Poverty & Health
Take Action for a Healthier Community!
Our health is primarily affected by the conditions in which we live. Social and economic conditions like income, housing, and access to nutritious food are powerful determinants of health.
What does poverty look like in the county and city of Peterborough? Here’s what the stats tell us:
- There are approximately 12,100 people living at low-income in our area, or 9.1% of all households (2005)
- In March 2011, 6,000 individuals accessed local food banks
- 50.4% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent
- The Canadian Community Health Survey found that only 35% of households in Peterborough County and City with an income under $30,000 had insurance for dental expenses (2005)
In Peterborough, poverty and its impact on health is a major concern.
Research has shown that people who live in the poorest neighbourhoods have a lower life expectancy, and higher mortality rates for cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Children living in poverty are more likely to have poorer developmental outcomes, to drop out of school sooner, and to suffer from asthma and chronic diseases.
It has been suggested that over 20% of health care spending in Canada is due to income disparities. Policies and programs which reduce social and economic inequities can reduce the burden on the health care system.
Take Action Now!
Here are some things you can do right now to reduce poverty in our community:
- Learn more – get the facts on child poverty, poverty measurements, and understand the local poverty situation
- Get involved – participate in the Peterborough Poverty Reduction Network, the Food Security Partnership, Affordable Housing Action Committee, and other community partners
- Access free or low-cost health services – the Peterborough Health Services Directory lists several local health services that can be accessed without referral from a doctor.
- Help beat hunger – find out who is serving free meals, sign up for healthy eating programs and learn how to advocate for change so no one goes hungry in our community
For more information on what’s happening at the provincial and national level in poverty reduction, look at these helpful resources and web sites:
Last modified on May 04, 2015