2019 Child Poverty Report Card

About This Year’s Report Card

Since 1996, the BC Child Poverty Report Card has been released each year on November 24, in conjunction with the release of child poverty report cards across Canada, marking the anniversary of the all-party House of Commons resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.

Due to a change in the timing of Statistics Canada data, the 2019 report card is being released in this preliminary summary form in January 2020.

Additional data will be published on this website in the Spring of 2020.

Click here to download the 2019 BC Child Poverty Report Card – Summary Report (to download, right-click and ‘Open link in new tab’)

Click here to read Campaign 2000’s 2019 National Report Card on Child Poverty: 2020: Setting the Stage for a Poverty-Free Canada

Key Findings

  • 163,730 children and youth were living in poor households in 2017.
  • 51,760 poor children were under the age of six.
  • Overall, BC had the 8th highest child poverty rate out of all the provinces and territories.
  • BC child poverty rate at 19.1% was slightly higher than the national child poverty rate of 18.6%.
  • The poverty rate for children living in lone-parent families is 51.4%.
    For the first time since 2009, the number of poor children in lone-parent families increased, from 81,960 in 2016 to 86,690 in 2017.

Indigenous children, new immigrant children, children in visible or racialized minority groups and those with disabilities all have much higher poverty rates than the BC average.

The gender inequality gap persisted with the median income for female lone parent households at $44,960, just 72% of the $62,550 median income for male lone parent households.

While there are poor children growing up in all areas of BC, poverty rates are varied from 15.3% in the East Kootenay Regional District to 42.5% in the Central Coast Regional District. Many of the regional districts with the highest child poverty rates were located in coastal areas, particularly along the north and central coastal areas.

First Call’s recommendations to government include better income supports and universal programs like affordable housing and child care investments; targeting efforts to help those who have a higher risk of living in poverty; moving more quickly to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour; and significantly raising income and disability assistance rates to bring them in line with actual living expenses and index them to inflation.