Nearly a third of Québec households have at least one unmet basic need due to lack of resources

Québec, June 2, 2015 – As part of the Canadian Survey of Economic Well-being, households were asked about their capacity to meet certain basic needs. In Québec, about one third of households had at least one unmet need from a list of seventeen, 10% at least four, 3% at least seven, and about 1% at least nine. The three most commonly reported unmet needs included covering an unexpected expense of $500 from one’s own resources, replacing worn-out furniture, and getting regular dental care.

Regardless of the number of unmet needs, deprivation was more common in the Atlantic provinces than in Québec, while households in the Prairie provinces fared the best in Canada. These results come from an article published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec in the bulletin Données sociodémographiques en bref.

Households at risk of material deprivation

The following household characteristics increased the risk of having four or more unmet needs: being an unattached individual or a single-parent family, having a large household, renting, and when the primary household maintainer was aged under 65, was an immigrant, did not have a university diploma or was unemployed.

Unmet needs more common among low-income households

The proportions of households with unmet needs were higher among low-income households, except for the need to maintain one’s home free of unwanted pests. The largest gap observed between income categories concerned the capacity to cover an unexpected expense of $500. Nearly 45% of low-income households would be unable to cover such an expense, versus about 10% of non-low-income households.


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