Poverty Stats in Canada

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Many hands holding blocks that spell out the word poverty


The more we all know about what some people with disabilities have to deal with day-to-day, the better position we will be in to keep others informed.

Read up, then let these numbers burn into your memory. We’ve got to work together to make these numbers change.

  • 3.98 million Canadians living in poverty – 11% of the Canadian population
  • 1,364,000 people with disabilities live in poverty – 16.6% of the poverty population
  • 1/3 of Canadians living in poverty are people with disabilities
  • For families with children under 18 years of age, the poverty rates were higher for those where the head of the economic family was Indigenous (19.4%), a recent immigrant (in Canada for less than 10 years) (21.1%), or an immigrant (13.9%).
  • Poverty rates were the highest for individuals with mental or psychological disabilities at 25.0%
  • Followed closely by people with cognitive disabilities at 24.7%.
  • Poverty rates for persons with disabilities were particularly high for:
    • unattached individuals (excluding seniors) at 49.5%
    • female sole caregivers at 34.7%
    • Indigenous people living off the reserve at 31.8% and
    • immigrants who landed in Canada less than 10 years ago at 27.2%.


These statistics are found in the document Building Understanding: The First Report of the National Advisory Council on Poverty.