In a word – everyone. From the strain it puts on social supports and taxpayers to the physical and financial toll it takes on families and individuals, we are all affected.

Based on the Low Income Measure After-Tax (LIM AT), a family of four in Alberta earning $38,000 after taxes would be considered poor. For a single person, this cut off would be a yearly salary of $19,000.

Poverty is more prevalent and runs deeper for lone parent families, people with disabilities, newcomers, young people and the Aboriginal population.

The effects are not limited to those considered to be poor. While unemployment and low wages can be a cause; people can actually make a good income and still experience financial ruin due to a health problem, a death in the family or another crisis that alters the course of their life.

The following are key risk factors that contribute to a life in poverty.

  • Lack of education
  • Insufficient access to quality, early childhood development opportunities
  • Insufficient age-appropriate literacy skills
  • Lack of access to quality, out-of-school-time programming for children
  • Lack of access to quality housing or affordable food
  • Lack of job skills
  • Inability to obtain and retain employment that provides basic economic security
  • Lack of financial management skills
  • Abuse and/or domestic violence
  • Involvement in illegal or gang-related activities
  • Addictions, and physical or mental health issues