.3
3.4
9.4
9.5
4.8
86.4
59.2
3.0
8.2
16.6
5.6
92.6
45.2
11.2
8.5
15.3
2.0
82.2
2.2
11.3
3.1
4.4
3.4
14.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
Not living with family
Living with non-relatives only
Living alone
Total
1. Refers to those who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2000 and the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.7
Mother tongue of foreign-born women aged 15 and over, by period of immigration, 2001
English
only
French
only
Other1
Total
36.8
40.6
37.7
24.5
14.2
2.3
3.3
3.4
2.8
2.3
61.0
56.0
58.9
72.7
83.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total foreign-born women
28.2
2.8
69.0
100.0
Non-immigrant women
64.7
29.2
6.0
100.0
Foreign-born men who arrived 1991 to 2001
13.9
2.7
83.4
100.0
Total foreign-born men
26.3
3.0
70.7
100.0
Non-immigrant men
65.7
28.6
5.7
100.0
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20012
1. Includes non-official languages as well as multiple responses.
2. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
234
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Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Table 9.8
Knowledge of official languages of foreign-born women aged 15 and over,
by period of immigration, 2001
English
only
Both
English
and
French
French
only
Neither
English
nor
French
Total
%
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20011
85.4
78.7
77.6
74.2
74.3
2.0
3.0
3.6
4.2
3.9
9.3
12.6
12.3
12.5
9.6
3.2
5.7
6.5
9.0
12.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
77.4
3.4
11.1
8.0
100.0
Non-immigrant women
62.8
16.0
21.2
0.1
100.0
Foreign-born men who arrived 1991 to 2001
78.0
3.1
11.3
7.6
100.0
Total foreign-born men
79.4
2.8
13.0
4.7
100.0
Non-immigrant men
64.5
13.4
22.0
0.1
100.0
Total foreign-born women
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.9
Highest level of education of foreign-born women aged 15 and over,
by period of immigration, 2001
Less
than
high
school
High
school
graduation
Some
postsecondary
University
certificate
or
diploma
University
with
bachelor’s
degree
University
with degree
higher than
bachelor’s
degree
Total
with
university
degree
Total
%
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20011
48.9
35.8
28.3
29.7
27.0
13.7
13.5
12.8
13.2
13.4
27.4
32.7
36.0
35.4
29.1
2.3
3.1
3.5
3.6
5.0
4.6
9.1
13.4
12.6
16.9
3.1
5.7
5.8
5.4
8.6
7.7
14.8
19.3
18.0
25.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
32.8
13.4
31.8
3.7
12.2
6.1
18.3
100.0
Non-immigrant women
30.7
15.6
37.3
2.7
10.1
3.7
13.8
100.0
Total foreign-born men
27.8
10.6
34.8
3.2
13.8
9.7
23.5
100.0
Non-immigrant men
32.6
13.8
38.1
1.7
9.6
4.2
13.8
100.0
Total foreign-born women
1. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 9.10
School attendance of foreign-born women aged 15 and over,
by period of immigration, 2001
People aged
15 to 19
Total
attending
school1
20 to 24
Attending
school
full-time
Total
attending
school1
25 to 44
Attending
school
full-time
45 and over
Total
attending
school1
Attending
school
full-time
Total
attending
school1
Attending
school
full-time
%
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 20012
…
…
…
81.3
84.0
…
…
…
78.0
80.7
…
…
53.7
62.3
56.4
…
…
42.7
52.2
45.4
7.3
10.0
13.2
13.7
21.4
1.4
2.4
4.5
4.9
9.8
1.6
2.6
4.1
4.4
7.1
0.3
0.4
0.8
1.1
2.3
Total foreign-born women
83.2
79.8
58.2
47.5
16.9
7.0
3.4
0.8
Non-immigrant women
77.7
74.1
49.8
41.3
12.2
4.4
2.9
0.5
Total foreign-born men
82.4
79.4
57.9
47.2
14.8
6.5
2.9
0.7
Non-immigrant men
74.9
71.2
43.4
35.3
9.6
3.9
2.0
0.4
1. Refers to school attendance on either a full- or part-time basis.
2. Includes only the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.11
Full- or part-time status of foreign-born women aged 25 to 64 who were employed
at some time in 2000, by period of immigration1
Mainly full-time
Mainly part-time
Number
As a percent of
total employed
Number
As a percent of
total employed
62,670
112,420
187,290
167,820
173,545
55.8
56.4
58.3
55.8
43.7
49,680
86,915
133,920
133,180
223,145
44.2
43.6
41.7
44.2
56.3
703,760
52.9
626,830
47.1
2,680,945
54.8
2,214,635
45.2
994,525
65.9
513,905
34.1
3,762,220
69.0
1,687,980
31.0
Foreign-born females who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
Total foreign-born females
Non-immigrant females
Foreign-born males
Non-immigrant males
1. Excludes immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 9 / Immigrant Women
Table 9.12
Occupational distribution of employed1 foreign-born women aged 25 to 64, 2001
Women
Occupation
Men
Immigrants
Recent
immigrants2
Nonimmigrants
Immigrants
Recent
immigrants2
Nonimmigrants
8.8
5.1
21.3
4.4
9.1
6.8
4.4
17.6
7.0
7.3
9.0
5.1
25.5
2.8
10.1
14.9
3.3
6.0
13.6
2.7
11.6
2.9
6.4
18.4
2.1
14.3
3.0
6.1
9.3
2.1
11.9
24.8
2.4
1.4
10.7
10.3
27.9
2.6
1.5
14.4
16.0
23.2
2.3
2.0
3.8
8.4
16.1
22.9
2.2
11.2
7.4
17.4
18.7
1.9
14.3
8.9
14.8
28.2
6.1
8.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Manager
Business and finance professionals
Administrative and clerical
Natural sciences professions
Health professions
Social science, education, government,
religion and other professions
Sales and service
Trades and transport
Primary
Processing and manufacturing
Total
1. Includes people who were employed in the week prior to the census.
2. Includes those who arrived in the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.13
Unemployment rates, by age and immigrant status, 2001
Women
Men
Age groups
Immigrants
Non-immigrants
Immigrants
Non-immigrants
15 to 24
14.9
12.7
14.8
14.2
25 to 44
45 to 64
8.9
5.7
6.1
4.9
6.9
5.3
6.6
6.1
8.1
7.0
6.8
7.8
Total1
1. Includes people aged 65 and over.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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237
Women in Canada 2005
Table 9.14
Average total income1 of foreign-born women aged 15 and over, by age, 2000
Women
People aged
Men
Recent
immigrants2
Immigrants
Nonimmigrants
Immigrants
Recent
immigrants2
Nonimmigrants
$
15 to 24
25 to 44
8,624
23,816
7,985
18,945
9,128
27,043
10,254
36,617
9,309
30,737
11,440
41,489
45 to 64
26,013
17,256
27,050
45,435
28,303
47,437
65 and over
18,708
13,248
19,753
29,523
18,494
31,321
22,415
16,667
23,079
36,577
26,201
37,017
Total aged 15 and over
1. Refers to income from all sources, including employment earnings, investment income, and government transfer payments.
2. Refers to those who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2000.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 9.15
Government transfer payments as a proportion of total income of foreign-born
women aged 15 and over,1 2000
People aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and
over
Total 15
and over
%
Foreign-born women who arrived
Before 1961
1961 to 1970
1971 to 1980
1981 to 1990
1991 to 2000
…
…
8.7
8.7
11.1
4.9
6.2
7.6
10.5
14.4
8.3
7.8
6.2
8.0
12.1
54.9
57.0
65.9
72.8
64.0
34.0
16.7
12.2
14.6
16.4
Total foreign-born women
10.0
10.8
7.9
58.6
18.5
Non-immigrant women
10.6
9.3
8.1
56.8
15.6
Total foreign-born men
6.1
3.7
4.2
42.0
10.1
Non-immigrant men
6.6
3.7
5.0
40.9
8.3
1.
Excludes immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2001.
238
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 10
Women in a Visible Minority
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
A growing population
Visible minority women make up a diverse and growing population in Canada, in large
part because of increasing immigration from countries outside Europe.1 Indeed, in 2001,
there were over 2 million females in Canada who reported they belonged to a visible
minority group, up from 1.6 million in 1996 and just 800,000 in 1986.
In recent years, the female visible minority population in Canada has grown at a
much faster rate than the number of women not in a visible minority. Between 1996 and
2001, for example, the number of visible minority females increased by 25%, whereas the
non-visible minority female population rose by only 1%. In fact, the growth in the number
of visible minority women in the past five years accounted for over three-quarters of the
growth in the overall female population in Canada in this period.
This chapter provides information on women in a visible minority as defined
for employment equity purposes. The Employment Equity Act defines
visible minorities as “persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are nonCaucasian in race or non-white in colour.” The visible minority population
includes the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab, West
Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese, and Korean.
Data presented in this chapter are primarily from the 2001 Census of
Canada. It should be noted, however, that these data have not been adjusted
to account for differences in age, period of immigration, or other
characteristics of visible minority and other women in Canada. As a result,
some caution should be exercised in making conclusions based on
comparisons between groups.
Visible minority women, of course, share many experiences with other
women in this country; however, they may also have very different
characteristics from non-visible minority females. Some visible minority
women, for example, may be doubly disadvantaged, encountering barriers
not only because of their gender but also because of their visible minority
status.
As a result of these trends, visible minority females account for an increasing share
of all females living in Canada. In 2001, 14% of all females living in Canada belonged to
a visible minority group, compared with 11% just five years earlier and only 6% in 1986.
(Chart 10.1)
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239
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 10.1
Visible minorities as a percentage of the female population
in Canada, 1986 to 2001
%
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1986
Source:
1991
1996
2001
Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
As with the overall population, females make up the majority of visible minorities
in Canada. In 2001, 51% of all those who identified themselves as being a member of a
visible minority group were female, about the same share of the total Canadian population
accounted for by women.
From many different backgrounds
Chinese, South Asians and Blacks make up the largest female visible minority groups in
Canada. In 2001, 26% of females reporting they were in a visible minority were Chinese,
while 22% were South Asian, and 17% were Black. At the same time, 9% of visible
minority women were Filipinas, while smaller shares were accounted for by Latin
Americans (5%), Southeast Asians (5%), Arabs (4%), West Asians (3%), Koreans (3%)
and Japanese women (2%). In addition, another 3% were part of other smaller visible
minority groups, while 2% belonged to more than one visible minority group. (Table 10.1)
There has also been substantial growth in most of these female visible minority
groupings in recent years. Between 1996 and 2001, for example, the number of Korean
females living in Canada rose by 54%, while there was a 37% increase in the number of
South Asian females. At the same time, there were increases of 30% among Filipinas,
27% among Arab and West Asian females, 24% among Latin Americans, and 20% among
Chinese women. In contrast, there was somewhat smaller growth in the number of
Southeast Asian (16%), Black (15%) and Japanese (10%) females in this period. Even
these increases, however, were well above that for the non-visible minority female
population, which grew by just 1% in this period. (Chart 10.2)
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Chart 10.2
Percentage increase in the number of visible minority females,
by group, 1996 to 2001
Korean
South Asian
Filipina
Arab/West Asian1
Latin American
Chinese
Southeast Asian
Black
Japanese
All visible
minority females
All non-visible
minority females
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
%
1. In 1996, Arabs and West Asians were grouped together; in 2001 they were counted separately.
Source: Statistics Canada, Censuses of Canada.
There is also considerable variation in the share of the individual visible minority
populations accounted for by females. Filipinas, for example, made up 58% of all Filipinos
living in Canada in 2001, while the figure was 55% among the Japanese population and
52% among both Blacks and Koreans. On the other hand, females made up less than
half the Arab, West Asian, and South Asian communities in Canada. (Table 10.1)
Most are foreign born
The majority of visible minority women living in Canada were born outside the country.2
In fact, 69% of visible minority females living in Canada in 2001 were foreign-born,
while 28% were born in Canada. The remaining 3% were non-permanent residents,
such as those who hold a student or employment authorization or a Minister’s permit, as
well as refugee claimants. Non-permanent residents, though, can apply for landed
immigrant status and become immigrants to Canada. (Table 10.2)
As well, the largest share of foreign-born female visible minorities are recent arrivals
in Canada. Indeed, half of female visible minority immigrants living in Canada in 2001
arrived here between 1991 and 2000, while 25% came in the 1980s and 18% landed here
between 1971 and 1980. In contrast, just 5% of foreign-born visible minority females
currently living in Canada arrived here in the 1960s and only 1% had immigrated prior
to 1961.
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241
Women in Canada 2005
Female West Asians are particularly likely to be recent immigrants to Canada.
Almost 60% of these women living in Canada in 2001 arrived here between 1991 and
2000. Recent immigrants, though, also made up relatively large shares of the Arab (42%),
Korean (42%), Chinese (40%), Filipina (40%), South Asian (37%) and Latin American
(34%) female populations. In contrast, Southeast Asian women, 26% of whom had
immigrated to Canada in the past decade, along with Black (22%) and Japanese (13%)
women were somewhat less likely to have arrived in Canada over the course of the past
decade.
A highly concentrated population
Three out of four visible minority females live in either Ontario or British Columbia. In
2001, 54% of the female visible minority population in Canada lived in Ontario, while
21% resided in British Columbia. That year, females in a visible minority made up 22%
of the overall female population of British Columbia and 19% of that of Ontario. At the
same time, women in a visible minority made up 11% of the female population of Alberta,
8% of that of Manitoba, and 7% of that of Quebec, while the figure was 5% or lower in
the remaining provinces and territories. (Table 10.3)
As well, within Ontario and British Columbia, visible minority women are centered
largely in Toronto and Vancouver. Indeed, in 2001, 62% of all female visible minorities
in Canada resided in one of these two metropolitan areas, whereas Toronto and Vancouver
accounted for only 17% of the total non-visible minority female population of Canada.
That year, 37% of all female residents of both cities were part of a visible minority.
(Table 10.4)
Female visible minorities, though, also make up a relatively large share of the overall
female population in most major urban centres in Canada. In 2001, for example, women
in a visible minority represented 18% of the overall female population of Calgary, along
with 17% of that in Ottawa,3 15% in Edmonton, 13% in Montreal and 12% in Winnipeg.
In fact, 95% of all female visible minorities in Canada reside in one of the country’s
census metropolitan areas, whereas these urban centers account for only 60% of their
non-visible minority counterparts.
There are, however, divergent settlement patterns for the different female visible
minority groups within the various major metropolitan areas across Canada. The female
visible minority community in Vancouver, for example, is largely Chinese or South Asian,
while Blacks, Arabs and West Asians make up almost half of that in Montreal. The
female visible minority population in Toronto, on the other hand, includes relatively
large numbers of women in most of the various groups.
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
A relatively young population
The female visible minority population in Canada is somewhat younger, on average,
than the overall female population. In 2001, for example, 23% of the female visible
minority population was under the age of 15, compared with 18% of non-visible minority
females. Similarly, 15% of female visible minorities were aged 15 to 24, while women in
this age group made up just 13% of the non-visible minority female population. Women
in the prime working age category between the ages of 25 and 44 also make up a
disproportionate share of the female visible minority population. That year, 35% of all
female visible minorities, versus 30% of their non-visible minority counterparts, were
aged 25 to 44. (Table 10.5)
In contrast, visible minority women are only about half as likely as other women to
be seniors. In 2001, 7% of the female visible minority population was aged 65 or over,
compared with 14% for their non-visible minority counterparts. Similarly, just 20% of
visible minority women were aged 45 to 64, compared with 25% of other women.
As with the overall population, however, women make up the large majority of
visible minority seniors in Canada. In 2001, 55% of all visible minority people aged 65
and over were women, while the figure was 56% among the non-visible minority
population.
There are also noticeable differences in the age structure of the various female
visible minority groups. Arab and Black females, for example, tend to be younger, on
average, than their counterparts in other visible minorities. In 2001, close to three out of
ten of both Arab and Black females were under the age of 15, compared with fewer than
two in ten Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Filipino females. In contrast, close to 40% of
Filipino, Latin American, Southeast Asian and West Asian women were aged 25 to 44,
whereas this was the case for only 32% of Black females.
On the other hand, Japanese and Chinese women are more likely to be seniors
than women in other visible minority groups. In 2001, 13% of Japanese women and 10%
of Chinese women were aged 65 or older, whereas seniors made up 5% or less of the
Southeast Asian, Korean, Arab, West Asian, and Latin American female populations.
As with the overall population, though, women make up the majority of seniors in
most of the different visible minority groups. Indeed, in 2001, more than 60% of Filipino,
Latin American, and Black seniors were women. The exceptions to this pattern were
Arab and West Asian seniors, only about half of whom were female.
Family status varies by visible minority group
Visible minority women are somewhat more likely than their non-visible minority
counterparts to live with their families. In 2001, 90% of female visible minorities aged
15 and older were living with their husband, common-law spouse, unmarried children,
parents or other relatives, compared with 82% of non-visible minority women. (Table 10.6)
Women in a visible minority are also generally more likely than other women to be
living with their spouse. In 2001, just over half (51%) of visible minority women aged 15
and over were living with their spouse, versus 48% of their non-visible minority
counterparts. On the other hand, visible minority women are considerably less likely
than other women to live in a common-law relationship. That year, just 3% of visible
minority women aged 15 and over were living with a common-law partner, compared
with 10% of non-visible minority women.
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243
Women in Canada 2005
Visible minority women are slightly more likely than other women to be a lone
parent. In 2001, 10% of visible minority women aged 15 and over were lone parents,
compared with 8% of their non-visible minority counterparts. As with the overall
population, though, women make up large majority of lone parents in the visible minority
community. That year, 85% of all visible minority lone parents were female, while in the
non-visible minority population, women made up 81% of lone parents.
Among visible minority women, Blacks are by far the most likely to be lone parents.
In 2001, 24% of Black women aged 15 and over were lone parents, whereas in the other
visible minority groups the figure ranged from 15% among Latin Americans to just 5%
among Korean women.
There are even sharper differences in the family arrangements of senior visible
minority women and their non-visible minority counterparts. In particular, senior visible
women are much more likely than other senior women to live with members of their
extended family. In 2001, 28% of senior visible minority women, versus 6% of other
senior women, were living with members of their extended family. (Chart 10.3)
Chart 10.3
Percentage of visible minority women aged 65 and over living
with members of their extended family, 2001
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All visible
minority men
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
In contrast, senior visible minority women are considerably less likely than other
senior women to live alone. In 2001, just 17% of visible minority women aged 65 and
older were living alone, compared with 40% of non-visible minority senior women.
(Chart 10.4)
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Chart 10.4
Percentage of visible minority women aged 65 and over
living alone, by group, 2001
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All visible
minority men
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Senior South Asian women are particularly likely to live with extended family
members. As of 2001, 38% of these women aged 65 and older were living with family
members other than their spouse, unmarried children, or parents, as were 35% of senior
Filipinas. In contrast, just 8% of senior Japanese women lived with their extended family
that year, while the figure was around 25% among senior women in each of the other
visible minority groups.
At the same time, senior Black, Korean and Japanese women are the most likely to
live alone. In 2001, close to 30% of women aged 65 and over in each group lived by
themselves, whereas this was the case for less than 10% of senior South Asian and
Southeast Asian women, as well as Filipinas aged 65 and over.
Most speak English or French
The vast majority of females in a visible minority speak one of Canada’s official languages.
Indeed, in 2001, 90% of all visible minority females reported that they could carry on a
conversation in at least one of English or French.4 That year, 76% spoke English only,
while 3% spoke French only and 10% were bilingual. At the same time, though, 10% of
visible minority females could not conduct a conversation in either official language.
(Table 10.7)
Among the visible minority population in Canada, women are more likely than
men not to be able to speak either English or French. In 2001, 10% of female visible
minorities reported they could not speak either official language, compared with just 6%
of their male counterparts.
Among the various visible minority groups, Chinese women are the most likely to
report that they can not speak an official language. In 2001, 20% of Chinese females
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
245
Women in Canada 2005
indicated that they could not carry on a conversation in either English or French, while
the figure was 15% among Southeast Asian women and 14% among Koreans. In contrast,
just 1% of each of Filipinas and Black females were unable to speak one of Canada’s
official languages.
While the large majority of visible minority females can carry on a conversation in
one of Canada’s official languages, a substantial number still speak a language other than
English or French in their homes. In 2001, 45% of all female visible minorities spoke a
non-official language in their home. (Chart 10.5)
Chart 10.5
Percentage of visible minority women speaking a non-official
language at home, by group, 2001
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All visible
minority men
Non-visible
minority men
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
West Asian, Chinese and Korean women are the most likely to speak a non-official
language at home. In 2001, 69% of West Asian females, along with 67% of Chinese and
66% of Korean women, spoke a language other than English or French in their home,
while the figure was 62% among Southeast Asian females. At the same time, roughly
half of Latin American (54%), South Asian (49%) and Arab (48%) women spoke a nonofficial language in their home, whereas this was the case for only 31% of Filipinas, 23%
of Japanese women and just 9% of Black females.
A well-educated population
The female visible minority population in Canada is relatively well educated. As of 2001,
21% of visible minority women aged 15 or older had a university degree, compared with
14% of other women. Visible minority women, though, were somewhat less likely to
have a university degree than their male counterparts, 26% of whom had at least a
bachelor’s degree that year. (Table 10.8)
Visible minority women also make up a somewhat disproportionate share of
Canadian women with advanced degrees. In 2001, visible minority women made up
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
18% of all women with a Master’s degree and 17% of those with an earned Doctorate,
whereas they represented only 13% of the total female population aged 15 and over.
Among visible minority women, Filipinas and Koreans are the most likely to have
a university degree. In 2001, 34% of Korean women aged 15 and older and 33% of
Filipinas in this age range had a university degree, while the figure was around one in
four for each of Japanese (26%), West Asian (25%), Chinese (24%) and Arab (24%)
women. In contrast, just 14% of Latin American women, along with 11% of both Black
and Southeast Asian females, were university graduates. However, while relatively few
Black and Latin American women have a university degree, a substantial share of females
in both these groups have some form of non-university postsecondary qualifications
such as a college diploma.
Visible minority women with postsecondary qualifications are also generally more
likely than their non-visible minority counterparts to have training in highly technical
fields. In 2001, women in a visible minority made up almost a third of all women with
postsecondary qualifications in both engineering and the applied sciences (33%) and
mathematics, computer science and the physical sciences (32%). In contrast, female visible
minorities made up 15% or less of all women with postsecondary qualifications in all
other fields. (Chart 10.6)
Chart 10.6
Women in a visible minority as a percentage of all women with
postsecondary training, by field of study, 2001
Engineering and
applied sciences
Mathematics, computer
and physical sciences
Humanities
Agricultural, biological
and food sciences
Applied science technologies
and trades
Commerce and business
administration
Social sciences
All fields
Health professions
Fine and applied arts
Educational, recreational
and counselling services
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Visible minority women, though, are considerably less likely than their male
counterparts to have postsecondary qualifications in highly technical fields. In 2001,
those with training in either engineering and applied sciences, mathematics, computer
and physical sciences made up 10% of all female visible minorities with postsecondary
qualifications, compared with 27% of men. In contrast, women in a visible minority
were three times more likely than their male counterparts to have postsecondary
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
247
Women in Canada 2005
qualifications in educational, recreational and counselling services, while they were
considerably more likely to have training in the health professions and related technologies,
as well as in the humanities and fine and applied arts.
Many attending school
The gap between the educational attainment levels of women in a visible minority and
other women is likely to persist in the future as young visible minority females are more
likely than their non-visible minority counterparts to be attending school. In 2001, 74%
of visible minority females aged 15 to 24 were attending school on either a full- or parttime basis, compared with 63% of other females in this age range. (Chart 10.7)
Chart 10.7
Percentage of visible minority females aged 15 to 24 attending
school, by group, 2001
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All visible
minority men
All non-visible
minority men
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Young visible minority women are also about as likely as male visible minorities to
be enrolled in an educational program. In 2001, close to three out of four of both visible
minority women aged 15 to 24 (74%) and their male counterparts (73%) were going to
school on either a full- or part-time basis. This contrasts with the situation for other
young people aged 15 to 24, among whom females (63%) were somewhat more likely
than males (59%) to be going to school that year.
Young Chinese, Korean and West Asian women are particularly likely to be in
school. Of women aged 15 to 24 in 2001, 83% of Chinese, 82% of Koreans, and 77% of
West Asians were enrolled in some educational program on either a full- or part-time
basis, while the figure for the remaining groups ranged from 72% for Arabs to 66% of
Filipinas.
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Less likely to be employed
While visible minority women are better educated, on average, than other Canadian
women, they are somewhat less likely to be employed. In 2001, 63% of all visible minority
women aged 25 to 64 were either paid employees or were self-employed, compared with
70% of non-visible minority women in this age range. (Table 10.9)
Most of the difference in the employment rates of visible minority and other women
is accounted for by those aged 25 to 44. In 2001, 66% of visible minority women in this
age range were part of the paid workforce, compared with 77% of their non-visible
minority counterparts. In contrast, visible minority women aged 45 to 64 were only
slightly less likely to be employed that year than non-visible minority women in this age
range: 59% versus 61%.
As with non-visible minority women, women in a visible minority are considerably
less likely than their male counterparts to be employed. In 2001, 63% of visible minority
women between the ages of 25 and 64 were employed, compared with 79% of visible
minority men in this age range.
Among the various visible minority groups, Filipinas are the most likely to be
employed. In 2001, 79% of Filipinas between the ages of 25 and 64 were employed as
were 70% of Black women. In contrast, less than half of both West Asian (49%) and
Arab (44%) women in this age range were part of the paid workforce.
Higher unemployment rates
Visible minority women are generally more likely to be unemployed than other women.
In 2001, 8.9% of female visible minority labour force participants were unable to find
work, compared with 5.6% of non-visible minority women. (Table 10.10)
Visible minority women are also more likely to be unemployed than their male
counterparts. In 2001, 8.9% of female visible minority labour force participants were
considered to be unemployed, whereas the figure was 7.4% among visible minority men.
This situation contrasts with that of the non-visible minority population in which women
were slightly less likely than men to be unemployed that year: 5.6% versus 6.2%.
As with the overall population, unemployment rates for visible minority females
are particularly high among younger women. Indeed, in 2001, 15.4% of female visible
minority labour force participants aged 15 to 24 were unemployed, compared with 9.8%
of those aged 25 to 44 and 7.3% of those aged 45 to 64. In all three age groups, however,
visible minority women were considerably more likely to be unemployed than their nonvisible minority counterparts. Visible minority women over the age of 25 were also more
likely to be unemployed than male visible minorities, whereas visible minority females
aged 15 to 24 were less likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts.
There is also considerable variation in unemployment rates among women in the
different visible minority groups. Of female labour force participants aged 25 to 64 in
2001, for example, 16% of both West Asians and Arabs were unemployed, while the
figure in the remaining groups ranged from 11% among Latin Americans to around 5%
for Japanese women and Filipinas.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
249
Women in Canada 2005
Majority employed in administrative, clerical,
sales, and service jobs
For the most part, the occupational distribution of visible minority women is similar to
that for all Canadian women. Indeed, in 2001, just over half of all employed females,
whether in a visible minority or not, worked in either sales or service jobs or in business,
clerical and related administrative occupations. That year, 51% of all employed visible
minority women, and 52% of their non-visible minority counterparts, were employed in
these types of jobs. In contrast, this was the case for only 31% of visible minority men
and 24% of other men. (Table 10.11)
Visible minority women are also about as likely as other women to occupy
management positions. In 2001, 7% of employed visible minority women and 8% of
those not in a visible minority held management positions. Both visible and non-visible
minority women, though, were considerably less likely than their male counterparts to
be employed in management.
At the same time, visible minority women make up a disproportionate share of
women employed in occupations in the natural and applied sciences. In 2001, female
visible minorities represented 19% of all women employed in these sectors, whereas they
made up 13% of all women who were part of the paid workforce that year. On the other
hand, employed visible minority women were somewhat less likely than other women,
23% versus 28%, to be employed in other professional occupations.
Visible minority women are also about three times more likely than other women
to be employed in manufacturing and related jobs. Of those who worked for pay or
profit in 2001, 12% of visible minority women were employed in manufacturing jobs,
compared with just 4% of other women. Southeast Asian women, roughly one in four of
whom was employed in this sector in 2001, were particularly likely to be employed in
manufacturing jobs.
Many work part time
Like their non-visible minority counterparts, the majority of employed visible minority
women work a non-standard schedule. In 2001, for example, 55% of all visible minority
women who were part of the paid workforce worked on either a part-time or part-year
basis, as did 52% of all other women. In contrast, the majority of employed visible minority
men worked full-time that year, while only 46% were employed on a part-time or partyear basis. (Chart 10.8)
Among the various visible minority groups, Arab and West Asian women are the
most likely to work non-standard hours. In 2001, 65% of employed West Asian women
and 64% of Arab women worked either part-time or for only part of the year, while the
figure was around 60% among Korean, Japanese, and Latin American women. In contrast,
49% of employed Filipinas worked on a part-time basis that year, the only group of
visible minority women in which the majority did not work a non-standard schedule.
Few self-employed
A relatively small proportion of visible minority women are self-employed. In 2001, 8%
of employed visible minority women were self-employed, compared with 9% of other
Canadian women and 13% of visible minority men. (Chart 10.9)
250
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Chart 10.8
Percentage of employed visible minority women working
part-time or part-year, 2001
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All visible
minority men
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Chart 10.9
Percentage of employed women who were self-employed in 2000 or 2001,
by visible minority group
Korean
Japanese
West Asian
Chinese
Arab
Southeast Asian
Latin American
South Asian
Black
Filipina
All visible
minority women
Non-visible
minority women
All non-visible
minority men
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
251
Women in Canada 2005
While self-employed workers make up a relatively small sector of the overall female
visible minority labour force, Korean women have one of the highest rates of selfemployment in the country. Indeed, in 2001, 33% of employed Korean women were
self-employed, whereas the figure for women in other visible minority groups ranged
from 11% among Japanese, West Asian and Chinese women to just 4% among Blacks
and Filipinas.
Lower employment earnings
Visible minority women generally earn less at their jobs than do other women. Among
those employed on a full-time, full-year basis in 2000, for example, visible minority
women earned an average of $32,100. This was just over $3,000, or about 10%, less than
the employment earnings of their non-visible counterparts. (Chart 10.10)
Chart 10.10
Average earnings of women in a visible minority employed full-time,
full-year, by group, 2000
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Total visible minorities
Women
Non-visible minorities
Men
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
70,000
$
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
As with other women, the employment earnings of visible minority women are
also considerably below those of their male counterparts. In fact, in 2000, the average
earnings of visible minority women who were employed on a full-year, full-time basis
were only 76% those of visible minority men who worked full-time that year. This figure,
though, was actually higher than that for non-visible minority workforce participants,
among whom the earnings of women employed on a full-time basis were only 70% of
those of men.
Japanese women generally have the highest average employment earnings among
visible minority women. In 2000, Japanese women employed on a full-year, full-time
basis earned an average of $42,500. This was over $7,000 more than Chinese women
who had the next highest earnings among the various visible minority groups. It was also
over $10,000 more than the average full-time, full-year earnings of non-visible minority
252
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
women. At the same time, the average earnings among women in other visible minority
groups ranged from around $32,600 for Arab women to just $26,800 among Latin
Americans.
For all visible minority groups, though, the average earnings of women are
substantially below those of their male counterparts. Japanese women, for example, who
had the highest average earnings of all visible minority women that were employed fulltime in 2000, actually earned only about 66% what Japanese men did that year, the
lowest figure among the various groups. In contrast, the earnings of both Black women
and Filipinas were over 80% the earnings of their male counterparts, while the figure
was 78% among Koreans and 77% for both Chinese and West Asians.
Relatively low average incomes
In large part because their employment earnings are relatively low, visible minority women
also have comparatively low total incomes. In 2000, visible minority women had an
average income from all sources, including employment earnings, investment income,
and transfer payments, of $20,000, over $3,000 less than the figure for other women in
Canada. The incomes of women in a visible minority were also almost $9,000 less, on
average, than those of visible minority men that year. (Table 10.12)
Senior visible minority women have particularly low incomes compared with their
non-visible minority counterparts. In 2000, women in a visible minority aged 65 and
over had an average income from all sources of just $16,000, almost $4,000, or 24%, less
than the figure for other senior women. At all ages, though, the average incomes of
visible minority women were less than those of their non-visible minority counterparts.
The incomes of senior visible minority women are also substantially below those of
senior visible minority men. In 2000, the incomes of women aged 65 and over in visible
minority were over $7,000 less, on average, than those of senior visible minority men
that year. Again, though, the average incomes of visible minority women were considerably
lower than those of their male visible minority counterparts in all age ranges.
Largely because of their relatively high earnings from employment, Japanese women
have an average income considerably above that for women in other visible minority
groups. In 2000, Japanese women had an average income from all sources of almost
$25,000, while in the other visible minority groups the figure ranged from $22,500 among
Filipinas to under $16,000 for both West Asian and Arab women.
Most income earned
As with other women, the largest share of the overall incomes of visible minority women
is earned. Indeed, 77% of the total income of visible minority women in 2000 came from
earned sources. This was, in fact, higher than the figure for non-visible minority women
who received 71% of their income from earned sources. It was lower, though, than the
figure for visible minority men, 86% of whose income that year came from earnings.
(Table 10.13)
At the same time, women in a visible minority generally obtain about the same
share of their total income from government transfer payments as that of other women.
In 2000, 15% of the income of all visible minority women came from government transfer
payments, such as family allowances, public pension benefits, and employment insurance,
while the figure was 16% for non-visible minority women.
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253
Women in Canada 2005
Government transfers account for a particularly large share of the incomes of Arab
women. In 2000, 23% of the income of these women came from public sources, while
the figure was close to 20% for West Asian, Latin American, Southeast Asian, and Black
women. In contrast, just 11% of the total income of Filipinas, as well as 12% of that of
Japanese women and 13% of that of Chinese women, came from government transfer
payments that year.
Again, as with other women, senior visible minority women are particularly
dependent on government transfer payments. In 2000, 67% of the total income of visible
minority women aged 65 and over came in the form of government transfer payments.
This compared with 57% of the income of non-visible minority women and less than
half of that of visible minority men who received 48% of their income from these sources.
Many with low incomes
Visible minority women are nearly twice as likely as other women in Canada to have low
incomes. In 2000, 29% of visible minority women living in a private household had
incomes below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Cut-offs.5 This was close to double the
figure for non-visible minority women, 16% of whom had low incomes that year. Visible
minority women, though, were about as likely to live in a low-income situation as visible
minority men, among whom the figure was 28% that year. (Table 10.14)
There is, however, considerable variation in the incidence of low income among
women in the various visible minority groups. Almost half of all West Asian women
(46%), for example, were considered to be living in a low-income situation in 2000,
while the figure was 44% among Arab women and 43% among Koreans. In contrast, just
20% of Japanese women and 18% of Filipinas were living with low incomes that year.
Among the visible minority population, children are particularly likely to live in a
low-income situation. In 2000, 34% of visible minority females under the age of 15 lived
in a household with an income under the low-income cut-offs; this was more than twice
the figure (16%) for their non-visible minority counterparts. The share of female visible
minority children considered to be living in a low-income situation, though, was the
same as that for male visible minorities under the age of 15.
At the same time, one in four senior visible minority women was considered to
have a low income. In 2000, 25% of visible minority women aged 65 and over had incomes
below the low-income cut-offs, versus 21% of non-visible minority women in this age
range and 20% of visible minority men over the age of 65.
Many experience discrimination
Women in a visible minority report experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment
because of their ethnicity, culture, race, skin colour, language, accent or religion over five
times more often than women in the overall population. In 2002, 21% of visible minority
women aged 15 or over said they had experienced discrimination or unfair treatment
often or sometimes in the previous five years because of one of these factors, compared
with 4% of other women. Visible minority women, though, were also about as likely as
their male counterparts to report having experienced some form of discrimination in
this period; that year, 20% of visible minority men reported experiencing some kind of
discrimination. (Chart 10.11)
254
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Chart 10.11
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over experiencing
discrimination,1 by visible minority status, 2002
%
25
20
15
10
5
Visible minority
Non-visible minority
0
Women
Men
1.
Includes those experiencing discrimination often or sometimes because of race, skin colour, language, accent or
religion in the five years prior to the survey or since arriving in Canada.
Source: Statistics Canada, Ethnic Diversity Survey.
The workplace is the most common locale where visible minority women experience
discrimination or unfair treatment. In 2002, 13% of visible minority women who reported
they had experienced some form of discrimination often or sometimes in the previous
five years said that the incident took place in a work setting, either while they were on
the job or when applying for a job or promotion. Another 9% reported problems when
getting service from a bank, store or restaurant, while 6% said they experienced such
problems on the street, 3% had problems at school or class, and 2% experienced such
treatment dealing with the police or courts. (Chart 10.12)
Visible minority women were actually slightly more likely than their male
counterparts to report experiencing discrimination in the workplace as a result of their
ethno-cultural characteristics. They were also slightly more like to report having
experienced discrimination when getting service from a store, bank or restaurant, but
less likely to experience discrimination from the justice system.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
255
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 10.12
Percentage of women and men in a visible minority experiencing
discrimination,1 by location, 2002
%
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
Female
Male
0
At work
In store,
bank or
restaurant2
In the
street
In school
or class
When
dealing with
police
1.
Includes those experiencing discrimination often or sometimes because of race, skin colour, language, accent or
religion in the five years prior to the survey or since arriving in Canada.
2. Includes while at work, or when applying for a job or promotion.
Source: Statistics Canada, Ethnic Diversity Survey.
Notes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
256
For more information on immigrant women, see Chapter 9.
Immigrants include people who are not Canadian citizens by birth, but who have been
granted landed-immigrant status, that is, the right to live in Canada permanently. Some
immigrants have lived in Canada for a number of years, while others are recent arrivals.
Most immigrants were born outside Canada, but a small number were born in Canada.
Includes the Ontario portion only.
The census question on knowledge of official languages asks respondents whether they are
able to conduct a conversation in either or both English and French. The information collected
is thus based on respondents’ self-assessments and may overstate (or understate) the actual
abilities of these individuals in either or both languages.
For a definition of the Low Income Cut-offs see Chapter 6. In this situation, low income
refers to the situation of the individual’s economic family or, if they live alone, to their personal
income.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Table 10.1
Women in a visible minority, by group, 2001
Number
As a
percent of
all women
in Canada
As a percent
of all visible
minority
women
As a percent
of all persons
in the visible
minority group
530,015
451,600
346,145
177,580
111,240
100,585
88,735
51,410
52,160
40,000
51,650
37,220
3.5
3.0
2.3
1.2
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.2
26.0
22.2
17.0
8.7
5.4
4.9
4.4
2.5
2.6
2.0
2.5
1.8
51.4
49.2
52.3
57.5
51.3
50.6
45.6
47.0
51.8
54.6
52.2
50.4
2,038,335
13.5
100.0
51.2
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
Total visible minority women
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.2
Women in a visible minority, by immigrant status, 2001
Immigrants
Born in
Canada
Nonpermanent
residents
Arrived
before 1981
Arrived
1981-1990
Arrived
1991-2001
Total
immigrants
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
23.0
28.4
43.1
21.7
19.4
26.8
26.8
12.7
15.9
58.3
28.2
43.1
2.1
1.7
2.7
3.1
6.0
1.9
4.2
3.3
12.8
13.9
1.7
1.6
16.5
17.3
19.9
17.4
13.7
15.7
10.0
4.8
15.3
10.4
23.7
17.4
18.2
15.4
12.7
18.2
26.6
29.7
17.0
20.1
13.8
4.3
20.3
17.9
40.2
37.3
21.6
39.7
34.3
25.8
42.0
59.1
42.2
13.2
26.1
20.0
74.9
69.9
54.2
75.2
74.6
71.3
69.0
84.0
71.3
27.9
70.1
55.3
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
28.4
3.0
16.6
17.3
34.7
68.6
100.0
Other women
88.8
0.3
7.6
1.4
1.9
11.0
100.0
Visible minority men
31.0
3.1
16.3
16.8
32.8
65.8
100.0
Other men
89.1
0.3
7.4
1.4
1.9
10.6
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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257
Women in Canada 2005
Table 10.3
Women in a visible minority, by province and territory, 2001
Total female
visible
minority
population
As a percent
of provincial
female
population
As a percent of
total Canadian
visible minority
population
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Quebec
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Yukon
Northwest Territories
Nunavut
1,865
585
17,870
4,665
251,485
1,103,155
43,770
6,080
168,020
432,020
580
820
95
0.7
0.9
3.9
1.3
6.9
19.2
7.8
5.3
11.4
22.0
4.1
4.5
0.7
0.1
0
0.9
0.2
12.3
54.1
2.1
0.3
8.2
21.2
0
0
0
Canada
2,038,335
13.5
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.4
Urban/rural distribution of visible minority women, 2001
Visible minority women
Number
As a percent
of visible
minority women
in Canada
As a percent
of women
in region
Other
women as a
percent of women
in region
882,415
375,140
231,865
83,600
69,685
69,675
41,640
32,415
21,400
19,470
19,175
14,420
13,000
64,800
43.3
18.4
11.4
4.1
3.4
3.4
2.0
1.6
1.0
1.0
0.9
0.7
0.6
3.2
37.1
37.4
13.3
17.7
17.2
14.9
12.3
9.7
10.3
12.6
8.7
9.0
7.0
3.8
11.4
4.8
11.6
3.0
2.6
3.1
2.3
2.3
1.4
1.0
1.5
1.1
1.3
12.5
1,938,700
95.1
19.9
60.0
Other urban areas
65,685
3.2
2.9
16.8
Total urban areas
2,004,385
98.3
16.7
76.8
33,950
1.7
1.1
23.2
2,038,335
100.0
13.5
100.0
Area of residence
Census metropolitan area
Toronto
Vancouver
Montreal
Calgary
Ottawa1
Edmonton
Winnipeg
Hamilton
Kitchener
Windsor
London
Victoria
Halifax
Other census metropolitan areas
Total census metropolitan areas
Rural areas
Canada
1. Does not include Gatineau.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Table 10.5
Age distribution of women living in a private household, by visible minority group, 2001
People aged
Under 15
15 to
24
25 to
44
45 to
54
55 to
64
65 and
over
Total
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
18.4
24.2
27.9
18.8
21.6
24.5
29.1
22.2
18.0
15.3
21.3
33.4
14.0
15.4
16.0
12.4
16.9
16.0
16.1
18.2
20.2
14.2
14.7
17.0
34.3
34.6
32.3
37.9
38.2
37.9
35.3
37.4
36.5
36.0
35.7
30.1
15.6
11.7
11.1
16.2
13.4
11.4
10.3
12.4
13.3
12.4
14.1
10.0
7.3
7.6
7.0
8.0
5.8
5.0
4.7
5.5
7.1
9.0
7.5
5.3
10.4
6.4
5.7
6.6
4.0
5.3
4.5
4.2
4.9
13.3
6.6
4.3
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
22.7
15.2
34.9
13.1
7.0
7.1
100.0
Other women
18.0
12.6
29.9
15.1
10.0
14.4
100.0
Visible minority men
24.8
16.6
32.9
12.8
6.9
6.0
100.0
Other men
19.5
13.5
30.1
15.1
10.0
11.7
100.0
Visible minority women
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.6
Family status of women aged 15 and over, by visible minority group, 2001
Married
Commonlaw
partner
Lone
parent
Children
living
at home
Living
with other
relatives
Total
living
with
family
Living
with
nonrelatives
Living
alone
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
55.4
61.8
30.0
47.6
47.0
48.5
58.9
55.2
53.5
49.1
47.4
42.3
2.1
1.4
4.8
4.1
6.1
5.3
1.3
1.7
2.1
5.5
4.3
4.9
6.5
6.0
24.0
8.9
15.0
12.3
8.3
9.0
5.3
5.6
12.6
11.0
21.0
20.0
20.2
17.0
18.5
20.8
20.7
22.7
22.0
12.9
20.1
26.8
6.2
6.1
6.0
8.6
4.3
5.8
4.2
4.2
4.6
2.4
5.2
4.6
91.2
95.3
85.0
86.1
90.8
92.7
93.4
92.8
87.6
75.5
89.7
89.5
3.2
1.6
4.0
8.9
3.6
3.7
1.2
2.4
6.1
10.2
2.9
3.6
5.6
3.2
11.0
5.0
5.6
3.6
5.3
4.8
6.3
14.3
7.4
6.8
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
50.8
3.1
10.4
20.1
5.9
90.3
3.7
6.0
100.0
Other women
47.9
10.4
8.4
13.1
2.2
81.9
3.3
14.8
100.0
Visible minority men
53.9
3.4
2.0
25.6
3.6
88.5
4.7
6.7
100.0
Other men
50.6
11.0
2.1
18.0
1.6
83.4
4.7
12.0
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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259
Women in Canada 2005
Table 10.7
Knowledge of official languages of women aged 15 and over, by visible minority group, 2001
English
only
Both
English
and
French
French
only
At least
one
official
language
Neither
English
nor
French
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
74.4
82.2
71.9
94.3
61.9
63.4
48.8
75.7
79.6
88.4
86.9
77.4
0.4
0.2
9.7
0.1
12.6
7.0
13.0
1.4
0.4
0.3
1.2
1.5
5.5
7.4
17.3
4.4
17.5
14.9
31.9
12.7
6.4
7.5
10.6
13.9
80.4
89.8
98.9
98.8
92.0
85.3
93.8
89.9
86.4
96.3
98.6
92.8
19.6
10.2
1.1
1.2
8.0
14.7
6.3
10.1
13.6
3.7
1.4
7.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
76.1
3.4
10.4
89.9
10.1
100.0
Other women
64.5
14.6
20.2
99.3
0.7
100.0
Visible minority men
79.9
2.6
11.6
94.1
5.9
100.0
Other men
66.0
12.3
21.2
99.6
0.4
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.8
Highest level of education for women aged 15 and over, by visible minority group, 2001
Less
than
high
school
High
school
graduation
Some
postsecondary
Nonuniversity
postsecondary
University
certificate
or
diploma
University
with
bachelor’s
degree
University
with degree
higher than
bachelor’s
degree
Total
with
university
degree
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
32.5
32.6
28.0
14.3
29.8
47.4
27.9
24.8
17.9
17.4
29.1
27.8
12.5
14.3
12.6
9.0
14.0
12.6
13.7
15.7
12.7
12.6
16.2
10.6
11.6
12.6
13.8
13.7
14.3
11.7
12.9
13.3
17.5
13.4
13.6
14.2
15.2
14.9
31.3
22.1
24.1
14.1
16.9
15.8
10.6
24.3
27.0
21.4
4.2
2.8
3.0
8.1
4.1
2.8
4.9
5.3
7.5
6.0
2.4
3.6
18.0
15.6
8.2
27.9
8.9
9.3
17.9
18.6
26.0
20.3
8.9
16.5
5.9
7.2
3.1
4.9
4.8
2.2
5.8
6.4
7.7
5.9
2.8
5.8
23.9
22.8
11.2
32.8
13.7
11.4
23.7
25.0
33.7
26.2
11.6
22.3
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
29.4
12.9
12.9
19.3
4.1
15.9
5.4
21.3
100.0
Other women
31.3
15.4
10.7
25.9
2.7
9.8
4.1
13.9
100.0
Visible minority men
26.5
12.0
13.4
18.5
3.6
17.0
9.0
26.0
100.0
Other men
32.2
13.2
10.3
27.8
1.9
9.7
4.9
14.6
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
260
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Table 10.9
Employment rates1 for women aged 25 to 64, by visible minority group, 2001
People aged
25 to 44
45 to 64
Total aged 25 to 64
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
65.7
65.2
69.9
81.0
62.6
63.7
44.2
50.1
52.0
63.9
71.4
73.8
55.0
51.9
69.1
76.5
59.9
56.4
42.0
45.7
59.3
63.6
63.2
65.5
61.4
60.4
69.6
79.2
61.7
61.5
43.6
48.6
54.6
63.8
68.3
71.0
Total visible minority women
65.9
59.1
63.4
Other women
76.9
61.0
69.6
Visible minority men
80.3
75.5
78.5
Other men
86.4
74.7
81.1
1. Refers to those employed in the week prior to the 2001 Census.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.10
Unemployment rates1 for women, by visible minority group, 2001
Labour force participants aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
Total aged
15 to 64
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
15.3
15.0
18.9
9.8
15.1
15.3
16.1
18.8
12.1
12.0
13.5
14.5
8.3
10.6
11.6
5.0
11.9
10.7
17.5
17.3
9.3
6.1
8.0
7.0
6.1
10.0
7.3
4.3
8.9
7.1
12.3
13.9
6.4
4.3
6.3
5.7
7.5
10.4
10.1
4.7
11.0
9.7
16.1
16.2
8.2
5.4
7.4
6.6
Total visible minority women
15.4
9.8
7.3
8.9
Other women
12.6
6.1
4.8
5.6
Visible minority men
16.9
8.0
6.6
7.4
Other men
13.9
6.5
5.8
6.2
1. Refers to those unemployed in the week prior to the 2001 Census.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 10.11
Occupational distribution of visible minority women employed in 2000 or 2001
Occupation
Managers
Natural
sciences
Other
professionals
Administrative/
clerical
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
8.8
6.2
4.6
4.1
5.0
5.6
10.1
8.7
23.8
10.3
7.7
7.2
7.5
3.9
2.3
2.7
2.9
4.3
5.3
6.5
3.3
4.4
2.8
4.8
22.6
20.3
28.7
26.6
19.8
15.4
23.8
22.1
20.8
30.7
20.9
23.9
Total visible minority women
7.0
4.4
Other women
8.0
Visible minority men
Other men
Sales/
service
Manufacturing
Other
Total
21.2
22.5
23.9
19.4
19.0
12.6
19.7
15.9
12.0
22.1
29.6
22.6
25.2
27.3
29.2
36.2
37.4
30.2
34.2
38.6
35.4
28.6
25.5
28.0
12.1
14.8
9.2
8.9
12.4
24.9
5.1
6.0
3.0
1.4
10.4
11.0
2.4
4.9
2.2
2.0
3.3
7.1
1.8
2.1
1.6
2.4
2.9
2.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
23.3
21.1
29.4
11.6
3.1
100.0
2.8
28.2
23.5
28.9
4.0
4.5
100.0
11.4
13.5
12.6
8.2
22.4
12.8
18.9
100.0
12.8
8.9
12.0
6.0
18.4
8.2
33.7
100.0
Visible minority women
Source:
%
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.12
Average total income of women aged 15 and over, by visible minority group, 2000
People aged
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and over
Total
$
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
7,636
8,928
8,502
9,718
8,485
8,532
7,615
6,621
6,741
7,444
9,207
8,995
24,581
22,055
23,200
23,794
18,681
21,248
17,314
17,795
19,573
26,101
24,210
25,602
23,555
22,643
26,271
27,792
19,543
20,263
18,804
18,746
20,980
33,090
25,824
27,067
15,620
14,849
17,531
15,328
14,620
14,100
14,622
15,672
14,454
22,674
16,676
18,734
20,764
19,329
20,929
22,505
16,900
18,299
15,659
15,765
17,040
24,651
21,620
21,904
Total visible minority women
8,353
22,635
23,936
15,898
20,043
Other women
9,161
26,950
27,118
19,728
23,283
Visible minority men
9,195
32,311
37,201
23,070
28,929
11,616
41,794
48,125
31,380
37,956
Other men
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
262
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Chapter 10 / Women in a Visible Minority
Table 10.13
Major sources of income of women aged 15 and over, by visible minority group, 2000
Earnings
Government
transfers
Other
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
74.7
78.3
76.3
84.7
75.7
77.6
69.7
72.3
76.8
72.7
81.2
82.5
13.0
15.4
17.6
10.7
19.4
18.4
22.9
19.5
13.6
12.1
13.3
11.1
12.3
6.3
6.1
4.6
5.0
4.0
7.4
8.2
9.6
15.2
5.5
6.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total visible minority women
77.1
14.9
8.0
100.0
Other women
71.0
16.4
12.6
100.0
Visible minority men
85.9
7.5
6.6
100.0
Other men
80.0
8.8
11.2
100.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 10.14
Incidence of low income among women living in a private household,
by visible minority group, 2000
People aged
Under 15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 64
65 and
over
Total
%
Visible minority women
Chinese
South Asian
Black
Filipina
Latin American
Southeast Asian
Arab
West Asian
Korean
Japanese
Other visible minority
Multiple visible minority
26.7
28.5
43.6
18.4
40.8
36.0
53.3
56.3
48.8
13.5
28.8
25.5
34.7
23.4
38.9
16.1
35.1
34.4
42.4
48.9
49.2
39.4
22.8
22.2
27.1
24.0
36.8
21.1
32.2
28.0
43.4
43.7
43.1
22.7
22.1
20.3
22.8
17.3
24.6
13.9
26.1
24.1
33.4
34.6
30.7
9.8
17.2
17.9
25.8
18.4
31.3
15.9
34.4
23.9
32.5
41.2
48.9
15.6
27.9
18.0
27.0
23.3
36.4
17.9
33.4
30.1
44.1
45.7
43.1
20.0
23.0
21.9
Total visible minority women
33.8
32.4
29.0
21.5
24.9
28.8
Other women
15.9
19.4
14.0
13.4
21.1
15.9
Visible minority men
34.2
31.2
26.0
21.1
20.0
27.6
Other men
15.9
15.4
11.5
11.4
10.3
12.7
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
263
Chapter 11
Senior Women
By Colin Lindsay and Marcia Almey
A rapidly growing population
Women aged 65 and over constitute one of the fastest growing segments of the female
population in Canada. In 2004, there were an estimated 2.3 million senior women, up
26% from 1991 and 72% from 1981. Indeed, the growth rate in the number of senior
women has been twice that for women under the age of 65 over the course of the past
couple of decades. (Table 11.1)
As a result of these trends, the share of the overall female population accounted for
by senior women has risen sharply in the last several decades. In 2004, women aged 65
and over made up 15% of the total population, up from 13% in 1991, 9% in 1971, and
just 5% in 1921.
The female population aged 65 and over is expected to grow even more rapidly
during the next several decades, particularly once women born during the baby boom
years from 1946 to 1965 begin turning age 65 early in the next decade. Statistics Canada
has projected1 that by 2016 18% of the female population will be aged 65 and over, and
that by 2031, one in four of all females in Canada will be a senior.
In fact, the senior population in Canada is predominantly female. In 2004, women
made up 57% of all Canadians aged 65 and over, whereas they made up just over half
(51%) of those aged 55 to 64 and 50% or less of those in age groups under age 55.
(Chart 11.1)
Women account for even larger shares of the older segments of the senior population.
In 2004, women made up 69% of all persons aged 85 and older and 59% of those aged
75 to 84, compared with 53% of people aged 65 to 74. The fact that women make up
such a disproportionate share of the very oldest segments of the population has major
implications. The female cohort aged 85 and over is the fastest growing segment of the
senior female population, while those in this age range also tend to be the most vulnerable
to serious health problems; they are the most likely to live alone and need social support
from their families and the community.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Chart 11.1
Females as a percentage of the population, by age, 2004
%
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Under
15
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 to 84
Women aged
Source:
85 and
over
Total
65 and
over
Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Increasing life expectancy
Women now predominate in the ranks of Canadian seniors, in large part because the life
expectancy of women has risen more rapidly than that of men during most of the last
century. By 2002, a 65-year-old woman could expect to live, on average, another 20.6
years, seven years longer than the figure in 1921. In contrast, the life expectancy of a
65-year-old man rose only four years in the same period. As a result, a 65-year-old
woman currently can expect to live, on average, three years longer than her male
counterpart. (Table 11.2)
Most of the difference in the life expectancy of senior women and men, however,
occurred prior to 1981. Between 1921 and 1981, the life expectancy of a 65-year-old
woman rose by over five years, whereas the figure for senior men increased by only about
a year and a half. In contrast, since 1981, the life expectancy of senior women has increased
by just over a year and a half, almost a full year less than the comparative change among
men.
As a result of this trend, the share of the senior population accounted for by women
has fallen slightly in recent years. Indeed, in 2004, women made up 57% of the overall
senior population, compared with 58% in 1991. The share of the population aged 65 and
over accounted for by women is also expected to dip further in the next couple of decades.
Statistics Canada has projected that by 2031 the share of the senior population accounted
for by women will have dropped to just over 54%.1 This figure, though, is projected to
remain at that level for the rest of the first half of this century. (Table 11.1)
Most live in a private household with family
The vast majority of senior women live at home in a private household. In 2001, 91% of
all women aged 65 and over lived at home, although this was less than the figure for
their male counterparts, 95% of whom lived at home that year. (Chart 11.2)
266
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Chart 11.2
Percentage of women and men living in a private household,
by age, 2001
%
100
80
60
40
20
Women
Men
0
65 to 74
85 and over
75 to 84
Total 65 and over
Seniors aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Not surprisingly, younger seniors are more likely to live at home than their older
counterparts. In fact, in 2001, almost all women aged 65 to 74 (98%) lived at home,
whereas this was the case for only 65% of those aged 85 and over.
As well, there is a particularly wide gap between the proportions of senior women
and men in older ranges living at home. In 2001, 65% of women aged 85 and over
resided in a private household, compared with 78% of their male counterparts. In contrast,
the share of women aged 75-84 living at home was just slightly below the figure for men
in this age range, 91% versus 94%, while there was almost no difference in the proportion
of women and men aged 65 to 74 living at home.
The majority of senior women living in a private household live with their family,
either as a family head or spouse, or with their extended family, such as the family of a
daughter or son. In 2001, 60% of all women aged 65 and over lived with family members:
43% were living with their husband, while a small percentage (1%) were living with their
common-law partner and 8% were lone parents. In addition, over 150,000 senior women,
8% of the total, lived with members of their extended family. (Table 11.3)
Senior women are considerably less likely than their male counterparts to be living
with a partner. In 2001, 44% of women aged 65 and over, versus 76% of men in this age
range, were living at home with their spouse or common-law partner. In contrast, senior
women were more likely than senior men to be a lone parent. That year, 8% of women
aged 65 and over were classified as lone parents, whereas just 2% of senior men were lone
parents.
Senior women are also considerably more likely than senior men to be living with
members of their extended family. In 2001, 8% of women aged 65 and over were living
with members of their extended family, such as the family of a daughter or son, compared
with 3% of senior men.
Not surprisingly, the family structure of senior women varies considerably for those
in different age ranges. In 2001, for example, only 12% of women aged 85 and over were
living with a partner, whereas this was the case for over half (57%) of women aged 65 to
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
267
Women in Canada 2005
74. In contrast, women aged 85 and over were much more likely than their younger
counterparts to be living with members of their extended family. That year, 15% of women
aged 85 and over, compared with 6% of those aged 65 to 74, were living with members of
their extended family.
Many live alone
While most senior women live with their family, a substantial number live alone. In
2001, almost 800,000 women aged 65 and over, 38% of all senior women, were living on
their own. In contrast, only 17% of men aged 65 and over lived alone.
Older senior women are particularly likely to live alone. In fact, in 2001, 59% of all
women aged 85 and over and 47% of those aged 75 to 84 lived alone, compared with
29% of women aged 65 to 74. As well, at all ages, senior women were generally twice as
likely as their male counterparts to live alone.
Family status of foreign-born senior women differs
There are some interesting differences in the family status of foreign-born senior women
and those born in Canada. In particular, senior female immigrants, and especially recent
arrivals, are far more likely than other women aged 65 and over to live with members of
their extended family. In 2001, 35% of all female immigrants aged 65 and over who had
arrived in Canada in the previous decade lived with members of their extended family,
compared with 13% of all senior foreign-born women and just 5% of female seniors born
in Canada. (Table 11.4)
At the same time, senior foreign-born women are less likely than those born in
Canada to live alone. In 2001, 31% of foreign-born women aged 65 and over, versus 41%
of their counterparts born in Canada, lived alone. And among senior foreign-born women,
recent arrivals are the least likely to live alone. That year, just 12% of immigrant women
aged 65 and over who arrived in Canada in the 1990s lived by themselves.
Seniors living in an institution
While most senior women live in a private household, a substantial number live in an
institution. In 2001, over 200,000 women aged 65 and over—9% of all senior women in
Canada—lived in an institution. Indeed, senior women are twice as likely as their male
contemporaries to live in an institution; that year, only 5% of men aged 65 and over were
residents of an institution. (Table 11.5)
Those in older age ranges are the most likely senior women to live in an institution.
In 2001, 35% of women aged 85 and over lived in an institution, compared with 9% of
women aged 75 to 84 and just 2% of those aged 65 to 74.
Older senior women are also considerably more likely than their male counterparts
to live in an institution. In 2001, 35% of all women aged 85 and over lived in an institution,
compared with 22% of senior men in this age range. Women aged 75 to 84 were also
somewhat more likely than men in this age range to be in an institution: 9% versus 6%.
In contrast, there was no difference in the shares of women and men aged 65 to 74 living
in an institution.
Most senior women in institutions reside in special care homes for the elderly and
chronically ill. In 2001, 4% of all women aged 65 and over lived in a chronic care hospital,
while another 3% resided in nursing homes. At the same time, 2% of women aged 65
and over lived in a seniors’ residence, while less than 1% resided in a religious institution.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Death rates among senior women inching up
The fact that the gap between the life expectancies of senior women and men has closed
in the past couple of decades reflects, in part, differences in death rates in these two
groups. Indeed, after years of steady decline, the death rate among women aged 65 and
over has increased in recent years. Between 1996 and 2004, for example, the death rate
among women aged 65 and over rose 3%, offsetting a similar decline in the period from
1980 to 1996. In fact, the overall death rate for senior women in 2004 was almost exactly
the same figure as in 1980. In contrast, the death rate for men aged 65 and over fell 19%
between 1980 and 2004, including a 7% decline in the 1996 to 2004 period. (Chart 11.3)
Chart 11.3
Age-specific death rates among women and men,
1980, 1996 and 2004
Deaths per 100,000 population
7,000
6,000
5,000
4,000
3,000
2,000
Women
1,000
Men
0
1980
Source:
1996
2004
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
Death rates among senior women, however, are still considerably lower than they
are among senior men. In 2004, there were just over 4,000 deaths for every 100,000
women aged 65 and over, 18% lower than the figure of almost 4,800 among senior men.
In 1980, though, the death rate among senior women had been 46% lower than that of
their male counterparts, while the difference was over 31% as recently as 1996.
Heart disease and cancer main causes of death
Heart disease and cancer account for almost exactly half of all deaths of senior women in
Canada. In 2002, 26% of all deaths of women aged 65 and over were attributed to heart
disease, while 24% were from cancer. At the same time, strokes and respiratory diseases
each accounted for just under 10% of all deaths among senior women, while 32% were
attributed to all other diseases and conditions combined. (Chart 11.4)
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Women in Canada 2005
Chart 11.4
Leading causes of death among women and men
aged 65 and over, 2002
Deaths per 100,000 population
6,000
5,000
4,000
3,000
2,000
Women
1,000
Men
0
Heart
Malignant
neoplasms
Cerebrovascular
Respiratory
Chronic
liver/
cirrhosis
Total of
all causes
Type of disease
Source:
Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division.
There have, however, been considerable differences in the long-term trends for
heart disease and cancer deaths among senior women. The death rate due to heart disease
among senior women, for example, was 37% lower in 2002 than in 1980, whereas the
figure for cancer rose 20% in the same period. (Chart 11.5)
Chart 11.5
Death rates for women and men aged 65 and over
from selected causes, 1980 and 2002
Deaths per 100,000 population
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500
1,000
Women
500
Men
0
Malignant
neoplasms
Heart
disease
1980
Source:
270
Malignant
neoplasms
Heart
disease
2002
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-206-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 11 / Senior Women
As well, the death rate from cancer among senior women has risen somewhat
faster than that of their male counterparts in the past two decades. Between 1980 and
2002, the death rate from cancer among senior women rose 20%, compared with only a
4% increase among senior men. Indeed, whereas the cancer death rate among senior
women has continued to rise in the past few years, the current figure among senior men
is actually lower than that it was in the mid-1990s. Still, the cancer death rate among
senior men is currently over 50% higher than that of senior women, although this
difference is down from almost 80% in 1980s.
Similarly, declines in deaths due to heart disease among senior women have lagged
behind those for their male counterparts in the past several decades. Between 1980 and
2002, for example, the death rate of women aged 65 and over due to heart disease dropped
by 37%, compared with a 47% decline among senior men. Again, though, the death rate
due to heart disease is currently still 20% lower among senior women than among senior
men, although this difference is down from over 44% in 1980.
Much of the rise in the overall cancer death rate among senior women in the past
couple of decades has been accounted for by increases in deaths from lung cancer. Indeed,
death rates due to lung cancer for both women aged 80 and over and those aged 70 to 79
in 2002 were about three times higher than in 1980, while the figure among women
aged 60 to 69 doubled in the same period. In contrast, deaths from lung cancer among
men in both the 60 to 69 and 70 to 79 age brackets actually declined between 1980 and
2002, while the figure for men aged 80 and over was up, but only by 28%. Still, in all
three age groups the lung cancer death rate among women is currently well below than
of their respective male counterparts. (Table 11.6)
There have also been increases in death rates from breast cancer among senior
women aged 80 and over in the past two decades, while the figures among women in
both the 60 to 69 and 70 to 79 age categories declined somewhat in this period. Between
1980 and 2002, for example, the breast cancer death rates among women aged 80 and
over rose 22%, while the figures were down 20% among women aged 60 to 69 and 7%
among those aged 70 to 79.
The perceived health of seniors
Most senior women living at home describe their general health in positive terms.2 In
2003, 73% of women aged 65 and over said their health was either good (37%), very
good (25%), or excellent (10%), while 21% reported their health was fair and only 6%
described it as poor. (Table 11.7)
Somewhat surprisingly, there are actually few differences in the likelihood of senior
women in different age ranges rating their overall health in negative terms. Indeed, women
aged 75 to 84 were about as likely as those aged 85 and over to say that their health was
either fair or poor. In 2003, about one in three women in both groups rated their health
as either fair or poor, while this was the case for 23% of women aged 65 to 74. In fact, the
large majority of women in all three groups describe their health as good, very good, or
excellent.
Seniors with chronic health conditions
While most senior women report their overall health is relatively good, almost all have a
chronic health condition as diagnosed by a health professional. Indeed, in 2003, 93% of
all women aged 65 and over living in a private household had at least one such chronic
health condition or problem. This compared with 87% of senior men. (Table 11.8)
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
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Women in Canada 2005
Arthritis or rheumatism and high blood pressure are the most common chronic
health problems reported by senior women. In 2003, 55% of all women aged 65 and over
living at home had been diagnosed by a health professional with either arthritis or
rheumatism, while 47% had high blood pressure. Another 36% of senior women had
been diagnosed with food or other allergies including environmental allergies, while
26% had back problems, 24% had cataracts, 18% had a heart condition, 12% had diabetes
and another 12% reported they suffered from urinary incontinence. At the same time,
smaller percentages of senior women reported having asthma (8%) glaucoma (8%),
migraine headaches (7%), chronic bronchitis (6%), or intestinal or stomach ulcers (5%).
In addition, a small percentage of senior women living at home have Alzheimer’s
Disease. In 2003, 2% of women aged 65 and over living at home had been diagnosed
with this condition. The incidence of this disease, though, is higher among those in the
oldest age ranges. That year, 5% of women aged 85 and over had Alzheimer’s, while the
figure was 2% among those aged 75 to 84 and less than 1% among those aged 65 to 74.
(Chart 11.6)
Chart 11.6
Percentage of senior women and men living in a private household
with Alzheimer’s Disease, 2003
%
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
Women
1
Men
0
65 to 74
85 and over
75 to 84
Total 65 and over
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Older senior women, however, are less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
disease than their male counterparts. In 2003, 5% of women aged 85 and over living at
home suffered from this condition, compared with 9% of senior men in this age range.
Senior women with disabilities
A substantial share of the senior female population has a long-term disability or handicap.
In 2001, 42% of all women aged 65 and over living at home were classified as having
disabilities. This was almost twice the figure for women aged 55 to 64, 22% of whom
had a disability that year, and well above rates for women under age 55. Senior women
were also more likely to have a disability than their male counterparts, 38% of whom had
a disability that year. (Table 11.9)
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Not surprisingly, the proportion of senior women with a long-term disability rises
sharply with age. In 2003, 72% of women aged 85 and over had a disability or handicap,
while the figure was 49% among those aged 75 to 84 and 32% for those aged 65 to 74.
As well, in each of these age groups, women were slightly more likely than their male
counterparts to have a disability.
Senior women experiencing chronic pain
Over one in five senior women in Canada reports they suffer from chronic pain or
discomfort. In 2003, 22% of women aged 65 and over living at home reported they
experienced chronic pain or discomfort. In fact, senior women are considerably more
likely to suffer from chronic pain or discomfort than their male counterparts, just 13% of
whom complained of this problem. (Table 11.10)
The likelihood of senior women experiencing chronic pain or discomfort rises
somewhat with age. In 2003, 24% of women aged 75 and over living at home suffered
from chronic pain, compared with 20% of those aged 65 to 74. Again, women were far
more likely than their male counterparts to report suffering from chronic pain or
discomfort in both age ranges.
Senior women suffering injuries
Somewhat surprisingly, senior women are no more likely than those in younger age
groups to suffer injuries serious enough to limit normal activities. In 2003, 9% of all
women aged 65 and over suffered such an injury, the same figure as for women aged 55
to 64 and slightly below that for women between the ages of 25 and 54, 10% of whom
were injured that year. Senior women, though, were somewhat more likely than their
male counterparts, 9% versus 7%, to have been injured in 2003. (Table 11.11)
Women in older age ranges, though, are more likely than younger senior women to
suffer an injury. In fact, those aged 85 and over are the most likely women of any age to
be injured. In 2003, 14% of all women aged 85 and over living at home suffered some
kind of injury, whereas the figure was 10% or less for all other age groups. In contrast,
both women aged 75 to 84 and those aged 65 to 74 were about as likely as women under
age 65 to be injured seriously enough to limit their normal activities.
Senior women in the very oldest age ranges are also about twice as likely as their
male counterparts to suffer an injury of some sort. In 2003, 14% of all women aged 85
and over living in a private household were injured, compared with 7% of senior men in
this age category. In fact, while women aged 85 and over were far more likely than other
senior women to be injured, senior men aged 85 and over were no more likely to be
injured than other senior men.
Many participate in physical activities
While many senior women have some form of health-related limitation, half of them
regularly participate in some form of physical activity. In 2003, 50% of all women aged
65 and over reported they took part in some form of physical activity on a regular basis,
while another 12% said they did so occasionally. At the same time, though, almost one
in three (32%) senior women only infrequently participated in physical activities.
(Table 11.12)
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Women in Canada 2005
Senior women are somewhat less likely than either younger women or senior men
to participate in regular physical activities. In 2003, 50% of women aged 65 and over
were regular participants in some form of physical activity, whereas the figure was around
65% or higher among women in age ranges under 65. At the same time, almost 60% of
men aged 65 and over indicated they regularly participated in physical activities.
Low levels of educational attainment
Senior women have relatively low levels of formal education. As of 2001, only 5% of all
women aged 65 and over had a university degree, compared with 15% of women aged 45
to 64 and 23% of those between the ages of 25 and 44. (Table 11.13)
Senior women are also considerably less likely than their male counterparts to be
university graduates. In 2001, 5% of women aged 65 and over had a degree, versus 11%
of senior men. The difference between the proportions of senior women and men with
university degrees, however, will likely decline in the future as this gap is smaller among
men and women in age groups under age 65; indeed, women make up the majority of all
university students in Canada today.
While senior women are less likely than their male counterparts to have a university
degree, they are more likely to have a diploma or certificate from a community college.
In 2001, 11% of all women aged 65 and over, versus 8% of senior men, had completed a
college program.
The majority of today’s senior women, though, never completed high school. In
2001, 60% of all women aged 65 and over had not completed high school. As well, these
women were more likely than senior men to have not graduated from high school.
It should be pointed out, though, that the educational opportunities and facilities
that were available to today’s seniors when they were young were considerably more
limited than they were for subsequent generations. As a result, the educational attainment
levels of seniors will be greater in the future than they are today, just as today’s seniors are
actually better educated than seniors were in the past.
Internet usage among senior women
Relatively few senior women use the Internet. In 2003, just 14% of women aged 65 and
over reported using the Internet in the previous 12 months, compared with 63% of
women aged 45 to 64, 84% of those aged 25 to 44 and 94% of those aged 15 to 24.
Senior women were also only about a half as likely as men aged 65 and over to report
using the Internet in the previous year. (Chart 11.7)
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Chart 11.7
Percentage of women and men aged 15 and over who reported
using the Internet in the previous 12 months, 2003
%
100
80
60
40
20
Women
Men
0
15 to 24
45 to 64
25 to 44
65 and over
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Few senior women employed
Only a small proportion of senior women are part of the paid workforce. Indeed, in
2004, just 4% of women aged 65 and over had paying jobs, compared with over 11% of
senior men. As well, there has been little change in the share of senior women with jobs
over the course of the past three decades. On the other hand, the proportion of senior
men participating in the paid work force declined steadily from around 15% in the mid1970s to 9% in 2001. However, the share of senior men with jobs spiked up in this
decade to 11% in 2004. (Chart 11.8)
Chart 11.8
Percentage of senior women and men employed, 1976 to 2004
%
16
14
12
Men
10
8
6
Women
4
2
0
1976
Source:
1978
1980
1982
1984
1986
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
2004
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
275
Women in Canada 2005
As well, a substantial proportion of senior women have never been part of the paid
workforce. As of 2004, 17% of all women aged 65 and over, compared with just 2% of
men in this age range, had never worked outside the home. (Chart 11.9)
Chart 11.9
Percentage of the population never employed, 2004
%
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
Women
2
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 54
55 to 64
65 and older
People aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey.
This situation will change in the future, however, because women in younger age
groups are currently much more likely to be part of the paid workforce than were their
senior counterparts. Indeed, as of 2004, only 4% of women aged 55 to 64, and just 3% of
those aged 25 to 54, had never been employed outside the home.
A substantial majority of senior women who do work outside the home are employed
part-time. In 2004, 63% of women aged 65 and over who participated in the paid
workforce worked part-time, compared with 37% of employed senior men.3
At the same time, close to half of employed senior women are self-employed. In
2004, 45% of employed women aged 65 and over worked for themselves, although this
was less than the figure for employed senior men, 59% of whom were self-employed that
year.
There are also differences in the occupational distribution of senior women and
men with jobs. Senior women, for example, were twice as likely as their male counterparts
to work in clerical, sales, or service occupations in 2004. Indeed, that year, 50% of employed
senior women worked in one of these areas, versus 25% of employed men aged 65 and
over. In contrast, senior women were considerably less likely than senior men to work in
agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation that year; they were also
less likely to have managerial jobs.
Volunteer activities
While relatively few senior women are part of the paid workforce, many stay active in
their communities through participation in formal volunteer activities. In 2003, over
half a million Canadian women aged 65 and over, 26% of the total, participated in some
kind of unpaid volunteer work through an organization. (Chart 11.10)
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Chart 11.10
Percentage of women and men doing unpaid volunteer work
for an organization,1 by age, 2003
%
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
54 to 64
65 to 74
75 and
over
Total
65 and
over
Age group
1. Refers to volunteer work done in the 12 months prior to the survey.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Women aged 65 to 74 are somewhat more likely than those in older age ranges to
participate in formal volunteer activities. In 2003, 33% of women aged 65 to 74
participated in some kind of unpaid volunteer work through an organization, compared
with 18% of their counterparts aged 75 and over. In fact, the participation rate of women
aged 65 to 74 in formal activities was exactly the same as that for men in this age range,
whereas among those aged 75 and over women were less likely to volunteer through a
formal organization. Many women in the latter age range, though, are precluded from
participating in these types of activities by physical limitations or ill health.
Senior women who do volunteer work tend to devote more time to these activities
than younger women. In 2003, 29% of female volunteers aged 65 and over averaged over
15 hours a month on unpaid volunteer work activities, while this was the case for 26% of
female volunteers aged 55 to 64 and only around 20% or less of female volunteers in age
ranges under 55. (Chart 11.11)
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277
Women in Canada 2005
Chart 11.11
Percentage of women and men doing unpaid volunteer work
for an organization spending more than 15 hours per month on
these activities, 2003
%
35
30
25
20
15
10
Women
5
Men
0
15 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
54 to 64
65 to 74
75 and
over1
Total
65 and
over
Age group
1. The figure for males aged 75 and over should be used with caution.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey.
Average income of senior women
Senior women in Canada have relatively low incomes. In 2003, women aged 65 and over
had an average income from all sources of just over $20,000. This was almost $5,000 less
than the average income of women under age 65, and more than $10,000 less, on average,
than senior men. (Chart 11.12)
The real incomes of senior women, however, have risen faster than those of other
groups since the early 1980s. Indeed, the average annual income of women aged 65 and
over in 2003 was 32% higher than in 1981, once the effects of inflation had been taken
into account, whereas the figure for senior men was up 24% in the same period, while
that of women under age 65 rose 22%. On the other hand, there was only a 2% increase
in the average incomes of men under age 65 in this period.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Chart 11.12
Average income of women and men, by age, 1981 and 2003
People aged 16 to 641
Women
Men
People aged 65 and over
Women
Men
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
Constant 2003 $
1981
2003
1. Data for 1981 include 15-year-olds.
Source: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 13-207-XPB; and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Dependent on transfer payments
Over half the income of senior women in Canada comes from government transfer
programs. In 2003, 55% of all income of women aged 65 and over came from sources
such as Old Age Security (OAS), including Guaranteed Income Supplements (GIS)
and spouse’s allowances, and the Canada and Quebec pension plans (C/QPP). In fact,
senior women are somewhat more dependent on government transfer payments than
their male counterparts, 41% of whose income came from these sources that year.
(Table 11.14)
The Old Age Security program, including GIS payments and spouse’s allowances,
accounts for the largest share of the total government transfer payments received by
senior women. In 2003, 32% of all income of these women came from the OAS program,
including 24% which came in the form of regular benefits and another 7% which came
as GIS payments or spouse’s allowances.
At the same time, just over one in five of every dollar received by senior women
comes from the Canada and Quebec pension plans. In 2003, 21% of all income of women
aged 65 and over came from these programs. In fact, senior women received the same
share of their income from C/QPP as did senior men that year. In terms of the actual
dollars received, however, senior women received, on average, over $2,000 less in
C/QPP payments than senior men. There is considerable variation in the primary income
sources of senior women and men. Old Age Security benefits, including Guaranteed
Income Supplements, for example, make up a particularly large share of the incomes of
senior women. In 1996, 39% of all income of women aged 65 and over came from this
program, compared with 22% of that of their male counterparts. (Table 12.18)
Private employment-related retirement pensions also currently account for a
substantial share of the income of senior women. In 2003, 26% of the income of women
aged 65 and over came from these plans. This was less, though, than the figure for senior
men, who got 41% of their total from private employment pensions that year. And in
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Women in Canada 2005
terms of the actual dollars received, senior women got over $7,000 less per person on
average from private pensions than did senior men.
Differences in the amount of pension dollars from both public and private retirement
plans received by senior women and men result, in part, from the fact that historically
women have been less likely than men to be part of the paid work force and were therefore
less likely to contribute to these plans. As well, because women’s earnings have traditionally
been lower than those of their male counterparts, their contributions, and therefore their
subsequent benefits, are in many cases also lower. The differences between the proportions
of the income of senior women and men coming from both private and public retirement
pensions, though, is likely to narrow in the future as the proportion of women who are
working, and in the process contributing to these plans, continues to rise.
Low income among senior women down
One of the great success stories of social policy in Canada in recent decades has been the
reduction of low income among senior women. In 2003, just 9% of women aged 65 and
over lived in an after-tax low-income situation, compared with 27% in the early 1980s
when senior women were by far the most likely age group to be considered to have low
incomes. Indeed, women aged 65 and over are currently actually less likely than their
counterparts under age 65 to live in a low income situation. (Table 11.15)
The share of senior women with low incomes, though, is still twice as high as that
of senior men. In 2002, 9% of women aged 65 and over, versus just over 4% of their male
counterparts, lived in an after-tax low-income situation.
The relatively low overall proportion of senior women with low incomes, however,
masks the fact that unattached senior women still have one of the highest rates of low
income in Canada. In fact, in 2003, 19% of women aged 65 and over who lived alone
were in a low-income situation, once taxes were taken into account. In contrast, just 2%
of senior women living in a family were considered to be in an after-tax low-income
situation. As well, unattached senior women are more likely than their male counterparts
to be classified as having after-tax low incomes: 19% versus 15%. (Table 11.16)
The incidence of low income among unattached senior women, though, has dropped
sharply since the early 1980s. In 2003, 19% of these women were classified as having
after-tax low incomes, down from 57% in 1980.
Notes
1.
2.
3.
280
Projections are based on assumptions of medium population growth.
Note that the data and subsequent sections refer only to those living at home and do not
include those living in an institution. Given that almost by definition those living in an
institution have more health problems than those living at home, these data tend to
underestimate the totality of health problems among the senior population.
The data in the remainder of this section are from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Table 11.1
Population aged 65 and over, 1921 to 2004 and projections to 2051
Women
Men
Total
Women aged
65 and over
as a percent of
total female
population
Women as
a percent of
population
aged 65
and over
000s
1921
1931
1941
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
1996
2001
2004
204.9
281.4
376.9
534.9
717.0
972.0
1,360.1
1,867.4
2,065.2
2,237.9
2,345.5
215.1
294.7
391.1
551.4
674.1
790.3
1,017.2
1,349.8
1,513.8
1,685.1
1,795.4
420.0
576.1
768.0
1,086.3
1,391.2
1,762.3
2,377.3
3,217.3
3,579.0
3,923.1
4,141.0
4.8
5.6
6.7
7.7
7.9
8.9
10.9
13.2
13.8
14.3
14.5
48.8
48.8
49.1
49.2
51.5
55.2
57.2
58.0
57.7
57.0
56.6
3,181.2
3,681.1
4,237.4
4,705.9
4,934.0
5,035.8
5,087.2
5,108.9
2,521.2
2,989.6
3,515.5
3,950.2
4,132.7
4,197.1
4,231.4
4,257.5
5,702.4
6,670.6
7,753.0
8,656.1
9,066.7
9,232.9
9,318.7
9,366.4
18.3
20.6
23.2
25.4
26.4
26.9
27.2
27.4
55.8
55.2
54.7
54.4
54.4
54.5
54.6
54.5
Projections1
2016
2021
2026
2031
2036
2041
2046
2051
1. Based on assumptions of medium population growth.
Source: Statistics Canada, Demography Division.
Table 11.2
Life expectancy of women and men aged 65, 1921 to 2002
Remaining life expectancy at age 65
Women
Men
Total
Years
19211,2
19312
19412
1951
1961
1971
1981
1991
1996
2002
13.6
13.7
14.1
15.0
16.1
17.6
18.9
19.9
20.0
20.6
13.0
13.0
12.8
13.3
13.6
13.8
14.6
15.8
16.1
17.2
13.3
13.3
13.4
14.1
14.8
15.7
16.8
18.0
18.2
19.1
1. Excludes Quebec.
2. Excludes Newfoundland.
Sources: Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 84-537-XPB; and Health Statistics Division.
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 11.3
Family status of women and men, by age, 2001
Seniors aged
65 to 74
Women
75 to 84
Men
Women
85 and over
Men
Total 65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Living with family
With husband or wife
With common-law partner1
Lone parent
Living with extended family members
Total living with family
55.2
1.7
6.8
5.5
69.4
76.4
3.4
1.7
2.1
83.9
33.0
0.7
8.7
8.8
51.3
71.2
1.9
2.6
3.2
78.8
11.7
0.3
12.1
14.8
38.8
55.6
1.2
5.2
6.9
68.9
43.2
1.2
8.0
7.5
60.1
73.5
2.8
2.2
2.7
81.4
28.9
1.7
30.6
14.3
1.8
16.1
47.3
1.4
48.7
19.4
1.7
21.2
59.4
1.7
61.2
29.3
1.8
31.1
38.3
1.6
39.9
16.8
1.8
18.6
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
1,109.1
987.6
722.0
500.8
187.8
96.0
2,018.8
1,584.4
Not living with family
Living alone
Living with non-relatives
Total not living with family
Total
Total population (000s)
1. Includes same-sex couples.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Table 11.4
Family status of women and men aged 65 and over,
by immigrant status, 2001
Women
Immigrants
Recent
immigrants1
Men
Nonimmigrants
Immigrants
Recent
immigrants1
Nonimmigrants
%
Living with family
Spouses
Common-law partners
Lone parents
Children living with parents
Living with extended family
Total living with family
45.1
0.7
9.1
0.2
12.9
67.9
37.1
0.4
13.8
0.2
34.8
86.4
42.5
1.4
7.6
0.2
5.4
57.1
77.7
1.8
2.4
0.1
3.4
85.4
81.9
0.8
3.3
0.1
8.4
94.4
71.8
3.2
2.1
0.2
2.4
79.7
1.4
30.7
1.9
11.7
1.7
41.2
1.3
13.3
0.9
4.7
2.0
18.3
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Not living with family
Living with non-relatives only
Living alone
Total
1. Refers to those who arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2000 and the first four months of 2001.
Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Table 11.5
Women and men living in an institution, by age, 2001
Percentage of the total population living in
Seniors aged
Hospitals
Nursing care
homes
Residences
for seniors
Religious
institutions
Total in
institutions
%
65 to 74
Women
Men
Total
0.8
0.8
0.5
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.1
2.1
1.8
0.8
0.4
0.4
0.2
2.0
3.4
2.5
3.0
1.9
2.3
1.3
0.6
0.2
9.3
6.0
3.1
2.6
1.9
0.4
8.0
14.3
8.7
12.2
7.5
7.6
5.3
0.8
0.4
35.0
22.0
12.6
10.8
6.9
0.7
31.1
3.5
2.0
2.9
1.4
2.0
1.0
0.4
0.2
9.0
4.6
2.9
2.3
1.6
0.4
7.1
75 to 84
Women
Men
Total
85 and over
Women
Men
Total
Total aged 65 and over
Women
Men
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
283
Women in Canada 2005
Table 11.6
Cancer death rates among women and men aged 60 and over,
by type of cancer, 1980 and 2002
People aged
60 to 69
1980
70 to 79
2002
1980
80 and over
2002
1980
2002
Deaths per 100,000 population
Lung
Women
Men
Total
67.4
290.5
135.2
232.0
85.8
471.2
224.9
449.6
76.8
460.8
225.8
587.7
172.0
182.2
253.2
325.0
213.4
350.6
93.2
74.7
121.8
113.0
168.9
206.7
44.1
40.4
170.5
155.3
510.2
524.7
62.5
85.6
48.2
85.9
131.7
185.0
104.0
171.7
262.3
323.7
247.7
342.9
73.3
66.5
154.8
134.2
284.2
280.6
225.9
340.6
212.4
295.8
419.4
636.6
423.2
629.4
773.9
1,036.4
764.0
1,132.0
279.7
253.0
513.8
515.1
867.3
890.9
449.0
760.9
470.6
654.8
758.7
1,463.2
865.0
1,408.4
1,282.0
2,331.1
1,444.3
2,590.6
595.2
560.1
1,064.8
1,107.2
1,655.3
1,839.4
Breast
Women
Prostate
Men
Colorectal
Women
Men
Total
Other cancers
Women
Men
Total
All cancers
Women
Men
Total
Sources: Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division and Demography Division.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Table 11.7
General health of seniors living in a private household, 2003
Percentage describing their health as1
People aged
Excellent
Very good
Good
Fair
Poor
Total
%
65 to 74
Women
Men
Total
11.8
14.4
27.4
26.8
38.0
36.3
17.4
16.7
5.2
5.9
100.0
100.0
13.0
27.2
37.2
17.1
5.5
100.0
8.2
10.7
22.6
23.3
36.7
35.3
24.6
22.1
7.8
8.6
100.0
100.0
9.3
22.9
36.2
23.6
8.1
100.0
10.1
10.4
20.5
22.0
37.3
30.2
24.9
22.4
7.2
15.0
100.0
100.0
10.2
21.0
35.1
24.1
9.6
100.0
10.4
13.0
25.0
25.4
37.4
35.6
20.8
18.7
6.4
7.2
100.0
100.0
11.5
25.2
36.7
19.9
6.7
100.0
75 to 84
Women
Men
Total
85 and over
Women
Men
Total
Total 65 and over
Women
Men
Total
1. Excludes not stated responses.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
285
Women in Canada 2005
Table 11.8
Percentage of women and men living in a private household reporting
selected chronic conditions, by age, 2003
People aged
65 to 74
Women
75 to 84
Men
Women
85 and over
Men
Total 65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
8.3
20.8
6.0
60.0
26.9
48.0
5.6
9.8
30.7
4.0
3.9
5.7
20.5
33.6
14.1
4.3
3.5
94.9
3.4
13.0
6.3
42.0
19.4
32.2
2.6
10.2
33.4
9.3
4.2
12.5
18.5
26.4
8.1
6.6
7.5
92.1
8.7
27.2
8.1
54.6
26.1
47.0
6.7
11.9
18.1
4.2
4.5
3.9
12.0
24.4
7.6
5.5
2.9
92.7
4.5
16.1
6.9
37.6
21.5
37.2
3.6
15.5
21.8
7.1
4.2
5.2
8.9
15.9
5.4
4.3
4.3
87.1
%
Food allergies
Other allergies1
Asthma
Arthritis/rheumatism
Back problems2
High blood pressure
Migraine headaches
Diabetes
Heart disease
Cancer
Intestinal/stomach ulcers
Effects of a stroke
Urinary incontinence
Cataracts
Glaucoma
Chronic bronchitis
Emphysema3
At least one chronic condition
9.1
29.3
8.5
52.1
25.4
44.2
8.0
12.0
13.3
3.9
4.6
2.6
9.5
19.1
5.3
5.8
2.6
91.4
4.6
16.4
6.4
35.0
22.3
37.3
4.2
16.4
18.3
6.2
4.4
3.7
6.6
11.8
4.1
3.7
3.7
85.8
8.1
25.7
8.0
56.9
26.8
51.0
5.2
12.3
22.1
4.7
4.5
5.4
13.4
29.9
9.1
5.3
3.3
94.0
4.4
15.9
8.0
41.7
20.4
37.8
2.7
14.7
26.4
8.5
3.7
6.9
11.6
22.0
7.5
5.0
4.8
89.2
1. Includes environmental allergies.
2. Excludes fibromyalgia and arthritis.
3. Includes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Table 11.9
Percentage of females and males living in a private household with
long-term disabilities, by age, 2001
People aged
Women
Men
Total
%
0 to 14
15 to 24
25 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 to 84
85 and over
Total aged 65 and over
Total for all age groups
1
2.5
4.0
7.4
14.3
22.4
32.0
49.4
71.8
4.0
3.8
6.6
12.6
21.1
30.2
48.8
69.3
3.3
3.9
7.1
13.4
21.8
31.2
49.2
71.0
42.0
38.4
40.4
13.3
11.5
12.4
1. Excludes the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Table 11.10
Percentage of females and males living in a private household experiencing
chronic pain or discomfort,1 by age, 2003
People aged
Women
Men
Total
%
12 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 and over
6.7
10.4
16.5
18.7
20.0
23.8
3.4
9.8
9.7
11.9
11.4
15.1
5.0
10.1
13.2
15.3
15.9
20.4
Total 65 and over
21.7
12.7
17.8
1. Refers to pain or discomfort that prevents a few, some or most activities.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Table 11.11
Percentage of women and men living in a private household injured in the
past 12 months, by age, 2003
People aged
Women
Men
Total
%
25 to 54
55 to 64
65 to 74
75 to 84
85 and over
Total 65 and over
Source:
10.4
9.0
8.1
9.1
13.7
14.7
9.1
6.7
6.7
7.0
12.5
9.1
7.4
8.1
11.6
9.0
6.8
8.0
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 11.12
Frequency of participation in physical activities, by age, 2003
Frequency of physical activity
People aged
Regular
Occasional
Infrequent
Not stated
Total
%
15 to 24
Women
Men
Total
69.2
74.2
16.4
13.2
12.7
9.8
1.7
2.8
100.0
100.0
71.7
14.8
11.2
2.3
100.0
66.0
62.0
16.4
19.0
16.5
17.1
1.0
1.9
100.0
100.0
64.0
17.7
16.8
1.4
100.0
64.3
60.5
14.8
19.5
19.4
18.1
1.6
1.9
100.0
100.0
62.4
17.1
18.7
1.7
100.0
64.2
60.8
13.0
16.0
20.4
20.3
2.4
2.9
100.0
100.0
62.5
14.5
20.3
2.7
100.0
49.9
58.7
11.6
11.0
32.4
21.2
6.1
9.1
100.0
100.0
53.7
11.4
27.5
7.4
100.0
25 to 44
Women
Men
Total
45 to 54
Women
Men
Total
55 to 64
Women
Men
Total
65 and over
Women
Men
Total
Source:
Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey.
Table 11.13
Educational attainment of women and men, by age, 2001
People aged
20 to 24
Women
25 to 44
Men
Women
45 to 64
Men
65 and over
Women
Men
Women
Men
%
Educational attainment
Less than high school graduation
High school graduate
Trades certificate/diploma
Some postsecondary
Postsecondary certificate/diploma
University degree
13.4
12.7
6.9
29.4
23.7
13.8
19.2
17.2
9.4
29.1
16.8
8.4
15.9
14.3
9.8
11.0
26.2
22.8
19.5
13.3
16.2
10.9
19.3
20.8
29.6
17.5
8.7
8.0
21.4
14.7
28.3
12.7
17.0
7.6
15.0
19.4
59.7
12.9
5.2
6.2
11.4
4.6
54.2
8.9
13.4
5.2
7.7
10.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
Total population (000s)
963.3
980.5
4,607.9
4,439.2
3,680.0
3,561.2
2,032.8
1,592.1
Source:
Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Canada.
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Chapter 11 / Senior Women
Table 11.14
Sources of income of senior women and men,1 2003
Women
Men
Total
Wages and salaries
Net income from self-employment
3.2
1.1
%
6.0
2.1
4.7
1.7
Total employment income
4.3
8.1
6.4
Investment income
12.6
8.8
10.5
Retirement pensions
26.3
40.5
34.0
1.5
1.3
1.4
24.4
7.3
20.5
0.5
2.6
15.3
3.0
20.2
0.1
2.8
19.5
5.0
20.4
0.3
2.5
55.3
41.4
47.7
100.0
100.0
100.0
Other income
Income from government transfers
Old Age Security
Guaranteed Income Supplement/Spouse’s Allowance
Canada/Quebec Pension Plan benefits
Social assistance
Other government transfers
Total government transfers
Total
1. Includes income recipients only.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Table 11.15
Percentage of the population with low income after tax, by age, 1980 to 20031
People aged
Under 18
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
18 to 64
65 and over
Females
Males
Women
Men
Women
Men
12.5
12.7
14.5
15.4
15.9
15.6
13.5
13.7
12.4
11.8
14.3
14.7
14.8
17.1
16.3
17.9
18.1
17.5
14.9
14.1
14.2
12.2
11.8
12.1
11.6
12.1
13.6
15.8
16.0
15.5
13.9
13.5
11.9
11.6
13.2
15.2
15.1
16.4
15.4
17.3
19.1
18.0
16.0
14.7
13.4
12.0
12.7
12.6
11.8
11.4
11.9
13.7
13.9
13.1
12.3
12.2
11.4
10.8
12.5
13.9
14.2
14.9
15.0
15.4
16.6
16.7
15.0
14.0
14.1
12.8
13.1
12.7
8.3
8.4
9.8
11.3
11.1
10.3
10.1
9.9
8.6
8.0
10.0
11.7
12.2
12.8
12.7
13.7
14.8
14.3
12.9
12.7
11.8
10.6
11.0
11.4
26.7
26.3
23.8
24.4
20.7
19.3
17.6
16.7
17.5
15.1
14.4
14.5
13.4
14.8
11.9
12.2
13.0
11.8
11.1
10.3
10.0
8.3
9.7
8.7
14.5
14.2
9.8
12.6
10.3
8.4
8.1
7.2
6.8
6.1
5.9
6.6
5.1
7.1
4.1
3.8
5.6
5.6
5.4
4.7
4.6
4.6
4.9
4.4
1. Based on Statistics Canada's Low-income Cut-offs, 1992 base.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
289
Women in Canada 2005
Table 11.16
Percentage of senior women and men with low income after tax,
by family status, 1980 to 20031
In families
Women
Unattached individuals
Men
Women
Men
57.1
53.5
50.8
51.2
43.4
42.1
37.2
35.2
35.6
31.9
30.5
30.8
28.8
30.4
25.3
26.7
27.3
23.7
22.0
22.3
21.6
18.6
20.7
18.9
47.0
39.0
32.3
40.0
32.6
28.7
26.2
23.0
18.7
18.8
20.6
23.8
16.9
21.3
13.1
12.1
19.8
17.2
17.5
17.2
17.6
16.8
15.9
14.7
%
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
5.5
6.5
5.3
4.4
5.1
3.6
4.1
3.5
3.9
2.9
2.2
2.7
2.7
3.3
2.5
1.9
3.1
3.8
3.9
2.3
2.5
1.9
2.4
2.3
6.5
8.1
4.9
6.6
5.7
4.4
4.5
3.9
4.3
3.4
2.6
2.8
2.5
3.7
2.1
1.9
2.5
3.0
2.7
2.0
1.7
1.9
2.3
2.0
1. Based on Statistics Canada's Low-income Cut-offs, 1992 base.
Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
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Chapter 12
Women with Disabilities
By Patric Fournier-Savard
More women with disabilities
The full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society has been a
major policy objective of governments across Canada in recent years. In 2001, almost 2
million women—13% of the total female population—had disabilities.1 (Table 12.1)
In fact, females make up the majority of the Canadian population with disabilities.
In 2001, 54% of those who had a disability were women, whereas females accounted for
only 51% of the total population. That year, 13.3% of Canadian females had a disability,
compared with 11.5% of the male population.
Defining disability
Disability is difficult to define because it is a complex concept with both
objective and subjective characteristics. In fact, constructing a single,
harmonized definition of disability may be impossible given the many
realities covered in the concept of disabilities, from real or perceived
impairments to environmental barriers that restrict participation in a range
of activities.
In addition, disability is a fluid rather than a static concept. A disability
may be mild or profound; it may also be temporary or permanent. Some
disabilities may be constant throughout a person’s life, while others undergo
periods of remission or are progressively degenerative. Further, just like the
overall Canadian population, the population with disabilities is very diverse.
Those with disabilities cross boundaries of culture, race, class, education and
age. As well, the consequences of a disability for one individual may be
different from that of another.
As a result, there is currently no single definition of disability at the
federal level in Canada. For the purposes of this report, however, those with
a disability include individuals whose ability to carry out everyday activities
is limited by a physical or mental condition or health problem as selfidentified based on a set of standardized questions.
It should also be noted that the population with disabilities discussed in
this chapter includes only those living in a private household. Data on
persons with disabilities residing in an institution are not currently available.
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Disabilities increase with age
The likelihood of women having disabilities increases with age. In 2001, 42% of all
women aged 65 and over had a disability. This was almost twice the figure among women
aged 55 to 64, 22% of whom had a disability, and well above figures for women in
younger age groups. That year, for example, just 12% of women between the ages of 35
and 54, 5% of those aged 15 to 34, and just 3% of those under the age of 15 were
considered to have a disability.
The prevalence of disabilities also increases among women in older age groups
in the senior population. Indeed, in 2001, 72% of all women 85 years and over had
disabilities, while the figures were 50% among women aged 75 to 84 and 32% for women
aged 65 to 74.
Disabilities also increase with age among senior men. There are, however, no
statistical differences in the incidence of disabilities among women and men in different
age ranges in the senior population. Among those aged 85 and over in 2001, for example,
72% of women and 69% of males had a disability. Because women make up the majority
of Canadians seniors, though, there are far more senior women than men with disabilities.
Indeed, that year, there were 136,000 women aged 85 and over with disabilities, twice
the actual number of men in this age with disabilities.
Severity of disability
The largest proportion of women with disabilities have a mild disability.2 In 2001, 32%
of women aged 15 and over with disabilities had a mild disability, while 25% had a
moderate disability, 28% had a severe disability, and 14% had a very severe disability.
That year, just over 800,000 women, nearly 7% of all women aged 15 and over, had
disabilities which were considered severe or very severe. (Table 12.2)
Not surprisingly, senior women are more likely than their younger counterparts to
have a severe disability. In 2001, 6% of all women aged 65 and over had a very severe
disability, while 12% had what was reported as a severe disability. Again, these figures
were about twice those for women aged 55 to 64 and well above those for females in
younger age groups.
Among seniors, women are also somewhat more likely than men to have a severe
disability. In 2001, 12% of women aged 65 and over had a severe disability, versus 9% of
men in this age range. In contrast, there was no statistical difference in the shares of
senior women and men with very severe disabilities. There were also few differences in
the incidence of disability among females and males in younger age groups.
Family status of women with disabilities
As with the overall population, most women with disabilities live with their family.3 In
2001, 64% of women aged 15 and over with a disability were either a spouse in a husbandwife or common-law family, a lone parent, or a daughter living at home with her parents.
That year, 47% of women with a disability were living with their husband or commonlaw partner, 12% were lone parents, while 5% were living at home with their parents.
(Table 12.3)
At the same time, though, many women with disabilities live outside a family
setting. In 2001, 684,000 women aged 15 and over with disabilities—36% of the total—
either lived alone, with another relative, or with an unrelated person. In fact, women
with disabilities are much more likely than their male counterparts to live outside their
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family. That year, just 24% of men with disabilities lived alone, with another relative, or
with an unrelated person.
Senior women with disabilities are particularly likely not to live with family
members. In 2001, 53% of women aged 65 and over with disabilities lived alone, with
other relatives, or with an unrelated person. This compared with just 24% of senior men
with disabilities and 22% of women with disabilities under age 65.
In contrast, women aged 65 and over with disabilities are only about half as likely
as senior men with disabilities to be living with their spouse. In 2001, 35% of these
women, versus 70% of senior men women, were married.
There is less variation in the family situation of women and men in the 15 to 64
age group with disabilities. In fact, women with disabilities in this age range were just as
likely as men with disabilities either to live with a spouse or common-law partner or to
not live with their family.
Women aged 15 to 64 with disabilities, however, are considerably more likely than
their male counterparts to be lone parents. In 2001, 13% of these women were lone
parents, compared with just 3% of their male counterparts.
Level of education
Women with disabilities generally have a lower level of education than women with no
disabilities. Of the population aged 15 and over, 10% of women with disabilities had a
university degree in 2001, compared with 19% of women without disabilities. At the
same time, close to half (48%) of women with disabilities in this age range had not
completed high school, whereas the figure among their counterparts without disabilities
was only 28%. (Table 12.4)
Women with disabilities, though, are about as well educated as their male
counterparts. In 2001, 10% of both women and men with disabilities aged 15 and over
had a university degree. At the same time, women with disabilities in this age range were
more likely to have a community college diploma than their male counterparts, while
they were less likely to have a diploma from a trade school. Women aged 15 and over
with disabilities were also about as likely as men with disabilities not have a high school
diploma.
As with the overall population, education levels of women with disabilities decline
with age. At all ages, though, the educational attainment of women with disabilities is
well below that of their counterparts without disabilities. Among those aged 55 to 64,
for example, women with a disability were only half as likely as those with no disability
to have a university degree in 2001: 8% versus 16%. (Table 12.5)
There is a somewhat smaller gap in the education levels of women aged 15 to 34
with and without disabilities. Still, in 2001, 13% of women in this age range with
disabilities had a university degree, compared with 20% women without disabilities.
Women aged 15 to 34 with disabilities were also somewhat more likely than their
counterparts without disabilities, 30% versus 26%, not to have completed high school.
Women with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 34, though, tend to be better
educated than men in this age range with disabilities. In 2001, 13% of women aged 15 to
34 with disabilities had a university degree, close to twice the figure of 7% among men in
this age range with disabilities. At the same time, 30% of females in this age category
with disabilities had not finished high school, compared with 40% of their male
counterparts. This contrasts with the situation for people with disabilities aged 55 and
over, among whom men tend to be better educated than women.
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Women in Canada 2005
Fewer women with disabilities employed
Women with disabilities are generally like less likely to be employed than women without
disabilities. In 2001, just 40% of women aged 15 to 64 with disabilities were part of the
Canadian work force, compared with 69% of women in this age range without disabilities.
Women without disabilities were also somewhat less likely than their male counterparts,
40% versus 47%, to be employed that year. (Table 12.6)
The gap between the employment levels of women both with and without disabilities
tends to rise with age, although women with disabilities are considerably less likely than
their counterparts without disabilities to be employed in all age groups. Indeed, there is
a particularly large difference among those aged 55 to 64. In 2001, just 22% of women in
this age range with disabilities were part of the paid work force. This was less than the
half the figure for their counterparts without disabilities, 46% of whom were employed
that year.
Women aged 15 to 34 with disabilities are also less likely than women in this age
range without disabilities to be employed. In 2001, 52% of women aged 15 to 34 with
disabilities were part of the paid work force, compared with 66% of their counterparts
without disabilities. Women aged 15 to 34 with disabilities, though, were about as likely
to be employed as men in this age range with disabilities, whereas women in age groups
over the age of 35 with disabilities were less likely than men in these age ranges to be
employed.
Not surprisingly, the likelihood of women with disabilities being employed declines
among those with more serious disabilities. Indeed, in 2001, just 15% of women aged 15
to 64 with a very severe disability, and 29% of those with a severe disability, were part of
the paid work force, compared with 47% of those with moderate disabilities and 57% of
those with a mild disability. (Table 12.7)
This pattern also holds for men with disabilities, although women with disabilities
are generally less likely than their male counterparts to be employed whatever the level
of disability. The exception to this pattern are those with very severe disabilities. In
2001, 15% of women aged 15 to 64 with very severe disabilities were employed, compared
with only 12% of men in this age range with disabilities. In contrast, employment rates
for women with both mild and moderate disabilities were around 10 percentage points
below those of their respective male counterparts, while there were no statistical differences
in the employment rates of women and men with severe disabilities.
Employment increases with education
As with the overall population, employment levels among women with disabilities rise
the higher the level of educational attainment. In 2001, 66% of female university graduates
aged 15 to 64 with a disability were employed, compared with 54% of those with a
college diploma, 42% of those with a high school diploma and only 22% of those who
had not completed high school. (Table 12.8)
Whatever their level of education women with disabilities are less likely than women
without a disability to be employed. The gap between the employment rates of women
with and without disabilities, though, declines the higher the level of educational
attainment. In 2001, women aged 15 to 64 with disabilities who had not completed high
school were less than half as likely as their counterparts without disabilities to be employed.
In contrast, the share of women with disabilities with a university degree with a job was
only 14 percentage points below that of female university graduates without disabilities:
66% versus 80%.
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At the same time, women with disabilities with either a university degree or
community college diploma were about as likely as their male counterparts to be employed.
Among university graduates with a disability, 66% of women and 64% of men were
employed in 2001. Similarly, 54% of women with disabilities with a community college
diploma, versus 58% of their male counterparts, were part of the paid workforce that
year. On the other hand, women with disabilities with lower levels of education were
somewhat less likely than their male counterparts to be employed that year.
Most in traditional female jobs
Like their counterparts without disabilities, a substantial share of female labour force
participants work in areas which have historically been dominated by women. Indeed, in
2001, almost half of all female labour force participants with disabilities worked in either
sales or service jobs or in administrative positions. That year, 25% of these women worked
in sales or service jobs, while another 24% were employed in administrative positions.
(Table 12.9)
The overall share of women with disabilities working in either sales or service jobs
or administrative positions, though, is somewhat smaller than that for their non-disabled
counterparts. In 2001, 49% of female labour force participants with disabilities worked
in one of these two areas, compared with 55% of women without disabilities.
As with the non-disabled population, women with disabilities are much more likely
than their male counterparts to be employed in sales and service jobs and administrative
positions. In 2001, 49% of female labour force participants with disabilities worked in
these types of jobs, versus just 28% of men with disabilities.
At the same time, relatively few women with disabilities are employed in
management positions. In 2001, just 4% of all female labour force participants with
disabilities were employed as managers, compared with 7% of men with disabilities and
8% of women without disabilities.
On the other hand, there are few differences in the shares of employed women
with disabilities working in other professional occupations compared with women without
disabilities. In 2001, for example, just 3% all female labour force participants, whether
they had disabilities or not, were employed in occupations in the natural and applied
sciences. Indeed, both these groups of women were much less likely to be employed in
these highly technical fields than their respective male counterparts.
Unemployment in women with disabilities
The unemployment rate among women with disabilities is relatively high. In 2001, 10%
of women in the labour force between 15 and 64 years of age with disabilities were
unemployed, double the figure for other women, 5% of whom were unemployed that
year. (Table 12.10)
As with the overall female population, unemployment rates are highest among
younger labour force participants with disabilities. In 2001, 13% of women with disabilities
under the age of 35 were unemployed, compared with just 7% of those aged 55 to 64. As
well, the unemployment rate for women with disabilities was substantially above that for
their counterparts without disabilities in all age ranges.
At the same time, women under the age of 35 with disabilities have a much lower
unemployment rate than men in this age range with disabilities. In 2001, 13% of women
in this age range with disabilities were unemployed, compared with 18% of their male
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counterparts. In contrast, there were few differences in the unemployment rates of women
and men with disabilities in older age ranges.
Income of women with disabilities
Women with disabilities generally have relatively low incomes. In 2000, women with
disabilities aged 15 and over had an average income from all sources of $17,200. This
was almost $5,000 less per person than women without disabilities, who had an average
income of $22,000 that year. (Table 12.11)
The incomes of women with disabilities are also substantially lower than those of
their male counterparts. In 2000, women aged 15 and over with disabilities had an average
income of $17,200, versus $26,900 for men in this age range with disabilities. The gap
between the incomes of women and men with disabilities, though, is roughly similar to
that among people without disabilities. That year, for example, the average earnings of
women aged 15 and over with disabilities were 64% those of their male counterparts,
while the figure for those without disabilities was 61%.
The incomes of senior women with disabilities are much closer to those of their
non-disabled counterparts than they are for younger age groups. In 2000, women with
disabilities aged 65 and over had an average income from all sources of $18,400, only
about a $1,000 less per person than the figure for non-disabled senior women who had
average incomes of $19,400.
The incomes of senior women with disabilities, though, are substantially less than
those of senior men with disabilities. In 2000, women aged 65 and over with disabilities
had an average income of $18,400, over $8,000 less than the figure for senior men with
disabilities who had an average income of $26,800. Again, though, the gap between the
incomes of senior women and men with disabilities was less than that for their nondisabled counterparts. That year, the incomes of women with disabilities aged 65 and
over were 69% those of senior men with disabilities, whereas for non-disabled seniors
the figure was just 60%.
The gap between the incomes of younger women with and without disabilities is
also relatively small. Among those aged 15 to 34, for example, women with disabilities
had an average income of $13,800 in 2000, compared with $15,700 for women without
disabilities. In contrast, the incomes of women aged 35 to 54 with disabilities were almost
$10,000 less, on average, than their counterparts without disabilities, while there was a
difference of almost $8,000 per person for women with and without disabilities aged 55
to 64.
There was also a major difference in the incomes of men and women with disabilities
aged 55 to 64. In 2000, women in this age range with disabilities had an average income
of just $13,800, less than half the figure for their male counterparts, who had an average
income of over $29,000. There was a similar difference in the average incomes of women
and men with disabilities aged 35 to 54, whereas there was no statistical difference in the
average incomes of women and men with disabilities under the age of 35.
The incomes of working age women with disabilities also vary by the level of severity
of the disability. In 2000, women with very severe disabilities aged 15 to 64 had an
average income from all sources of just over $12,000, compared with $19,400 per person
for those with mild disabilities. Whatever the severity of the disability, though, the incomes
of women with disabilities in this age range were substantially less than that of their
male counterparts. (Table 12.12)
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In contrast, there is no statistical difference in the incomes of senior women with
different levels of disabilities. In fact, the income of women aged 65 and over with
disabilities was around $18,000 in 2000 at all levels of disability. Whatever the level of
severity, though, the incomes of senior women with disabilities were well below those of
their male counterparts.
More dependent on transfers
Women with disabilities generally receive a relatively large share of their income from
government transfer programs. In 2000, 60% of all income received by women aged 15
and over with disabilities came from these programs, while 31% came from earned sources,
including private pensions, and 10% came from other sources. In fact, the share of the
income of women with disabilities accounted for by transfers was over twice that for all
women without disabilities; that year, 26% of the income of women without disabilities
came in the form of transfer payment payments. (Table 12.13)
Transfer payments also make up a greater share of the income of women with
disabilities compared with that of their male counterparts. In 2000, transfer payments
represented 60% of the income of women aged 15 and over with disabilities, versus 48%
of that of men in this age range with disabilities.
Among women with disabilities, seniors are the most dependent on transfers. Indeed,
in 2000, 77% of the total income of women aged 65 and over came in the form of
transfer payments. However, this was actually only a few percentage points higher than
the figure for senior women without disabilities, 72% of whose income that year came in
the form of transfer payments. At the same time, 60% of the income of senior men with
disabilities was from government transfer programs.
In contrast to their senior counterparts, the largest share of the incomes of women
with disabilities under the age of 65 comes from earned sources. In 2000, 47% of the
income of women with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 64 was earned, while 45%
came from transfer payments and 9% came from other sources.
Working age women with disabilities, though, still are much more dependent on
transfers than their counterparts without disabilities. In 2000, 45% of the income of
women aged 15 to 64 with disabilities came from government transfers, compared with
just 20% that of women in this age range without disabilities. On the other hand, the
share of the income of women between the ages of 15 to 64 with disabilities accounted
for by transfers was only slightly larger than that for men in this age range with disabilities:
45% versus 40%.
Many with low incomes
A relatively large proportion of females with disabilities are considered to have low
incomes. In 2000, 26% of all women with disabilities aged 15 and over had incomes
below official low income cut-offs, compared with 20% of men with disabilities and 16%
of non-disabled women. (Table 12.14)
Among women with disabilities, those under the age of 55 are somewhat more
likely than their older counterparts to have low incomes. In 2000, 30% of women with
disabilities aged 15 to 34, and 29% of those aged 35 to 54, were classified as having low
incomes, whereas the figure was 24% for both women with disabilities aged 55 to 64 and
seniors
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The share of senior women with disabilities with low incomes, though, was relatively
high compared to their male counterparts. In 2000, 24% of women with disabilities aged
65 and over lived in a low-income situation, more than twice the figure for senior men
with disabilities, 11% of whom had low incomes. In contrast, there were much smaller
differences in the incidence of low income among women and men with disabilities
under the age of 65. Indeed, the low-income rate for women with disabilities aged 55 to
64 was about the same as that for men with disabilities in this age range.
Senior women with disabilities are also more likely than non-disabled women aged
65 and over to live in a low-income setting. In 2000, 24% of women aged 65 and over
with disabilities were classified as having low incomes, compared with 19% of nondisabled senior women. There are, however, even larger gaps between the low-income
rates of women with and without disabilities under the age of 65. That year, for example,
29% of women aged 35 to 54 with disabilities had low incomes, compared with just 12%
of their counterparts without disabilities.
Local travel
One of the most pressing issues for people with disabilities is mobility. In fact, most
women with disabilities are able to travel locally by car without experiencing difficulty
due to their health condition. Still, close to one in five women with disabilities has at
least some difficulty travelling locally because of their condition. In 2001, 17% of women
aged 15 and over with disabilities experienced some difficulty travelling locally because
of their condition when they did travel, while another 2% were prevented from travelling
locally because of their disability. (Table 12.15)
Women with disabilities are also somewhat more likely than their male counterparts
to experience some difficulty travelling locally because of their condition. In 2001, 17%
of females aged 15 and over with a disability experienced some difficulty travelling locally
because of their condition, while the figure for men with disabilities was 15%.
Among women with disabilities, those aged 35 to 54 are the most likely to experience
some difficulty travelling locally by car due of their health condition. In 2001, 25% of
women in this age range with disabilities experienced some difficulty travelling locally
because of their condition, whereas the figure was under 20% in other age groups, including
senior women. That year, only 13% of women aged 65 and over with disabilities reported
such difficulties.
Senior women with disabilities, though, are more likely than their male counterparts
to experience difficulty travelling locally because of their health condition. In 2001, 13%
of women aged 65 and over with disabilities experienced some difficulty travelling locally
because of their condition, compared with 9% of senior men with disabilities.
At the same time, relatively few women with disabilities experience difficulty using
other methods of local transportation, such as specialized bus services and public
transportation, including buses, subways and taxis, because of their health condition. In
2001, 5% of females with disabilities aged 15 and over were prevented from travelling
locally on specialized transportation services, while another 6% experienced some difficulty
using these services. (Table 12.16)
It should be noted, however, that people with disabilities generally travel much
more often by car than by these other methods of transportation. In fact, in 2001, 62% of
women aged 15 and over with disabilities did not use specialized or public transportation
services for reasons other than the fact that were prevented from doing so because of
their disability.
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Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
While fewer people with disabilities travel locally on specialized or public
transportation services than travel by car, they are more likely to be prevented from
travelling on specialized or public transportation services because of their health condition.
Indeed, close to 5% of women aged 15 and over with disabilities were prevented from
using these services because of their condition, whereas only 2% were prevented from
travelling by car by their disabilities.
As well, women with disabilities are somewhat more likely than their male
counterparts to experience difficulty travelling locally on specialized or public
transportation services because of their health condition. In 2001, 11% of women with
disabilities aged 15 and over, versus 8% of men, were either unable to use specialized or
public transportation services to travel locally, or experienced at least some difficulty
using these services, because of their condition.
Patric Fournier-Savard is an analyst with Statistics Canada’s Participation and Activity
Limitation Survey.
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Notes
1.
2.
3.
300
The data in this chapter are from the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey conducted
by Statistics Canada in 2001. For more information on the concepts and definitions of this
survey, consult the publication Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) 2001:
User’s Guide to the Public Use Microdata File, Catalogue no. 82M0023GPE. The 2001
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS), the main source of data for this chapter,
follows up on the 1986 and 1991 Health and Activity Limitation Surveys (HALS). The data
from the HALS and the PALS, however, cannot be compared because of significant differences
in sampling methods, the operational definition of target population, and the content of the
questionnaires. In part, because of these differences, there was a decline in the number of
women identified as having disabilities from 2.2 million in the 1991 HALS survey to 2.0
million in the 2001 PALS survey.
Statistics Canada has developed a general severity indicator using all the questions on the
different types of handicaps in the 2001 PALS questionnaire. Points were awarded on each
question based on severity. Those suffering from a TOTAL handicap in all areas received the
maximum number of points. Another two questions were asked about the intensity and
frequency of each type of handicap. There were also questions on intensity in a number of
contexts, and the average score was used to measure this intensity. The severity of each type
of handicap was determined by multiplying the frequency by the intensity. For some types of
handicaps, several questions were asked to determine the limitation measured. There were,
for example, three questions on hearing difficulties in the questionnaire for adults. Since the
number of questions varies based on the handicaps, the indexes were standardized for each
type. As a result, any overrepresentation of handicaps for which many functional limitations
were measured was avoided.
In this context, “family” means “census family”.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
Table 12.1
Population with disabilities, by age, 2001
Women
Men
Number
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
Number
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
Less than 5
5 to 9
10 to 14
10,180
25,320
32,220
1.3
2.7
3.3
16,030
45,050
52,130
1.9
4.6
5.1
Total less than 15
67,710
2.5
113,220
4.0
184,170
543,600
319,700
4.7
11.5
22.4
166,820
463,100
291,100
4.3
10.2
21.1
Total 15 to 64
1,047,470
10.4
921,020
9.4
65 to 74
75 to 84
85 and over
352,860
357,160
135,940
32.0
49.5
71.8
296,310
243,330
66,240
30.2
48.8
69.3
Total 65 and over
845,960
42.0
605,880
38.5
1,961,150
13.3
1,640,110
11.5
People aged
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
Total population
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
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Women in Canada 2005
Table 12.2
Population aged 15 and over with disabilties, by age and severity
of disability, 2001
Women
Men
Number
Percent
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
75,940
48,260
44,800
15,170
41.2
26.2
24.3
8.2
2.0
1.2
1.2
0.4
70,700
44,960
32,460
18,700
42.4
27.0
19.5
11.2
1.8
1.2
0.8
0.5
Total 15 to 34
184,170
100.0
4.7
166,820
100.0
4.3
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
150,930
143,900
163,490
85,270
27.8
26.5
30.1
15.7
3.2
3.0
3.5
1.8
157,720
114,420
124,100
66,860
34.1
24.7
26.8
14.4
3.5
2.5
2.7
1.5
Total 35 to 54
543,600
100.0
11.5
463,100
100.0
10.2
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
103,750
73,620
94,730
47,610
32.5
23.0
29.6
14.9
7.3
5.2
6.6
3.3
88,340
69,430
88,470
44,870
30.3
23.9
30.4
15.4
6.4
5.0
6.4
3.3
Total 55 to 64
319,700
100.0
22.4
291,100
100.0
21.1
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
279,740
214,170
232,730
119,340
33.1
25.3
27.5
14.1
13.9
10.6
11.6
5.9
238,350
146,580
138,530
82,410
39.3
24.2
22.9
13.6
15.1
9.3
8.8
5.2
Total 65 and over
845,970
100.0
42.0
605,880
100.0
38.5
610,360
479,950
535,740
267,390
32.2
25.3
28.3
14.1
5.1
4.0
4.4
2.2
555,110
375,380
383,570
212,830
36.4
24.6
25.1
13.9
4.9
3.3
3.4
1.9
1,893,440
100.0
15.7
1,526,900
100.0
13.4
People aged
Number
Percent
As a percent
of age group
in Canada
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
Total 15 and over
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
Total 15 and over
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
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Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
Table 12.3
Family1 status of people aged 15 and over with disabilities, by age, 2001
Women
People aged
Number
Men
Percent
Number
Percent
459,180
81,210
29,030
123,130
222,870
5610 E
49.9
8.8
3.2
13.4
24.2
0.6 E
15 to 64
Husband/wife
Common-law partner
Lone parent
Child living at home
Non-census family person
Not stated
504,090
87,350
132,790
85,670
234,710
2860 E
Total
1,047,470
48.1
8.3
12.7
8.2
22.4
0.3 E
100.0
921,020
100.0
65 and over
Husband/wife
Common-law partner
Lone parent
Child living at home
Non-census family person
Not stated
296,800
35.1
F
86,250
10.2
F
449,260
4930 E
Total
424,660
9360 E
20,830
-146,150
4440 E
F
845,970
F
53.1
0.6 E
100.0
605,880
70.1
1.5 E
3.4
-24.1
0.7 E
100.0
Total aged 15 and over
Husband/wife
Common-law partner
Lone parent
Child living at home
Non-census family person
Not stated
800,890
94,250
219,040
87,500
683,980
7790 E
Total
1,893,440
42.3
5.0
11.6
4.6
36.1
0.4 E
883,840
90,570
49,860
123,560
369,030
10050 E
100.0
1,526,900
57.9
5.9
3.3
8.1
24.2
0.7 E
100.0
1. Refers to people living with their immediate family.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.4
Educational attainment of people aged 15 and over with and without disabilities, 2001
Persons with disabilities
Women
Men
47.6
21.0
7.3
14.1
9.8
100.0
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
45.6
18.0
16.4
9.9
9.7
27.8
27.1
7.9
18.0
19.3
29.1
24.4
13.7
13.2
19.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Total1
1. Includes not specified.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
303
Women in Canada 2005
Table 12.5
Educational attainment of people with and without disabilities, by age, 2001
Persons with disabilities
People aged
Women
Persons without disabilities
Men
Women
Men
%
15 to 34
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Total 15 to 341
30.2
29.5
8.5
19.0
12.6
40.1
32.2
8.9
11.4
7.0
26.1
29.2
6.9
17.8
20.0
30.9
31.2
9.5
13.1
15.2
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
29.2
24.5
9.4
21.2
15.6
32.8
23.0
17.0
15.7
11.4
18.7
28.1
9.4
21.4
22.4
20.9
22.6
17.2
15.5
23.9
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
49.5
21.0
9.6
12.1
7.7
47.2
13.0
19.7
10.4
9.3
36.4
24.7
8.0
15.0
15.9
33.1
17.5
16.1
10.9
22.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
62.6
16.8
4.9
9.2
6.3
56.3
12.7
16.7
4.8
9.4
57.2
19.6
5.4
9.0
8.8
52.4
14.3
12.6
6.2
14.4
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
35 to 54
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Total 35 to 541
55 to 64
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Total 55 to 641
65 and over
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Total 65 and over1
1. Includes not specified.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
304
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Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
Table 12.6
Percentage of people aged 15 to 64 with and without disabilities employed, 2001
Persons with disabilities
People aged
Women
Men
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
52.4
46.8
22.3
Total 15 to 64
40.4
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
50.9
54.2
32.9
65.8
78.2
45.7
70.8
88.5
66.9
47.0
69.1
78.5
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.7
Percentage of people aged 15 to 64 with disabilities employed,
by severity of disability, 2001
Severity of disability
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
%
Women aged
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
62.7
68.6
37.3
59.1
55.8
21.8 E
40.3
33.1
15.1 E
15.5
19.9
F
Total 15 to 64
57.4
47.1
28.7
14.5
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65.4
77.4
51.5
54.8
61.2
44.0
36.0
38.9
20.8 E
Total 15 to 64
67.5
55.0
32.0
Men aged
Source:
12.9E
17.1 E
F
12.0
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.8
Percentage of people aged 15 to 64 with and without disabilities employed,
by educational attainment, 2001
Persons with disabilities
Women
Men
22.4
42.1
40.1
54.3
65.9
33.8
50.4
53.3
58.3
64.3
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
47.9
69.7
76.1
80.3
79.7
63.5
79.5
85.6
86.6
86.4
%
Less than high school
High school graduate
Trade school diploma
Community college diploma
University degree
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
305
Women in Canada 2005
Table 12.9
Occupational distribution of workers with and without disabilities, 2001
Employed persons
with disabilities
Employed persons
without disabilities
Women
Men
Women
Men
4.3
23.5
2.6
9.8
15.2
25.3
1.9
5.7
2.1
9.6
6.7
8.2
7.0
1.6
7.2
20.0
5.5
9.6
27.8
6.6
7.8
27.0
2.8
8.8
14.3
28.3
2.2
4.8
2.2
1.9
12.4
8.9
9.7
2.1
7.2
18.2
6.4
8.9
24.7
1.5
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
%
Management
Business and financial administration
Natural and applied science
Health
Other professionals
Sales and service
Primary
Manufacturing
Trades
Other/not applicable
Total employed
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.10
Unemployment rates of people aged 15 to 64 with and without disabilities, 2001
Persons with disabilities
People aged
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
12.5
10.2
6.8E
18.0
10.6
Total 15 to 64
10.2
11.2
Women
Men
%
Source:
F
6.7
4.3
1.9
8.0
5.2
4.3
5.0
6.3
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.11
Average income of people aged 15 and over with and without
disabilities, 2000
Persons with disabilities
People aged
Women
Men
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
13,720
18,740
13,760
Total 15 to 64
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
15,870
29,580
29,190
15,680
28,580
21,340
21,480
48,020
46,860
16,340
26,970
22,380
36,800
65 and over
18,350
26,770
19,350
32,270
Total 15 and over
17,230
26,890
22,030
36,360
$
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
306
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
Table 12.12
Average income of employed people aged 15 and over with disabilities,
by severity of disability, 2000
Severity of disability
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Very severe
$
Women aged
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
14,460
24,970
14,930
15,590
19,460
14,660
12,360
15,550
12,140
8,080E
12,610
13,030
Total 15 to 64
19,400
17,430
14,020
12,280
65 and over
18,820
17,940
18,070
18,530
Total 15 and over
19,130
17,660
15,770
15,070
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
18,170
36,910
42,430
17,120
31,730
25,920
12,510
24,680
24,800
9,980
17,690
16,630
Total 15 to 64
34,270
27,090
23,110
16,220
65 and over
28,210
27,950
24,100
24,990
Total 15 and over
31,670
27,430
23,470
19,620
Men aged
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.13
Distribution of sources of income of persons with and without disabilities,
by age, 2000
Earnings
People aged
Women
Government transfers
Men
Women
Other
Men
Women
Men
%
15 to 34
With disabilities
Without disabilities
56.2
75.9
58.2
85.2
40.3
20.0
37.5
11.8
3.4
4.1
4.2
3.0
50.7
77.1
58.4
88.2
42.0
17.8
37.6
9.4
7.2
5.1
3.9
2.4
34.4
60.6
48.0
77.7
52.0
26.6
46.0
16.2
13.6
12.6
6.1
6.1
46.7
74.6
55.0
85.7
44.8
19.7
40.3
11.2
8.5
5.6
4.6
3.1
12.2
16.4
33.6E
38.4
76.8
72.0
60.0
53.1
10.9
11.4
6.4E
8.4
30.7
67.4
46.4
80.9
59.6
26.1
48.2
15.5
9.6
6.4
5.4
3.6
35 to 54
With disabilities
Without disabilities
55 to 64
With disabilities
Without disabilities
Total 15 to 64
With disabilities
Without disabilities
65 and over
With disabilities
Without disabilities
Total 15 and over
With disabilities
Without disabilities
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
307
Women in Canada 2005
Table 12.14
Percentage of people with and without disabilities with low income, 2000
Persons with disabilities
People aged
Persons without disabilities
Women
Men
Women
Men
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
30.4
29.1
23.5
23.6
27.6
25.6
24.2
11.0
18.9
12.3
13.7
18.6
15.4
10.4
11.1
9.3
Total 15 and over
25.8
19.8
15.6
12.3
%
Source:
Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Table 12.15
Indicators of local transportation by car of people with disabilities aged 15 and over,
by age, 2001
Prevented from
travelling
locally by car
Travelled,
but had
difficulty
Travelled
and had
no difficulty
Other1
16.1
24.6
16.4
12.9
68.1
60.7
69.9
69.8
12.4
13.3
12.5
15.3
%
Women aged
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
1.7
1.5
1.2
2.0
E
E
E
E
Total 15 and over
1.7
17.2
67.0
14.2
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
1.9 E
2.1 E
F
1.9 E
14.5
19.7
20.3
9.1
69.4
63.3
64.2
74.5
14.1
14.8
14.5
14.5
Total 15 and over
1.8
15.1
68.6
14.6
Men aged
1.
Includes those who did not travel locally by car without being prevented from doing so, as well as those who did travel locally but who used a different
mode of transportation.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
308
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
Chapter 12 / Women with Disabilities
Table 12.16
Local transportation1 indicators of people aged 15 and over with disabilities,
by age, 2001
Prevented from
travelling
locally
Travelled,
but had
difficulty
Travelled
and had
no difficulty
Other2
%
Women aged
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
3.9 E
4.1
5.1 E
4.6
8.1
6.7
6.3 E
5.1
37.0
24.2
25.0
27.6
51.0
64.9
63.7
62.7
Total 15 and over
4.5
6.4
27.1
62.4
15 to 34
35 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over
3.1 E
3.4
3.3 E
3.2
7.3
4.9
2.7 E
3.7 E
37.5
24.4
14.2
21.7
52.1
67.3
76.9
71.5
Total 15 and over
3.3
4.2
23.4
69.1
Men aged
1. Refers to specialized bus services or local public transportation, including buses, subway and taxis.
2. Includes those who did not travel locally using public or specialized transit without being prevented from doing so because of their disability.
Source: Statistics Canada, Participation and Activity Limitation Survey.
Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-503-XIE
309
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