Who We Are
Faces of Poverty
Can We Do?
is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit."
Eli Khamarov, Lives of the Cognoscenti
Statistics and Demographics
In 2000, 14.9% of households in Pasadena were below the poverty level.
This is higher than both the national poverty level and the California
poverty level. Pasadena is located roughly 10 miles outside of Los Angeles
and in L.A County. 17.9% of all people in the county fall below the poverty
level, compared to a national rate of 12.4%, and a poverty rate in California
of 14.2%. One of the many homeless shelters in Pasadena is the
Union Station Foundation. Our school, Polytechnic, is close to this
organization and makes sandwiches once a week that are dropped off at
the homeless shelter. We also have students from the lower school, middle
school, and upper school donate their time to this organization to help
fight poverty within Pasadena.
For more some
interesting statistics about Pasadena go to: Pasadena
Statistics of Poverty
For more about Los
Angeles County go to: Los
Angeles Poverty Information
the United States:
of the US population lives in poverty. The three states with the highest
percentages of poverty are Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico. The
three states with the lowest poverty rate are New Hampshire, Minnesota,
and Connecticut. (U.S. Census Bureau)
of People 32,791,272
Percentage of the
US Population in poverty since 1959:
This graph shows
the percent of people in families that are in poverty in the U.S
as of 2002. As you can see the graphs are broken up into four sections.
Female householder families with no workers make up a staggering
70% of people in poverty.
This graph shows the number of months people have spent in poverty
from 1996 to 1999. Of the people that were in poverty over this three
year period, 51.1% were in poverty for only 2 to 4 months. This 51
% is able to sometimes take care of themselves and bring themselves
out of poverty. However, people who have been in poverty for over
a year are the ones that need the most help.
Poverty: Canada and the World
How Canada stacks up among similar states
While Canada routinely ranks among the top three countries in the
world for overall living standards, UNICEF (United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund) has criticized the Canadian government
for maintaining disproportionately high levels of child poverty.
Child Poverty Statistics
Child poverty statistics (i.e. the percentage of families with children
under the age of 18 whose income is half or less of the average
national income) were also provided. USA has one of the
highest rates of relative child poverty of all OECD members. 22.4
percent of its children live in poverty; second only to
with 26.2 percent
• Italy’s rate is 20.5 percent
• United Kingdom sits at 19.8 percent
• Turkey 19.7 percent
• Canada is at 15.5 percent
• Australia at 12.6 percent
• Germany at 10.7 percent
• Hungary at 10.3 percent
• France at 7.9 percent
• Finland at 4.4 percent
• Sweden 2.6 percent
The report found
an overall correlation between higher levels of public expenditures
and lower relative poverty measures.
M. (2000), “Trends and driving factors in income distribution
and poverty in the OECD area”,
Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Paper, No. 42, OECD,
In 2000, 12.5% of
Calgarians lived below the Low-Income Cutoffs (LICO). Low Income Cutoffs
are a measurement of poverty that is used in Canada. They are defined
as “ income thresholds below which families will likely devote a
larger share of income to the necessities of food, shelter and clothing
than the average family would”.
Low-Income Cutoffs for
Canadian Cities with 500,000+ Persons
(Based on 1992 base pre-tax income)
Family Unit Size LICO
1 person $19,261
2 persons $24,077
3 persons $29,944
4 persons $36,247
5 persons $40,518
6 persons $44,789
7 or more persons $49,060
In 2002, over 22,000 Calgarians relied on social assistance and 48, 311
individuals received food hampers up 11% from 2001. In 2002, Homelessness
was up 34% and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment was up 2.7%.
Alberta has the lowest minimum wage in Canada ($5.90 per hour).
Recently, a United
Way report found that 12.5 per cent of Calgarians – including more
than one in 10 children – live in poverty. Of those Calgarians,
30 per cent live in poverty for more than three years. The report also
points to a growing income gap between rich and poor in Calgary. The poorest
10 per cent of Calgarians had an average income of $13,000 in 2000 (the
most recent year stats are available), whereas the average income of the
top 10 per cent was $248,600 – that gap is larger than the average
in both the country and the province.
For some interesting
facts about Calgary go to:
For some interesting
statistics about Poverty in Calgary go to:
For a recent article about poverty in Calgary, go to: