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‘Historic’ single-year spike in N.S. child poverty between 2020 and 2021: report

HALIFAX — A new report says there was a major spike in the number of children experiencing poverty in Nova Scotia between 2020 and 2021.

The report, released today by the think tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says 35,330 kids in Nova Scotia experienced poverty in 2021, or 20.5 per cent. 

That’s up from 18.4 per cent in 2020 and 24.3 per cent a year earlier.

Researchers with the think tank say the “historic” increase can be attributed to the end of COVID-19 pandemic-related financial assistance.

Christine Saulnier, the Nova Scotia director of the centre, says the Statistics Canada data used in the report shows that governments transferring money directly to low-income families can lift many children out of poverty.

Saulnier says the 2021 child poverty rate represents the biggest single-year increase since at least 1989.

The report says that in 2021 Nova Scotia had the fourth-highest child poverty rate in Canada and the highest rate in Atlantic Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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