Poverty by the Numbers

Poverty costs everyone.


Health Care Costs


Costs Attributed to Crime

$473 - $591 MILLION

Intergenerational Costs

$4.8 - $7.2 BILLION

Opportunity Costs

$7.1 - $9.5 BILLION

Total Cost to Albertans

Source: Poverty Costs: An Economic Case for a Preventative Poverty Reduction Strategy in Alberta by Alexia Briggs & Cecilia R. Lee, Vibrant Communities Calgary, 2012


What is poverty?

Edmontonians experience poverty when they lack or are denied economic, social and cultural resources to have a quality of life that sustains and facilitates full and meaningful participation in the community.  This holistic definition guided the Mayor's Task Force on Poverty in its two-year consultation with community.

There are various definitions and key terms that are important to understand when talking about poverty from a financial perspective. We've prepared a short glossary of key terms to help.  


Recent Trends

  • The city and region are amongst the youngest in the country: at 36.3 years.  Additionally, Edmonton’s population is becoming increasingly diverse, with a growing Aboriginal and multicultural population. (Census 2016, Edmonton CMA)

  • Working poverty must be more effectively addressed: most people living in poverty are already employed. Many Edmontonians work full-time for the entire year yet earn an income below the poverty line, currently assessed as $20,424 for a single adult. (Census 2016, Edmonton CMA by CFLIM-AT)

  • Furthermore, too many highly educated newcomers move to Edmonton only to find that their qualifications are not recognized, severely limiting their professional & economic potential.

  • Housing is not affordable for many Edmontonians. While the city’s rental vacancy rate has gone from 1.7% in October 2014 to 7.0% in October 2016, and average rents have dropped by $26 to $1,229 per month, Edmonton still has the fourth highest rents in the country. 

  • Income inequality in Edmonton is growing. Between 1982 and 2014, the bottom 50% of tax filers saw a 4.7% increase in their real (after inflation) median incomes compared to a 54.4% increase for the top 1%.


Let's end poverty together.