Social Well-Being Tracker

Our social well-being indicators are based on social determinants of health. These indicators are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals and communities. Social determinants of health also determine the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment. Social determinants of health are about the quantity and quality of a variety of resources that a society makes available to its members. Important considerations include both the quality and their distribution amongst the population. 1

BDGovernment Transfers

BD2Alberta Works Payments (Basic and Shelter Allowances) for the Expected to WorkAlberta

Trend Analysis

Short Term

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Long Term

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Trend Value Negative

Indicators

Government Transfers. Government income supports (also known as income transfers), as well as other social programs and services, play an important role in the prevention of poverty.

For many people, hard work is not enough to break the cycle of poverty. Barriers to accessing well-paid employment include: limited English language proficiency, lower education completion, unrecognized international credentials, social isolation, limited access to child care, conflicting work and family responsibilities, and even the difficulties of navigating government programs. These barriers disproportionately affect visible minority groups (particularly newcomers), Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and lone-parent women.

  • Rates of provincial social assistance programs have not kept up with the cost of living.
  • Over the past 30 years, there has been a significant erosion of the real value of Alberta Works benefits for all family types. There have been long periods of time where there have been no benefit increases, including the years between 1993 and 2002.
  • Most recently, there were no monthly benefit increases between April 2012 and 2018, causing their real value to decline relative to living costs.
  • 2019 saw a slight increase in Alberta Works benefits, although these benefits are still low relative to living costs.

BD1. Average monthly number of households receiving Alberta Works

  • Government of Alberta (2020). Income support caseload. Government of Alberta Open Data. Retrieved from https://open.alberta.ca/opendata/income-support-caseload-alberta

BD2. Alberta Works Payments

  • Province of Alberta (2020). Alberta works: Financial benefits summary. Retrieved from: https://www.alberta.ca/income-support-what-you-get.aspx
  • Historical Alberta Works data retrieved from previous editions of Tracking the Trends.
  • Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0005-01 Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted

BD3. Average Number of AISH recipients

  • Government of Alberta (2020). Assured Income for the severely handicapped (AISH) caseload. Government of Alberta Open Data. Retrieved from: https://open.alberta.ca/opendata/assured-in-come-for-the-severely-handicapped-aish-case-load-alberta

BD4. Maximum Monthly AISH Benefits

  • Alberta (2019). Assured income for the severely handicapped general regulation. Retrieved from: https://www.qp.alberta.ca/docu-ments/Regs/2007_091.pdf
  • Historical AISH data retrieved from previous editions of Tracking the Trends.
  • Statistics Canada. Table 18-10-0005-01 Consumer Price Index, annual average, not seasonally adjusted

BD5. Number of Households receiving EI

  • Statistics Canada. Table 14-10-0011-01 Employment insurance beneficiaries (regular benefits) by province and territory, monthly, seasonally adjusted

BD6 to BD9. Source of Transfer Payments

  • Statistics Canada. Table 11-10-0014-01 Sources of in-come by census family type

BD10. Child Poverty Reduction

  • Custom Tabulation prepared by Statistics Canada. Courtesy of Campaign 2000

(1) Raphael, D. (2004). Introduction to the social determinants of health. In D. Raphael (ed.) Social Determinates of Health: Canadian perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press Inc.

Contact Info

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10544 – 106 Street NW, Suite 200 (Bassani Building)
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 2X6

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780-423-2031

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