British Columbia Poverty Progress Profile 2016


Over the past seventeen years, British Columbia (BC) has held one of the highest rates of poverty in Canada.1 Despite this, BC is the only province or territory that has not made a commitment to create an anti-poverty strategy. The cost of poverty in BC is estimated at $8-9 billion per year — as opposed to the estimated $3-4 billion necessary to put a provincial poverty plan in place. 

Poverty in BC is a confluence of low wages and stagnant welfare rates alongside a soaring cost of living. Many people living in poverty are employed, but their earnings are not enough to stay above the poverty line.3 Housing and childcare are two of the largest costs for BC families living in poverty. Vancouver’s average monthly rent prices are the highest in the country; a two-bedroom unit averages $1,368 per month, well above social assistance rates.

Poverty continues to be most prominent in marginalized populations, including Indigenous peoples, persons who identify as LGBTQ2, individuals with disabilities, recent immigrants and refugees, single mother households, and single senior women.6

Publication date: 
Dec 2016
Canada Without Poverty
Canada Without Poverty
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