Where Does Canada Stand? The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being 2019 Baseline Report

Many Canadians believe that Canada is the best place in the world to grow up. Is it?

Canada’s wealth has been steadily rising, but our overall level of child and youth well-being hasn’t budged in more than a decade. Why?

The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being measures levels, inequalities and trends in the state of children and youth. It’s a big ‘selfie’ of Canada, a snapshot that looks atmany aspects of childhood to help Canadians understand what growing up is like for kids, focus efforts and accelerate progress where it is most needed.

The Index brings together a wide range of data into one framework to encourage a comprehensive and balanced view of how kids in Canada are faring. We are tracking 125 indicators across nine dimensions of the lives of children and youth, from birth to age 18, using the most recent, population-level, statistical data. This report is a profile of children and youththat provides a baseline from which future reports will track progress. It complements the UNICEF Report Cards that look at life for kids in the world’s rich countries.

In one of the world’s wealthiest societies, we still have to measure how well Canada is meeting basic needs like nutritionand clean drinking water because we are not fulfilling thesehuman rights for every child. Because child and youth well- being is also fundamentally determined by opportunity to participate in Canadian society and decided by how kids feel about their lives, the Index measures these as well.

The Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being was built by and for children and youth, across the country and farthest from opportunity, and provides an inspiring and challenging view of what well-being looks and feels like to them. What we measure is important to kids from their perspectives, from their pets to their risk of poverty.

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