New population projections for Québec and its regions: heading for 10 million inhabitants in 2061

Québec, September 9, 2014 – The population of Québec is expected to grow from 8 to 9 million between 2011 and 2027, reaching 10 million around 2061. If recent trends continue, Québec will not experience a decline in total population. Growth is however expected to gradually slow down, in a context of ever-increasing demographic aging. These results were taken from the publication Perspectives démographiques du Québec et des régions, 2011-2061 released today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Based on new Québec population data and recent trends in fertility, mortality and migration, here are the key highlights of the reference scenario of these projections (2014 edition):

  • In 2061, Québec’s population will have increased by 2.1 million people compared with 2011. People aged 65 and over will represent the major part of this growth, increasing by 1.6 million toward a total of nearly 2.9 million. The share of seniors in the total population is expected to rise to over 28% in 2061, compared with 16% in 2011.

  • People aged 65 and over will outnumber those under 20 starting from 2023. The under-20 age group will remain between 1.7 and 2.0 million over the projection period and their share in the total population is expected to stabilize at about 20%.

  • Among seniors, the increase in the population aged 80 and over will be particularly sharp. Their number should rise from 329,000 in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2061.

  • The 20-64 age group should peak in 2017 at about 5.13 million and then decline gradually to 4.94 million in 2030. A slight upward trend will later bring this population to 5.19 million in 2061. While the number of people aged 20 to 64 is expected to vary only moderately, this group’s share in the total population will decline sharply from 63% in 2011 to 51% in 2061.

  • Québec’s natural increase, i.e. the number of births minus the number of deaths, should remain positive until 2033. Subsequently, the number of deaths will outnumber the number of births.

  • Compared with the 2009 edition, the 2014 edition of the population projections features slightly higher projections for the population of Québec and almost all its regions.

  • Thirteen of the seventeen Québec administrative regions will continue to grow at least until 2036. The most significant increases are expected in Laval and Lanaudière (31% each). However, four regions are likely to experience a total population drop by 2036: Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean (-0.5%), Bas-Saint-Laurent (-1.8%), Côte-Nord (-2.7%) and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (-3.9%).

  • Increasing in all regions, the proportion of people aged 65 and over could exceed 33% in 2036 in the following three regions: Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Mauricie. Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is close behind with 32%.

  • Only seven administrative regions will experience an increase of the 20-64 age group between 2011 and 2036. Among them, the Nord-du-Québec and Laval regions are expected to report the largest increases with 16% and 14% respectively.

  • The greater Montréal metropolitan area, which reaches 4 million inhabitants in 2014, will see its share of the Québec population gradually grow and pass the 50% mark around 2027.

  • In 2061, Québec will have one million more private households than in 2011, for a total of 4.4 million.

Aside from the reference scenario, which maintains the trend of recent years, a high-growth scenario and a low-growth scenario were also produced to create a range of the most likely developments. This projection covers the period from 2011 to 2061 for Québec and from 2011 to 2036 at a regional level. The geographical divisions used are those of the 17 administrative regions and 6 census metropolitan areas. The population projections results of the 104 Québec RCMs will be released in October 2014.

In addition to the analysis report, many tables with detailed results 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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