Children First Canada

Creating a voice for all of Canada's children

Raising Canada: A report on children in Canada, their health and wellbeing, 2020

The Canadian population continues to grow in all age groups, including children, but what do we know about the health and wellbeing of our children? What are the social determinants of their health? How many live in low-income households? How many are experiencing food insecurity? How many have experienced abuse, and how many are developmentally vulnerable? The purpose of this report, designed and financed by the O'Brien Institute for Public Health and developed for Children First Canada, is to paint a high-level picture of the health status of children across Canada, both mental and physical, using readily available and reputable sources of data. 

The statistics are alarming

One-third of children in Canada do not enjoy a safe and healthy childhood, one in three Canadians report experiencing abuse before the age of 15, one in five children live in poverty, and suicide is now the leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14.

Ring the alarm

For more than a decade, the state of childhood in Canada has been on the decline. Canada ranks 25th out of 41 affluent nations for protecting the well-being of children, according to UNICEF – a significant drop from 12th place in 2007. As a country, we have been going in the wrong direction for far too long.