Contrasted population growth and aging in Québec RCMs up to 2036

Québec, October 1, 2014 – In 2036, if current trends continue, the population in 75 of the 104 regional county municipalities (RCMs) will be higher than in 2011, whereas in the other 29 it will have declined. This is the first finding of Perspectives démographiques des MRC du Québec, 2011-2036, released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

All RCMs of the administrative regions of Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie, Centre-du-Québec, as well as Montréal and Laval are expected to have larger populations in 2036 than in 2011. As for the other regions, there will be a combination of growing RCMs and declining RCMs.

While the population of Québec as a whole is expected to grow by 17% between 2011 and 2036, 18 RCMs will experience a population growth of at least 25% over 25 years, even exceeding 35% for 7 of them. Mirabel, in the Laurentides, tops the list with a 48% increase, followed by the RCMs of La Jacques-Cartier, in the Capitale-Nationale, and La Rivière-du-Nord, also in the Laurentides, whose populations are both projected to grow by about 43%. In contrast, two RCMs of the Côte-Nord will experience the highest negative percentage change by 2036: La Haute-Côte-Nord (-15%) and Le Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent (-12%).

Over the next 25 years, population aging in Québec will be reflected in the 104 RCMs in a contrasted manner. While in 2011, only two RCMs had a share of people aged 65 and older which was 25% or over, no less than 83 RCMs will have crossed this threshold in 2036. Seniors are even expected to account for over a third of the population in 34 of these RCMs. This share could reach 45% in Les Basques (Bas-Saint-Laurent), followed by Mékinac (Mauricie) with 42% and L'Islet (Chaudière-Appalaches) with 41%.

At the other end of the spectrum, Caniapiscau, in the Côte-Nord, the Kativik Regional Government and Eeyou Istchee, in the Nord-du-Québec, will also see the proportion of those aged 65 and over increase, from less than 5% in 2011 to respectively 6%, 8% and 11% in 25 years. These numbers, although rising, are substantially below that of Québec in 2036 (26%). In fact, in 25 years, these three RCMs will be the only ones standing under the 2011 Québec threshold (16%).

The average age of the Québec population will rise from 40.9 years in 2011 to 45.2 years in 2036. This level will be surpassed in 78 RCMs, even reaching almost 56 years in Les Basques RCM. The average age will be above the Québec average in all RCMs of six administrative regions: Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie, Estrie, Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Centre-du-Québec.

An analysis document along with detailed results of the population projections for the 104 Québec RCMs are available on the website of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyses and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is the statistical coordinator for Québec and 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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