Hamilton’s Vital Signs checks the pulse of our city. Under the guidance of a panel of community experts, it curates data into 10 key areas of community life into research you can read, providing an insight into Hamilton’s overall vitality and identifying significant trends and issues that matter to all of us.
Vital Signs is intended to stimulate awareness, spark conversations and action. We encourage you to share this report widely.
Hamilton’s Vital Signs is the starting point of a roadmap to an increasingly hopeful future. It tells us where we are so we can decide where we need to go.
The Hamilton Spectator’s original Code Red, and our first Vital Signs report in 2010, heightened awareness that Hamilton is a city with great potential, but some serious challenges, especially the inequalities and disparities that exist.
Despite the momentous challenge of reducing poverty and social exclusion, Hamiltonians have not stood down. They have joined forces at multiple levels to improve collective outcomes: from neighbours working together, to the basic income pilot, to initiatives that increase the likelihood of educational success and finding ways to amplify marginalized voices.
Other domains remain troubling. Too many families still rely on food banks and waiting lists for social housing have gotten longer. Inequality between our richest and poorest neighbourhoods continues and reflects harsh disparities by race and gender – further highlighting findings from The Spec’s recent All About Us series.
Voter turnout is one area of sharp disparity between Hamilton’s affluent and marginalized communities. Elections matter, and we must encourage broader voter participation so that all voices are heard.
But democracy is mostly about what happens beyond the ballot box. We need to continue cultivating diverse leadership that reflects our community, to engage, advocate, build and support citizen engagement every day.
Creating positive change takes a collective effort. We ask that you please read this report, then take a look at your community and ask: What else can I do to help create a more equitable, vibrant and inclusive Hamilton?