A child’s family structure should be part of the equality conversation, according to a new report.

A report from Cardus, a Canadian think tank, using newly released 2021 Census data shows 60% of Canadian children live with married parents, and asserts that equality-minded governments should increase that number.

“Stable family environments are correlated with better outcomes for children,” wrote the report’s author Peter Jon Mitchell. “Children in healthy, stable homes tend to be happier and healthier, and to do better in school.”

Mitchell said governments that promote equality for children should promote stable, healthy marriages at home.

“Given the benefits of healthy marriages,” said Mitchell, “governments concerned about inequality should address barriers preventing young adults from forming stable marriages.”

According to the Cardus report, the number of Canadians under the age of 15 that lived with married parents steadily declined for decades leading up to 2016, but has held steady since.

Also in the new Census data, roughly one-in-five children lived with a single parent, and about one-in-six lived in unmarried, common-law families.