Making positive change in Centre Wellington

Poverty in Centre Wellington

Stories Transportation Food Income Housing
Is Centre Wellington wealthy?
Well, yes and no.
The median household income in Centre Wellington was $80,895 in 2011. “Median household income” means that there are as many households with income above that figure as below. Centre Wellington therefore is a wealthy community overall. But incomes are not even across our residents. There are many in the top income levels, and many in low to middle income levels, too.

How is Centre Wellington growing?
Significant growth predicted
The population of Centre Wellington was 29,880 in 2011 and is expected to rise to 38,390 in 2026. Without appropriate action, the number of people experiencing poverty will also rise.

Where do people in Centre Wellington work?
About half leave the township to work
Work is hard to come by in Centre Wellington. Of working people in 2006,

  • 11% had no fixed workplace
  • 10% worked at home
  • 34% worked in Centre Wellington
  • 45% had to travel outside Centre Wellington to work

For those who work outside Centre Wellington, transportation is an issue. If you don’t have a car, you can’t join the biggest proportion of working people in our community in getting to work. For more information, see Community Bus Service and Information and resources on Transportation.

How about social assistance (welfare)?
Benefits are too low
If you are a single person on welfare, you get $606 a month. $230 is designated for basic needs and $376 is designated for shelter allowance.

  • Think about buying food, clothes, household items, transportation, and the odd bit of entertainment with $57.50 a week. Think about where you’d live for $376 a month.

If you are a single parent with 2 children on welfare, you’d get $991 a month. $350 (or $88 a week) is allotted for food, clothes, household items, transportation, and the odd bit of entertainment for 3 people.

  • What would you do if your housing plus electricity and heat cost more than the $641 allowed for that purpose?

Social assistance rates rose only 1% in 2012.

What if you work and get minimum wage?
Full time work @ minimum wage is under the poverty level
Minimum wage in 2013 is the same as in 2010 – $10.25 an hour. If you worked 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, your minimum wage income would be $21,320 before taxes – this is below Statistics Canada’s 2011 Low-Income Cut Off (before tax) figure for a family of 2 ($22,714) or a family of 3 ($27,924).

What about the cost of food Centre Wellington, a rural community?
Costs rising more than inflation
The Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph reported that the cost of a nutritious basket of food was 6% more expensive in 2011 than in 2010.

The number of people who went to the food bank rose from just under 300 in 2011 to over 400 at the beginning of 2012. Many other people who went hungry did not go to the food bank for help.

What’s the housing situation in Centre Wellington?
Lots of housing being built, but affordable housing a problem
10.2% of people in Centre Wellington in 2006 were in housing that was not affordable, suitable or adequate according to the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s definition. (2011 census figures are not yet available).

Does poverty have an effect on health and length of life?
Income levels affect how long people live and how long they live without illness and disability.

  • Statistics Canada said that boys born in 2005-2007 in the lowest income levels could expect to live 4.7 fewer years than boys in the highest income levels. Girls in the lowest income levels could expect to live 2.3 fewer years than high-income girls.
  • Statistics Canada also said that people who were 25 and in the lowest income levels in 1991-2001 could expect to live 14 fewer years in good health than people in the highest income levels.