first-call-2017

1 in 5 BC children still living in poverty

First Call BC has released the 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card, and sadly, BC still has a child poverty rate that is higher than the national average.

The most recent data shows 153,300 children in BC, more than 18% of all children in the province, are living in poverty. First Call’s report shows that it is a full percentage point higher than the national average.

Child poverty is also disproportionately affecting immigrant children, Aboriginal children, and children from racialized communities.

The report also found that poor families with two children in BC in 2015 had median incomes that were $11,000 below the poverty line, meaning there are 10s of thousands of children living in very deep poverty.

This is especially troubling in a province like BC that has so much wealth. The inequality in British Columbia is highlighted by the fact that the richest 10% of families with children took home 24% of the income pie, compared to the 2% shared by the poorest 10% of families.

First Call made 21 recommendations to help lift children out of poverty and end BC’s dismal poverty rates. Those recommendations include a $10-per-day childcare plan, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, increasing disability assistance rates, and new investments in affordable housing that is suitable for families.

First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of over 100 provincial and regional organizations who have united their voices to put children and youth first in BC through education, community mobilization, and public policy advocacy. Read the full 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card online.



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