Families in Canada are highly diverse, comprised of many intersecting and interacting factors and identities, including gender, age, disability, indigeneity, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, income and religion. This diversity is a part of our social fabric, and supporting equality among Canada’s diverse peoples, a source of national pride for many, is an important component of policy-making.
However, many inequalities persist across the country and are experienced disproportionately by the same marginalized families and communities who make Canada a diverse nation – a reality with serious consequences for their social, economic, cultural and environmental well-being, as well as long-term social and economic development for the country as a whole.
Reducing inequalities is key to fostering social and economic growth, upholding our national commitment to equality expressed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and creating a society in which families can thrive in a caring and compassionate society with a robust and prosperous economy, in an inclusive and vibrant culture, and in a safe and sustainable environment.
Key facts and statistics:
- In 2017, Canadians in the top 10% of earners accounted for 23% of total after-tax income in Canada, while the bottom 40% accounted for 20%.
- In 2015, people in Canada who reported belonging to a visible minority group were more likely to live with low income (LIM-AT) than those who did not (21% vs. 12%).
- In 2014, nearly one-quarter (23%) of people living with a disability lived with low income (LIM-AT), compared with 9% of those without a disability.
- Suicide rates among Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average.
- In 2018, core working-aged women (25 to 54 years) in Canada earned an average 13% less than their male counterparts – a wage gap that decreased from 19% in 1998.
Source: Statistics Canada