VCC Poverty Fact Sheet October 2008
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Poverty Fact Sheet O C T O B E R 2 0 0 8 What is Poverty? All Calgarians have a Poverty is the condition of a human being 2007 Before-Tax Low-Income right to fully who does not have sufficient economic Cutoffs for Canadian Cities and other resources to live with the with 500,000+ Persons participate in the dignity, choices and power which support Family Unit LICO family, social, full participation in society. Size economic and political life of their 1 person $21,666 • In Canada, the most widely used measures communities. of poverty are Statistic Canada’s Low 2 persons $26,972 Poverty limits Income Cut-Offs or “LICOs”. 3 persons $33,159 peoples’ full • Based on data collected through a survey 4 persons $40,259 participation. of family expenditures, Statistics Canada has determined that when families earn a 5 persons $45,662 low income they end up spending a larger 6 persons $51,498 share of that income on necessities than 7+ persons $57,336 the average Canadian family. Source: Statistics Canada, 2008 • According to Statistics Canada, if a family Who Are has to spend 20% or more than the average family on necessities they Calgary’s Poor? are living in “straitened circumstances” • LICOs are often used as an indicator of poverty, and those who make an • Over half of single income below the LICO are said to be living in poverty. mothers with • children under 6 Over one-fifth of Poverty in Calgary females 18 to 24 • During the first six- • The Minimum • 87,212 Calgarians years of age months of 2008, Housing Wage, the received assistance • Nearly half the 62,800 (10.7%) of hourly income from the Calgary Food elderly living without employed Calgarians needed to afford Bank in 2007, a family earned less than $12 rent, is $13.29 for a 42,614 increase since • Almost one-third of per hour. bachelor apartment 2004. males living without in Calgary. family • Over 60% of employed • During the first six- Calgarians earning • During the first six- months of 2008, 7,300 less than $12 per hour months of 2008, hardworking are women 126,000 employed Calgarians earned Calgarians earned $8.40 per hour or less, • Only 31.5% of less than $15 per less than one-third of employed Calgarians hour, all of whom whom are teenagers. earning less than $12 fail to meet the Sources: per hour are Calgary Minimum The City of Calgary, 2008; teenagers. Housing Wage to Statistics Canada 2006 and 2008; Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank 2008; and, afford a 1-bedroom The Calgary and Region Socio-Economic Outlook 2005-2010. apartment. PAGE 2 We Can End Poverty in Calgary Some Root Causes of Poverty: • Real income is shrinking, not keeping up with the cost of living • Government cutbacks have reduced funding for social services • Lack of affordable housing • Limited health care benefits • Limited opportunity to accumulate personal The number of hardworking Calgarians earning less than $12 per hour is and family assets significantly decreasing. Between the first six-months of 2006 and 2008, 44,200 fewer Calgarians earned less than $12 per hour, despite the fact that • Isolation and exclusion from community nearly 100,000 people entered Calgary’s workforce. networks By continuing to address the root causes of poverty, by working together, and • Systemic discrimination by supporting innovative, risk-taking and long-term change initiatives, we can end poverty in Calgary. • Underemployment • Chronic unemployment due to health issues or lack of Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) exists to formal ignite community action to create and implement education • Loss of bold solutions that reduce and prevent poverty employment For more information: through collaboration and education. VCC is part of due to downsizing or a national network where diverse community poor health leaders from across Canada share ideas, practices Vibrant Communities Calgary • Mental health and policies that strengthen their community-based or addictions 1227 Kensington Close NW Calgary, Alberta T2N 3J6 poverty reduction initiatives. issues • Childhood W: www.vibrantcalgary.com VCC develops and supports creative and neglect or abuse E: firstname.lastname@example.org impacting innovative poverty reduction strategies in Calgary, current ability to P: (403) 283-2122 knowing that our combined diversity of experience cope F: (403) 283-2105 and expertise will achieve results none of us could achieve individually.