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CDC’s Neighbouhood Dashboard for Three Urban Core Neighbourhoods

CDC’s Neighbouhood Dashboard for Three Urban Core Neighbourhoods

Category Blog, Community Development
Posted 27/05/21

This Neighbourhood Dashboard focuses on three of the urban core neighbourhoods where the Edmonton CDC is currently active in delivering its community development mandate. I shared earlier drafts of the dashboard with a few colleagues, and one observed that this report is focused entirely on neighbourhood deficits and suggested that the dashboard include neighbourhood assets. The observation is correct, and the suggestion is sound (and the plan is to expand the dashboard to include asset-oriented info in the future).


That said, while neighbourhoods are so much more than what is represented in the dashboard, all three experience the community pain and frustration that are represented in this document and deserve to have such information so they can understand the data and trends behind the pain experienced. The release of this publication of the elements neighbourhood disadvantage paints an important picture. The dashboard also includes questions for discussion that neighbourhood residents and groups may wish to consider as they work with this data.

Urban core neighbourhoods contribute to the overall economic picture facing Edmonton as a whole. The following data and trends represent the economic health of the City of Edmonton CMA. This economic picture points to significant issues and problems for hundreds of thousands of Edmontonians which are much more profoundly experienced by urban core neighbourhoods.

  • The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Edmonton CMA in October 2019 was $1,257. That is an increase of 109.2% since 2000.”[1]
  • “Since 2002, the average weekly cost of a nutritious food basket for a family for four increased by $110.73, an increase of 83.8%.”[2]
  • The living wage for single adults, lone parents, and a family of four have either remained flat or has declined.[3]
  • “From the years 2000 to 2018, the median after-tax income after inflation increased by 24.9% for couple families, 31.9% for lone-parent families, and 27.1% for single adults.” However, between 2012 and 2018, the median after tax income for couple families has decreased, remained flat for lone parent families and single adults, with the later decreasing since 2015. [4]
  • Edmonton’s economy between 1982 and 2017 has provided significant income gains for the top 1% of earners whose after tax median income has increased by 27.6% compared to 7% of the bottom 99% of earners. This disparity is more significant when considering that 0.1% of the population has seen growth in income at 56.8% compared to 3.4% for 50% of the population over this 35 year time-frame.[5]
  • From July 2017 to June 2018, an average of 117,300 employed persons in the Edmonton CMA earned less than the $16.48 2018 living wage.[6] That is 15.3% of the work force in 2017. Further, a total of 155,000 employed persons earned less that $18.15 per hour or 20% of the population.
  • “Recent surveys of all working Canadians by the Canadian Payroll Association [report that] 47 per cent saying they’re living paycheque to paycheque.”[7]
  • “Of the 3.4 million Canadian households who rent and whose primary source of income is wages, salaries or self-employed income, 46 per cent have less than a month’s worth of savings, according to research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.”[8]

The data above documents how the cost of living has been rising dramatically higher for Edmontonians than their income and demonstrates that the number of economically vulnerable residents are far more serious than represented in single charts on poverty rates, average income data, and so forth. For example, the Canadian Payroll Association data suggests that 375,000 Edmonton workers are living pay cheque to pay cheque and according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives nearly as many have less than one month’s savings to rely on in cases of emergencies.

The data indicates that there is substantial economic insecurity and vulnerability among residents across the city. The dashboard indicates that these insecurities and vulnerabilities are much more pervasive and profoundly experienced in urban core neighbourhoods.

[1] TRACKING THE TRENDS 2020, Edmonton Social Planning Council, page 41

[2] Ibid.  page 40.

[3] Ibid. page 48

[4] Ibid. page 56

[5] Ibid. page 62

[6] Ibid. page 64

[7] “Already living paycheque to paycheque, some Canadians are being pushed over the brink by COVID-19” Toronto Star, retrieved from “Already living paycheque to paycheque, some Canadians are being pushed over the brink by COVID-19 | The Star” April 5, 2020

[8] Ibid.

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