Updated March 2019
Poverty and Vulnerable Groups
Over one in five children in BC live in poverty.1
In 2016, 20.3% of children
in BC lived in poverty. While this is a decrease from previous years, the
number is still incredibly high, and higher than the Canadian average.
Vulnerable groups are significantly more
likely to be living in poverty in BC.
2016, over half of children living in single-parent families lived in poverty,
compared to just over one in ten in families with both parents.2 Based on the Canada 2016
Census, in BC one in four of persons of Aboriginal identity live in low-income
status, compared to 15% for non-Aboriginal persons.3
Teachers report that the proportion of
students at school experiencing poverty-related issues is increasing.
In a 2012 BCTF survey of BC’s public school
teachers, one in three respondents reported that the number of children
experiencing poverty-related issues remained the same during the time they have
been teaching, while 45% reported an increase.4
Question: How has the proportion of students experiencing poverty
changed over the time you’ve been teaching at the school, by socio-economic
context of the neighbourhood?
A significant number of teachers report
inadequate resources to deal with poverty-related issues among students.
More than one in three respondents (39.5%) reported
that the resources at school to address the poverty-related needs of students
are not very adequate or not at all adequate, while only 12.2% of respondents reported
that the resources are quite adequate or very adequate.5
1 Statistics Canada (2019). Table 11-10-0018-01 After-tax low income status of tax filers and dependants abased on Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM-AT), by family type and family type composition.
Canada (2017). “Aboriginal Identity (9), Individual Low-income Status (6),
Low-income Indicators (4), Registered or Treaty Indian Status (3), Age (6) and
Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and
Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census -
25% Sample Data.” Data tables, 2016 Census.
Margret. et al. (2016). 2012 Poverty and Education survey: A teacher’s