Child Poverty, Literacy, and Fitness in Canada

  • Almost 1 million children live in poverty in Canada today.
  • There are many “working poor”. 40% of low-income children live in families where at least one parent works full-time year round, up from 33% in the 1990s.
  • In 2001, teachers spent $143 million of their own money to buy books/reading materials for students.
  • By the time they start school, children living in poverty are 4.5 times behind their peers in vocabulary development.
  • The higher a nation’s literacy skills, the more likely its population is to have healthier habits and lifestyles.
  • 75% of children from low-income homes do not participate in organized sports, compared to only one-quarter of other children.
  • Children from low-income homes are twice as likely as children from middle-class homes to be living in neighbourhoods with violence, drug trafficking and vandalism as everyday occurrences.

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