Demographic growth recovers in Montréal, population increases in almost all regions
Québec, January 11, 2023. – Almost all of Québec’s administrative regions saw their population increase between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022. In particular, growth picked up in Montréal and Capitale-Nationale, two regions where population growth had slowed with the start of the pandemic. Fewer people left these regions to settle elsewhere in Québec, and their international migration gains increased in 2021–2022. At the same time, growth continued to accelerate in regions such as Mauricie and Chaudière-Appalaches. Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Bas-Saint-Laurent also stood out with rising growth rates.
Two bulletins released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec document the changes in the population of Québec’s regions in 2021–2022:
- Fiches démographiques – Les régions administratives du Québec en 2022 (PDF, 3.05 MB), which presents regional population estimates as of July 1, 2022.
- La migration interrégionale au Québec en 2021-2022 : Montréal voit ses pertes diminuer après avoir accusé un déficit record l’année précédente (PDF, 1.76 MB), which focuses on interregional migratory exchanges, one of the determining factors in the evolution of the population of regions.
Montréal’s demographic growth resumes
Montréal saw its population increase by about 14,000 people in 2021–2022, which corresponds to a growth rate of 6.9 per thousand. This rate is low compared to several other regions, and contrasts with Montréal’s high levels of growth from before the pandemic. Nevertheless, it marks a return to growth after a sharp slowdown in 2019–2020 and a decline of 47,000 people in 2020–2021.
Montréal still has a large deficit in its migratory exchanges with Québec’s other regions in 2021–2022, but less so than in 2020–2021. The region also welcomed a larger number of permanent immigrants than in the past few years. The gains attributable to non-permanent residents (temporary workers, foreign students and asylum seekers) also increased, but remained below pre-pandemic levels.
Growth up in every region where it had slowed
The other regions where population growth had slowed since the start of the pandemic, namely Capitale-Nationale, Outaouais, Laval and Montérégie, all posted higher growth rates in 2021–2022. The increase was particularly marked in the Capitale-Nationale region, where growth was stronger in the past year than in pre-pandemic years. The region was able to rely on both greater gains in its migratory exchanges with other Québec regions and an increase in international migration.
In the other regions, it was mainly international migration that contributed to the rebound in growth rates, in addition to higher interprovincial migratory gains in the case of Outaouais.
Population continues to increase quickly in Lanaudière, Laurentides and Estrie, despite a slowdown
Lanaudière, Laurentides and Estrie are the regions where the population increased the most in 2021–2022. Their rate of increase was over 16 per thousand, which was still less than in 2020–2021. These three regions once again posted large gains from their migratory exchanges with other Québec regions, particularly with Montréal, but these gains were smaller than in the previous year.
Growth accelerates again in Mauricie and Chaudière-Appalaches, but also in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Bas-Saint-Laurent
Mauricie and Chaudière-Appalaches saw their demographic growth accelerate in the past few years, and this trend continued in 2021–2022. Their growth rate exceeded 13 per thousand and was close to those of the fastest-growing regions.
Growth was not as strong in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Bas-Saint-Laurent, but it has tended to intensify in recent years. This is in stark contrast with the years of decline experienced by these two regions until recently.
Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine remains among the growing regions, while Côte-Nord continues to decline
Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine was among the fastest growing regions in 2020–2021, but its population increased more modestly in 2021–2022. Still, this was the third consecutive year of growth for this region after many years of decline.
Côte-Nord is the only region where the population decreased in 2021–2022, although only slightly.
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