First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society released the 25th annual BC Child Poverty Report Card on November 24. The report found that not much has changed for poor children and their families. In 2019, the year this report covers, there were 156,560 (18.0%) children and youth living in poor households with many living in deep poverty.
At 18.0%, BC had a slightly higher child poverty rate than Canada at 17.7%. We are encouraged to see the rate was down slightly from 2018 at 18.5% following the trend of gradual improvement since 2010 but progress is not fast enough for children whose health and development are at risk because they are poor.
A big surprise in this year was the disparity between the average total incomes of the richest and poorest 10% of BC families with children.
Families in the highest income decile collected 24 times more than families in the lowest income decile. This was a larger disparity than the Canadian average ratio of 20. The disparity for lone-parent families in BC was worse with the average income for the top 10% of lone-parent families at 54 times the average income for lone-parent families in the lowest decile. This was the highest income inequality ratio for lone-parent families of all provinces and territories.
Read the 2021 BC Child Poverty Report Card.