Canada’s First Poverty Dashboard - The Dimensions of Poverty Hub

Posted on August 12, 2019
By Alison Homer

dimensions of poverty hubThe Dimensions of Poverty Hub is comprised of meaningful and measurable indicators that track progress in poverty reduction beyond the poverty line. Released in July 2019, the Hub serves as the official dashboard for Opportunity for All, Canada’s first poverty reduction strategy. It monitors the ability of individuals and families to better meet their basic needs and move closer to the modest standard of living reflected in Canada's Official Poverty Line. Using the Dimensions of Poverty Hub, progress in poverty reduction will be recognized as more Canadians are able to afford healthy and nutritious food, live in housing that is in good condition and of suitable size for their families, and are able to receive health care when they need it. It will also be recognized as fewer people experience chronic homelessness, and as income levels rise for Canadians that live in deep poverty. The dashboard’s 12 indicators are organized by three sets of indicators: Dignity; Opportunity and Inclusion; and Resilience and Security.

This set of indicators tracks how Canadians are being lifted out of poverty by ensuring that basic needs are met, including safe and affordable housing, healthy food, and health care.

Indicator Most Recent Value Rate and Trend
Deep Economic Income Poverty 5.1% of persons with income below 75% of Canada’s Official Poverty Line. Reduced from 5.6% between 2016 and 2017
Unmet Housing needs

12.7% of persons with unmet housing needs

Increased by 1.6% between 2011 and 2016
Unmet Health Needs 11.2% of persons aged 12 years and older reporting not receiving health care when they felt they needed it Decreased by 10.4% between 2000 and 2014
Food Insecurity

8.3% of households reporting food insecurity

Increased by 7.8% between 2007 and 2012


Opportunity and inclusion
This set of indicators tracks how Canadians are being helped to join the middle class by promoting full participation in society and equality of opportunity.

Indicator Most Recent Value Rate and Trend
Relative Low Income

12.7% of persons with less than half the median after tax income

Decreased by 2.3% between 2016 and 2017
Bottom 40% Income Share

20.4% of total after-tax income that went to Canadians in the bottom 40% of the income distribution

Decreased by 1.0% between 2016-2017
Youth Engagement 9.0% of Canadian youth aged 15-24 not in employment, education or training Decreased by 11.8% between 2015 and 2016

Literacy and Numeracy

10.7% of 15-year old Canadians with low literacy skills

14.4% of 15-year old Canadians with low numeracy skills

Decreased by 1.8% between 2012 and 2015

Increased by 4.3% between 2012 and 2015


Resilience and security
This set of indicators tracks how the middle class is being supported by protecting Canadians from falling into poverty and by supporting income security and resilience.

Indicator Most Recent Value Rate and Trend
Median Hourly Wage

$23.08 for all persons in 2018 constant dollars

$21.50 for all women in 2018 constant dollars

$25.00 for all men in 2018 constant dollars

Decreased by 0.3% between 2017 and 2018

Increased by 0.1% between 2017 and 2018

Decreased by 1.9% between 2017 and 2018

Average Poverty Gap

Family incomes of 35.1% below Canada’s official poverty line, of Canadians living in families with incomes below the poverty line

Increased by 2.9% between 2016 and 2017
Asset Resilience 51.2% of Canadians who had enough savings to maintain well-being for 3 months Decreased by 10.8% between 2005 and 2012

Poverty Entry and Exit Rates

3.9% entry rate (840,000 people) for all Canadians

27.6% exit rate (1.1 million people) for low-income Canadians

Decreased by 4.9% between 2014 and 2016

Increased by 0.4% between 2015 and 2016



Moving forward, these indicators will become detailed enough to track progress at national, provincial and territorial levels, and across various groups of Canadians, as defined by gender, age, family composition, Indigenous identity, disability status, and other personal and social characteristics. The Dimensions of Poverty Hub is of great benefit to Canadians, as it allows us to monitor how well we are doing at working together to reduce poverty.

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Alison Homer, Cities Reducing Poverty, Canada, Poverty Reduction Strategy

Alison Homer

By Alison Homer

Advancing a vision of ending poverty in Canada, Alison provides leadership and drives excellence within Communities Ending Poverty (CEP). Her team actions an initial focus on ending working poverty, partnering with thought leaders and members from multiple sectors to identify levers and opportunities, influence policies, and shift systems.

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