Poor Health Contributes to Poverty

There is ample evidence showing a direct link between socio-economic standing and health status.

One in seven children in Canada are born into poverty, and may experience at-birth health issues such as low birth weight, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and malnutrition. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience physical disabilities, chronic health conditions and premature death.[1]

A recent study in Nova Scotia also shows that children with epilepsy have less favourable socio-economic futures.

Financial inequity impacts health, and is over-represented within the health system; estimates place the cost of socioeconomic disparities in the health system to be 20% of all healthcare spending.[2]

The reasons are obvious: people in poor health are less able to work, and may be chronically unemployed or under employed. Even if chronically ill people who experience poverty give birth to healthy children, the conditions of poverty may impact that child’s ability to experience optimal health. The social determinants of health are critical factors in a healthy, vibrant society.

Here’s more information on the cycle of health and socio-economic wellbeing 


Advocating for good health outcomes for children, youth and adults is an important part of poverty reduction. To get involved or find out more, contact CAPRA at info(at)capovertyreduction . ca


[1] The Battlefords News-Optimist, April 2015, The relationship between poverty and health in Canada, Carolyn Shimmin, Troy Media

[2] Canada without Poverty, 2016, Poverty – Just the Facts