Minority households twice as likely to face financial hardship: StatsCan

By James Langton | September 9, 2021 | Last updated on September 9, 2021
1 min read

Racial minorities are approximately twice as likely to suffer from financial hardship compared with non-minorities, according to new research from Statistics Canada and Seymour Management Consulting Inc.

The study found that, in June, 29.3% of visible minority households reported facing financial difficulties, compared with 15.6% of non-minority households.

Overall, the proportion of households in difficulty was 19.3% in June, down from a high (since the pandemic emerged) of 22.2% in May last year, the national statistical agency reported.

Among the three largest minority groups, the study found that 31.4% of South Asian households reported difficulty in meeting their basic financial needs. That compared with 22.6% of Chinese families and 35.8% of Black Canadian households.

Additionally, 27.0% of Aboriginal households faced financial trouble in June, StatsCan noted.

Despite these disparities, the agency said, “Many households have become more financially resilient over the course of the pandemic.”

For instance, the share of households deemed “extremely vulnerable” by the Seymour Financial Resilience Index was down to 16.5% in June from 23.3% just prior to the pandemic in February 2020.

“The improvement in Canadians’ financial resilience index since the onset of the pandemic is supported by many factors, including changes in households’ consumer and financial behaviours amid lockdowns,” StatsCan noted.

Previous StatsCan reports found that lower-income households have experienced the biggest reductions in debt and largest increases in savings during the pandemic, amid extensive government support measures.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for Advisor.ca and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.