Canada's Official Poverty Line
Description - Canada's Official Poverty Line
- This line chart shows the evolution of the poverty rate in Canada over time.
- It has a vertical axis showing percentages, from 5 to 15 percent, by increments of 2 percent.
- It has a horizontal axis showing years, from 2012 to 2018, by increments of 1 year.
- The line shows that the poverty rate was 15.0% in 2012, and remained within plus/minus one percent of 14% until 2015.
- Three recent data points are highlighted: 12.8% in 2016, 11.7% in 2017, and 11.0% in 2018- an all-time low.
11.0 percent of Canadians lived in poverty in 2018, down from 11.7 percent in 2017. More information on Canada's Official Poverty Line
"Opportunity for All" introduces a dashboard of 12 indicators to track progress on deep income poverty as well as the aspects of poverty other than income, including indicators of material deprivation, lack of opportunity and resilience.
Lifting Canadians out of poverty by ensuring basic needs — such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food and health care — are met.
Deep income poverty
5.4 percent of Canadians were living in deep income poverty in 2018, down from 5.9 percent in 2017. More information on Deep poverty
Unmet housing needs and chronic homelessness
12.7 percent of Canadian households experienced core housing needs in 2016, same as in 2006 and slightly up from 12.5 percent in 2011. More information on Unmet housing needs and chronic homelessness
Unmet health needs
11.2 percent of Canadians aged 12 years and older reported not receiving health care when they felt they needed it in 2014, down from 12.5 percent in 2000-2001. More information on Unmet health needs
8.7% of Canadian households were moderately or severely food insecure in 2017-2018, similar to 2011-2012 (8.3%), but higher than 2007-2008 (7.7%). More information on food insecurity
Opportunity and inclusion
Helping Canadians join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity.
Relative low income
12.3 percent of Canadians had less than half as much income as the median after-tax income in 2018, down slightly from 12.6 percent in 2017. More information on Relative low income
Bottom 40% income share
20.8 percent of total after-tax income went to Canadians in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution in 2018, slightly up from 20.4 percent in 2017. More information on Bottom 40% income share
11.7 percent of Canadian youth (age 15-24) were not in employment, education or training in 2020, up from 9.5 percent in 2019. More information on Youth engagement
Literacy and numeracy
13.8 percent of 15-year-old Canadians had low literacy skills in 2018, up from 10.7 percent in 2015. 16.4 percent of adults (age 16-65) had low literacy skills in 2012.
16.3 percent of 15-year-old Canadians had low numeracy skills in 2018, an increase from 14.4 percent in 2015. 22.4 percent of Canadian adults (age 16-65) had low numeracy skills in 2012. More information on Literacy and numeracy
Resilience and security
Supporting the middle class by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty and by supporting income security and resilience.
Median hourly wage
The median hourly wage for all Canadians was $24.04 in 2019, up from $23.53 in 2018 (in 2019 dollars). More information on Median hourly wage
Average poverty gap
In 2018, Canadians who lived in families with incomes below Canada's Official Poverty Line were, on average, 33.4% below this line, up from 32.9% in 2017. More information on Average poverty gap
51.2 percent of Canadians were asset resilient in 2012, up from 46.2 percent in 2005, meaning they had enough savings to maintain well-being for three months. More information on Asset resilience
Low income entry and exit rates
Between 2016 and 2017, 4.1% of tax filers (890,000), who were not low income in 2016, entered low income in 2017.
Between 2016 and 2017, 27.9% of tax filers (1.1 million), who were in low income in 2016, left low income in 2017. More information on Low income entry and exit rates
Opportunity for All – Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy
In August 2018, the Canadian government released "Opportunity for All – Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy". "Opportunity for All" is a whole-of-government strategy that involves actions and investments that span across the federal government.
Gender, diversity and inclusion statistics
Visit Gender, diversity and inclusion statistics for information on socio-demographic characteristics that can intersect with poverty.
Sustainable Development Goals and Poverty
Goal 1 - No poverty of the Sustainable Development Goals is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.