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What is a Family?         |        What are the Family Types?


Nuclear Family

53.7% of Canadians live in two parent, or nuclear families. A nuclear family consists of a mother, father, and their biological or adoptive descendants, often called the traditional family. The nuclear family was most popular in the 1950ís and 60ís. The nuclear family can be a nurturing environment in which to raise children as long as there is love, time spent with children, emotional support, low stress, and a stable economic environment. In nuclear families, both adults are the biological or adoptive parents of their children.

There are three types of married nuclear families depending on employment status of the woman and man. In the first type, the man works outside the home while the woman works inside the home caring for the children. 28 percent of all households fit this description.

In the second type of married nuclear family, the woman works outside the home and the man cares for the children. This constitutes 2 percent of the families in this country.

In the third kind of married nuclear family, both the wife and the husband work outside the home or are income providers. In some situations, the woman might have a home-based business, such as a day care center. Nearly 60 percent of women with children under the age of six were in the workforce during the past decade.

Nuclear Family
Single Parent Family
Extended Family
Childless Family


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