Close to one in five Hamiltonians are living in poverty, according to data released Friday by the Social Planning and Research Council.

Using population data from the 2011 census and poverty data from the 2006 census, the council's "Action on Poverty" series found around one-quarter of children and youth are living in poverty.

It also points out that almost one third of all private dwellings in Hamilton are rentals and 7 per cent of residents are living in housing that needs major repairs.

The report points to a number of factors like affordable housing, employment equity and living wage jobs as necessities for a "poverty-free" Hamilton.

Here are the breakdowns for poverty levels in Hamilton by riding.

Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

The community profiles completed by the Social Planning and Research Council show the poverty rate in this riding is lower than average for the City of Hamilton.

Yet, the council found the poverty rate was rising in many parts of this riding, while decreasing in many other communities in Hamilton.

"Women of all income groups are affected by violence," said Clare Freeman, the executive director Interval House of Hamilton in Waterdown. "But the overlapping effects of violence and poverty make recovering from abuse and assault even harder for low-income women in our community."

"A gender-based analysis of systems such as the income support system and the justice system will help to throw light on the complexity of violence against women, and help to answer why violence against women remains so pervasive. "

Key figures

  • 111,835 people live in the riding
  • 10,153 (or 9.3 per cent) live in poverty, as opposed to 18.1 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 9.6 per cent of children under 18 are living in poverty, as opposed to 23.6 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 5.1 per cent of housing is in need of major repairs, as opposed to 7.4 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 0.5 per cent live in crowded housing as opposed to 1.2 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 18 per cent live in tenant households as opposed to 31.7 per cent in the city of Hamilton

Hamilton Centre

The council says there is a high concentration of renter households that need repair in Hamilton centre.

They say many residents have health problems and many others work in low wage jobs that don't provide a living wage.

"Over 4,000 of those living below the low income cut-off in the riding of Hamilton Centre have full time full-year jobs, but don't earn enough to pull themselves or their families out of poverty," said Tom Cooper, the director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

"It impacts family health, education levels and our community's future prosperity. Our community has identified a solution that is practical and necessary: paying all employees a living wage."

Key figures

  • 117,525 people live in the riding, and 35,233 (or 31.1 per cent) live in poverty as opposed to 18.1 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 40.2 per cent of children under 18 are living in poverty, as opposed to 23.6 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 10.6 per cent of housing is in need of major repairs, as opposed to 7.4 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 1.5 per cent live in crowded housing as opposed to 1.2 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 53.3 per cent live in tenant households as opposed to 31.7 per cent in the city of Hamilton

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

Of the five ridings connected to Hamilton, at 19 per cent, Stoney Creek has the second highest rate of poverty.

The council says many people reflected in this number are newcomers who face a poverty rate of 52 per cent.

According to the report, "responding to the needs of people living in poverty in the small towns and rural areas of this riding also poses an increased challenge."

"Some people say that poverty is not visible in Canada," said Ines Rios, the executive director of Immigrant Women's Centre. "That is certainly not true for the east end of Hamilton where new arrivals and their children land. The poor housing conditions alone depress the spirit of hard working, future-building newcomers."

Rios says The Immigrant Women's Centre and Community Action Programming for Children are working to "ease and encourage participation of women, fathers and their children to access essential information to begin the process of integration."

Key figures

  • 116,430 people live in the riding, and 21,993 (or 19 per cent) live in poverty as opposed to 18.1 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 27.9 per cent of children under 18 are living in poverty, as opposed to 23.6 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 8 per cent of housing is in need of major repairs, as opposed to 7.4 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 1.7 per cent live in crowded housing as opposed to 1.2 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 30.3 per cent live in tenant households as opposed to 31.7 per cent in the city of Hamilton

Hamilton Mountain

The report says Hamilton Mountain has a wide variety of neighbourhoods and mix of incomes. The poverty rate in Hamilton Mountain is 16 per cent, which is slightly lower than the average for the city as a whole.

There is a high proportion of senior households in the riding and many types of housing, from apartments and post-war bungalows to new housing in sub-divisions.

"Too many residents are still struggling to put healthy nutritious food on their table," said Dr. Ninh Tran, the associate medical officer of health for the City of Hamilton.

"People with limited incomes are forced to choose between necessities and not being able to provide nutritious food. (This)leaves them at higher risk for obesity and chronic disease."

Key figures

  • 122,725 people live in the riding, and 19,439 (or 16 per cent) live in poverty as opposed to 18.1 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 22.9 per cent of children under 18 are living in poverty, as opposed to 23.6 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 6.2 per cent of housing is in need of major repairs, as opposed to 7.4 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 1 per cent live in crowded housing as opposed to 1.2 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 26.3 per cent live in tenant households as opposed to 31.7 per cent in the city of Hamilton

Niagara West-Glanbrook

The council found that Niagara West-Glanbrook has the lowest rate of poverty out of the five ridings connected to Hamilton at 6.7 per cent.

However, they note the majority of the population lives in rural areas and small towns, making it more difficult for people to respond to poverty.

Reverend Bill Mous, co-ordinator of social justice for the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, says poverty is a very painful reality in this riding.

"In rural and suburban communities, the indignity of poverty is often amplified because community resources are not always easily accessible or available," Mous said. "Transformation will only come when people at all levels work collaboratively, recognizing the dignity we share with one another."

Key figures

  • 111,030 people live in the riding, and 7,322 (or 6.7 per cent) live in poverty as opposed to 18.1 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 8.2 per cent of children under 18 are living in poverty, as opposed to 23.6 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 4.5 per cent of housing is in need of major repairs, as opposed to 7.4 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 0.4 per cent live in crowded housing as opposed to 1.2 per cent in the city of Hamilton
  • 11.5 per cent live in tenant households as opposed to 31.7 per cent in the city of Hamilton