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经济学Essay范文:The prevalence of poverty in Canada

论文价格: 免费 时间:2021-12-03 09:09:27 来源:www.ukassignment.org 作者:留学作业网

本文是经济学专业的留学生Essay范例,题目是“The prevalence of poverty in Canada加拿大普遍存在的贫困)”,什么是贫穷,在加拿大贫穷的普遍程度如何?为什么像加拿大这样的国家会存在贫困?贫困和不同的人口群体之间有联系吗?可以做些什么来减少和最终消除贫困?

What is poverty and what is the prevalence of poverty in Canada? Why does poverty exist in a country like Canada? Is there a connection between poverty and different population groups? What can be done to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty?


Living in a developed country like Canada, we are oblivious to poverty issues domestically and most of us fail to realize such issues exist in our country. Most people do not know the difference between being poor and living in poverty. Although, both terms relate to not having money, they actually have different meanings. By definition, poor is when an individual has low income and wealth and has little to no possessions, on the contrary, living in poverty is the condition of living without adequate food, shelter and clothing. People generally associate the term povertywith Africa or some place in the world that is insignificant to their daily lives. However, poverty exists wherever civilization exists and the issue of poverty is more serious than many know. This paper will examine the prevalence of poverty in Canada and why it exists in such a developed nation. Moreover, it will explore the connections between poverty of different population groups and finally, it will suggest ways to reduce poverty.


As mentioned previously, most people do not associate the term povertywith Canada as the overall national prosperity has increased in the last few decades. Likewise, one would have expected the opposite since Canada is ranked 4th in Human Development Index, a measure of quality of life of their citizens under the following criteria: life expectancy, literacy rates, school enrolment and the overall economy of the country. Moreover, most statistical studies put Canada in the top 10 for best places to live; a simple search on Google will return such results. However, despite the overall quality of life in Canada, behind the scenes, many people are starving under bridges and standing on roadsides holding signs pleading for spare change. These individuals contribute to the 10% population of Canadians that live in poverty (Collin et al., 2009). Although, the overall poverty rate is 10% in Canada, the rates vary by province. British Columbia has the highest incidence of poverty followed by Quebec and Manitoba. In 2000 a study was conducted by Kevin Lee, a member of the Canadian Council on Social Development, to compare poverty rates among provinces to illustrate a profile of poverty in Canada. His main findings are (Lee, 2000, p. 91):

正如前面提到的,大多数人不会把“贫穷”这个词和加拿大联系在一起,因为在过去的几十年里,加拿大整体的繁荣程度有所提高。同样,由于加拿大在人类发展指数中排名第四,这是一项根据预期寿命、识字率、入学率和国家整体经济等标准衡量公民生活质量的指标。此外,大多数统计研究都将加拿大排在最适宜居住的十大城市之列;一个简单的搜索谷歌将返回这样的结果。然而,尽管加拿大的整体生活质量不错,但在幕后,许多人在桥下挨饿,或站在路边,举着牌子恳求零钱。这些人占加拿大贫困人口的10% (Collin et al.2009)。尽管加拿大的总体贫困率为10%,但各省的贫困率各不相同。不列颠哥伦比亚省的贫困率最高,其次是魁北克和马尼托巴省。2000年,加拿大社会发展委员会(Canadian Council on Social Development)成员凯文·李(Kevin Lee)进行了一项研究,比较了各省的贫困率,以说明加拿大的贫困状况。他的主要发现是(Lee, 2000, p. 91):


Poverty is largely an urban phenomenon

From 1990 to 1995 the total number of poor people in Canada increased dramatically


Certain population groups were more likely to be in poverty than others

Poverty rates varied according to age and gender

Poverty rates varied based on educational levels

Poverty rates varied based on occupational skill levels


According to Lees findings, the people that live in poverty or have a high chance of going into poverty are those who are societys most vulnerable, most disadvantaged, and least equipped to compete in a highly-competitive and fast-polarizing labour market(Pohl, 2002).

根据Lee的研究结果,生活在贫困中的人或进入贫困的可能性很高的人是那些“社会中最脆弱、最弱势、最不具备在高度竞争和快速极化的劳动力市场中竞争的能力”的人(Pohl, 2002)


Similarly, no matter how advance a civilization is and how advance technology is, there will always be a portion of the population that cannot support themselves financially. This could be a result of unwillingness to work or inability due to disabilities. In 2006, statistics show that of all working age Canadians with disabilities, only 51.3% were employed, 4.9% were unemployed and the remaining 43.9% were not in the labour force. In contrast, the percentage of people without disabilities that were not in the labour force was only 19.8% (Collin et al., 2009). This lack of participation in the workforce is often a result of the nature of the disability itself preventing work, discrimination from employers, or inadequate accommodations from the workplace.


Although poverty is a natural phenomenon, poverty rates vary between different population groups. Visible minority groups experience higher rates of poverty compared to majority groups. These groups experience higher rates of poverty due to barriers to equal participation in the job market and lack of access to permanent, skilled, and reasonably well-paying jobs (Jackson, 2001). Like visible minorities, immigrants also have a higher chance of going into chronic poverty. The following is from a Parliament Publication on poverty trends that illustrate key findings on poverty trends among immigrants (Collin et al., 2009):

虽然贫困是一种自然现象,但不同人口群体的贫困率有所不同。可见的少数群体比多数群体的贫困率更高。这些群体的贫困率更高,原因是平等参与就业市场的障碍,以及缺乏获得永久的、有技能的、合理的高薪工作的机会(Jackson, 2001)。和少数族裔一样,移民陷入长期贫困的可能性也更高。以下内容来自议会关于贫困趋势的出版物,该出版物阐述了移民中贫困趋势的主要发现(Collin et al.2009):


Recent immigrants encounter more difficulty finding employment than other Canadians. The 2007 employment rate for immigrants was 77.9%, whereas the Canadian-born population had an employment rate of 83.8%. In that year, the unemployment rates among immigrants and non-immigrants were 6.6% and 4.6%, respectively, while the unemployment rate of recent immigrants (living in Canada 5 years or fewer) was more than double that of the Canadian-born population.


Recent immigrants are more vulnerable to low income than other Canadians. The most recent Census found that immigrants who had arrived in the preceding five years and who were in economic families had a low-income rate of 32.6% in 2005, while those who were unattached had a low-income rate of 58.3%. By contrast, the respective rates of low income among their non-immigrant counterparts were 6.9% and 26.3%.



In 2004, immigrants of working age (18-64 years) who had arrived in Canada since the early 1990s had a low-income rate of 21.5%, as compared with 11.2% among earlier immigrants and 9.3% among native-born Canadians. Of recent immigrants not living on a low income, three out of five were considered vulnerable to this situation. The same year, the low-income rate among immigrants who had resided in Canada for 10 years or fewer (32.9%) was significantly higher than that among the total population (14.2%), according to the Low Income Measure.


Rates of low income among recent immigrants tend to decrease with time spent in Canada. In 2004, immigrants who had been in Canada for one year had a low-income rate of 42.2%, as compared with a low-income rate of 30.3% among immigrants who had resided in Canada for 10 years. The difference between the low-income rates of immigrants and non-immigrants also lessens over time. The low-income rate of the 1992 immigrant cohort, for example, fell from 3.0 times the rate of the Canadian-born population during their first year in Canada to 2.2 after 10 years. Although this trend persists, the 2002 and 2004 immigrant cohorts displayed higher relative rates of low income upon entry to Canada than cohorts in the 1990s.




Evidently, immigrants are more vulnerable and more likely to live in poverty compared to Canadian-born individuals. Society needs to find a balance so more people can enjoy a better standard of living.


In addition, as Nelson Mandela once said: Poverty is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.There are many actions society can take to lower poverty rates. It should start with discrete problems such as food insecurity, then childhood opportunities such as education and employment, next is to focus on specific groups susceptible to poverty such as immigrants, lastly scaled from a local to pan-Canadian levels in providing affordable housing investments (CWP, 2009). Moreover, in the Amnesty Internationals campaign to tackle global poverty, they wrote (CWP, 2009):

此外,正如纳尔逊·曼德拉(Nelson Mandela)所说:“贫困是人为的,人类的行动可以克服和消除贫困。”社会可以采取许多行动来降低贫困率。它应该从离散的问题开始,如食品不安全,然后是儿童机会,如教育和就业,接下来是关注特定的群体,如移民,最后规模从一个地方到整个加拿大水平,提供经济适用房投资(CWP, 2009)。此外,在国际特赦组织解决全球贫困问题的活动中,他们写道(CWP, 2009):


Whatever plan is pursued, whatever projects are prioritized, whatever aid package is agreed, no solution to poverty without human rights at its core will have any long-term impact. Protecting the rights of those living in poverty is not just an option it is an essential piece of any solutionâ¦. Economic growth is an important component of a strategy to tackle poverty, but it cannot be the only piece. Governments must create the conditions that allow people living in poverty to claim their human rights, to empower themselves, so that they can be masters, and not victims, of their destiny.


Like Nelson Mandela, the Amnesty Council also feels that poverty can only be resolved by humans and defining poverty as a human rights violation. Furthermore, effective leadership of Canadian governments is critical to eradicate poverty. For example: 1. explicitly recognizing poverty as a human rights issue; 2. passing legislation to ensure enduring governmental commitment and accountability for results; 3. developing and implementing comprehensive plans to combat poverty; and 4. ensuring sufficient public investment in social security (CWP, 2009). Moreover, the Canada Without Poverty organization suggests that paying living wages or better, providing fair and equitable benefits, and ensuring other decent working conditions for all employees, whether unionized or not, is a major part of the solution (CWP, 2009).


In conclusion, poverty seems to be inevitable and will always be a shadow of civilization. However, as Martin Luther King said: The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.(King, 1967). Though were far from total abolition of poverty, society has evolved drastically since Martin Luther King made his speech. Statistics have shown that poverty rates have been decreasing in the last few decades. If all humans recognize the issue of poverty and place a greater focus on the issue, there is no doubt that Martin Luther Kings dreams will become a reality.





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