Statistics Canada has released more information from the 2021 Canada Census. The most recent data includes data on households and family types. Unless otherwise indicated, all data is from the Census.
Not all people live in census families, but the majority of people in communities within the Slave Lake and Wabasca area had more families than people not in families. However, not all households were limited to one family or a single person living alone.
Families by type
The majority of people in the Slave Lake and Wabasca area live in Slave Lake (6,836), M.D. #17 (Opportunity) (3,382), M.D. #124 (Lesser Slave River) (2,861), and Bigstone Cree Nation (1,955). The graph bottom left compares each community by family type.
Census families do not refer to extended family, but the single family unit.
The 2021 Canada Census says, “A census family is defined as a married couple (with or without children), a common-law couple (with or without children), or a one-parent family.”
The census also has data on whether the parent in a one-parent family is a man or a woman. The total of one-parent families is these two categories combined.
To compare families with people not in families, the right side of the graph has the total number of families and total people not in families.
Each family includes at minimum two people, because the smallest family units are a couple or a single parent with one child.
According to the 2021 Census, Slave Lake had 1,820 families (5,590 people) and 1,070 people not in census families.
M.D. #124 had 890 families (2,445 people) and 405 people not in families.
M.D. #17 had 900 families (2,850 people) and 505 people not in families.
Bigstone had 535 families (1,695 people) and 260 people not in families.
Note: A graph comparing individuals in families and not in families didn’t fit on the printed page. It is on the copy of the article on www.lakesideleader.com.
The graph ‘Slave Lake, Wabasca, and area families by size’ (above) shows how family size varied in the communities. The hamlets to the right of M.D. #124 and M.D. #17 are within the total M.D. numbers. The seven reserves on the right of the graph make up Bigstone Cree Nation.
For the most part, two-person families were the largest group. The exceptions were Sandy Lake, and three reserves within Bigstone Cree Nation.
Sandy Lake had equal numbers of two and three-person families, with 15 each. Bigstone Jean Baptiste Gambler and Bigstone Wabasca 166A had more three-person than two-person families. Bigstone Wabasca 166 had zero two-person families.
Bigstone had 210 two-people families, 150 three-people, 95 four-people, and 100 five or more people families.
Slave Lake had 805 two-people families, 410 three-people, 390 four-people, and 215 five or more people families.
M.D. #124 had 540 two-people families, 135 three-people, 130 four-people, and 75 five or more people families.
M.D. #17 had 400 two-people families, 200 three-people, 155 four-people, and 145 five or more people families.
Families and individuals not in families can also be divided into households.
Total household types can be divided into six categories. These are listed on the graph below right.
The most common household types are ‘one-person households’ and ‘one-census family households without additional persons’ (one-family). These are people who live alone or families without renters or multiple generations in one house.
Slave Lake had 1,505 one-family and 520 one-person households.
M.D. #124 had 780 one-family and 285 one-person households.
M.D. #17 had 600 one-family and 245 one-person households.
Bigstone (the total of the seven reserves on the right of the graph) had 410 one-family and 145 one-person households.
One-family households were the most common throughout, except the Desmarais reserve within Bigstone Cree Nation, which had 30 one-person households which was more than 25 one-family households.
One-person was the second most common in most communities, except Loon River First Nation, Trout Lake, and Sandy Lake, and Bigstone (Jean Baptiste Gambler and 166).
Loon River FN, Trout Lake, and Bigstone (Jean Baptiste Gambler and 166) had one-family with additional people as second.
Sandy Lake had multi-generational households as second.
Multiple-family households were the least common, with many communities not having any, including Bigstone. Those that had them were low down on the list.
Slave Lake, M.D. #124, and M.D. #17 had all six categories and multiple-family the least common. Slave Lake had 20 households. M.D. #124 had five. M.D. #17 had 15.
Some of the smaller communities also had some multi-family households, but these were either the least common or tied for the least common type of household.
Within M.D. #17, Wabasca-Desmarais had 10 multi-family households and Trout Lake had five.
Swan River First Nation had five multi-family households.
Canyon Creek also had five, which was a three-way tie with ‘two-or-more-person non-census-family’ and ‘one-family with added people’ for the least common type of household.
The Census does not have household or family data for the communities of Flatbush (30 people), Chisholm (15), or Sawridge 150H (10).
Editor’s note: This article is an overview and not a thorough statistical analysis of the data.