poverty

Just the Facts

42% percent of Canadians state “they would be in financial difficulty if their paycheque was delayed by a week". Canadian Payroll Association
  • Poverty costs Canada $72-84 billion – for Ontarians this means between $2,299 and $2,895 every year, and for British Columbians, this equates to over $2,100 each year.  (Ontario Association of Food Banks report and BC Cost of Poverty report)
  • In 2012, a record 872,379 Canadians used food banks each month, the highest level of food bank usage ever (Food Banks Canada).  In 2012 the number was only slightly lower at 833,098 – which is still 23% above the 2008 levels (Hunger Count 2013).
  • 3.1 million households pay more than 30% of their income on housing making them housing insecure, and 150,000 – 300,000 are visibly homeless, while 450,000 – 900,000 Canadians represent the ‘hidden’ homeless (Wellesley Institute, Precarious Housing in Canada Report, 2010)
  • McMaster University study (2010) finds a 21-year difference in life expectancy between the poorest neighbourhood and the wealthiest neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario.
  • $1 invested in early years (before the age of 6) saves $9 in future spending on health, welfare and justice systems (Report on Public Health in Canada).
  • Out of 25 developed countries, Canada ties for last place for failing to attain nine of UNICEF’s ten benchmark indicators of quality and access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision.
  • Poverty costs the Canada`s health care system $7.6 billion per year (Ontario Association of Food Banks)
  • Racialized groups and recent immigrants are more likely to be in poverty, have low paying jobs or be unemployed compared to the non-racialized Canadian population. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives & the Wellesley Institute)
  • 1 in 3, or 33%, low-income children had at least one parent who worked full time throughout the year in 2008, and still lived in poverty (Statistics Canada, 2008)
  • Seven provinces have a poverty strategy (NL, NB, NS, QC, ON, MB, PE), and four provinces/territories are in the process of creating a poverty plan (YK, NT, NU, AB).

See our Resources section for more information and reports on poverty related issues.