New Brunswick’s 2023 Child Family Poverty Report Card

Press Release

February 2024

Tax filer data from 2021 reveals that roughly

1 in 6 Canadian children lived in poverty.

The child poverty rate in Canada increased

from 13.5% in 2020 to 15.6% in 2021.

New Brunswick had the highest child poverty rate considering the provinces territories).

country’s sixth-

(fourth  if  only

and not the

The number of children living in poverty in

the New Brunswick rose from 23,000 (16.6%)

in 2020 to 26,360 (18.7%) in 2021.

Child poverty rates in New Brunswick are

unevenly distributed across its eight cities,

from a high of over 25% in Campbellton,

Saint John, and Bathurst, to a low of 11.4% in


The highest decile of New Brunswick families

with children held 22.7% of total income,

while the lowest decile held 2.1%.

Approximately 1 in 5 children under age 6

(20.7%)   are    living    in                poverty          in                New



More than three decades ago, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. That goal remains elusive.

According to the latest tax filer data, Canadian child poverty rates increased from 13.5% in 2020 to 15.6% in 2021.[1] New Brunswick had the country’s sixth highest child poverty rate at 18.7%, with 26,360 children reported as living in poverty.

The child poverty rate rose in 2021 with the discontinuation of COVID-19 income support programs and inflation. The risk of child poverty rates returning to pre-pandemic levels is high because employment earnings and government transfers for low-income families are not keeping up with the cost of living.

The pandemic presented an opportunity to demonstrate how investment in income support programs can effectively lift people out of poverty by increasing their financial security, socioeconomic well-being, and overall quality of life.

“This House seek(s) to

achieve the goal of

eliminating poverty

among Canadian

children by the year


House of Commons, November 24, 1989

The Human Development Council releases an annual report card in partnership with Campaign 2000 on the state of child and family poverty in New Brunswick. Similar provincial and territorial report cards are written by a network of organizations coast to coast, who are committed to poverty reduction and eradication in Canada. These reports are a reminder of a resolution and promise to Canadian children that have not yet been fulfilled.

A Note on Poverty Data & Measurement

The Market Basket Measure (MBM) and the Low-Income Measure (LIM) are two tools used to quantify poverty rates in Canada. The federal government recognizes the MBM as Canada’s official poverty line.[3] The MBM is an absolute measure of poverty that reflects the absolute minimum a family needs to survive. Its data is obtained from the Canadian Income Survey. The LIM, conversely, is a relative measure of poverty. It identifies families with incomes below 50% of the median income, adjusted for family size. The LIM’s statistical source is tax filer data in the T1 Family File (T1FF).

Tax filer data is more reliable than income survey data. The latter is gathered from a relatively small sample size of the population. Therefore, it does not paint a picture of Canadians’ income and income sources as accurately. Since the MBM relies on this income survey data, it underestimates the

proportion of children in families experiencing poverty. A more detailed description of the MBM versus the LIM is found in Appendix A of this report.

Campaign 2000 and regional partners, like the Human Development Council, choose to use the LIM over the MBM as the primary poverty measure in annual child poverty reporting for Canada and its provinces and territories. The statistics presented in this report are sourced from the After-Tax Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM-AT) in the T1 Family File for 2021. This is the most recent T1FF tax filer data available.

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