(First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition/still1in5.ca)

Nearly 12,000 children living in poverty throughout Okanagan: report

BC Child Poverty Report Card includes stats for Central and North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen

One in six children in the Central Okanagan are living in poverty, according to a child poverty report card published by the BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

According to the report, 5,970 children live in poverty, which means 17 per cent of children in the region live below the poverty line. The statistic is two per cent higher than the average number of Central Okanagan residents living in poverty.

“(This demonstrates) that children are disproportionately affected by poverty in this area despite having one of the lowest child poverty rates in BC,” reads the report.

In the North Okanagan, there are 3,060 children living in poverty; a rate of one in five and 19 per cent of children.

As for the Okanagan-Similkameen, 21 per cent of children (2,720) are below the poverty line while 18 per cent of all residents live in poverty.

READ MORE: Pilot project aims to fill labour gaps in North Okanagan

The report states children in single-parent families are at particular risk with rates six times higher than the poverty rates for children in two-parent families. Forty-eight per cent of children in single-parent families live in poverty in the region.

The Central Okanagan poverty rates were slightly under the B.C. average in 2019 in the four categories.

In 2017, the report stated that one in five children were growing up in poverty in B.C and that the province had the eighth highest child poverty rate in all of Canada.

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