The annual child poverty report card released by B.C. based association First Call says one in five children in the province live in poverty.
In particular, certain sections of the populations had higher poverty rates than others, including Aboriginal children, children of recent immigrants, children of single mothers, children in visible minority families, and children with disabilities.
The report says nearly half of Aboriginal children in the province live in poverty, based on 2006 census data.
The poverty rate for adults in B.C. is 16 per cent.
The findings are based on children ages 0 to 17 who live below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure. Based on stats from 2013, there are more than 167,000 kids in B.C. living below the poverty line, representing the fifth highest child poverty rate in Canada.
B.C.’s child poverty rate is higher than the national average of 19 per cent.
“The fact that child poverty rates are higher than overall poverty rates in Canada and in every province points to the need for systemic policy changes that better support families in their child-rearing years,” reads the report.
First Call believes a comprehensive provincial government policy needs to be put in place with legislated targets and timelines in order to help solve the issue of child poverty in B.C.