Poverty is Real in CK

Poverty is a reality in Chatham-Kent. In fact, there are more people living in low-income than the populations of Blenheim, Bothwell, Thamesville, Tilbury, Wheatley, and Ridgetown put together.

We must seek to fully understand before we can act effectively

Below, you will the numbers related to poverty in Chatham-Kent. While the numbers are just a snapshot, and do not represent the entirety of the experience of poverty, we hope they empower everyone to engage, understand, and mobilize in our community to eliminate poverty.


1 in 6

people in Chatham-Kent live in poverty


1 in 5

children (0-17) in Chatham-Kent live in poverty



You are more likely to be living in poverty if

  • you identify as a visible minority

    • people who identify as a visible minority (30%) are almost twice as likely to be in poverty compared to non-visible minority (16.4%)

  • you are a single parent or lone individual

    • female lone-parent households are twice as likely to be living in poverty than male lone-parents households, with above 74% of female lone-parent households with children aged 0-5 living in poverty

    • lone individuals, regardless of age, are the second most likely group to live in poverty, right behind female lone-parent households

  • you are a child between 0 and 14 years of age

    • an average of 23.8% of children aged 0 to 14 are living in poverty, with 27.5% of children aged 0 to 5 living in poverty

All statistics on this page are collected from Statistics Canada. 2017. Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catelogue no. 98-316-X2016001. Ottawa. Released November 29, 2017.


The Numbers


No. of Persons in Low-Income by City, 2015



households are on the waitlist for public housing (April 2019) - that is a 4+ year wait, especially for single individuals


of households are facing a core housing need, spending more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities


individuals (median) are chronically homeless (6+ months) in Chatham-Kent every month


No. of Persons in Low-Income by Family Type, 2015



individuals have either not high school or only a high school diploma or certificate, with a median income of $16,452


individuals on average access Ontario Disability Support Program monthly, nearly double the number of people accessing Ontario Works monthly


households are on the waitlist for a space in a licensed Childcare facility


No. of Persons in Low-Income by Age, 2015



unemployment as of February 2019, compared with 5.7% for Ontario


individuals aged 18-64 and 50 people aged 65+ are classified as working poor (a person with a working income between $3000 and $22,133, not including students, children regardless of age living at home, and parents under 18)


individuals are earning a modest income (an income greater than $21,333 and below the 30th after-tax income percentile of $35,100)


No. of Persons in Low-Income by Identity, 2015


Beyond the Numbers

Poverty is often talked about using numbers. Numbers can tell us a lot, but not everything. We need to go beyond the numbers to truly understand how poverty affects our community, and find more creative and effective solutions to poverty.

We are spending 6 months travelling across our community to listen, learn, and build a poverty action plan together. We hope you will join us to share your thoughts, wisdoms, and ideas.