Capturing Trends in Divorce in an Era Without Vital Statistics

Rachel Margolis , University of Western Ontario
Youjin Choi, University of Western Ontario
Feng Hou, Statistics Canada
Michael Haan, University of Western Ontario

This paper examines what we can learn about recent trends and patterns in divorce in Canada from administrative and survey data. Statistics Canada abruptly stopped publishing vital statistics on marriage and divorce in 2008, leaving a knowledge gap in these important demographic indicators. We examine trends in divorce using retrospective partnership histories from survey data and administrative tax data and compare them with vital statistics during the period that they are available (1991-2008). Using survey and tax data, we update trends in divorce through 2015 with tax data and 2017 with survey data. Last, we discuss data gaps and make suggestions for more accurate measures of union dissolution.

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 Presented in Session 90. Union Dissolution