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Poverty is “the situation of people whose lack of resources forces them to live below a publicly agreed minimum standard” - Poverty and Social Exclusion [1] Getting out of poverty means being able to make choices and being able to deal with the unexpected. [2]  

How we define poverty "sets the standards by which we determine whether the incomes and living conditions of the poorest in society are acceptable or not and are key in determining issues of equity. From these definitions flow all actions aimed at helping the poorest." - Poverty and Social Exclusion [3]


Who do our systems leave most vulnerable to poverty? [4]

The following figures are representative of the definition of poverty outlined above. There is subjectivity in the definition, thus actual figures are likely to be higher than what is reported.

Disabled people

  • An estimated 15% of people with disabilities in so-called Canada live in poverty.

Racialized people

  • Indigenous peoples in so-called Canada experience the highest levels of poverty: 1 in 4 Indigenous Peoples, or 25%, are living in poverty. 4 in 10 or 40% of Indigenous children in so-called Canada live in poverty. These facts are almost entirely due to the impacts of settler colonialism.
  • 1 in 5 racialized families live in poverty compared to 1 in 20 non-racialized families in so-called Canada.

  • Persons from racialized groups make up 54% of all immigrants in Canada. However, they make up 71% of all immigrants living in poverty. 
Single mothers
  • 21% of single mothers in so-called Canada are low income.
Young adults
  • Single young adults are often faced with precarious employment that provides little financial security and little relief from student loan debt.
  • In 2016, 36% of new immigrants and refugees were living in poverty. [5]

If you have any suggested revisions or additional resources to share related to the above content, please email them to kenzie@lehub.ca.

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