This report, requested by the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton (UWBGH), explores the social and spatial dimensions of poverty by various population groups such as newcomers, people living with disabilities, seniors and children. Although it relies on the 2006 Census as the main data source, the findings will help to inform the public, government, funders and social service agencies and stimulate discussions about poverty in our community especially the growing economic hardship brought about by the recent economic events.
This report highlights some of the income and poverty trends in the City of Burlington. The impacts of poverty are felt across the general population and more severely by population groups who have been disadvantaged historically. Low income families and individuals cannot afford all the basics and necessities of life. They are forced to choose among essentials such as food, electricity, shelter or clothing on a daily basis. Many of them fall through the government’s safety net and have to turn to the nonprofit community service sector for help. Their financial circumstances were made worse with the recent economic downturn.
In addition to its social dimension, poverty also has a spatial dimension within the community. A number of areas (Dissemination Areas) experience high poverty rate where one in three residents live in poverty. Low income persons are three times more likely to live in the high poverty areas than the rest of the population. Areas with high poverty rates may require more resources in physical and social infrastructure.
It is hopeful that this report will inform the public, government, funders and social service agencies and stimulate discussions about poverty and its reduction and eradication in our community.
If this document was accessed or downloaded before October 23, 2012, there is an error on pages 11 and 12 in relation to prevalence of low income that indicates it is for the population 15 years of age and over. In fact, the data presented is for the total population.
On page 11, the third paragraph should read “Burlington had the highest prevalence of low income for individuals among the local municipalities in Halton Region in 2000.” Also, the title for Figure 6 should read “Population by Prevalence of Low Income, Halton Region, 2000 and 2005.”
On page 12, the first label in the Figure 7 table should read “Total Population.”