Here are a few statistics gleaned from the recently released 2011 Tracking the Trends report published by the Edmonton Social Planning Council.
- Between 2000 and 2010, a nutritious food basket for a family of four increased $69.99 per week, rising to $196.02 per week, an increase of 55%.
- From 2000 to 2011, average rents increased as follows:
- Bachelor Suite: from $421 to $731, (+ 73.6%)
- 1 – bedroom : from $489 to $842 (+72.2%)
- 2- bedroom : from $601 to $1,029 (71.2%)
- 3- bedroom: from $670 to $1,224 (82.7%)
- One in five unattached individuals (20.3%) lives in poverty, twice the rate for all family units (10%). (The number of single individuals has increased 50.5% since 1999 and 158% since 1979, a significantly higher rate than the growth in the number of families.)
- One in four lone parent families (mostly female) are poor.
- One in three (33.3%) youth-led families lives below LICO, three times the average for all families in metro Edmonton. Youth led is defined as 24 years old and under.
- In Edmonton 41,000 children under 18 years of age (15.4% of all children) lived below LICO in 2009, a decrease of 3,000 since 1999, but twice the number in 2007.
- In 2009 the percentage rate of children from two parent families living below LICO rose from 2.2% in 2005 to 13.5%. For female headed lone parent families, in the same time-frame the percentage dropped from 42.9% to 28.5%.
- 73% of children living in poverty have parents who work.
- One in four Aboriginal children lives in poverty.
- The overall median total income for the Edmonton workforce has increased 12.7% , from 1999 to 2009, far less growth than the cost of food and accommodation.
- The median income for seniors was $18,400 in 2009, 11.5% lower than in 1999. Imagine how seniors are doing today with the increases in food and accommodation.
- The median income of two-parent families with children increased 23.2% between 1999 and 2009. Most families are doing okay, but their incomes are erroding, given the costs of food and accommodation.
- The value of Alberta Income Support payments (for those expected to work) has decreased markedly since the 1980s. Since 1993, the value of basic and shelter allowances for families has decreased 38.0% for single parents, and 36.1% for two-parent families. The value of allowances for single adults has decreased 2.7% since 1993.
- In 2011 Alberta Works allowances are about half the value what they were in 1981.
- The value of AISH has decreased 1.4% between 1998 and 2008.
- In 2009, the Alberta Government raised AISH benefits by 9.2%, bringing the value of AISH benefits back to the 1992 level. No increase has taken place since 2009. Just over 15,900 Edmontonians are on AISH, nearly three times the number than in 1995.
Please remember the first two statistics:
Food up 55% (2000-2010) and accommodation has increased between 71 and 83% depending on the size of family.
Income growth has not come close to funding these increases in basic need expenditures for all families. Imagine what people making minimum wage are facing.
Income security programs have been decreased markedly in the last ten years despite the incredible escalation of basic need expenditures.
These trends affect all of us, but even more so those on fixed incomes, who make insufficient wages, and who rely on income security programs that do not come close to even providing subsistence.
Bissell Centre’s vision is to eliminate poverty.
We are keen to hear your ideas and advice about what YOU think we should do to achieve that goal!
Give us your comments below or give our CEO a call at 780 969 5163