The story of child poverty in Canada is very much an urban story. One out of every 10 children living in urban areas was poor in 2010, compared to one in 20 children living in non-urban areas. Three quarters (or 76%) of all poor children in Canada lived in one of the urban centres shown in the chart below.*
Child poverty isn’t a question of jobs: 9 of the 17 cities with lower child poverty rates than Vancouver experienced higher rates of unemployment in 2010. This is why it’s so important to talk about the living wage in Vancouver (and wages in general).
St. John’s in Newfoundland had the highest child poverty rate of all Canadian cities (15.8% or one in every 6 children). Vancouver saw the second-highest child poverty at 13.8%. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Hamilton (both in Ontario) had the lowest urban child poverty rate in the country, lower than Canada’s non-urban child poverty average of 5.1%.
Statistics Canada reports on child poverty rates in selected municipalities with a total population of at least 100,000 (known to statisticians as census metropolitan areas). The data are updated every summer and can be found in CANSIM table 202-0802.
* Victoria, BC is also included in the Statistics Canada’s census metorpolitan area child poverty statistics, but the 2010 survey sample was deemed too small/unreliable for Statistics Canada to release a separate child poverty estimate for the municipality.