Poverty in Canada - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-28
Poverty in Canada - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Food Healthcare Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1726 words
15 min read


Human beings as social beings with dynamism in economic, social, and political resources strive to make ends meet for survivability. To survive, resources must be available, failure to which, poverty looms devouring all humans and most especially cutting through the middle and low-class individuals. Poverty does not only comprise of financial deprivation but includes the lack of all resources that can maintain human survivability, and including comfortability, like food, shelter, services, exclusion, and marginalization among others (World Vision). Different countries measure poverty differently depending on the absoluteness and relativity, but the World Bank is the authority in poverty measurement as it analyzes the extremeness of the phenomenon through a measure of the international poverty line with those who are extremely in poverty living on less than $1.90 daily, while those living within $1.90 and 3.10 daily considered the moderately poor.

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The World Bank calculates numbers basing on the individual monetary consumption and income level. While poverty is a problem, policies are the cause of its increase or decrease. Where policies are well formulated, analyzed, and implemented according to the formulation goals, poverty is more likely to reduce and the opposite is true. A policy is a plan or ideas that are formulated, organized, and analyzed to aid in the decision-making dynamism of economic, social, and political endeavors (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). With the global rise in poverty level, Canada stands out due to its responsive nature of poverty rates considering the fact it is a country rated among the economically developed nations in the world.

Canada, a country with a highly developed economy with the 9th largest nominal GDP and 15th largest PPP GDP globally leaves one wondering why poverty exists in the country and how it exists (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). Poverty is a concern that must be addressed by the Canadian government to help balance the resources and services, especially in health, politics, and the general economy. It leaves Canadians and other countries wondering why poverty lurks in parts of its territory even after it was declared one of the least corrupt countries and within the highly ranked trading nations that are economically stable globally. Although the poverty levels decreased from 11.6% in 2003 to 9.2% in 2007, the poverty indicators still show that the average incomes, especially in the Ontario families are still below the poverty line with an average of $7100 annually (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). The haves and the have nots gap in Canadian child poverty continues to increase as statistics show that the estimated children below the poverty line in Canada as of 2006, exceeded 75000, pressing no effect on the earlier discussed policy by the House of Commons in 1989 of 1:9 children below poverty line ration (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). These statistics are appalling.

Statistics reveal that as of 2020, about five million Canadians live in poverty, making it a 1 out of 7 individuals with vulnerability cutting across the physically challenged, mentally challenged, elderly, youth, single parents, marginalized communities, and radicalized communities (Neidhart). It elaborates that 40% of children are still living below the poverty line inflicting a 21 years gap between the indigenous children in poverty against the children living in wealthy families in the neighboring states. Neidhart posits that 1 out of 8 individuals in Edmonton in Canada are currently living under poverty impacting a billion costs on the country as a result of the poverty levels. In as much as the poverty levels in Canada dropped from decades ago to date, the poverty is still looming as average earnings of Canadians dropped by 20% from 1980 to 2005 with a 30% population increment. Research by Neidhart shows that in 20 years, the Canadian population increment of 30% has been faced with a decrease in 46% of housing, making many Canadians, either homeless or paying rent for the houses and therefore increasing the poverty levels.

Canadian Poverty and Demographics

Child and Youth Poverty

Poverty vulnerability in Canada strikes the youth and children intensely making a total of children living in poverty to be 1.3 million. That is a representation of 1 out of 5 children with 60% (Neidhart). World Bank details that 1 out of 7 people occupying homeless shelters are children while 18.5 % are youths (Neidhart). It elaborates that more than in 2016, the food bank users were moistly children represented by a third of the total 863, 492 food bank users with the youths representing 17%.

Marginalized Communities

Marginalized groups are susceptible to poverty effects in Canada with the elderly rating at 15%. About 5 % of people in Canada have disabilities where 59% of the disabilities groups are women (Neidhart). The World Bank elaborates that 21% of single mothers in Canada live in poverty while 7 % of fathers struggle to bring up children in poverty. In the urban centers of Canada, Indigenous people represent the highest number of homeless with a 28% to 34% poverty rate (Neidhart). Research indicates that 1 out of 5 radicalized groups in Canada are living in poverty compared to the 1 out of 20 which are not radicalized with radicalized women living in poverty earning less than 32% at work.

Causes of Poverty in Canada

There are so many causes for poverty across the world in different countries but with major ones pointed towards the government efforts in not enacting policies that can help eradicate or minimize the poverty levels. In Canada, the causes of poverty include poor policy implementation especially concerning children's poverty level. Fraser Institute says Canada was ranked 26th out of 35 countries by UNICEF in response to child inequality, especially in poverty matters. The policies concerning people who are physically and mentally challenged are not well implemented. As discussed above, research reveals that people with disabilities are vulnerable to poverty and therefore the increment of poverty or the causes are linked to the policy failure in helping these groups of people. Despite Canada employing 50% of Canadians in the home industries and government jobs, the salary is not conducive enough to help them remain above the poverty line (Fraser Institute). Therefore employment policies are not well analyzed to fit the average individual daily usage hence causing poverty.

Impact of Poverty in Canada

Food Insecurity

Poverty, like earlier discussed, doesn't fall on financials only but extends to other amenities like housing, food, and health. Food security is paramount in the stabilization of health and nutrition, where lack of it causes adverse effects to individuals and the nation at large. Statistics show that 4 million people in Canada experience food insecurity (Neidhart), where 1 in 8 households struggle to get food. In 2012, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation revealed that 62.2% of households with food insecurity in Canada were dependent on wages and salary income. Studies show that Canada's reserve food banks are 3% higher than in 2015 and 28% higher than in 2018 as a result of poverty.


While expressing poverty, homelessness majors out as the most forcefully striking effect on individuals. Three million Canadians are living in uncomfortable housing conditions with overcrowding and unaffordability due to the poverty level. The research estimated that 35, 000 Canadians slept on the streets every night in 2016 while 235,000 underwent homelessness. Due to the poverty levels, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation projected a decline in national housing funding by a difference of $1.36 billion, which is from $3.04 billion to $1.64 billion due to an increase in poverty levels (Deaton et al. 36). Since the poverty levels amongst the youths are high, the youth groups between 18-25 years are mostly hit, rendering them homeless with 20% of total population representation.


Poverty affects an individual's physical and mental health causing different diseases like depression, stress, cholera, typhoid, and pneumonia among others. Canada, in as much as it has a universal healthcare system, lacks a pharma care policy making medicines expensive. Due to the poverty rates, at least 1 out of 10 Canadians cannot afford to purchase the medicines as per their prescriptions. Researchers detail that the men living in wealthy parts of Canada have a four-year life expectancy advantage over men living in the suburbs and poor regions of the country due to health facilities accessibility (Neidhart). This research means that due to high levels of poverty, the 20% of wealthy men can afford the medicines, access health facilities easily, and therefore have the advantage over the poor ones that can't reach the health services and facilities.


Canada is a developed country, economically, socially, and politically, therefore it is absurd that matters like poverty can arise from a country emulated by many other countries globally due to its successes. Since housing, health, children poverty rate, and physically and mentally challenged people are the challenges causing poverty in Canada, these issues should be addressed to allow the developed giant to maintain its stature and name (Monsebraaten). The country should enact policies that aim to reduce family and child poverty by 50% in 10 years. When poverty levels are high, taxes catalyze the situation; therefore, it is only reasonable that Canada reduces taxes to accommodate the individuals below the poverty line so that they cannot struggle to fit. Policies should be formulated to address the radicalized communities and single parents who have difficulties in raising the children alone due to poverty. The country should set a 50% goal within 5 years to address the household issue that faces poverty. The pharmacare policy should be implemented to enable every individual to access their prescribed medicines without the prohibition of the poverty factor.

Notably, poverty cannot be ignored as it infringes the survivability of individuals and the continuity of a nation. Every person must fight poverty through any means possible as the future generations are built on what is balanced now. Canada, a giant with a thorn of poverty in its flesh must ensure that every issue is fully addressed as it is one of the pivotal economic stabilizers globally. With its ideological stabilities including intellectuality, policies enacted will help them root out the poverty succumbing to the areas mentioned above and put it on track.

Works Cited

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. "Why-are-policies-important." Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation | CMHC, 31 Mar. 2018, www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/maintaining-and-managing/managing-affordable-housing/housing-management-hub/policy-information/why-are-policies-important. Accessed 10 Dec. 2020.

Deaton, B. J., et al. "Poverty in Canada: Does Manufacturing Matter?" Growth and Change, vol. 45, no. 2, 2014, pp. 362-376.

Fraser Institute. "The Causes of Poverty." Fraser Institute, 26 Mar. 2019, www.fraserinstitute.org/studies/causes-of-poverty. Accessed 10 Dec. 2020.

Monsebraaten, Laurie. "ROOT CAUSES OF POVERTY IN CANADA; Study of Federal Ridings Suggests Link to Discrimination and Systemic Inequality, Rather Than Luck or Poor Individual Choice." Canadian Injured Workers Alliance, 21 June 2018, www.ciwa.ca/root-causes-of-poverty-in-canada-study-of-federal-ridings-suggests-link-to-discrimination-and-systemic-inequality-rather-than-luck-or-poor-individual-choice/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2020.

Neidhart, Laura. "Just the Facts." Canada Without Poverty, 8 May 2020, cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts/. Accessed 10 Dec. 2020.

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