Canada is failing to reverse the increasing income inequality that began in the 1990s, and with this comes increasing rates of poverty, according to a Conference Board of Canada report released this morning.
The multi-year research study compared Canada's performance to those of 16 of its peers in six performance categories: economy, innovation, environment, education and skills, health and society.
Canada ranks near the bottom, at number 15, indicating that it is second-worse for both child poverty and working-age poverty indicators. The board found that 15.1% of Canadian children are currently living in poverty, higher than in the mid-1990s. Working-age poverty increased from 9.4% in the mid-1990s to 11.1% in the late 2000s.
Canada received an overall "B" grade, however, despite these grim findings. This is due in part to surpassing most of its peers in intergenerational income mobility, as well as positive marks in life satisfaction, suicide rates and the income gap between disabled and able-bodied workers.
The Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Austria all received "A" grades. The United States was the worst performer overall, ranking in last place in several indicators.
The study, How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada, was conducted to help identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance.