Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Child poverty rate climbs in N.B.

By Brad Perry Feb 22, 2024 | 5:37 AM

New Brunswick’s child poverty rate is on the rise after a significant drop at the start of the pandemic.

That is according to a new report card released this week by the province’s Human Development Council (HDC).

It found 18.7 per cent of children, or about 26,360, were living in poverty in 2021, up from 16.6 per cent in 2020.

The increase comes as pandemic benefits wound down and the cost of living increased across the benefits.

Officials said those benefits were the reason the poverty rate fell to 16.6 per cent in 2020 from 21.7 per cent the year before.

“Child poverty is unevenly distributed among New Brunswick’s eight cities,” according to a news release from HDC.

It ranged from 11.4 per cent in the city of Dieppe to as high as 32.7 per cent in the city of Campbellton.

Saint John had a child poverty rate of 27.3 per cent, while in Fredericton, 20.2 per cent of children were living in poverty.

The report also revealed that certain populations are overrepresented among those living in poverty.

Young children under age six, children in one-parent families, racialized children, and Indigenous children all have child poverty rates greater than the provincial average.

“Unacceptably high child poverty rates have been persistent in New Brunswick,” said Randy Hatfield, executive director of the Human Development Council.

“It’s time that all levels of government increased and aligned their efforts to fulfill a 1989 federal all-party unanimous resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.”

Nationally, the child poverty rate increased by 2.1 percentage points to 15.6 per cent in 2021, with nearly 1.2 million children living in poverty.