What is it?
Children Living in Low-Income Households is based on the percent of children aged 0-12 living below the Low-Income Measure - After Tax (LIM-AT), which includes households with an after-tax income that is less than half the media income for all households, adjusted for family size. In 2013, the LIM-AT for a family of four was $34,742.
Why is it important?
Family income influences all areas of child development, and plays a strong role in the health and well-being of children across all domains. Family income affects children’s access to many basic needs such as food, adequate housing, and clothing. Living in low-income can also limit a child’s access to opportunities that support their growth and development, such as early learning and care programs, or recreation and arts. Further, children living in low income families may enter school behind their higher-income peers, inequities that can affect academic achievement into later years. Other research has shown that children of colour, Indigenous children, children from single-parent families, children from newcomer families, and children with disabilities are more likely to experience poverty in Toronto.
What does it mean?
Toronto has the highest rate of children living in low-income families among 13 major Canadian cities with 29% of children under the age of 12 living in low-income households. Figure 1 shows that there are great disparities in income between neighbourhoods. There are 58 neighbourhoods in Toronto that have over the Toronto average (29%) of children who are living in low-income households.
T1 Family File
, Statistics Canada.
The Low-Income Measure is a relative measure of poverty, and does not capture conditions of absolute or material poverty that many families in Toronto experience. Further, income is only one aspect of a family’s financial conditions that impact children’s well-being, and does not account for debt, assets and savings.
Research & Resources
Fauth, Becky, Renton Zoe, Solomon Enver (2013). Tackling child poverty and promoting children’s well-being: lessons from abroad
Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Duncan, Greg (1997). The Effects of Poverty on Children
. Children and Poverty. Vol 7, No 2.
Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (2014). The Hidden Epidemic: A Report on Child and Family Poverty in Toronto