Poverty Trends 2021

The Change We Need

October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

Every year CPJ releases our Poverty Trends report, a review of data on poverty in Canada and the state of government action, as well as a vision for how we can move forward.

Using the latest data from Statistics Canada and research reports by advocacy groups across the country, Poverty Trends provides us with a snapshot of poverty in Canada from year to year. We maintain that poverty is a violation of people’s inherent rights and dignity and that the Government of Canada has a legal and moral obligation to take action to end poverty and inequity.

In Poverty Trends 2021 we build on the 2020 report‘s intersectional analysis of people’s rights and realities in Canada. Canada follows persistent and predictable trends in terms of who is most likely to be poor, and what impact poverty is likely to have on people and communities. These trends have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic as those living in poverty and precarity were disproportionately affected by inadequate access to healthcare, food insecurity, and inadequate housing. 

This report explores why these inequitable trends in poverty persist, and what fundamental changes are needed to rehabilitate our socioeconomic “ecosystem” so that all people’s rights and dignity are honoured. Taking a narrative approach, Poverty Trends 2021 gives us a current overview of poverty in Canada, highlighting both promising tools and problematic inequities in many poverty reduction efforts so far.

The purpose of this report is to encourage readers to reflect on the root causes of poverty and the ways in which the systemic oppressions embedded in our society contribute to them. We hope that through your thoughtful contemplation of this report, you are encouraged to take action! This report can be a useful tool for speaking to your communities or government representatives.  Your can also take action by joining our Chew On This! campaign and calling on your MP to sign the pledge to address poverty urgently and equitably.

Supplemental Resources

Poverty Trends 2021 Policy Recommendations

Poverty Trends 2021 Discussion Guide – Faith Groups

Poverty Trends 2021 Discussion Guide – Workplace & Community Groups

Poverty Trends 2021 Discussion Guide – School Groups

Share Your Feedback

CPJ welcomes your feedback on the 2021 Poverty Trends report and discussion guides. Please let us know what you thought using our evaluation form, or by emailing us directly.

CPJ would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation for Poverty Trends 2021. We are also grateful for the wisdom and expertise shared by Advisory Group members Amber Cannon, Brenda Gillingham, Serisha Iyar, Maxine Lacorne, and Noah Lubendo, and graphic designer Azza Abarro.

Poverty Trends 2021
The Change We Need

By Natalie Appleyard
Published on October 17, 2021

Download the report (PDF)

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