Living apart, together. 1.9 million Canadians, many 60-plus, are saying no to cohabitation and marriage
(…) The couple is part of an emerging demographic involved in “living apart together” (LAT) relationships. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 1.9 million Canadians aged 20 and over were in a LAT arrangement in 2011. It’s not a huge number, but it is growing in one category—the 60-plus—where it jumped from 1.8 per cent to 2.3 per cent from 2001-11.
Sociology professors Karen Kobayashi of the University of Victoria and Laura Funk of the University of Manitoba recently completed a qualitative study of 28 short-distance LAT couples in Canada. The average age of participants was 59 and many were previously married and had children. Their reasons for staying in LAT relationships—seeing cohabitation as unnecessary, not wanting to ruin what they have, and protecting their independence—certainly challenge old societal norms. But with divorce rates holding at 50 per cent, one has to wonder if they’re onto something. (….)