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The measurement and description of child income and asset poverty in Canada

TitleThe measurement and description of child income and asset poverty in Canada
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBlumenthal, A., and Rothwell D. W.
JournalChild Indicators Research
Pages1907 - 1933
Keywordsasset poverty, canada, child poverty, child well-being, income, wealth

Wealth is a durable economic resource and it is typically held by individuals over the long-term. Measuring the wealth-type resources held by families, lends important information about the financial security of children. Following others, we argue that wealth provides additional information regarding child well-being, complementing traditional income-based measurements. In this paper, we extend the traditional income measure of child poverty in Canada to include wealth, by defining and presenting two measures of low-assets, or asset poverty. We present a novel estimation of child asset poverty in Canada and the first known estimation of child-level asset poverty more broadly. Focusing specifically on the measurement of asset poverty among children, we find that rates of asset poverty are two to three times as large as rates of income poverty. Prior literature highlights that higher asset levels are strongly associated with better outcomes for children, and families. The high levels of asset poverty in Canada, relative to other comparable nations, has implications for indicators of child well-being and the welfareof Canadian children.

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