BUSINESS

Nunavut By The Numbers: Stats Show High Cost, Low Prospects Of Northern Life

12/14/2014 03:12 EST | Updated 02/14/2015 05:59 EST
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The town of Iqaluit, Nunavut Territory, Canada, about 200 miles (321 kms) south of the Arctic Circle is seen on Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. Iqaluit is the capital of Canada's newest provinces, Nunavut Territory, which was carved out of the Northwest Territories to become a semi-autonomous region in 1999. There are some 7,000 people in Iqaluit, most of whom are Inuit, nomadic hunters who have lived in the frozen climes of Canada, Alaska, Russia and Greenland for thousands of years. The Inuit are the first on earth to experience the impact of global warming and claim the United States is violating their human rights by being the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. (AP Photo/Beth Duff-Brown)
IQALUIT, Nunavut - High food prices and pervasive poverty in Nunavut mean hunger is a fact of life in the territory, despite an array of services, a revival of country foods and a strong spirit of community co-operation. Some numbers:

Number of families using the Niqinik Nuatsivik Food Bank every two weeks in 2001: 30

Now: 120

Population of Nunavut in 2014: 36,585 people of which 80 per cent are Inuit, and more than a third are under 15 years old.

Employment growth: 7,200 out of 14,000 people over the age of 15 had a job in 2004; now 12,600 out of 23,000 people over 15 are working. That's an employment rate of about 52 per cent a decade ago and just over 54.5 per cent now.

Unemployment rate in 2004: 13.6 per cent.

Unemployment rate in November 2014: 11.7 per cent.

Unemployment rate across Canada in November 2014: 6.6 per cent.

Unemployment rate among Inuit in Nunavut: 18.7 per cent in 2004; 16.5 per cent now.

Percentage of the population receiving welfare: 49.1 — the highest in the country. British Columbia was second at 10.5 per cent.

Cost of a return flight to Ottawa: $2,500.

Cost of a meal for one in a nice Iqaluit restaurant: Approximately $100.

Cost of two litres of orange juice at an Iqaluit grocer: $26.29.

Cost for four litres of milk: $10.39, with a sign advising shoppers it would have been $20.91 without a federal subsidy.

Average cost of chicken in Nunavut: $16 per kilogram.

Average cost of chicken across Canada: $7 per kilogram.

Average cost of 2.5 kilograms of flour in Nunavut: $13

Average cost of 2.5 kilograms of flour across Canada: $5

Percentage drop in food prices since last year: four.

Percentage of Inuit households considered food insecure: 70. That's eight times the national average.

Sources: The Canadian Press, Statistics Canada, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, 2014 Nunavut Food Price Survey, Inuit Health Survey.

Crazy Northern Food Prices