Despite Canada’s very high general standard of living and the growth in average wealth, 1 in 7 Canadians live in poverty. In fact, poverty rates are increasing for youth, young families, immigrants and ethnic minorities in this country. In fact, Canada’s ranking on the UNICEF Index of Child and Youth Well-being and Sustainability dropped from 12th in 2007 to 25th in 2017among 41 wealthy nations, and this lower ranking was in large part due to our failure to take meaningful action to end poverty and hunger.
Poverty among Indigenous peoples remains extremely high, both on and off reserves. While Canada officially ranks an impressive 4th on the UN Human Development Index, the statistics measuring poverty in Canada’s Aboriginal communities places us 78th – a ranking currently held by Peru.
- Slightly more than 1 out of 6 children live in poverty, with a child poverty rate of 17.4% (2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card)
- In March 2016, 863,492 people in Canada used food banks, and 35.6% of those relying on food banks were children. Of those who used food banks, 66% paid rent and 1/6 were currently or recently employed (Hunger Count 2016)
In British Columbia:
- Despite the overall wealth in our province, 15.3% of the population live in poverty (2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card)
- BC’s child poverty rate is higher than the national average and stands at 1 in 5. Almost half of children from single-parent households lived in poverty (2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card)
- In 2016, 103,464 British Columbians used food banks, 32.2% of whom were children. (Hunger Count 2016)
Yet, British Columbia remains the only province in Canada without a Poverty Reduction Plan!
For more facts and information about possible solutions to end poverty in British Columbia as well as Canada, please visit: