Fort St. John has the lowest child poverty rate in B.C.

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition released its annual Child Poverty Report Card, which shows that the Peace Region has one of the lowest rates of child poverty in the province, though more than 1 in 7 children in the region are living in a low-income family environment.

In their annual report card, the Coalition says that 16 percent of children in the Peace River Regional District are currently living in poverty, or just under one in six. Fort St. John had the lowest child poverty rate in B.C., with a rate of 12 percent. Meanwhile, Dawson Creek was the only urban area in the province that had less than 500 children living in a low-income family. The number in the Mile ‘0’ City was 460, while there were 870 children in low-income families in the Energetic City.

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While the rate of child poverty is comparatively low when compared to rates in the Central Interior and the Central and North Coast, the East Kootenays had the lowest child poverty rate of any regional district in B.C., at 14 percent.

The factor of income inequality was also brought up as becoming a growing problem in B.C. Our province now has the 3rd-highest rate of income inequality in Canada, behind only Ontario and Saskatchewan. Between 1989 and 2015, the poorest 10 percent of families saw their incomes increase on average by just under $4,900, while the richest 10 percent of families saw incomes increase on average by just over $101,000.

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