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Key statistics and graphics on household food insecurity in Canada in 2007-2008 are presented below.Footnote 1 They are not directly comparable to those from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2004 because of key differences in survey methodology (e.g., the geography and age of respondents sampled, the subject matter of the survey, the proportion of in-person versus telephone interviews).
These households had access, at all times throughout the previous year, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
At times during the previous year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money for food. In these households, adults or children (if present) or both adults and children experienced food insecurity. Depending on the extent of the experience, households were either moderately food insecure or severely food insecure.
Moderately food insecure - These households had indication of compromise in quality and/or quantity of food consumed
Severely food insecure - These households had indication of reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns
Among Canadian households without children, the prevalence of food insecurity was higher among households of unattached individuals (10.5%) than among couple households (3.1%).
The prevalence of food insecurity in 2007-2008 varied by selected socio-demographic characteristics.
In 2007-2008, household food insecurity in the provinces ranged from 6.3% in Saskatchewan to 10.6% in Prince Edward Island. In the territories, the prevalence of food insecurity was 11.6% in the Yukon, 12.4% in the Northwest Territories and 32.6% in Nunavut.Footnote 11
In 2007-2008, the prevalence of food insecurity in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta was significantly lower than the national average. In British Columbia, it did not differ significantly from the national average. However, food insecurity was significantly higher than the national average in the Atlantic provinces, Ontario, Manitoba and the territories.
Detailed summary data tables on household food insecurity in Canada in 2007-2008 are available upon request from the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
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The Share Files from Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2007-2008 were used in deriving the prevalence estimates. Please note that an erratum was published by Statistics Canada in June 2010 regarding the 2007-2008 "Household Food Security Status" derived variable.
The target population of the CCHS is all Canadians aged 12 and over. Population weights were used to determine the number of people living in food insecure households.
Child status is determined based on responses to the eight-item Child Scale
Households with children had at least one household member age 17 years or less.
Households without children did not have any household members age 17 years or less.
The income distribution reflects a distribution of respondents in deciles based on the adjusted ratio of their total household income to the low income cut-off corresponding to their household and community size. It provides, for each respondent, a relative measure of their household income to the household incomes of all other respondents. This income distribution is divided into ten equal parts so that each part represents 1/10 of the sample or population. These equal parts are referred to as Decile 1, Decile 2, etc.
The highest level of education achieved by any member of the household.
An affirmative response to the question, "People living in Canada come from many different cultural and racial backgrounds. Are you: Aboriginal (North American Indian, Métis, Inuit)?" was used to identify Aboriginal respondents and thus Aboriginal households. It is recognized, however, that other members of the household may not necessarily self-identify as being of Aboriginal cultural or racial background.
An affirmative response to Statistics Canada's original indicator variable on immigrant status was used to identify immigrant respondents, and therefore, immigrant households. The indicator variable is based on a respondent's country of birth and Canadian citizenship at birth. "Recent" was defined as less than 5 years in Canada.
Urban areas are those continuously built-up areas that have a population concentration of 1,000 or more and a population density of 300 or more per square kilometre based on current census population counts. All other areas are considered rural.
In Nunavut, because of operational difficulties inherent to remote locales, only the largest communities are covered by the survey (CCHS): Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Baker Lake, Arviat, Rankin Inlet, Kugluktuk, Pond Inlet, Cape Dorset, Pangnirtung and Igloolik.