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Policy brief

Why is lone-parent poverty so high and what can we do about it?

Published on 27/08/2018

Despite recent increases in child benefits, the poverty rate among lone-parent families is more than double the Canadian average. That said, lone-parent poverty is much lower than it was – it fell throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, but in the 2010s progress stalled.

With the launch of the first national poverty reduction strategy this summer and an Ontario strategy due for renewal in 2019, this brief takes a closer look at the trends in lone-parent poverty, the possible drivers, and what poverty reduction strategies could do to help.

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Summary

Despite recent increases in child benefits, the poverty rate among lone-parent families is more than double the Canadian average. That said, lone-parent poverty is much lower than it was – it fell throughout the late 1990s and 2000s, but in the 2010s progress stalled.

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