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Decision time for Canada: Let's make poverty history

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2005 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada
Campaign 2000
Publication Date: 
24 Nov 2005

Excerpts from the report:

On the sixteenth anniversary of Parliament's vow to end child poverty in Canada, 1, 201,000 children - a number equivalent to the population of Manitoba - still live in poverty. For nearly 30 years, one of the richest nations in the world has maintained an average child and family poverty rate of one in six children - the structural rate of child poverty. There have been cyclical variations, reflecting economic recessions and recoveries, but the rate of one in six children has remained tenacious. Despite continued economic growth, rising employment and strong job creation, Canada's record on child poverty is worse now than it was in 1989.

How is Canada doing in addressing child and family poverty?

Child and Family Poverty
- 1.2 million children in poverty - almost 1 in every 6 children
- Child poverty rate stuck at around 18% since 2000, despite economic growth
- Number of children living in poverty risen by 20% since 1989

Couples with Children
- Low income couples with children still $9,900 (on average) below poverty line
- Poverty rate virtually unchanged at 12%

Lone Mother Families
- Child poverty rate for female lone parent families dropped slightly to 52.5%
- Low income lone mother families fallen deeper into poverty - would need $9,600 (on average) to reach poverty line

Gap Between Rich and Poor
- Deep inequality entrenched despite economic growth. Canada's top 10% richest families with children had average incomes that were more than 13 times higher than the bottom 10%

Food Bank Use
- 41% of food bank users in 2004 were children, approximately 325,390 children

Social Exclusion
- Child poverty rates for Aboriginal, immigrant and children in visible minority groups are more than double the average for all children; child poverty rates among children with disabilities are 27.7%