Child poverty, children 0 to 17 years of age, economically advanced countries, 2009

In a report released by UNICEF in 2012 on child poverty in 35 industrialized countries, Canada lies in the bottom half of the group (24 of 35) despite the government’s 1989 pledge to eradicate child poverty by the year 2000. At 13.3%, Canada’s child poverty rate is almost 2 percentage points higher than the national average and twice as high as that for seniors. Canada’s tax-transfer programs more effectively lower poverty rates among the elderly than among the young1.

1UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. “Measuring Child Poverty.” Available at:–  accessed June 29, 2012.


Although the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card has met with some criticism (see Miles Corak), the main point to be taken from this report is that Canada’s child poverty rate is where it was five years ago. Miles Corak stresses that even though cross-country comparisons help us monitor governmental progress, what is really needed in this report is an indicator measuring changes in poverty over time for each country.2

2 Corak M. “The Sad, Sad Story of the UNICEF Child Poverty Report and Its Critics.” Available at: – accessed on June 29, 2012.