Campaign Against Child Poverty


The latest data available from Statistics Canada and the Campaign 2000 Report Card on Child Poverty indicate that almost 1 in 6, or 15.6% of all children in Canada live below the poverty line. This represents 1,071,000 Canadian children living in poverty as of 2001.

In 1989, when the House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate child poverty in Canada, the rate was 14.9%. Child poverty grew during the recession of the early 1990s, then began to decline at the end of the decade. However, Canada’s child poverty rate has never dropped below 14.9% in the past thirty years. In contrast, Northern European countries have been able to reduce their rate to about 5%.

Canada’s poor families continue to struggle in the midst of growing prosperity. In 2001, two parent families would have needed to earn, on average, an additional $10,200 just to reach the poverty line. More than 50% of all low income children live with parents who are in the workforce (2003 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada, Campaign 2000).

Forty percent of food bank users are children, although only 26 per cent of Canada’s population are children. The fastest growing population requiring emergency shelter in Canada is families with children.