Rate of Children Living in Poverty


Percent share of low-income children in all children (age 0-17).

Poverty is the condition of a person who is deprived of the resources, means, choices and power necessary to acquire and maintain a basic level of living standards and to facilitate integration and participation in society.

Why This Matters

“If all the 16.7 million poor children in America were gathered in one place, they would form a city bigger than New York.[31] Many published studies have demonstrated strong associations between childhood poverty and the child’s adult outcomes in education, health and socialization, fertility, labor market, and income. Strong evidence suggests that children of low income parents have an increased risk of intellectual and behavioral development problems.[32] Large negative associations between poverty during early childhood and academic outcomes have been consistently found in many studies.[27] Furthermore, children in poverty have a greater risk of displaying behavior and emotional problems, such as impulsiveness and difficulty getting along with peers, and family poverty is associated with higher risk for teen childbearing, less positive peer relations, and lower self-esteem.[33]

“In terms of economic disadvantages, adults who experienced persistent childhood poverty are more likely to fall below the poverty line at least once later in life.[33] Poor boys work fewer hours per year, earn lower hourly wages, receive lower annual earnings, and spend more week idle in their mid-twenties.[27] Paternal income is also strongly associated with adult economic status.[27] The National Academy of Sciences found that “childhood poverty and chronic stress may lead to problems regulating emotions as an adult”.[34][35]

“Also, childhood poverty in the first three years of life is related to substandard nutritional status and poor motor skills; in contrast, poverty is also associated with child obesity – as they get older, poor children are more likely to have chronic health problems, such as asthma and anemia.[33] These impacts probably reflect issues related to poverty including a substandard diet, inferior housing conditions, poor neighborhood environment, reduced access to goods and activities and the psychological stress stemming from these factors.” [36]   Text accessed on Wikipedia November 7, 2019   

Measurement and Limitations

In 2016 in Peterborough CMA, 20.4 percent of children age 0 to 17 were living in poverty based on the Low-income Measure (after tax). The rate was down 3.8 percentage points from 2004 (24.2 percent) and down 0.4 percentage points from 2015 (20.8 percent). The 2016 figure was higher than the national average (19.6 percent) and higher than the Ontario average (17 percent).

Low income situation of individuals is determined using the Census Family Low Income After-Tax Measure (CFLIM-AT). Individuals are defined as having low income if their adjusted after tax income falls below 50% of the total population median adjusted after-tax income. Adjusted after-tax income is derived by dividing census family income by the square root of the census family size and assigning this value to all persons in the census family. This adjustment distributes income among the members of the census family, and takes into account the economies of scale present in larger families, the increasing number of people living on their own and the decline in family size over time.

The information in this table is based on the updated methodology for Census Family Low Income After-Tax Measure (CFLIM-AT) statistics derived from the T1 Family File. The updated methodology was introduced in April 2018. Statistics based on the former methodology can be found in CANSIM table 111-0015. For more information on methodological changes, please consult the research paper ‘Methodology Changes: Census Family Low Income Measure Based on the T1 Family File’ (catalogue no. 75F0002M).

Data Source

Statistics Canada

Last update: June 2019. Source is updated annually.

For more information on local initiatives, visit Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network (PPRN).


Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy – A backgrounder on poverty in Canada – accessed November 7, 2019

Wikipedia, Child Poverty – accessed November 7, 2019


Rate of Children Living in Poverty in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.90 a day, and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount, plus many people risk slipping back into poverty.

Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Related Rate of Children Living in Poverty Targets


By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions