Broken families are the largest single cause of chronic child poverty in Canada

If you listen to left-leaning journalists, economists and think-tanks, you’d think that the main cause of chronic child poverty in Canada is a lack of good paying jobs.  That’s not true.  The biggest cause is broken families.

Statistics Canada published a report this morning documenting the latest trends in incomes in Canada.  The results confirm a long-standing trend, namely that single moms, valiantly endeavoring to juggle the responsibilities of parenting with their job, are having a tough time bring home enough income for their kids.

About 606,000 children aged 17 and under lived in low-income families in 2008… Roughly 218,000 of these children in low income lived in female lone-parent families.  (Source)

Leaving aside the issue of how Statistics Canada defines “poverty” (which is hugely controversial among economists) these statistics show that about 36% of children living in “poverty” are in broken families.  We could hold a symposium gathering economists from around the world to tinker with the definition of “poverty”, but the broad conclusion would be the same: broken families are causing huge financial hardships on women and children in this country, not to mention the emotional distress.  Unfortunately, policy makers refuse to see the elephant in the room and instead focus on creating new social programs to supplement incomes.  The only lasting solution is to return to values that promote more stable families.   Since that’s the root cause, that’s where the solution needs to be directed.  There are no quick fixes, unfortunately.  Part of the solution would involve better education so that people avoid getting into bad relationships and to make men less prone to dump a women that they impregnated.

5 thoughts on “Broken families are the largest single cause of chronic child poverty in Canada

  1. … but of course, we shouldn’t allow abotions for those very young, very poor women who will have to raise their children alone. Instead, we should just treat them as incubators and force them to give their babies to stable, society-approved nuclear families. So, let’s criticize single mothers and women who have abortions all at once, cut funding that provides young women with any options, and leave them with (a potentially unhappy) marriage as their only choice. Try to take a walk in someone else’s shoes, buddy.

  2. We need to make divorce punishable by 5 years in prison, to be served by the whole family, of course, to make sure they stay together.

  3. How does 36% correlate to the single largest cause? I don’t necessarily disagree with your conclusion, but the stats aren’t supporting it in this case.

  4. Anna:
    I deeply sympathize with single mothers. My blog post doesn’t criticize them at all. I’m more inclined to blame the fathers for walking away from their responsibilities like cowards.

    I do try to walk in their shoes. That’s why I support organizations that help women in crisis pregnancies. Which crisis pregnancy centre do you support?

    Abortion is no solution, even if you’re pro-choice. Many of these breakups occur after the children are born.

    Wayne X:
    I don’t support your idea at all. I don’t advocate penalties for divorce. We need to foster a society where such breakups are less likely to happen. There are no easy solutions and your scoffing is not constructive.

    Laura:
    My numbers are correct. The largest single cause of child poverty is broken families. That accounts for 36% of all children living in poverty. There are several other causes of child poverty, but each of them accounts for a smaller share of poverty among children, which makes broken families the #1 cause.

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