Feb. 4, 2013
has been unable to reverse the rise in income inequality - and poverty rates - that occurred in the 1990s. Low rankings on these social equity measures mar an otherwise solid "B" grade in The Conference of
report card, released today.
How Canada Performs: Society
analysis, based on international data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
- Canada gets an overall "B" grade and ranks 7 th of 17 countries
- One in seven Canadian children live in poverty.
- The 2008-09 financial crisis and recession increased the share of people in low income; elderly and working-age Canadians were most affected.
"Despite our overall "B" grade, comparatively high rates of poverty and a large gap in income levels can put stress on a society and on the economy. Rising poverty rates and greater income inequality can mean a weakening in labour force attachment and social cohesion," said
, President and CEO of The Conference Board of
indicator. Income inequality rose markedly in the 1990s before stabilizing in the early 2000s. Since 1990, the richest 20 per cent of Canadians has increased its share of total national income, while the poorest and middle-income groups lost share.
has a high level of income inequality compared to most of its peers, it surpasses most other countries in
intergenerational income mobility
earns an "A" grade and ranks 5th of 13 peer countries on this indicator. Intergenerational income mobility can be seen as a measure of equality of opportunity, as it measures how likely individuals are to remain in the same income class as their parents.
indicators. The child poverty rate of 15.1 per cent is higher than it was in the mid-1990s.
rate of working-age poverty increased from 9.4 per cent in the mid-1990s to 11.1 per cent in the late 2000s. Compared to its peers,
had the third highest increase in the working-age poverty rate during this period. As a result,
grade for this indicator slipped from a "C" to a "D".
Aside from these results,
gets solid grades in the 17-indicator analysis. For example,
ranks first in
citizens' acceptance of diversity
also gets top marks on measures of:
performance is the Society category is better than many of its peers, but it ranks below the Nordic countries,
- all of whom get 'A' grades.
The United States
is by far the worst performer overall; moreover, the U.S. ranks last in six of the 17 indicators.
How Canada Performs
is a multi-year research program at The Conference Board of
to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in
socio-economic performance. The
How Canada Performs
website presents data and analysis on
performance compared to 16 peer countries in
six performance categories
: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.
SOURCE Conference Board of