Men are doing more work around the house, while the proportion of women putting in long hours doing chores is shrinking, suggests a Statistics Canada study released Tuesday.


Iain Newbigin, right, prepares dinner in Toronto. The modern Canadian dad may know more about diapering babies and vacuuming floors than his father did, but women are still doing the lion's share of housework and child rearing. ((Aaron Harris/Canadian Press))

But when it comes to who is spending long hours cleaning and tidying up, women are still far ahead of men, according to the report, part of the agency's analysis of work based on data from the 2006 census.

In 2006, 87.9 per cent of men said they did housework, up from 84.4 per cent in 1996, the agency said.

The rate for women was unchanged at 92.6 per cent over the decade.

Meanwhile, the proportion of women spending 30 hours a week or more on unpaid housework fell to 19.8 per cent in 2006 from 24.6 per cent in 1996.

But only 7.7 per cent of men spent more than 30 hours a week on housework.

According to a 2005 report from Statistics Canada, the average man spent 2.5 hours a day on unpaid work around the house, while women averaged 4.3 hours.

More time with kids, seniors

Fewer women are spending time with children, as the number of households with kids is dropping. However, those who are taking care of youngsters are spending more time with them.

And more men are spending more time with children. The proportion who spent any unpaid time caring for children rose to 79.5 per cent in 2006 from 77.1 per cent in 1996, and just over a fifth spent 30 hours or more each week in 2006, compared to just 16.9 per cent in 1996.

More adults are also spending time looking after seniors, with the proportion rising to 18.4 per cent  in 2006 from 16.5 per cent in 1996. Women slightly outnumber men as senior caregivers, 20.9 per cent to 15.7 per cent.