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    Economic vitality index of Québec localities and RCMs in 2020

    Notice of release

    Québec, March 30, 2023. – The Institut de la statistique du Québec published today its findings on the economic vitality index at the locality and regional county municipality (RCM) level in Québec for 2020. These data were released along with an analytical bulletin (PDF) that reports on key findings related to the economic vitality index at the level of the province’s localities for 2020.

    The most economically vitalized localities tend to be concentrated in the most populous metropolitan areas

    The localities with the best results in terms of economic vitality in 2020 were largely concentrated in the province’s four most populous census metropolitan areas (CMAs), namely Montréal, Québec, the Québec portion of Ottawa-Gatineau, and Sherbrooke.

    Municipalities located on the outskirts of the Montréal and Québec metropolitan areas also did well, and most of them ranked in the quintiles comprising the most economically vitalized localities. In fact, several of these localities registered particularly strong growth over the past few years.

    As was the case in 2018, the municipality of Carignan, located south of the Montréal Island, ranked highest on the economic vitality index in 2020. Carignan, which has a population slightly over 11,000, boasted one of the highest median total incomes for those aged 18 and over as well as strong demographic growth.

    Distribution of Québec localities by economic vitality index quintile, 2020 (map in French only)

    The least economically vitalized localities are generally smaller and farther away from large centres

    At the other end of the spectrum, localities in the regions of Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Côte-Nord, and Bas-Saint-Laurent are the ones that mainly ranked lowest. Several localities in the northern part of the Outaouais region also have a particularly low economic vitality index.

    The least economically vitalized localities are generally smaller, have a low population density, and overall have more people aged 65 and over than people aged under 20. They are also experiencing significant demographic decline.

    In addition to being far from large urban centres, these localities have a lower median total income of individuals and a lower rate of workers than other Québec localities. Their residents are also more dependent on government transfers as a source of income.

    Changes in the ranking between 2018 and 2020

    The shock caused by the onset of the pandemic in 2020 did not lead to any major changes in the economic vitality index ranking of localities. A comparison of the 2018 and 2020 index rankings shows that the vast majority of localities stayed in the same quintile.

    Several of the localities whose relative position in the ranking improved between 2018 and 2020 are in the regions of Laurentides and Lanaudière. These include the Pays-d’en-Haut RCM in the Laurentides region and the Montcalm and Matawinie RCMs in Lanaudière.

    Dynamic tables and interactive maps

    Data on the economic vitality index of localities and RCMs can be visualized through interactive maps, dynamic tables, and fact sheets available on the Institut’s website.


    What is the economic vitality index of localities?

    The economic vitality index ranks localities in relation to each other based on their vitality. A negative value generally means that the locality is behind in terms of economic vitality in relation to the majority of Québec localities, and conversely, a positive value means that the locality is ahead of most localities.

    The economic vitality index is the geometric mean of normalized variables for three indicators: the median total income of individuals aged 18 and over, the rate of workers (share of people who are employed) aged 25 to 64, and the average annual population growth rate over five years. Each of these indicators represents an important aspect of vitality, respectively living standards, the labour market, and demographic dynamics.

    This index is a synthetic measure of these three aspects of economic vitality, and therefore portrays a complex reality in a simplified way. To learn more about the methodology used for the economic vitality index, please read the Rapport technique et méthodologique (PDF).


    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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