Food insecurity in Canada

Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-624-X 

by Shirin Roshanafshar and Emma Hawkins


  • Food insecurity rates have remained relatively stable over time. Every year from 2007 to 2012, approximately 5% of Canadian children and 8% of Canadian adults lived in food insecure households. This means that they did not have access to a sufficient variety or quantity of food due to lack of money.
  • The most recent statistics indicate that in 2011–2012, 8.3% of Canadian households experienced food insecurity.
  • Nunavut had the highest rate of food insecurity (36.7%), over four times the Canadian average (8.3%) in 2011–2012.
  • In 2011–2012, the rate of food insecurity was more than three times higher in households where government benefits were the main source of income (21.4%) compared with households with an alternate main source of income (6.1%).
  • Among various household types, lone-parent families with children under 18 reported the highest rate of household food insecurity, at 22.6% in 2011–2012.
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