For Immediate Release

(Edmonton) While most Edmontonians have good jobs and adequate incomes, a new report on poverty in Edmonton shows that one in eight Edmontonians live in poverty and one in five children live in a poor family.

A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton, produced by the Edmonton Social Planning Council, gathered the latest federal, provincial and municipal data on income, employment, poverty by family size, housing, homelessness and food bank use.

Some of the report’s findings include:

  • Alberta has the highest rate of working poverty of any Canadian province,
  • Many Edmontonians work full-time yet earn an income below the poverty line,
  • Housing is not affordable for many. Edmonton trails Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary in having the highest average rents,
  • Income inequality in Edmonton is growing following national and provincial trends,
  • Edmontonians of Aboriginal descent are more likely to experience poverty, for example 43.7 per cent of Aboriginal children between 0 and 5 live in poverty,
  • Among ethnic groups, people of African ethnic origin have the highest prevalence of low income, and
  • Poverty is nearly twice as prevalent within city boundaries than in surrounding communities.

“Poverty is a complex issue with many stakeholders but some of the steps the City of Edmonton can take to reduce poverty is to implement a low income transit pass, ensure more land is available for affordable housing and implement a living wage for City contracted services,” said Edmonton Social Planning Council Executive Director Susan Morrissey.

“It’s our vision to eliminate poverty in Edmonton within a generation,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “This report is an important step in helping us make informed policy decisions and plan effective programs for our city’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The report, released on the occasion of the ESPC’s 75th anniversary, is the latest in a long tradition of producing reports and recommendations to inform evidence-based public policy decisions. This specific report was produced for End Poverty Edmonton, the Mayor’s Task Force to Eliminate Poverty and describes the overall picture of poverty in Edmonton, how poverty varies across age, gender, households and neighbourhoods, who is impacted most and what are the emerging trends impacting poverty reduction.

ESPC is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan social research organization, with registered charitable status with a focus on social research, particularly in the areas of low income and poverty

For more information:
Susan Morrissey
ESPC Executive Director
(780) 423-2031 x353 or (780) 218-7395 cell
Copies of the report are available at: Click here to download:  A Profile of Poverty in Edmonton
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