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Sask. child poverty rates 3rd highest in Canada, report says

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Child poverty rates in Saskatchewan remain among the highest in Canada, according to a new report

The report conducted by Campaign 2000, indicated that 19.7 per cent of children in Saskatchewan were living in poverty in 2020. That adds up to about one in every five children under the age of 18.

The report said the national average was 13.5 per cent.

Only Nunavut and Manitoba ranked lower, at 28.1 and 20.7 per cent respectively.

Yukon had the lowest amount of children living in poverty at 9.0 per cent, according to the report, followed by Alberta's rate of 12.8 per cent and British Columbia's rate of 13.3 per cent.

In children under the age of six, 22 per cent were living in poverty in 2020 across Saskatchewan, the report said.

That ranked third highest in Canada again, behind only Nunavut at 35.4 per cent and Manitoba at 24 per cent.

The report said that kids experiencing poverty are at a higher risk for negative health outcomes like pre-term birth, child mortality, dental extraction surgery and suicide.

The report also indicated that children living in poverty are also far more likely to experience poor educational outcomes.

PANDEMIC BENEFITS

Benefits offered from all levels of government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw national child poverty rates drop significantly from 2019 to 2020, the report said.

The report said without any pandemic benefits, the national child poverty rate would have been 20.8 per cent in children under 18 and 21.9 per cent in children under six in 2020.

“CERB is a great example of how governments can work together to successfully end child poverty. If we can do it in a pandemic, we should be able to o it today,” poverty advocate Michael Redhead Champagne told CTV News.

Information for the report was gathered using tax data from 2020, the most recently available numbers to look at family and child poverty.

Files from CTV News' Mason DePatie.

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