Alberta child poverty rates cut in half
New Stats Canada figures show that the child poverty rate dropped by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2017 in Alberta, from 10 per cent to five per cent.
During the same two-year period, the rate of child poverty in homes with a single mom dropped from 36 per cent to 17.6 per cent. Overall poverty in Alberta dropped from 8.2 to 6.8 per cent.
“No child should ever worry about having enough to eat. By taking strong actions to tackle poverty in Alberta, we are helping kids meet their full potential.”
Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services
With the lowest child poverty rates in Canada, Alberta continues to tackle poverty through investments aimed at low- and middle-income families.
In late 2015, two major benefits were introduced. The Alberta Child Benefit provides families making less than $42,255 per year with up to $2,820. Roughly 135,000 families benefited last year. The province also introduced an enhanced Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit, providing benefits of up to $2,064 to 185,000 families last year.
Alberta’s rate of child poverty is significantly lower than the Canadian average of nine per cent.
A 2018 OECD report comparing the latest available international statistics had just two countries, Denmark and Finland, with a child poverty rate lower than five per cent.
Taking Action on Poverty
- Early Learning and Child Care Centres provide $25-a-day child care for children up to age six. Approximately 7,300 spaces are at 122 licensed centres across the province.
- Alberta’s minimum wage increased up to $15 per hour on Oct. 1, 2018. In 2015, Alberta’s minimum wage was tied for the lowest in Canada.
- The School Nutrition Program gives 30,000 students in select elementary schools across the province a daily meal, helping them learn and develop skills toward lifelong healthy nutrition.
- Alberta’s affordable housing strategy invests $1.2 billion towards affordable housing, giving tenants the tools they need to be successful and encourages them to improve their financial circumstances.
- An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities increased financial supports for Albertans receiving AISH, Income Support and seniors benefits starting Jan. 1, 2019.