Why Poverty Matters
Understanding root causes and preventing and eradicating poverty is critical to the wellbeing and success of entire communities. There is considerable evidence and research that demonstrates a relationship between poverty and poor health outcomes, an impact on the ability for children to succeed, social isolation, lower productivity and lower educational attainment.
The latest statistics that we have are from the 2006 Census and show increasing vulnerability in our communities. Poverty is a growing issue in York Region:
The issue of housing affordability is not just an issue for families with low incomes or people with lower paying jobs. York Region’s housing inventory continues to grow rapidly. However, most existing and new housing stock is single family detached dwellings which are out of the reach of many people in York Region, including people earning in the middle income range.
- One in eight, or 112,500 York Region residents face (or are at risk of facing) economic hardship due to low-income (based on before-tax Low Income Cut Offs) – an increase of 55% over 2001 Census
- Key vulnerable groups have been increasing in York Region at a rapid rate including:
- 30,565 lone parents – an increase of 35% over 2001
- 46,460 recent immigrants were living in York Region in 2006 – these are residents who immigrated to Canada within the last five years
- There are approximately 140,000 people with disabilities – an increase of 55%. (Based on a projection from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS)
- 32,477 children less than 18 years of age (29% of all the residents living below the Low-income Cut-off ) an increase of 62% increase over 2001
- All municipalities, with the exception of East Gwillimbury, have seen an increase in the number of children living in poverty
- The child poverty rates are highest for Markham and Richmond Hill