Measuring Progress

Transparent Reporting on Government's Progress

Market Basket Measure (Canada’s Official Poverty Line) For Child Poverty Rate


Target: To achieve a child poverty rate that is better (lower) than the 2017 level of 9.5 percent

How we are doing now

Manitoba’s child poverty rate improved by 42 percent between 2015 and 2017, resulting in 17,000 fewer children living in poverty. In 2017, Manitoba’s child poverty rate was 9.5 percent, the fourth-lowest among the provinces and Manitoba is no longer the child poverty capital of Canada – as it was in 2015.

Manitoba’s goal was to reduce the child poverty rate by 25 percent by 2025, relative to the 2015 baseline. This was achieved in 2017, so the challenge ahead will be to sustain a lower child poverty rate over time.

Market Basket Measure (Canada’s Official Poverty Line) For Child Poverty Rate

Data source

In Manitoba, the child poverty rate is based on the Market Basket Measure, which is Canada’s official poverty line. It represents the percentage of the population who cannot afford the cost of a basket of goods and services to achieve a modest standard of living, such as nutritious food, clothing and footwear, transportation, shelter (including electricity, heat and clean water), personal care items, computer/internet, and household supplies.

Statistics Canada currently provides data on the cost of the basket of goods and services for four types of community areas within Manitoba: Winnipeg, Brandon, areas with a population of less than 30,000 and rural Manitoba. Using the Canadian Income Survey, Statistics Canada calculates and reports on the low-income rates (poverty rates) based on the Market Basket Measure for Canada and provinces.

Statistics Canada releases the low-income rates annually with a two-year lag. The 2017 low-income rates were reported in February 2019. The 2018 low-income rates are expected to be reported in February 2020.

How we are doing over time

Please refer to the chart above

Why This Matters

Supporting children and youth to meet their full potential represents an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty for generations in Manitoba.

Tracking child poverty using Canada’s official poverty line will properly indicate whether our efforts to provide a better quality of life for our children are working.

Next steps

Although Manitoba has surpassed its poverty reduction target, work will continue to achieve better outcomes for children and families who need support. The Manitoba government has been taking concrete steps to improve the lives of children. Examples include:

  • creating more high-quality child care spaces and keeping child care affordable;
  • focusing on keeping families together and implementing child welfare reform;
  • helping families access income supports such as the Rent Assist shelter benefit; and
  • supporting Healthy Baby, which provides the Manitoba Prenatal Benefit and Healthy Baby Community Support Programs to expectant and new parents across Manitoba.

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