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 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

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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.

This data has been collected from external sources and should not always be attributed to ESPC. We would be happy to provide you with a specific reference for the data that you have used. Please use the contact form on this page to request sourcing information.

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