Growth of the Québec population slowing down for fifth consecutive year

Québec, December 8, 2015 – Québec’s population increased by 60,500 people in 2014, a growth rate of 7.4 per thousand (0.74%). This rate recorded its fifth decline since its peak of 11.0 per thousand (1.1%) in 2009, indicating a slowdown of Québec’s population growth. The increase in the number of deaths and the declining numbers of births and newly admitted immigrants are behind this slower growth. Québec's population stood at 8.26 million inhabitants on July 1, 2015. The proportion of people aged 65 and up continued to rise and stood at nearly 18%. Those under 20 represented 21% of the population, while those aged 20 to 64 accounted for 62%. These results are from the 2015 edition of the Bilan démographique du Québec, published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Slightly fewer births and slightly more deaths
The number of births totalled 87,700 in 2014, which is less than what was recorded between 2009 and 2013, a period during which the number of births has remained above 88,000. The total fertility rate stood at 1.62 children per woman in 2014 and continued its slight downward trend after having increased from 1.45 children per woman in 2000 to 1.73 in 2008 and 2009.

The number of deaths totalled 63,000 in 2014, an increase of 2,200 compared with 2013. This increase is particularly marked when compared to the average annual increase of 600 deaths recorded during the past ten years. The unusually early and severe 2014–2015 winter flu season led to a very high number of deaths in December 2014 and a record peak in January 2015. Thus, the number of deaths in December 2014 raised the overall results of a year otherwise consistent with the recent trend.

Despite the increase in the number of deaths, life expectancy at birth remained the same as in 2013, i.e. 80.2 years for men and 84.1 years for women. Québec has had the lowest life expectancy of all Canadian provinces for a long time. However, over the past three decades, it has experienced the greatest improvement and is now within the Canadian average.

Slightly fewer immigrants while interprovincial migratory losses remain high
Québec welcomed 50,300 immigrants in 2014, down from 2013 (52,000) and the peak of 2012 (55,050). Iran (11.6%) tops the list of newcomers’ country of birth in 2014, followed by France (7.0%), Algeria (7.0%), China (6.8%) and Haiti (5.7%). Over 60% of immigrants admitted in 2014 were between 20 and 44 years old.

Net interprovincial migration for Québec is estimated at -13,800 people in 2014, a result similar to that of 2013. Not since 1996 to 1998 has there been a higher migratory deficit. It is mainly with Ontario, but also with Alberta and British Columbia that Québec experienced significant migratory deficits.

Already quite low, marriage rate still showing signs of weakening
The number of marriages in Québec in 2014 is estimated at 22,400. Of these, just under 600 (3%) were same-sex marriages. Quebecers’ affinity for marriage is low and if the 2014 nuptiality conditions remain constant, only 27% of men and 30% of women are expected to marry at least once before their 50th birthday. The marriage rate has decreased slightly for the second year, whereas it had remained fairly stable between 2001 and 2012. Religious marriages are still declining in popularity (45.5%), but there was a significant increase in civil marriages celebrated by a designated person (parent, friend, etc.). In addition, half of marriages in 2014 were held on a summer Saturday.

Regional assessments

The 2015 edition of the Bilan démographique du Québec contains 17 regional sheets providing an overview of the demographic situation in each administrative region.


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.

Sources:

  • Chantal Girard
    Demographer
    Phone: 418-691-2406 Ext. 3062
  • Information and Documentation Centre
    Phone: 418-691-2401
    or 1-800-463-4090 (toll free in Canada and the United States)
  • Twitter account: http://twitter.com/statquebec