The number of Canadians in poverty went down by over 20 per cent between 2015 and 2017, meeting the government’s first poverty reduction target three years ahead of schedule, according to data from the 2017 Canadian Income Survey released by Statistics Canada last month.
Statistics Canada published the results of the survey on Feb. 26 and it was the first release of an income survey since the government launched the initiative known as “Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy.” The initiative aims to create a 20 per cent reduction in poverty by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2030, compared to levels in 2015. The data from the survey showed that the first poverty reduction target was met three years ahead of schedule, meaning the poverty rate fell over 20 per cent between 2015 and 2017.
“This represents approximately 825,000 fewer individuals living in poverty,” said Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos in a statement on Feb. 26. “However, we know there is much more to do. That is why we remain committed to cutting poverty in half by 2030.”
The data also showed that the Canada Child Benefit resulted in higher incomes for families with children. Couples with children had their median child benefits go up by $1,200 while single-parent families received an extra $1,300 in 2017 compared to 2016. In addition, the number of children living in poverty dropped by 278,000 between 2015 and 2017.
“These results confirm that our investments are lifting people out of poverty and helping Canadian families,” Duclos said. “We remain strongly committed to ensuring that everyone has a real and fair chance at success.”
To learn more about the results of the 2017 Canadian Income Survey, click here. To read about the government’s poverty reduction plan, click here.