Income and Income Distribution
A low income has significant implications for a person’s health. An adequate income affords people the opportunity to purchase the necessities of life, such as nutritious food, rent and more. Income also provides people and families the opportunity to participate in leisure activities that enhance quality of life. This might be a family trip to the movies or fees for registering children in a local recreational soccer team.
Income is closely related to many of the social determinant of health. The gap between those making the most money and those making the least has increased since the mid 1990s (1). People with lower income are more likely to be in need of housing, experience household food insecurity, and have children vulnerable in areas of early childhood development (2). Without an adequate income, it can be difficult to access nutritious food or obtain an education, which affords opportunities for good health. The chronic stress of low income can also have negative impacts on health.
- In Hasting and Prince Edward Counties, 15.9% of people of all ages are living with a low income, according to the after-tax low-income measure, compared to 14.4% in Ontario. (3)
- 24.9% of households in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties are spending more than 30% of their household income on housing costs, while the provincial average is 27.7%. (4)
- Learn more about how communities compare in housing costs on the Public Health Ontario Snapshots page.
Public Health’s Role
- Educating the public on the crucial link between money and health.
- Supporting businesses in our community to pay their employees a living wage.
- Offering food skills classes to cook healthy food on a budget.
- Providing the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) for high quality dental care based on age, Ontario residency, income and lack of access to other forms of dental coverage.
- Connecting local residents to tax clinics:
Other Community Resources
- The Community Advocacy & Legal Centre may be able to provide you with income assistance
Employment, Job Security and Working Conditions
Stay tuned as we develop more information on this social determinant of health.
- Canadian Institute for Health Information. Trends in Income-Related Health Inequalities in Canada [Internet]. Ottaw, Ontario; 2015. Available from: https://www.cihi.ca/en/summary_report_inequalities_2015_en.pdf
- Turner A. A Way Home: Youth Homelessness Planning Toolkit [Internet]. 2016. Available from: http://homelesshub.ca/toolkit/way-home-youth-homelessness-community-planning-toolkit
- Pubic Health Ontario. Percent of the population living in low income (LIM-AT)- all ages [Internet]. Social Determinats of Health Snapshot. 2020 [cited 2020 Jan 16]. Available from: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/data-and-analysis/health-equity/sdoh
- Public Health Ontario. Per cent (%) of households spending more than 30% of their income on shelter costs >> Both sexes>> 2016 [Internet]. PHO Snapshots. 2019 [cited 2020 Mar 4]. Available from: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/data-and-analysis/health-equity/sdoh