TORONTO, June 17, 2011
Statistics Canada figures released this week show that Ontario’s poverty rate increased to 13.1% in 2009, a growth rate of 17% since the 2007 provincial election year (See Table following).
“Using the province’s official low income poverty measure, Ontario’s poverty rate of 13.1% is slightly below the Canadian average of 13.3%,” comments Peter Clutterbuck, Coordinator of SPNO’s Poverty Free Ontario campaign, “The rate of Ontario’s poverty growth, however, has increased the highest of all other regions of Canada since 2007.” A total of 1,689,000 Ontarians in 2009 lived in poverty, which is 277,000 more than in 2007.
While the rate of poverty growth by age group is lowest among children at 3.5%, Poverty Free Ontario notes that the proportion of working age adults (18 to 64 years old) living in poverty increased from 11.2% to 13.4%, a growth rate of 19.6%. Ontarians 65 years and older also show an extremely high poverty growth rate of 41.9% since 2007, although the overall proportion of seniors in poverty still remains below 9%.
Poverty levels in Ontario among unattached males (24.1%) and unattached females (25.0%) remain exceptionally high. Among the population living alone unattached elderly women have fallen into poverty at the highest rate since 2007 (20.1%).
Considering the latest poverty figures, Janet Gasparini, SPNO Chairperson, comments,” Although measures to end child and family poverty need to be maintained and strengthened, the rate of poverty among working age adults, seniors and adults living alone is entrenched and growing rapidly. A comprehensive strategy to end poverty among all parts of the population is sorely needed to stem and reverse this direction.”
The Poverty Free Ontario campaign aims to make the commitment to end poverty for all Ontarians an important part of the policy debate in the upcoming provincial election. www.povertyfreeontario.ca
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For more information contact:
Peter Clutterbuck, SPNO Coordinator
Cell (416) 738-3228