Toronto – September 30, 2017 – Statistics Canada’s Census 2016 data reveals that in 2015, 17 percent of Canadian children under the age of 18 lived in low-income households. This figure remained almost unchanged in the last decade, despite growing incomes across the country.
Statistics Canada defines “low-income” as household earnings of less than half the national median income, which translates to an income of $22,133 for a single person or $38,335 for a family of three. Below are some statistics on how poverty affects children in Canada.
1.2 million – Number of Canadian children under the age of 18 who were living in poor households in 2015.
1 in 5 – Ratio of children living in a low-income household in Canada’s seven largest cities.
24 – Percentage of children living in poverty in Windsor, Ontario – the highest rate of any municipality in the country. This is largely due to a sharp decline in manufacturing.
12.8 – Percentage of children living in poverty in Alberta, the lowest rate among all provinces.
22.2 – Percentage of children living in poverty in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the highest rate among all provinces.
Quebec – The only province where children are less likely than adults to live in low-income households.
Chart 1: Low-income rates for children, by province, 2015
42 – Percentage of children living in single-parent households who also live in poverty.
11.2 – Percentage of children living in two-parent households who also live in poverty. Evidently, children in lone-parent households are three-and-a-half times more likely to live in poverty than those in two-parent households.
Chart 2: Percentage of children in low-income households, by family type, 2015
Source: “Household income in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census,” Statistics Canada, Online, September 13, 2017.