Newcomers to Canada are more likely to live in poverty

Media Release

Calgary, AB, July 25, 2018 – Vibrant Communities Calgary, in its 2018 snapshot “Poverty in Calgary”, highlights how newcomers to Canada face significantly higher levels of low income than that of the general population. Newcomer families with children are at an even higher risk of living in low income.

Calgary ranks fourth for having the largest immigrant population in Canada and welcomed 93,255 immigrants between 2011 to 2016.

When examining levels of poverty, Vibrant Communities Calgary regularly uses the calculation of Low-Income Measure (LIM) after tax. For a single person it is $22,352 per year.  For a single parent and one child, it is $31,611, a couple with two kids; $44,704.

In 2016, the total number of immigrants, including non-permanent residents within Calgary was 431,870.  According to Census 2016 data, 17% of the people who immigrated to Calgary between the years 2011 and 2016 are living in low income.  In comparison, the same data source shows that 7.6% of non-immigrants were living in low income.

On a community level, unique challenges persist for newly arrived individuals and families as they become woven into the social fabric of Canada. There are countless systemic barriers and obstacles that impede both their economic and social success such as racism, unequal employment opportunities and social isolation.

“If the current incidence of low-income for immigrants continues to increase, poverty will deepen and further hinder successful integration of families and individuals as new Canadians,” says Franco Savoia, Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Calgary.

To build a more inclusive and supportive community, Calgarians can:

  • Build strong supports throughout the community that provide social and cultural support throughout the lifespan, regardless of period of immigration.
  • Acknowledge how racism can have a deep impact on the hiring practices of businesses and agencies throughout the city. Lower the employment gap between visible and non-visible minorities.
  • As more immigrants enter the workplace, invest in adequate training and supports for skills-building and professional development.
  • Connect families with the necessary services and supports.


To view a one-page summary visit:

Read the full report at:


About Vibrant Communities Calgary:

Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with various stakeholders, seeking to engage Calgarians to advocate for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty in Calgary. VCC is also the steward of Enough for All, Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. For more information, please visit and

About Enough for All:

Enough for All, Calgary’s community-driven poverty reduction strategy was adopted unanimously by City Council and the United Way of Calgary and Area’s Board of Directors in 2013. In 2014, Vibrant Communities Calgary was appointed as the steward of the strategy. There are 20 collaboratives working on the four goals of the Enough for All Strategy. For more information, please visit Organizations and individuals are welcome to contact Vibrant Communities Calgary to get involved. Email

 – 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Rosch
Communications and Engagement Specialist
Vibrant Communities Calgary
Phone: 403-283-2193

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment