Infographic Wednesday - Child Poverty Rates in Canada

Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
April 02, 2014

This infographic, created by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, compares the rates of child poverty across Canada by province. Only the jurisdictions with large enough samples to be representative were included in the infographic (as you’ll notice the Atlantic provinces and territories were omitted).                                                                                                         

Across Canada, 40% of Indigenous children live in poverty. This is calculated using the low-income cut-off measure, as Canada does not yet have an official ‘poverty line’.  This is compared with 12% of Canadian children who are not “racilialized, indigenous or immigrants to Canada” (CCPA – Factsheet). 

This is a particularly problematic issue for Canada, and certainly influences kids and families as they continue to grow. At essentially every age group throughout Canada, Aboriginal peoples are more likely to experience poverty and homelessness.

Families with children who live in poverty are considered at greater risk of experiencing homelessness. This is due to the cost of living and the expense of maintaining adequate housing, while also paying for the needs that the family may incur. In addition, poverty may also be connected with food insecurity and with housing instability. These experiences can be traumatic for kids and stay with them for the rest of their lives. In many large urban centres, including Toronto, Aboriginal youth are more likely to experience homelessness. 

There are a huge number of Aboriginal peoples in urban centres that experience homelessness. Yale Belanger and his colleagues found that 1 in 15 Aboriginal Peoples who live in urban centres experience homelessness, compared to 1 in 128 non-Aboriginal people. That makes Aboriginal Peoples who live in major urban centres approximately 8 times more likely to experience homelessness.

It is important that immediate efforts are made to address this huge problem, so that children can grow up without the stress of poverty, housing insecurity and food insecurity. The breath and scope of this problem demonstrates that is not an individual, but a systemic issue. Without significant intervention it is likely that these terrible legacies of colonialism will continue to have a cascading effect.  

From Bad to Worse: Children Poverty Rates in Canada

Isaac Coplan is an instructor of Homelessness in Canadian Society at Ryerson University and an Education Coordinator at the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. In the past, Isaac worked the Homeless Hub on Knowledge Mobilization, communications and infographic design. Isaac’s main research interests are in homelessness with a focus on community based research.

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