Canada’s poor: report says 3.7 million or 10 percent of population live below poverty line

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      Canada is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and yet poverty abounds.

      A new report states that about 3.7 million people in the country live below the official poverty line.

      That’s at least 10 percent of the total population, meaning one in 10 Canadians do not have enough income for a decent life.

      Statistics Canada took the measure based on 2019 data using what is known as the market basket measure or MBM.

      MBM represents the cost of a basket of goods and services like food, clothing, shelter, and transportation needed for a basic standard of living in a community.

      This means that the MBM varies from place to place.

      For example, in the cities covered by metropolitan region of Vancouver, the 2019 MBM was $50,055.

      Statistics Canada released a report Tuesday (March 23) about the broader subject of incomes in 2019, and the poverty rate was among the topics.

      The poverty rate stood exactly at 10.1 percent, and the bright spot is that it is down from 11 percent in 2018.

      “The decline in the national poverty rate from 2018 to 2019 represents a continuation of a general downward trend in the poverty rate observed in recent years,” Statistics Canada reported.

      It continued: “Except for an increase in 2015 associated with the oil price shock in that year, the poverty rate has fallen by a statistically significant margin in each year since 2012.”

      As for details, 2.7 million adults aged 18 to 64 lived below the poverty line in 2019.

      In 2019, about 680,000 children below the age of 18 fell in the same category.

      Also, about 349,000 people aged 65 and older lived in poverty in 2019.

      On the topic of incomes, the report stated that median after-tax income of Canadian families and single persons stood at $62,900 in 2019.

      “This was virtually unchanged from the previous year,” Statistics Canada reported.

      The federal agency noted that while there was no significant increase in median after-tax income, there has been a steady growth in incomes in the past two decades.

      “Since 2000, the median after-tax income of Canadian families and unattached individuals has risen at an average rate of 1.2% per year above inflation, increasing by about $12,000,” Statistics Canada reported.