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    Updated Québec Progress Indicators: How is Québec doing?

    Québec, July 17, 2023. – Last year, the Institut de la statistique du Québec released its first Québec Progress Indicators. This set of about 15 indicators describes Québec society’s progress as a complement to gross domestic product (GDP) by taking into account inequalities and the sustainability of human activity. The Institut is providing an update of these indicators and describes their evolution over time.

    Marked increase in GDP per capita and median income

    Québec’s real GDP per capita increased significantly between 2020 and 2021 (+5.7%), rising from $45,526 to $48,133 per capita. It has grown by 0.8% per year on average since 2006.

    In Québec, median adjusted after-tax household income (expressed per capita and in constant dollars) rose from $46,600 in 2019 to $48,700 in 2020, an exceptional annual increase of 4.5% which was due in part to the support measures put in place by governments during the first year of the pandemic. Median income grew from $36,300 in 2005 to $48,700 in 2020, an increase of almost $12,400.

    Unprecedented decline in low income rate in 2020

    In 2020, 4.8% of Quebecers were below the low-income cut-off based on the Market Basket Measure (MBM). Although the low income rate has been on a downward trend since 2015 (-8.7 percentage points between 2015 and 2020), the decrease observed between 2019 and 2020 was unprecedented (-4.1 percentage points). This decrease was mostly due to the temporary support measures put in place during the pandemic. 

    Young people are more likely to obtain a post-secondary diploma, but the socio-economic gap has widened at the high school level 

    In 2022, in Québec, 79.5% of 25-34 year-olds had a post-secondary diploma (vocational, college or university diploma), which represents a 7.6 percentage point increase since 2007. In the rest of Canada, 74.4% of people in this age group had a post-secondary diploma in 2022, 5 percentage points below the proportion in Québec.

    However, the gap in high school graduation rates between students from advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds increased by 2 percentage points between 2020 and 2021 in Québec, up from 21.3 to 23.3 percentage points. This gap had narrowed between 2012 and 2020. 

    Significant decline in positive perception of mental health

    In 2021, about 66% of Quebecers aged 12 and over perceived their mental health as excellent or very good, a 5 percentage point decline from 2020 (71%). Overall, this proportion has declined between 2015 and 2021.

    Crime up after a decrease

    A 5.3% rebound in crime (measured based on the number and severity of the crimes reported) was observed in 2021 in Québec, in particular because of a marked increase in sexual assault and fraud. This increase came after an overall decline of 40% between 2006 and 2021. The drop was particularly marked in 2020 (-7.5% from 2019), the first year of the pandemic. Over the past 16 years, crime has remained lower in Québec than in the rest of Canada.

    Temperature anomalies and air quality

    Anomalies in average annual temperatures have increased by 1.9 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. Climate change affects ecosystems and built capital, and threatens future well-being and national wealth.

    In 2022, the threshold for fine particulate matter was exceeded on 24 days in Québec, which points to better air quality than in previous years. The reduction in the number of days above the threshold observed since 2009 in Québec shows that air quality has improved. The situation may be different in 2023, however, due to the recent forest fires.

    Fluctuations in life expectancy

    The life expectancy of Quebecers rose by two years between 2007 and 2016, but has remained below 83 years since. It stood at 82.3 years in 2022. In Québec, as in the rest of Canada, there was an increase in life expectancy in 2019, which was immediately followed by a marked drop in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past few years, life expectancy has been higher in Québec than in the rest of Canada.

    Presence of women in politics

    In 2022, women accounted for 35.4% of elected federal and provincial MPs and mayors. In the last general election, women represented 46% of elected officials, the highest percentage ever recorded at the National Assembly. In the rest of Canada, women are less present on the federal and provincial or territorial political scene than in Québec. Since 2007, women’s presence in politics has increased in Québec. This growing presence of women reflects an advancement in terms of equality which leads to enhanced debates and promotes a more democratic society, thus supporting Québec’s progress.


    Trend summary: Québec Progress Indicators


    View the Québec Progress Indicators dashboard

    Read the results analysis


    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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