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Children and Youth in Canada - The Context of their Lives

Children and youth make up a substantial portion of the Canadian population. They are a very diverse group – not only with regards to their culture, ethnicity, family structure, experiences – but also with regards to their living conditions and opportunities. There are numerous factors shaping the experiences of children and youth in Canada. In this module you will find population and demographic data describing who the children and youth are and where they live. As well, this module contains facts and figures presenting the diverse backgrounds of children and youth in Canada, their family life, economic security, education and health outcomes.


Section 1: The Children and Youth of Canada

Section 1: The Children and Youth of Canada

Children and youth make up a significant part of the entire population and understanding their distribution and composition is important. This section presents the changing demographics of Canada’s children and youth including the growing Aboriginal population.

Section 2: Family Life

Section 2: Family Life

Family life in Canada is diverse. While the majority of children and youth live with two-parents, the structure of the family unit has changed over time. Family life and employment of family members has an impact on housing, food security and basic determinants of healthy child development. This section presents data on the structure of the family, an overview of living arrangements and the impact of work on family life.

Section 3: Health Outcomes

Section 3: Health Outcomes

Most children and youth in Canada live healthy lives, but some children and youth experience negative health outcomes. This section highlights causes of death, hospitalizations, injuries, disability, mental health, environmental health and lifestyle impacts; all areas pertaining to the health outcomes of Canadian children and youth.

Section 4: Economic Inequities

Section 4: Economic Inequities

This section presents an overview of the familial economic and employment situation across Canada. The percentage of Canadian children and youth living in poverty has decreased in recent decades, yet there are still many living in low-income households.

Section 5: International Comparisons

Section 5: International Comparisons

It is important to look at how Canadian children and youth are doing compared to children and youth in other countries around the world. Comparisons help determine what Canada needs to do better regarding children’s health and well-being.



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